Lately, when I try connecting any of my cameras' SD cards, either through a USB-based SD reader or by connecting the camera itself, Photos.app does not automatically launch when the card mounts, and if I manually start Photos (either before or after inserting the SD card) the Import tab does not appear. I cannot find any settings anywhere for controlling this behavior, either - as the Photos Import tab isn't appearing I never have an opportunity to check/uncheck the "launch Photos automatically for this device."

I have tried formatting the card both from my camera (a Sony ɑ6000) and from my computer, and shooting in both RAW and RAW+JPEG - but to no avail.

This setup used to work just fine, and I don't know what's changed. What settings might I need to dig through? I know that in the past, SD card behavior was controlled by a bunch of different weird things (including iPhoto and Aperture, neither of which I have installed anymore). The device doesn't appear in Image Capture either.

What might be going on, and how can I go about fixing this?

EDIT: I should add, the SD card mounts just fine and shows up in Finder - it's just that neither Photos nor Image Capture see that it's an SD card with photos and/or video. The manual import process does work but I'd like to be able to import and erase all photos and videos in one step as I used to be able to (videos are especially annoying to do manually as my camera uses AVCHD which is stored in an opaque "clips" database).

  • @Tetsujin Image Capture doesn't see it either, as stated in the question.
    – fluffy
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


In the Terminal.app, is your SD card appearing with this command ?

ls /Volumes

If not, the problem is that your SD card is not mounted. https://superuser.com/questions/256445/macbook-pro-not-detecting-sd-card https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5349557?tstart=0

If your SD card is mounted, you can import your photos without the dedicated tab :

in the menubar

file -> import

keyboard shortcut

CMD + Shift + I

  • The card itself mounts just fine - it's just that nothing causes Photos to recognize that there's a card with photos on it anymore. And the manual import process works but it's really annoying (especially when I have videos as well).
    – fluffy
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 17:28

I was able to fix this by doing the following:
starting my mac in recovery mode by holding cmd + opt + r
selecting disk utility
clicking mount for my SSD
clicking first aid
restart my mac

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