How to Insert a SD Card Into a Laptop Computer

By Gareth Downes-Powell

A USB multi-card reader allows a laptop to use an SD card if a card reader is not built in.
i laptop with card reader image by TA Craft Photography from

Most new laptops as of 2010 have an SD memory card reader built into the machine, which is used by inserting the SD card into the card reader slot. But many laptops made before 2005 do not include a built-in device to read the SD cards commonly used with digital cameras and mobile phones. This functionality can be added to any laptop by using a USB multi-card reader, which plugs into a USB port on the laptop and can read a variety of memory card formats. The multi-card reader is shown as an additional drive on the computer.

Using a Multi-Card Reader

Plug the multi-card reader cable into a USB port on the computer. The operating system may not respond when the reader is plugged in, only when an SD card is inserted. No drivers are needed for these devices, as they use standard operating system drivers.

Plug the SD card into the multi-card reader. It should be detected by the laptop and added as a new drive on the computer.

Browse to the new drive, and you will be able to copy files to and from the SD card as you would with a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.

Using a Built-in Card Reader

Insert the SD card into the laptop card reader slot, typically designated by "SD/XD" or other types of memory cards.

Open Explorer by right-clicking on the Windows "Start" button. Click on the drive letter that represents the SD card reader to see the files stored on the card.

Drag files from the card to the computer to back them up, or copy files onto the card to add them to another device, such as an MP3 player.