Memory Cards

Putting video back on a memory card

Written by Bernard Dery

Learn to correctly transfer a video file back onto a memory card.

MVI fileThe easiest way to upload videos back onto a memory card is to use a USB card reader. You can access your card reader from the “My Computer” menu.

Card readers are usually labeled “Removable Disk”. Simply drag and drop or Copy the video files on the memory card. If you Move the files, they will be removed from your computer.

If your camera acts as a card reader (most, but not all, do),  proceed as if you had a dedicated card reader and Copy the files to the memory card. If your camera does not act as a card reader, there is no way to use it to copy videos back on the memory card.

THM files

Video THMSome cameras, mainly those who write their movies in the AVI file format, also create a THM file with the same name as the movie itself. Those files include a thumbnail of the first frame of the movie and can also include EXIF data related to the movie.

THM files may be “hidden,” so you will not see them unless you set your operating system to show hidden files. In general, cameras that record their movies as MOV files do not create THM files.

Video playback from a memory card

In some cases, videos removed from a memory card and then put back cannot be played back on the camera that was used to record them. This is true even if the video file was not edited in any way.

For cameras that do allow you to play movies after putting the files back on a card, the unedited movie will have to be put back in the same folder where the camera originally recorded it. If the camera created a THM file, you will have to copy it also.

The files must still have their original names. Even after doing this, some cameras still won’t play movies that were removed from the memory card.

Other devices

Some devices such as digital picture frames, PDAs and computers can play most video files without problems. Other devices that accept memory cards, such as a Wii console or a Playstation Portable, will not play back movies, or will only play them if they were converted to a specific, and often proprietary, format.

About the author

Bernard Dery

Bernard was born and still lives in Quebec City, Canada. A doctorate candidate in Physics, Bernard works full-time as an optical designer at EXFO, a world leader in telecom tests and measurements tools. His professional interests go from fiber optics to atmospheric data collection and lasers.

His first contact with photography was a Vivitar fixed lens camera that he had purchased at age eight. His interest developed slowly, and for many years Bernard limited himself to family and travel pictures.

Bernard discovered the world of digital photography in February 2004, when he purchased his first digital camera. Developing an interest for composition, he experimented with many subjects: landscapes, nature, cities and architecture.

soon began to invest more time and energy into his new found hobby, finding new and beautiful subjects to capture everyday. His challenge is to capture the mood and emotion carried by a scene as it presents itself to him.

A trip to Italy in
September 2004 fueled his growing interest with numerous magical photography opportunities.

Bernard and his wife like to spend free time near a lake at his family's summer house, where he finds new subjects to capture every day. His interests are varied and include hiking, camping, swimming, boating and reading, as well as most winter

Bernard, known as bdery on forums, uses a Pentax K20D and W80, Canon S2 and a Nikon SQ as a backup.

Thumbnails are of photos by Bernard Dery - used with permission
Copyright Bernard Dery All rights reserved


  • Jade, I’m unclear about what the card telling you to “turn off?” Are you using a secure digital card? If so, you may have inadvertently switched on the Lock tab. If you’re not doing so already, try moving the video back on the card with the software that came with your digital camera. If you’ve changed the file names, they should be changed to conform to the names created by the camera. The video files may also require the associated THM files.

  • I curently traveled for 6 months and when i came home to put them on the computer it erased them all from the memory card. I was able to put the pictures back on it but when it came to the video’s it says write protected and wont let me put them on the memory card. It tells me to turn it off but i am not sure how. can you help me please?