How Do I Get a Laptop to Read an SD Card?

by Stephen Ip
sd - karte front image by Otmar Smit from

According to the SD Card Association website, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards are about the same size as a postage stamp and are popular for storing music and video files. Since SD cards are so small, they are popular for transferring information between various devices. The portability of SD cards make them ideal for use with laptop computers in a mobile environment. Accessing the contents on an SD card with a laptop computer requires the use of a memory card reader.

Step 1

Insert the SD card into a compatible memory card reader.

Step 2

Connect the memory card reader to a USB port on the laptop computer.

Step 3

Open Windows Explorer by double-clicking on the "My Computer" icon on the desktop. For Macintosh computers, click on the "Finder" icon in the Dock.

Step 4

Access information by double-clicking on the drive letter associated with the card reader in the Windows Explorer or Finder window.

Step 5

Open folders stored on the SD card by double-clicking them.

Eject the SD card from your computer once you have finished by right-clicking on the drive letter and choosing "Eject."


  • Do not remove the card reader from the computer while an SD card is being accessed. Removing a card while it is being accessed can cause data on the card to become corrupt and unreadable.


  • Newer high-capacity SD cards, denoted by "SDHC," may not work with older memory card readers.
  • Some newer laptops have built-in SD card readers and do not require the use of an external card reader.


Photo Credits

  • sd - karte front image by Otmar Smit from

About the Author

Stephen Ip has experience writing online professionally and his work can be seen in the Mac, iPhone and Digital Photography Channels. He works as a technical writer in the software industry. Ip received a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

More Articles