Why wont my videos show up on my SD card?

Check the SD Card is Properly Inserted

One of the most common reasons an SD card may not show up is because it is not properly inserted into the device. The SD card needs to click firmly into place in the card slot. You may need to push it in more firmly than you expect for it to properly connect.

Be sure to check that the orientation is correct and match the shape of the slot – SD cards have a notch on one corner that must line up with the device slot. Do not force the card if it does not seem to fit; double check the orientation first. Applying too much force with the improper alignment can damage the card slot.

If the SD card is not inserted fully until it clicks, the device will not make the proper connection to detect it. Firmly push the card all the way into the slot until it clicks and locks into place. This will ensure the device can read the card properly.

Confirm the SD Card is Compatible

It’s important to check the manufacturer specifications for your specific camera model to determine which SD card types it is compatible with. As noted in this Consumer Reports article, there are several common SD card types:

  • SD – The original SD card format with a maximum capacity of 2GB.
  • SDHC – SD High Capacity cards can store between 4GB and 32GB.
  • SDXC – SD Extended Capacity cards have a capacity of 64GB to 2TB.

Newer camera models will typically be compatible with the higher capacity SDHC and SDXC formats. However, older or budget models may only work with standard SD cards. Referring to your camera’s user manual or specifications will clarify which SD card types it supports before purchasing.

Using an incompatible SD card that is the wrong format or capacity for your camera may prevent videos from recording properly. Always match your SD card to the recommended specifications for your specific camera.

Verify the SD Card is Not Corrupted

One potential issue is that the SD card itself has become corrupted. This can prevent the camera from being able to properly save videos to the card. To check for corruption, remove the SD card from the camera and insert it into a card reader or SD card slot on a computer. Attempt to open the files on the SD card through the file manager.

If you receive an error that the files cannot be accessed, or if you see the files but they won’t open properly, then the SD card has likely become corrupted. According to Salvagedata, corruption can occur from improper ejection, file system errors, or physical damage to the card.

In this case, you will need to reformat the SD card in the camera to wipe it clean, fixing the file system errors. Be aware that reformatting will erase all data currently on the card. After reformatting, try saving new videos to the card to see if the issue is resolved.

Make Sure the SD Card is Not Full

One common reason videos may not show up on an SD card is if the card is full or almost full. Most cameras require a certain minimum amount of free space on the card before they will save new videos. For example, if you are shooting 4K video which produces very large files, your camera may need at least 10-20GB free on the card before it will start recording.

To fix this issue, connect the SD card to your computer and delete any unnecessary files to free up space. How much space is required depends on the video resolution and frame rate you are using. Recording in higher resolutions like 4K requires more free space than lower resolutions like 720p. Refer to your camera manual to find the minimum free space recommended.

Some tips to free space on an SD card:

  • Delete any test videos or unwanted clips
  • Move photos and videos you want to keep onto your computer or another storage device
  • Use the computer to permanently delete hidden system files or temporary files
  • Format the SD card to wipe it completely clean (this will delete everything so make sure anything important is backed up first)

Keeping your SD card from filling up ensures your camera can continue to save new videos without running out of storage space.

Check the File System of the SD Card

Cameras may require specific file systems like FAT32 or exFAT in order to properly save video files to the SD card. According to the Recommended Video Formats and Settings guide, certain file systems have limitations on maximum file sizes that can be saved which could prevent larger video files from being written to the card (https://www.ma-pal.nesinc.com/Content/Docs/RecommendedVideoFormatsandSettings.pdf).

Try reformatting the SD card to a compatible file system like FAT32 or exFAT. But keep in mind FAT32 has a maximum file size limit of 4GB, so if you are recording videos larger than this you will need to use exFAT instead. Refer to your camera manufacturer’s documentation to verify which file system is recommended. After reformatting, test recording some sample videos to the freshly formatted SD card to see if the issue is resolved.

