SD card not appearing in the Finder

Recently, on my 2019 MacBook Pro (MacOS 11.2.3), when I insert an SD card into my external Thunderbolt card reader, the SD card doesn’t appear in the Finder, and isn’t available to any apps. However, if I launch Disk Utility (or into Terminal), I can see that the card is mounted.

In an attempt to resolve this, I’ve relaunched the Finder, rebooted the computer, and tried the reader in different ports. Neither Safe Boot nor deleting the worked. I also tried different cards and the exact same thing happens.

Any thoughts on resolving this, as I need to be able to import/ingest image images from the SD card?

Finder → Preferences → General → All Items checked?

Finder → Preferences → Sidebar → All Locations checked?

Can Disk Utility Erase a card as well as show a card mounted?

Yes to the Finder questions, as I’ve been seeing and importing from the card(s) since I obtained this laptop. As mentioned, this is a recent change. Yes, I can see and format the card in Disk Utility (or Terminal). I can display the contents in Terminal, Move or Copy the contents as well.


Since it seems Finder is the problem, I would do a macOS Recovery first.

I am curious what will happen if you try this in Terminal

### List the name of the SSD
ls -l /Volumes/
### Make a new folder in the SSD
mkdir /Volumes/SSDName/Testfolder
### Open the folder in Finder
open /Volumes/SSDName/Testfolder

As mentioned above, everything works as expected in the Terminal. I can list/display the contents, copy and move files with no issues.

Anything unusual about the SD volume name? Special characters, etc? Maybe it would help if we knew the actual name you’re using?

Nope, as the cards are formatted in camera, and are generally mounted as “untitled1”. As mentioned above, this happens with all of my cards now, not just one in particular. It’s all very strange, as there have been no changes, other than the various dot updates of macOS Big Sur. As a photographer, I’ve been reading cards with this MacBook Pro, several times a per week, since purchased.

If you in Terminal navigate to one of the cards cd /Volumes/CardName/ and then do a open ./ what happens in Finder?

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I was curious what error you would get if you tried
open /Volumes/SSDName/Testfolder
might help you resolve the problem.

Doing an open, creates a new Finder window and shows the contents of the SD card (not an SSD), but it still doesn’t show in the Sidebar of the Finder window (though it’s checked in Preferences). Apps still don’t see the SD card unless I bounce (quit and relaunch) them, but the disk Icon appears on the Desktop. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

I have seen similar behaviour. Then the only place where I find the disk in the Finder or via Apps is in the “computername” location. Called Jeff’s MacBook Pro in the sidebar.

What happens if you try step 1 in this article?

Maybe for some reason the Finder has marked your SD cards as having been removed from the sidebar, so you need to manually re-add them?

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You did check Finder preferences to make sure that external drives are checked to be displayed…right? If so…do other SD cards show up in Finder? Does Disk Utility see it? Tried formatting in the camera and/or the computer? Does it show up on other computers? Trashed Finder preferences?

Just trying to list a bunch of obvious things if you’ve not done them already.

Yes, do double-check the Computer view (press Cmd+Shft+C in Finder).

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