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My BlackVue Dash Cam Won’t Work with its SD Card

We'll show you how to fix it

With thousands of dash cams on the market, BlackVue leads the way as one of the industry's top manufacturers. However, no matter how premium your dash cam is, there will still be a slight chance that you will encounter errors, such as having issues with your micro SD card which is one of the crucial components of your dash cam. If your BlackVue Dash Cam is repeating SD card errors, Model errors, or isn’t powering up, this is the article to read.

We’ll discuss why these instances happen, and figure out how to resolve it through the most common solution, which is formatting the microSD card.

Before You Troubleshoot

So before we find ways to fix your BlackVue dash cam’s micro SD card, the first thing you need to make sure of is that the dash cam itself is up and running. In reality, there are still instances where we forget to do the initial steps, such as checking if the dash cam is operational, or if the dash cam itself has a micro SD card inserted in it. Once the BlackVue camera receives power, it will normally announce with an intro message, and the lights on the front unit will flash.

If this is already set on your end, and the BlackVue dash cam is still encountering problems, that’s when we will start troubleshooting it.

BlackVue Dash Cam MicroSD Card Requirements

BlackVue dash cams have certain criteria for the micro SD cards they support in order to reach peak performance such as capacity, speed class, and brand. They actually recommend using a self-branded BlackVue micro SD card to meet these standards, although third-party SD cards like the SanDisk Ultra A1 will also work here. BlackVue cameras are also highly particular about the format of their SD cards, needing them to be converted into FAT32 in order to function. Any SD card with a different format type will not work in the BlackVue camera, and some newer models will automatically reformat cards.

Why is my BlackVue dash cam not detecting your microSD card?

There are several possible reasons why your dash cam isn't recognizing your SD card. It could be a problem with the SD card itself, or it could be a problem with the memory card reader on the dash cam. Let's go over all of the potential solutions to this problem:

1. The SD Card is not formatted correctly

As mentioned above, the SD card must be formatted into FAT32 to work with your BlackVue camera. Please ensure the SD card is formatted into the correct format type, and follow the formatting steps below.

2. The SD Card is not properly inserted into the camera

This can occur if the SD card is not fully inserted into the camera slot. To ensure that the SD card is properly installed, try removing and reinserting it. If any part of the SD card is poking out of the unit, and not flush with the camera, then it has not been inserted properly.

Insert the SD card into the camera's SD card slot while the camera is turned off. Check that the gold contacts on the card are facing the camera. Insert the card and press it in until it clicks into place. The camera will turn on and begin recording automatically.

3. The SD Card is incompatible with the BlackVue dash cam

Some dash cams are only compatible with specific SD card brands. Check that you're using the right sort of SD card for your camera. Alternatively, try a different type.

The SD card capacity for a basic dash cam should not be less than 32GB, and not more than 256GB. The speed should be at least Class 10. It is advised to utilize a renowned brand's high-quality SD card. Finally, format the SD card with FAT32.

4. The SD Card is corrupted or faulty

This may occur if the SD card is dropped, damaged, or has burnt out through extended use. Try reformatting the SD card or inserting it into another device, such as a computer or camera, to see if that solves the problem. If the SD card works in another device, the issue is almost certainly with the dash cam. If it doesn't function on another device, or provides a message that the card is write protected/unable to format, the SD card is most likely the culprit, and faulty.

5. There are other files on the SD card

If there are already files on the SD card, the camera may not be able to recognize them. Try formatting the SD card to make spaces and see if that clears up the problem.

This is especially the case if the card has been used with another BlackVue model. If so, it’s very likely that you will be getting a “Dash Cam Model error”. Otherwise, the camera has the potential to actually copy over the core information from your old camera, to this new one. While settings being copied over can seem positive, other information such as the SSID, and wifi password will also be replaced, which can make things complicated.

Ways to Format Your Micro SD Card

Aside from the dedicated mobile apps, formatting an SD card can be done through the dash cam itself. Modern dash cams like BlackVue usually have a format button that you have to press for around 5 to 10 seconds, let go momentarily, and the hold for another 5 to 10 seconds and after hearing the voice prompt, you’re done!

However, this is not the case for the new BlackVue dash cams which have no format buttons. So in this case, another option you can do to format your BlackVue’s micro SD card is via any computer SD card formatter into FAT32, but we recommend the BlackVue Viewer.

How to Format Your MicroSD Card using the BlackVue Viewer for PC

Note: Formatting the microSD card will delete all recordings on the card, so make sure to back up the necessary files by saving them in the internal memory, transferring them to the computer, or storing them on the BlackVue Cloud.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to format your micro SD card using the BlackVue Viewer on your Windows:

    1. Insert your BlackVue dash cam’s micro SD card into the card reader of your Windows.
    2. Connect the micro SD card to your computer.
    3. Launch the BlackVue Viewer. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, click the link to download the BlackVue Viewer on your Windows.
    4. Run the program after installation and click SD Card Viewer. If your SD card was previously used with your BlackVue camera, the viewer should pick that up, and automatically populate the left side with footage from the card.
    5. Next, click the MicroSD icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
    6. Select the SD card you would like to format from the dropdown menu.
    7. Finally, click Format / Erase.

How to Format Your Micro SD Card using the BlackVue Viewer for Mac

For Mac users, the process is quite similar. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to format your micro SD card using the BlackVue Viewer on your Mac

    1. Insert your BlackVue dash cam’s micro SD card into the Mac’s card reader.
    2. Connect the micro SD card to your computer.
    3. Launch the BlackVue Viewer. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, click the link to download the BlackVue Viewer on your Mac computer.
    4. Run the program after installation and click SD Card Viewer.
    5. Next, click the MicroSD icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
    6. On the left side of the window, select the drive or external storage you want to format.
    7. On the drop down menu, click format, then choose MS-DOS (FAT).
    8. Finally, click Erase. 

Upon checking BlackVue’s website, they didn’t specifically mention choosing ‘MS-DOS (FAT) on the drop-down, but including this in the step prevented users like ourselves from encountering formatting errors.

For both PC and Mac, once done, you should be able to see a green check mark that indicates that formatting was successful. Upon completion, you may insert the blank formatted card to the BlackVue dash cam and power it on.  

Take note that the only way to get your BlackVue dash cam to initially recognize a 3rd party SD card would be to format it using the BlackVue PC viewer. Once it has been formatted and then put back into the BlackVue system, it should announce "initializing SD card".

Moreover, keeping your dash cam's firmware up-to-date is crucial for resolving potential compatibility issues. Check the BlackVue official website or app for any available firmware updates and follow the instructions to update your dash cam if needed.