Confirm Videos are Not Set to Save Elsewhere

One common reason videos may not show up on an SD card is if the camera is configured to save videos to internal storage or another location rather than the memory card. Many cameras allow you to specify the storage location for photos and videos in the camera settings.

Check the settings on your camera to confirm that the SD card is set as the storage location for videos. On many cameras, this setting may be under a “Storage” or “Destination” menu in the settings. If the camera is set to save videos to internal memory or another location, change this setting so videos save directly to the inserted SD card. This will ensure new videos taken with the camera get stored on the SD card rather than another location. [1]

It’s also worth double checking that photos or other files are saving properly to the SD card, as the issue may be isolated to videos only. Refer to your camera manual or manufacturer if unsure where video and photo storage is configured. Confirming the camera is set to save new videos onto the SD card will often resolve issues with videos not showing up as expected.

Reset the Camera to Factory Settings

Resetting the camera to its original factory settings can help resolve any software issues that may be preventing videos from saving properly to the SD card. This wipes the camera back to its out-of-the-box state, clearing any problematic settings that could be interfering with video storage on the card. According to Sony support, you can reset your Sony camera to factory settings by going to Menu > Setup > Initialize > Reset Default or Factory Reset (source). For other camera brands, check your user manual for the factory reset procedure. Resetting deletes any custom settings, so you’ll have to reconfigure the camera after. But it’s worth trying to rule out software issues leading to missing videos on the SD card.

Update the Camera Firmware

One potential solution is to update your camera’s firmware. Camera manufacturers periodically release firmware updates to fix bugs and improve functionality. New firmware may resolve issues with videos not saving properly to the SD card.

To update your camera’s firmware, first identify your current firmware version in the camera settings. Then check the manufacturer’s website for the latest available firmware. If a newer version is available, download the firmware file to your computer.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely when performing the update. The process will be specific to your camera model. Some important tips are to fully charge the battery first, don’t turn off the camera during the update, and use the appropriate USB cable if connecting to a computer.

After successfully updating the firmware, test saving new videos to the SD card. There’s a good chance the issue may now be fixed with the updated programming. If the problem persists, there may be a different cause. But updating firmware is worth trying as one potential solution.

For more information, see this guide: How to Update Your Camera’s Firmware

Try a Different SD Card

One potential cause for videos not saving to the SD card properly is a faulty or corrupted SD card. SD cards can become damaged through normal wear and tear over time, especially with repeated recording and deletion of videos (source). If the card has bad sectors, it may fail to properly save new video files.

To test whether the SD card is faulty, try removing it and inserting a known good SD card in the camera. Look for an SD card that is from a reputable brand and is rated for the high data transfer speeds required for video recording, such as a SanDisk Extreme or Lexar 1000x card (source). Take some test videos and confirm they are properly saved to this alternate SD card.

If the videos save properly with a different SD card, then the original card is likely defective and should be replaced. However, if the issue persists, it points to a different underlying problem with the camera or settings.

Contact the Manufacturer

If none of the previous troubleshooting steps resolve the issue of videos not showing up on your SD card, it may be time to reach out to the camera manufacturer for support. Most major camera brands such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. have customer service teams available to help troubleshoot technical issues with their products.

To find manufacturer contact information, check the user manual or warranty paperwork that came with your camera. Many camera manufacturers also list support contacts on their websites. For example, you can find phone, email, and live chat options by going to the Support section on Canon’s website or the Support Center on Nikon’s website.

When you reach out to the manufacturer, be prepared to provide your camera model name and number, as well as a detailed explanation of the issue you are experiencing. It can also help to have your camera on hand to test or troubleshoot as guided by the support representative.

Manufacturer tech support may be able to diagnose the source of the problem, such as a faulty memory card slot or software bug. They can also advise you on any firmware updates or advise next steps if the camera requires service. With help from the experts who made your camera, you’re in good hands to resolve those stubborn SD card video issues.