How to Compress an SD Card

by Perry Piekarski
SD card image by berg_bcn from

SD cards are a commonly used memory format for devices like digital cameras and some video game consoles. However, your SD card can store any data you desire, making it practical for backing up information or bringing your files with you when you're on the go. The amount of space available on an SD card depends on the card, but the space is always limited. Compressing the data on an SD card can cut down on the size of the files on the device, allowing you to fit a bit more and make the most out of the card.

Step 1

Insert the SD card into your PC. If your PC lacks SD card slots, you need a SD to USB converter. Put the SD card into the converter and insert it into any USB slot on your computer.

Step 2

Click the "Start" button on the taskbar and open My Computer/Computer. The shortcut key to bring up the same menu is the "Windows" key plus "E."

Step 3

Right-click the SD card on the My Computer/Computer menu and select "Open".

Step 4

Select all of the SD card's contents by pressing "Ctrl+A." Alternatively, you can select individual files to be grouped by holding "Ctrl" while clicking each file.

Right-click the selection, hover over "Send to," and click "Compressed (zipped) folder." A zipped folder will appear on the card within a few seconds, and you can now safely delete the uncompressed data on the card.


  • While third party compression software is available at a cost, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 all have built-in compression software. No extra downloads or installs are needed to complete this process.
  • When compressing data, the zip file is created on the card itself. If there isn't enough space to temporarily allow for the compressed file and the original, copy the files to be compressed to your Desktop and use the "Send to" method to compress them there. Then right-click the zipped folder and "Send to" your SD card.


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About the Author

Supported by his wit, charm and love for language, Perry Piekarski is a professional writer holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Piekarski is the former Executive Editor of Binge Gamer, a full-time sales associate at Best Buy and, whenever he has an extra moment, a freelance writer.

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