How to Fix Ender 3 Not Reading SD Card

In this post, we’ll explore why Ender 3 not reading SD card and show you how to fix Ender 3 not reading/recognizing/detecting SD card in 4 methods.


By Lucas / Updated on April 16, 2024

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The Ender 3 3D printer is highly popular among creators due to its affordability and impressive features. Yet, issues like the "Ender 3 Not Reading SD Card" can be a source of frustration, often arising unexpectedly and disrupting the printing process and workflow efficiency. In this guide, we will provide quick solutions specifically designed to resolve the problem of the Ender 3 not recognizing the inserted SD card.

Why is my Ender 3 not reading SD card?

When an Ender 3 3D printer fails to read an SD card, it can be frustrating, especially if you're eager to start a new print. Several common issues could be causing this problem. Here’s a breakdown of the most likely reasons:

1. Incompatible SD Card format
The Ender 3 typically works with SD cards formatted in FAT32. If your SD card is formatted in a different format, such as exFAT or NTFS, the printer might not be able to read it.

2. SD Card capacity
Larger SD cards (over 32GB) might not be compatible with the Ender 3. It's generally best to use an SD card with a smaller capacity that the printer can support.

3. Corrupted SD Card
SD cards can become corrupted over time, especially with frequent use in different devices. Try accessing the SD card on a computer to check if it's readable and to verify the files aren't corrupted. If it's corrupted, you might need to reformat the card or replace it.

4. File Structure & naming
The Ender 3 can be picky about file names and their structure. Make sure the file names are not too long, avoid special characters, and ensure the G-code files are in the root directory of the SD card (not buried in folders).

5. Physical damage to SD card or reader
Check both the SD card and the SD card slot on the printer for any signs of physical damage. Any bent pins in the slot or visible damage on the card could prevent a successful read.

6. Firmware issues
Occasionally, firmware on the Ender 3 might have bugs affecting how it reads SD cards. Check for any available firmware updates for your printer and consider updating if a newer version is available.

7. Incompatible files
Ensure that the files on the SD card are G-code files that the Ender 3 can understand. Other file types or incorrectly generated G-code might not be recognized by the printer.

5 ways to fix Ender 3 (V2/Pro) not reading SD card

Here, we delve into the detailed solution for the problem of the Ender 3 not reading SD card. If you come across a similar problem, you can attempt to resolve it using the following methods.

Method 1: Properly re-insert the SD Card

If the "Ender 3 V2 not reading SD card" error occurs, it may be due to loose or improper insertion of the card. First, check for any connection issues by carefully removing and re-inserting the SD card into the slot until it clicks into place. Then, power on the printer to see if the issue persists.

Method 2: Clean the SD card slot

Dust on the SD card can cause the "Ender 3 Pro not reading SD card" issue. To fix this, turn off the printer, remove the SD card, and gently wipe it with a soft cloth. If necessary, use a soft brush to clean the card slot as well.

Method 3: Rename files & folders on the SD card

Many 3D printers, including the Ender 3 Pro/V2, can only recognize files or folders with names up to 8 characters. If your SD card contains files or folders with longer names, the printer may not be able to access them, leading to the "Ender 3 SD card not reading" issue. To resolve this, shorten file names to 8 characters or less. Additionally, deleting files or folders containing spaces or special characters in their names can also help fix the "Ender 3 not detecting SD card" issue.

Method 4: Format SD card for Ender 3

If the SD card’s file system is incompatible with Ender 3, you may run into the “Ender 3 not reading SD card” issue as well, also, some users reported the error that Ender 3 not reading SD card after firmware update. On this occasion, to solve this issue, you may need to format the SD card to FAT32. There are several ways you can try to execute the Ender 3 SD card format on your Windows PC. Just connect the SD card to your PC and then pick one preferred tool.

▍ Tool 1. Use Disk Management to format SD card

Disk Management is a handy Windows utility that enables you to easily handle partition and disk-related tasks, such as formatting an SD card. To complete the format, simply follow the steps below using this SD card formatter.

Step 1: Right-click the Start icon and select Disk Management.

Step 2: Right-click the partition on the SD card and then select Format.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, select FAT32 from the drop-down menu. Then tick the checkbox next to the Perform a quick format option.

DM format SD card

Step 4: After that, click OK to begin the process. If prompted, click OK to confirm the operation.

Tool 2. Format SD card in CMD

Formatting SD card for Ender 3 in CMD is another way. You need to type the following commands and press “Enter” after each.

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk N (N represents the disk number of the SD card)
  • list partition
  • select partition * (* is the number of the partition on the SD card)
  • format fs=fat32 quick

CMD format SD card

Tool 3. Try AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard

Aside from the default utilities, you can utilize a third-party SD card formatting tool for the operation. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is an excellent choice. It's a free and reliable partition management software that offers a wide array of features to manage your partitions and disks.

For example, this versatile tool allows you to create, format, resize partitions, copy disks, wipe data, and more. To format the SD card for your Ender 3 3D printer using this disk partition software, follow these steps.

Step 1. Free download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click SD card partition need formatting and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Partition

Step 2. In the following pop-up window, determine the file system of your SD card partition based on specific demand. Here you can choose from NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4.

File System

Step 3. In the main interface, confirm operation and click “Apply”>“Proceed” to perform it.


▪ It is available to format external hard drive, USB flash drive and hard disk drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard as well.
▪ AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is offered with many other powerful functions like wipe hard drive, merge partitions, and so on. But to recover deleted partition on SD card, converting dynamic disk into basic without data loss, please upgrade to its Professional version.

Method 5. Free up SD card storage space

As a multifunctional disk and drive manager, AOMEI Partition Assistant also offers "PC Cleaner" function to help you analyze and scan the target drive to free up more space.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, and then click "Free up" > "PC Cleaner".


Step 2. In the pop-up window, click "Start Scan" to scan for junk files.


Step 3. Wait for a while until the scanning process completes. If you want to stop, just click "Cancel Scan".


Step 4. After the scan is completed, all kinds of available junk files will be listed. Then, tick the junk files you want to clean, then click "Clean All" to begin the cleaning process.


Step 5. When you see a correct symbol displayed in the interface, click "Back" to exit.



In all, the inability of the Ender 3 3D printer to read SD cards can stem from various factors. Potential causes include a damaged or dirty SD card, improper formatting, a corrupted card reader, insufficient storage space, or outdated firmware. This article explored practical solutions to address this issue, such as cleaning or formatting the SD card, verifying compatibility, and other ways for troubleshooting and resolution.

If you're seeking a comprehensive solution to efficiently manage your SD card, optimize disk space, and potentially troubleshoot any issues, AOMEI Partition Assistant is worth considering. With its extensive set of features, this software provides effective solutions for disk management, ensuring a seamless 3D printing experience.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.