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How to Transfer Data with a Memory Card Reader

by Staff Writer

Firewire-enabled memory card reader

Things You Need:

  • Memory card
  • Memory card reader
  • Computer

You or your family may already own several different digital cameras and other devices, all of which use different memory cards. In order to share photos between devices or even just transfer them to your computer, you may need to know how to transfer data with a memory card reader. Here are some simple steps on making your memory card reader handle data from multiple devices.

Using Memory Cards:

  1. Buy a memory card reader. Card readers have several memory card slots to fit many, if not all, the major memory card models. You may want your card reader to include additional features, like one-button transfer (from card to drive) and card-to-card transfer. Your computer or other device may already have one or more card-reader slots built in. If you choose an external reader, check to be sure it is compatible with the connections on your computer.

  2. Connect the reader to your computer. Many card readers transfer data and draw power through a USB cable, meaning no additional adapter is necessary. After connecting the card reader, you need to install the software that came with your reader; the reader may automatically install any necessary drivers. After installation, you will be able to find your memory card reader identified as an external drive or device in your computer's operating system menu.

  3. Plug in your memory card. Find the memory card slot that matches your memory card. Carefully insert the card with the electrical connectors aligned with those on the memory card reader slot.

  4. Use your computer to transfer files. You may see a pop-up window on your desktop when your computer recognizes the memory card. Otherwise, you can access it through the menu where your computer's other drives are located. You can then see files stored on your memory card. You can copy-and-paste or click-and-drag the files onto your computer desktop or another folder. You can also delete files from the memory card to free up space.

  5. Disconnect your memory card. Once the files are transferred, remove your memory card.


  1. Some memory cards might be damaged if you disconnect them during data transfer or without turning off the card reader. Be sure to follow instructions for each specific memory card.

Buy Memory Cards
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