Cannot play music and video files on my external SD card

Last Update date : Jun 22. 2018

Learn how to troubleshoot when you cannot play music or video files on your external SD card


Sometimes your phone cannot read the SD card due to a variety of reasons. In this FAQ, you can learn about the common issues why your media files cannot be played or detected properly on your SD card. In addition, learn how to troubleshoot this issue with our step by step guide. 


Common issues why media files cannot play while using SD files:

1) Wrong file format or SD card reading errors

2) SD card not compatible with device

3) Physically damaged SD card and/or corrupted SD card

4) Mechanical damage of your Memory card where your phone does not recognise an SD card

5) SD card is encrypted


Step 1 : Check if the file formats are supported by Samsung external SD cards

If you're unable to play some video or audio files stored in your SD card, check the file format compatibility.


Supported file formats are: 

Music: mp3, m4a, mp4, 3gp, 3ga, wma, ogg, oga, aac, and flac

  • Image: bmp, gif, jpg, and png
  • Video: 3gp, mp4, avi, wmv, flv, and mkv
  • Document: doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, pdf, and txt


The media file will not play if you're not using the above file formats.  

Step 2 : Check if your SD card is faulty

Please note:

  • Before formatting your SD card, remember to backup copies of all important data in the memory card
  • Ensure your SD card is not encrpted

Test your SD card media contents on another device - if it cannot be played, your SD card could be faulty. If you suspect your SD card could be corrupted, proceed to reformat your SD card by following these steps:


1) Go to Settings > Device maintenance

2) Tap Storage > Select your SD card at the bottom of the page to proceed

3) Select the 3 dot menu button in the top right corner > Tap on Storage settings

4) Select SD card > Tap Format

5) Tap on Format and follow the steps to format your SD card


Step 3 : Check if your device is faulty

Update your device software to the latest version

Ensure that your device has been updated to the latest version. Thereafter, check if your device can play the media files in other compatible SD Cards. If this doesn't work, your device could be faulty. 


Perform a factory reset for better troubleshooting of your device

If your device has been updated to the latest version and error persists, you can perform a factory reset to your device. This will reset your device to original settings and allow better troubleshooting. Do remember to backup your files using Samsung Smart Switch.


To perform a factory reset on your device, follow these steps:

1) Select Settings > Tap General Management

2) Select Reset > Tap Factory Data Reset

3) Select Reset

Please note:

If the issue persists, please send your device to the nearest service center. Our technicians may run diagnostic tests on your device to determine the actual cause of the issue at hand. Find your nearest Samsung service center

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