Can An SD Card Get A Virus?

Your SD card may get infected with a virus or malware. It doesn’t matter if you restore or perform a factory reset on your device. Some security apps only scan phone files thereby missing virus infection on SD cards.

Even after restoring a phone, the virus can still remain if you don’t wipe the SD card. But how does your SD come in contact with viruses?

Ways An SD Card Can Get A Virus

SD cards can get infected with a virus through the following ways.

  • By browsing malicious websites while using the SD card.
  • By transferring virus-infected files to the SD card.
  • Another way for an SD card to get infected is by being connected to a virus-infected system.

The three points above are the major ways, among others in which your SD can become infected. Now you know the causes of the virus in SD cards but how do you know an infected card?

How To Know An Infected SD Card

The following are symptoms of an SD card infected with a virus. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, your SD card has been infected.

  • Files on your SD card may get erased without a warning.
  • Private information on your card may get lost.
  • You may be unable to read or write anything on your device.
  • When you can’t view data stored on the SD card.
  • A memory card error message may appear when trying to delete unwanted files.
  • Some files may be missing on your SD card.
  • Your card may infect other connected devices.
  • The SD card becomes inaccessible.
  • Some files may become hidden

You may have noticed that your SD card displays one or more of the symptoms above. The next step should be how to remove a virus from your SD card without formatting.

How To Remove Virus From An SD Card

If the virus on your SD card is not a major one. One of the following methods can remove it.

Method 1: Unhide all hidden files on the SD card. Follow the steps below to do this.

  • Step 1: Connect the infected SD card to your system.
  • Step 2: Open windows explorer and click “Tools”.
  • Step 3: The next step is to click “Folder options” and then “View”.
  • Step 4: You will see the “Show hidden files, folders, and drive” option, check it.
  • Step 5: Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system”.
  • Step 6: Click OK. Now you can see all the hidden files in the SD card.

Method 2: Fix using windows troubleshooter. This is a feature that fixes hardware issues.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to your system.
  • Step 2: Click the “Start” button and select “Settings”.
  • Step 3: Tap the “Update and Security” Option. Select “Troubleshoot”.
  • Step 4: Select “Hardware and Devices” then, tap “Run the troubleshooter”.
  • Step 5: Restart your system. The issue should be resolved by then.

Method 3: Use an SD card repair solution by the manufacturer.

  • Step 1: Check the manufacturer of your SD card.
  • Step 2: Go to the manufacturer’s website.
  • Step 3: Search for repair solutions to correct corrupt SD card. Most SD card manufacturers have them.
  • Step 4: Download the tool or you contact customer support for help.

Method 4: Use the error checking feature. This is windows feature for scanning external and internal drives.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to your personal computer.
  • Step 2: Press “Windows + E” to open windows explorer.
  • Step 3: You should right-click on the SD card to open “properties”.
  • Step 4: Click on the “Tools” tab.
  • Step 5: Click the “Check” button.
  • Step 6: You will see the list of the problems once scanning is over. Follow the on-screen instructions to fix them.

Any of the methods above should help clear the virus on your SD card. But if it doesn’t, you have to get a new SD card. What if there are valuable files in the corrupted SD card? Can they be still be recovered?

That is the question you may be asking. Yes, you can still recover your files from the virus-infected card.

How To Recover Files From A Virus Infected SD Card

Before disposing of your corrupted SD card, you can retrieve your important files. Here is how to.

  • Step 1: Download and launch “Stellar Photo Recovery Software”.
  • Step 2: Select the SD card as the location you want to recover the files from.
  • Step 3: Click “Scan” to start the scanning process.
  • Step 4: “A scan completed” message will pop up at the end of the process. You will see the number of recovered files and also preview.
  • Step 5: Press the “Deep scan” button if you notice that the recovered files are not complete
  • Step 6: Specify the location you want to save the files in the dialogue box. Click “Save”.


An SD card may not necessarily be corrupt as a result of viruses. It is very common for SD cards to become corrupt when they have exceeded their life span. The most important thing is knowing how to fix your card if a problem arises. Or recovering your files if the card can no longer be salvaged.









About Matthew C Alston

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