5 Ways to Fix Realtek Card Reader Issues in Windows

What is a Realtek Card Reader?

A Realtek Card Reader is a device that allows your Windows PC to read media cards such as memory cards from digital cameras. You can connect the Realtek card reader to your computer’s USB port and transfer files between the computer and the media card.

Realtek card driver service added for Windows 10. It is a program that allows your computer to interface with your card reader. In general, you can update the Realtek card reader driver to the most recent version to resolve errors and enable USB 2.0 transfer speed for faster data transfer.

Realtek card reader is a multinational chipset manufacturer that produces and distributes a variety of microchips. It primarily manufactures communications network integrated circuits, computer peripheral integrated circuits, and multimedia integrated circuits.

Realtek audio drivers and managers, such as Realtek Audio Driver and Realtek Audio Manager, are commonly found on computer motherboards.

Fix Realtek (PCIe) Card Reader Not Working

After the Windows update, many Windows users are experiencing the SD card reader not working error and cannot access their crucial SD card data. Windows 10 is stuck on the “SD card not recognized” problem, which is a highly nerve-wracking and a pretty common issue. Don’t be concerned. We’ll walk you through the top 5 solutions to fix the card reader not working problem in Windows 10 in this post.

  1. Fix SD Card Reader with Windows 10 Troubleshoot

Troubleshooting is a built-in feature in Windows 10 that allows you to diagnose device problems quickly. To do the troubleshooting and have Windows 10 automatically solve the Realtek card reader not working issue, follow the steps below.

  • Insert your SD card into your Personal Computer card reader.
  • Go to the Control Panel and click on it.
  • Click Small icons to change the view.
Troubleshooting Realtek Card Reader Issues
  • Select Troubleshoot from the drop-down menu.
  • Select Configure a device from the drop-down menu.
Configure a device
  • To have Windows 10 detect a device problem, click the Next button on the popup box.
  • After that, Windows will present you with options, and you can select Apply this patch to resolve the Realtek PCIe card reader problem.
  1. Check the Hardware Issues

When the Realtek PCIe card reader on Windows 10 stops operating. Check the following hardware changes: the SD card, SD card reader driver, current USB cable, card reader appears as a drive, and so on.

  • Look into the SD card reader.

Make sure that the Realtek PCIe card reader you’re using is compatible with your current operating system. The updated operating system may be inaccessible to older readers. The SD card reader may not work correctly due to incompatibility between the old reader and the current operating system and incompatibility between the memory card format and the old reader.

Some older memory card readers do not recognize SDHC or SDXC format.

  • Examine the USB cable.

When using an external SD reader, make sure the USB cable isn’t causing the SD card reader to fail. To do so, simply try replacing the existing USB cord with a different one. 

  • Examine the USB port

If you’re using an external SD card reader, the USB port could blame the SD card for not working. External SD card readers, as we all know, external SD card readers must be powered via USB when attached to a computer. On the other hand, the reader will not work if the computer’s USB port does not have enough electricity to power it. As a result, please try using another USB connection on your computer to see whether the problem with the SD card reader may be resolved.

  • Check the golden chip.

Check to see whether the SD card turns black. If it is, the gold finger has oxidized, and you will need to use an eraser to remove the oxide layer. After that, look to see if the SD card is damaged.

The card may be damaged if the SD card’s plug is unplugged while it is read, causing the card’s power supply to be interrupted.

If the SD card reader still does not work after eliminating all of the aforementioned hardware, consider the following remedies.

  1. Name the SD Card Drive and Make the Card Reader Available

One of the remedies for the card reader not working problem is to assign a drive letter to the SD card. To gain access to the data on your SD card, attempt the following steps:

  • Right-click the Start menu.
  • Select Disk Management from the drop-down menu.
  • Examine both your hard drive disks and the SD card drive on the list.
  • If there is no drive letter beside your SD card, right-click it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Change Drive Letter and Paths
  • To name a new drive letter, click the Add or Change option and type [H:].
  • Click the OK button.
Change Drive Letter and Paths
  • Then you can inspect the data on your SD card using File Explorer.
  1. Clean up viruses or malware on the SD card

A virus attack is a nuisance that can occur at any time and in any location.  You should back up the SD card and check it for viruses regularly to ensure the data’s safety. You must use the command prompt to remove viruses or malware from the SD card.

  • Press Win + R and type cmd in the “Run” box to open a command prompt.
  • To run this command, type attrib -h -r -s X:\*.* /s /d (replace X with your SD card letter) in the “Command Prompt” box, and then press Enter.
 attrib -h -r -s X:\*.* /s /d
  • The SD card should display on the computer after you run this program.

You might run into the following issues with the virus-infected system (including an SD card reader that isn’t operating correctly:

  • The files saved in the SD card become hidden.
  • The SD card performance degrades over time.
  • The file is not there on the SD card.
  • You are unable to copy files from the SD card.
  • An error code will appear when accessing the SD card.
  1. Update the SD Card Reader Driver or the USB Driver

If your integrated card reader or USB card reader isn’t recognized by Windows 10, you may need to update the card reader or USB driver. If there are any yellow triangles with an exclamation mark, open the Device Manager and expand the device entries. It indicates that the device driver has issues, resulting in the SD card reader not working on Windows 10. 

Download from Device Manager

The inbuilt Windows utility Device Manager can also manually download and install Realtek Card Reader Driver.

  • Open Device Manager from the list when you right-click on the Windows logo.
  • To extend the category, click on ‘Disk drives’ or ‘Memory technology devices.’
  • Choose the ‘Update driver option from the context menu when right-clicking on your Realtek Card Reader device.
Update driver
  • After that, select the option to let Windows discover and install the most recent version of your Realtek Card Reader driver by choosing the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software option.
  • Restart your computer.

Download from Manufacturer Website

Go to the official Realtek website to manually download and update Realtek Card Reader Driver on your Windows 10 machine. To do so, simply follow the procedure given below.

  • Go to Realtek’s official website.
  • To expand the ‘Downloads’ category, choose the hamburger icon in the top left corner and click it.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose ‘Computer Peripheral ICs.’
  • From the drop-down menu, select the ‘Card Reader Solutions’ sub-category.
  • To access the ‘Card Reader Controllers Software’ download page, click on the ‘Software’ link.
  • By selecting the appropriate download button, you can obtain the relevant card reader driver setup file.

Download Realtek PCIE CardReader Driver Automatically

Using a robust Windows driver updater software like Bit Driver Updater is the best approach to update Realtek Card Reader Drivers to the latest manufacturer-recommended version.

On your Windows PC, download, install, and run Bit Driver Updater.

To enable the tool to find missing and obsolete device drivers on your computer, click the ‘Scan’ button.

To install the most compatible driver version, select the faulty Realtek Card Reader driver and click the ‘Update Now’ option.


All the above fixes also include download, uninstall-device, reinstalling, and updating the Realtek card reader driver for Windows 10. If the problem persists, you can contact Realtek’s official website, or you need to change your hardware.

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