Written by Barry Dysert (last updated March 9, 2020)
There are many computer systems—particularly those designed for home or small office use—that include built-in slots for memory cards. On systems that don't include such slots, you might have a memory card adapter that plugs into a USB port on your computer. Either way, Windows allows you to access whatever is on those memory cards, including any pictures placed there by your camera or other mobile device.
Transferring pictures from a memory card is just like transferring pictures from a USB drive. Plug the memory card into the appropriate slot on your computer. Windows should recognize the newly attached device and, depending on your AutoPlay settings, it may prompt you to see what action you want to take. If prompted, click the option that says, "Open Folder to View Files".
If you aren't prompted, Windows may automatically map a new drive letter to your card. Using Windows Explorer (Windows 7) or File Explorer (later versions of Windows), navigate to the newly mapped drive that represents your memory card.
It is also possible that Windows may automatically open a folder window showing what is on the memory card. This folder window is opened on the desktop, which means that if you weren't viewing the desktop before, you will be after the folder window is opened.
Navigate to the folder of the card that contains your pictures. Select the pictures that you want to copy to your computer and copy them as you would copy any other files from a computer-based folder.
When you're finished, click the icon in the systray that says, "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media". Click on the icon that represents your memory card. When Windows tells you it's safe to remove the card, remove it from its slot. Your pictures are now on your computer.
This tip (11881) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
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