A method is proposed to determine the effective detector area for energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometers (EDS). Nowadays, detectors are available for a wide range of nominal areas ranging from 10 up to 150 mm2. However, it remains in most cases unknown whether this nominal area coincides with the “net active sensor area” that should be given according to the related standard ISO 15632, or with any other area of the detector device. Moreover, the specific geometry of EDS installation may further reduce a given detector area. The proposed method can be applied to most scanning electron microscope/EDS configurations. The basic idea consists in a comparison of the measured count rate with the count rate resulting from known X-ray yields of copper, titanium, or silicon. The method was successfully tested on three detectors with known effective area and applied further to seven spectrometers from different manufacturers. In most cases the method gave an effective area smaller than the area given in the detector description.