Memory Cards

Putting images back on a memory card

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

Learn how to correctly transfer digital images back onto a memory card.

Image filePhotographers may need to put images back on a memory card in order to bring them to a photo lab,or to see them again on the camera’s LCD screen.

With a memory card reader, uploading pictures back onto it is easy. Access the card as you would any other hard disk or USB drive and copy the files. In Windows, that means using the “My Computer” icon.

Some cameras act as if they were card readers. When the camera is connected to a computer, a “Removable Disk” icon appears in “My Computer”. Simply proceed as you would with a regular card reader.

sddisk iconMany digital cameras come with a proprietary editing program that can be used to upload the files directly back onto the card.

Not all cameras act as card readers but use another communication protocol. When plugged in, the camera appears under “Scanners and cameras” in the “My Computer” menu. You can then access the files stored in the camera but you cannot upload pictures.

The only way to upload imges back onto the memory card is to use the software provided with the camera. For instance, Canon’s ZoomBrowser lets you upload imaage files by clicking on the “Camera and Memory Card Button” when a camera is connected and a picture is selected. If you don’t have this or similar option, the only solution is to use a card reader.

Copy files, don’t move them

When transferring files to a memory card, remember to COPY the files instead of MOVING. Moving files means they will be removed from your computer’s hard disk, and will be lost unless copied back from the memory card.

Naming files

In order to use the files in a photo lab, or to see them on another computer, use any file name. You can edit the pictures before uploading or remove EXIF data without problems. However, to see the pictures on your camera, you must:

  • preserve the exact file name
  • use the same folder name as when the camera stored the picture originally
  • make sure the EXIF data is preserved.

DCIMFor most brands, you must also upload an unedited version of the file. Using the software provided with the camera to upload your files generally takes care of these requirements.

Store files in the DCIM folder

When uploading the images with a card reader, store files in the DCIM (Digital Camera IMage) folder or a sub-folder that resides on the memory card. Some devices, like PDAs, will only look for pictures in that specific folder. Most photo labs don’t have this problem, however.


  • eagertrav, Need more info about how you “moved” your photos and video, such as if the filenames were changed in the process. You may want to try a photor ecovery program. There are some free ones listed here.

  • hi, i had a minor booboo after watching a concert..
    i MOVED my photos and videos in the sd card that i recently bought.
    then i noticed this had damaged the photos and kind of destroyed the video(not able to view).. is there still a way to restore the photos to how they were as well as video? help! 🙂

  • criz, let the camera itself create the DCIM folder by formatting your memory card. If you’ve changed the file name of the images, the camera usually is not able read them. Rename the files as outlined in the article. If you’ve edited the images, make sure you saved them in a manner that preserves the EXIF data. Also, try using the software that came with your camera to transfer the images from your computer back to the memory card.

  • BW, Do you still have copies of the video files on your hard drive? If so, the software that came with your camera may have a menu to transfer images back to the memory card, which may be more effective than dragging and dropping. Make sure you didn’t change the video filenames and make sure you put back the .THM files. Sandisk offers a decent photo and video recovery program, Rescue PRO, which may have come free with your card. It’s came on a small CD with earlier versions of memory cards; now they give a link and unlock number to download the software.

  • I have a Panasonic TS3 and am using a 16G Sandisk. I moved my photos and videos on to my computer and then moved it back to my memory card. (When I say moved I mean I dragged it from my SD card to a folder on my computer and dragged it back.) My pictures are there but my videos are all gone!! Is there any way to get my videos back?

  • […] Putting images back on a memory card – Digicamhelp Apr 26, 2011 … Learn how to put digital images back onto a memory card. … When the camera is connected to a computer, a “Removable Disk” icon appears in “My Computer”. … […]

  • hi, follow the naming conventions suggested in the article. If you haven’t named a folder in the conventions used by your camera, or have renamed your files, they will not appear on the LCD screen. It may be better to create a folder on the memory card, copy it to you computer, and use it.

  • I have a canon a31000 cam and i’ve created folder using a cardreader on my computer, however when I put back the memory card on my cam, I cannot view the folders or the pictures anymore. Is there anyway that I can remove it from folders so I can view it again on the LCD screen? thanks

  • Mark, it’s best to check your digital photo frame manual for instructions on how to accomplish this, or call tech support. Moving files can be tricky and different manufactures may recommend different approaches. Some may not read separate folders on a card.

  • I am transferring pictures from my computer to a memory card (8 GB) to be used in a digital frame.  Should I put those transferred pictures into a specific file on the card,  (Example – “Vacation Photos”), or just transfer them alltogether with no file on the card?

  • I tried connecting my Ricoh Caplio RR770 through a usb  to my computer but my windows 7 says unrecognised disk

  • marie, your problem may be related to the software you’re using. Some software used to download images from the memory card to computer can be set to totally remove the photos from the card once they are downloaded. So check the settings.

    Then check the software for a setting that lets you “transfer images back to a memory card.”

  • please help me !! i put my sd memory card from my digital camera into my netbook to copy the photos to netbook … when i put memory card back into camera i noticed the photos had all disappered !! please tell me there is a way i can transfer the photos back onto the memory card as i dont have a printer and need the pics back on my camera 🙁 ive tried everything and no one seems to know how to do this 🙁

  • According to Google Translate, the question is how to transfer video from your PC to Canon cameras. Use the ZoomBrowser software that comes with Canon cameras. On the Tasks pane, click on Acquire & Camera Settings. Next click on Transfer Images to Memory Card and follow the step-by-step directions. Refer to the program help files for related questions you may have.

  • Cho em hoi co cach nao de chuyen video tu may tinh vao may anh Canon duoc khong? Hay la Canon khong cho phep chuc nang ay?

  • Try using the ZoomBrowser software that came with the s90. In the Tasks pane on the left-hand side of the window, click the Acquire & Camera Settings button, then Transfer images to Memory Card. Obviously, you must transfer the images to your computer first.

    Before doing anything, check the manual about using this process. If the other camera is not a Canon, I’m not sure if the file names will be compatible. I’d do a low-level format before the transfer.

    I highly suggest calling Canon tech support for additional suggestions about making a transfer if it’s not an Canon camera.

  • Is there a way to upload to the memory card some images that was taken from another camera? I have Canon s90, but I didn’t find the way to do it.