Memory Cards

Handling a memory card

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

Tips for properly handling a memory card and removing it correctly from a computer.

Holding a memory card

A memory card is a solid state electronic storage device that needs to be handled carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It should not be subjected to moisture, dust and other harmful elements.

Strong bumps to a memory card, or damage to its contacts, can destroy its ability to record and transfer images. Subjecting it to static electricity can also cause a loss of data.

Inserting a memory card

When handling a memory card, do so without touching the contacts on its edge. Make sure the card faces the correct direction before inserting it into a digital camera or memory card reader slot. Never force it into the slot. If it fails to insert into the slot fairly effortlessly, make sure it’s facing the right direction.

A few other wise practices to follow:

  • Turn off your camera before inserting or removing a card.
  • Never shut off the camera or remove a card as a photo is being written (saved) to to the card.
  • Always store a memory card in a case when not in a camera.

Safely removing a memory card from a computer

Many computers have a way to “Safely Remove Hardware” such as memory cards or devices connected via a USB cord. Use it to ensure that a memory card has finished all operations and is ready to remove.

On a PC – The icon to safely remove hardware is in the system tray on the right side of the computer (click the tiny arrow in the system tray to reveal it if you previously hid it). Upon clicking the icon, a menu will pop-up listing the memory card and any other devices that are connected to your computer. Click on the listing for your memory card.

On an Apple computer – simply drag the icon of the card that is on your desktop to the trash. If your keyboard has an eject key, click once on the memory card to select it, then hit the eject key.

Check your computer help files for instructions.

Secure Digital memory card lock switch

Secure Digital memory cards have a Lock switch on the left side.  The contents of the card can not be deleted or modified when the switch is in the locked position. When attempting to transfer images to a memory card, you will get a message “The disk is write-protected” if the card is locked. To unlock the card, gently slide the switch up.