How to Test an SD Card

by Perry Piekarski
sd slot image by TEA from

Secure digital, or SD, cards are a type of Flash memory format intended for use in digital cameras, cellphones and countless other portable electronic devices. Also compatible with your home computer, SD cards are designed to be an efficient and portable method of saving, copying and transferring data between devices. If you want to test an SD card to make sure it's functioning properly, you can do so using your Microsoft Windows PC.

Step 1

Slide the SD card into your computer's SD card slot and press it in until it clicks into place. If the card is functioning, your computer should recognize it within a few seconds.

Step 2

Click the "Start" button on the desktop and choose "Computer" from the Start menu.

Step 3

Double-click the SD card icon to see if it opens. When it opens, you should be able to manage the files as you would any folder on your computer. Files can be clicked and dragged to be added to the card, deleted from the card and dragged to the desktop in order to copy them to your PC.

Step 4

Return to the Computer menu, right-click the icon representing the SD card and select the "Properties" option.

Step 5

Select the "Tools" tab and click "Check now" under the error-checking section of the Properties menu.

Step 6

Check all the options to fix system file errors and to scan for and attempt the recovery of any bad sectors on the SD card.

Click "Start" and wait a few moments while Windows checks the SD card for errors.


  • If you're unable to manage the data on your SD card, eject it from your PC and toggle the switch on the card to its other position. Some SD cards disable certain features while the card is locked.
  • If you have an SD-compatible device such as a digital camera, insert the card into the device and save data to the card. Then remove the card from the device and insert it into your PC. The card should retain the data and it should show up when you explore the contents of the 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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