Using a Card Reader

This document details how to use a memory card reader to transfer images from your digital camera, smartphone, or tablet to your computer.

Document 1019  |  Last updated:  02/15/2017 ACN

Instead of using a cord to connect your digital camera to your computer, you have the option of using a card reader instead.  Memory card readers are very versatile, as one inexpensive reader allows you to import images from nearly any digital camera you may own, regardless of what format memory card they use.  Below are some simple tips for purchasing and connecting your camera's memory card to your computer with a memory card reader.

Every system is different, and these are just guidelines.  The intention of this document is to assist you with understanding the technology and the available options, but neither a la mode nor our support technicians can give recommendations or suggestions on what to buy or where to buy it, and we cannot assist you with the setup process.  If you are unsure of any part of the process, or if you have any questions, please consult the manufacturer, your local electronics store, computer repair shop, or local computer technician.

Buy a memory card reader

Memory card readers support many different formats of memory, such as CompactFlash (CF) or Secure Digital (SD).

There are many different brands and price ranges to choose from when picking a memory card reader, so make sure that you purchase one that supports the type of memory your digital camera uses.

If you're unsure what type of memory card your camera uses, or where it is located, refer to your camera's manual or the camera manufacturer.
Connect the reader to your computer

Most card readers connect to your computer through a USB cable.

To connect the card reader to your computer, you simply plug one end of the USB cable into your card reader, and the other end into your PC.

Plug in your memory card
Locate the slot on the card reader that matches your memory card, and insert the memory card into the card reader.
Transferring the images to your computer

Once the memory card is inserted into the card reader, you simply use your computer to transfer the images from the memory card to your computer.  Typically, the images are stored in a DCIM folder, or within a subfolder in the DCIM folder.

Simply locate the folder that contains your images on the memory card, and copy its contents to a location on your computer such as your Pictures library.  For detailed instructions on copying and pasting files within Windows, click here.

That's it!  Once you're done moving images from your memory card, eject it from the card reader and insert it back into your camera.

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