How to check/monitor SD card health on Windows & Mac?

various sd card

SD cards nowadays are popular storage medium devices people use in all kinds of equipment, like Windows computers, Mac computers, cameras, tablets, etc. As the time passes, these cards are likely to get damaged or corrupted. So, a check-up for SD cards seems very important to prevent losing your vital data on the devices. In this article, we will introduce you to how to check the health condition of the SD card in Windows and Mac computers, including how to get your lost data back in case your card is corrupted.

Part 1: Understanding SD card’s health 

What Affects SD Card Health?


Not all SD cards are suitable for all devices. Some SD cards do not work well on certain devices once you use the wrong card on the wrong device, and that may affect the service life span of the card. 

Physical damage and Contact Wear

As a little metal flat card, abrasives and frequent inserting and use will scratch the contacts and wear the card out. It is mostly to get damaged, such as accidental drops or impacts, water and fire invasion, will lead to bad consequences. 

Finite Write Cycles

Like most things, the SD card does have an actual usage count of its write cycles. Usually, the cheapest SD card sustains up to thousands of write cycles, and the well-qualified, expensive card will sustain up to hundreds of thousands of write cycles. That is to say, a card’s service life is normally around 5-10 years, and that depends on how you use it. 

Production reasons

SD cards perform differently from semiconductors and manufacturers. And even the same production line SD cards have different performances. 

When You Need to Check SD Card Health?

It is very important to have a check-up timely when you encounter some error in the SD card. Here are the situations: 

  • SD card corruption
  • SD card not showing up on the computer
  • SD card slow transfer
  • SD card read or write errors
  • Unable to format the SD card
  • Data loss on the SD card
  • Other error messages

Why do you need to check the health of the SD Card?

Keep Data Integrity

Deteriorating SD cards is one of the causes that lead to data loss. Regularly checking up on the SD card’s health can fix potential problems and keep that data safe and integrity.

Maintain Better Performance

The health of the SD card will directly affect the performance of the card. The healthier card will definitely perform better than a bad one.


As it is discussed earlier, the 5-10 service life depends on the usage of the user. Monitoring the health condition of the card will expand the service life of the card for sure.

Part 2: How to check SD card health on Windows and Mac?

1. Use CMD on Windows

Step 1: Press the Win key+R key to open the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type cmd in the bar > press Enter.

Step 3: Type chkdsk /x /f E: (replace E with your SD card drive letter.) > press Enter.

2. Check SD card health with properties on Windows

Step 1: Open File Explorer > Go to the Devices and drives section.

Step 2: Select Properties. > Go to the Tools tab. 

Step 3: Click Check in the Error checking section.

Step 4: Click Scan and repair drive (it will scan for SD card errors if it has errors)

click the scan and repair drive button

3. Check the SD card on Mac using First Aid

Before this, you need to connect your SD card to a Mac with a card reader.

Step 1: Open Finder > click Applications.

Step 2: Select disk utility under the Utilities tab.

Step 3: Choose your SD card name in the disk utility.

Step 4: Choose the First Aid option to scan your SD card, and it will repair your card if any problems are found.

first aid

4. Check the Card for Errors with Terminal

You can check the SD card to see if there are any errors by using Terminal.

Step 1: Open the Terminal application

Step 2: Enter diskutil verifyVolume [drive identifier].

Step 3: Wait for a while until the process is ended, if there is an error, the program will inform you.

using terminal

5. Use a third-party tool to check for the SD card health

There are many excellent disk partition tools that can help you check the SD card’s health condition.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard (for Windows)

Step 1: Insert your SD card into your computer. 

Step 2: From the disk map > select the SD card > click on Surface Test.

Step 3: Click on Start Now. If there is any red color, there is a corruption in the card.

surface test

Step 4: Select memory card > click on the Check file system.

Step 5: Select Check & fix detected errors In the pop-up window > click Start.

Use EaseUS partition manager (for Windows)

EaseUS Partition Master is a superior tool that provides the most full-around solutions for disk and partition management.

Step 1: Connect your SD card to your computer.

Step 2: Open EaseUS Partition Master > locate your SD card disk. > right-click it > choose Advanced > check file system.

easeus check file system

Step 3: Select Try to fix errors if found > click Start.

start fix using Easeus

Step 4: Click Finish when the process is done. 

finish fix

Part 3: How to recover your lost data from an SD card?

If you are unlucky, the SD card is corrupted still, and the data inside it gets lost. Here we have ways to recover the data. Read these articles: 

How to Recover Lost Photos from Formatted SD Card

How to Recover Deleted Files from SD Card on Mac (2023)

How Can I Recover My Damaged SD Card Without Formatting?

Part 4: How to Maintain SD Card Health?

  • Choose a suitable and compatible SD card.
  • Format the new card as soon as you get it.
  • Never fill your cards completely.
  • Reformat your cards instead of deleting all the files.
  • Use a good-quality memory card.
  • Protect the card against extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid abrupt removal.
  • Avoid overloading.