Download Photos Using the SD Card

by TechnoGrannyAnni

in Photos and images, You and Your Computer

Your pictures are inside your camera, and you would normally download them into your computer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Usually your manufacturer provides a special cable with your camera, and gives you directions for how and where to plug in each end of that cable.
One end goes into your camera, and the other into your computer.

But what if you only have your camera and computer, and you don’t have the cable?  Or, just like my daughter, who *Skyped me in dismay last night, you’ve had a major tidy-up and the cable has ‘disappeared’ – probably into the recycling.

No photos of my grandchildren until she gets another one – she informed me.

Well, you know there’s always a workaround, and this was no different.  So I messaged her back with the directions and now I’ll share them with you.

Your camera has a little memory disk inside that saves all your images – it’s called an SD (Secure Digital) disk or memory card.  All computers these days have disk readers built right into them, whereas before we used to use external disk readers … I think I’ve still got one kicking around here somewhere.

How to download photos using the SD card

Step 1.  Locate the SD card reader opening in your computer and remove the plastic ‘protector’ disk.

Step 2.  Remove the SD card from the camera taking care not to touch the metal electrical contacts at the edge with your fingers.

Step 3.  Insert the SD card into your computer – don’t force, it will only fit in one direction.  A message will come up onto your screen noting a list of methods and programs you can choose from to download your pictures to your computer.  It usually quotes the drive number at the top of the list, which is simply the location where the disk is inserted.   On my computer, the SD card was in Drive D because it said: “SD Card (D:)”.

Decide which program you will use – I usually click on “Open folder to view files”, but you could use any one on the list.

Try a few of them out, and you will soon decide which one you like best.

Step 4.  Follow the instructions when you click on the program.  In the case of “Open folder to view files,” click through the folders until you find the one you want to open.  It’s usually named with the date you took your photos.

Step 5.  Open the folder, and you can either click on your photos to look at them immediately, or you can save them directly to your My Pictures folder for later.

Step 6.  Save your photos in a folder with the date or a name that will remind you what they are about.  Try to make the name as memorable as possible, because once you get lots of photos on your computer, you’ll find that you might forget what they were.  Believe me, it’s easy to do.  I’ve done it!

Granny’s caution:   Make sure to organize your pictures as you save them – right from the beginning.  Go back to Filing Your Photos and Documents for a quick reminder about how to file.

*Skype is a program to talk to people across the Internet, using your computer just like your phone.  You can also use video to see who you are talking to, and carry on instant typed conversations back and forth.  These are called Instant messages or IMs and I’ll write about them next time.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


How do I get my pictures to down load larger on my sd card when putting them on Facebook?



Your photo size for Facebook posts should be 1200 x 1200 pixels. Usually Facebook re-sizes images appropriately. You could use any of the simple photo programs on you computer to re-size your images. The one(s) you have already will depend upon whether you have Apple or PC.
Your photos coming off your SD card should be plenty big enough for Facebook.



Could you explain what you mean a little more fully, please?


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