How to Transfer Pictures from a Camera to a Computer Using a CompactFlash Card

By Joseph Rodriguez

CompactFlash cards are capable of storing large quantities of images in a small, portable device.
i Compact flash image by Joel Calheiros from

Digital photography has completely transformed the way consumers and professionals alike capture and share images with friends, family and the public. Unlike film cameras, digital cameras store images and their associated file content in virtual space in portable media accessories. CompactFlash cards are small media storage devices used by many digital cameras. With the advent of SD, or Secure Digital, cards which are even smaller, many newer computers are no longer equipped with CompactFlash readers. Transferring files from CompactFlash media is important if you want to share your valuable photographs.

Step 1

Most card readers use a USB cable to connect to external devices.
i USB 4 image by Bosko Martinovic from

Plug the CompactFlash card reader into your computer using the USB cable supplied with the product. Push one end into the port located on the card reader and the other into your computer's USB port. Do not force the plug into place. If your first attempt fails, flip the plug over and slide it into place.

Step 2

Lift the card slot covering.
i sd slot image by TEA from

Locate your digital camera's card slot, usually found on the side of the camera's body. Open the covering flap, lifting the side indicated by small arrows or lines.

Step 3

Push the card into the slot and then gently pull it out.
i compact flash door image by jimcox40 from

Gently push on the CompactFlash card, causing it to rise from the camera's card slot. Remove the card from the slot.

Step 4

Slide the card into the card reader until the connection light illuminates. Make sure you put the card in the slot reading "CompactFlash" or "CF."

Step 5

Open your computer's storage device directory, usually located in your computer's start-up menu. Windows operating systems often title this folder "My Computer."

Step 6

Double-click on the icon labeled by the title of the card reader or its associated port. Right-click on the images you wish to transfer and click "Copy." Move these files to another location on your computer by right-clicking and then pressing "Paste."