Here are three ways to transfer your images from your memory card to your computer.
The simplest way is to connect your camera to the computer using the cable that came with your camera. With most modern computers they will recognize that photos are available to be loaded and automatically bring up a window for you to click to import your photos.
INSERT MEMORY CARD
You can also remove the memory card from your digital camera and put it into the computer. Most computers, even laptops have a card reader. If your computer does not you may want to buy a card reader to transfer images.
(When you take an SD memory card out of a camera you simply press down on it and it pops out. To put it back in you press down and it clicks in.)
NO MEMORY CARD IN CAMERA
If you put your memory card in the computer remember to take it back out and put it in your camera after the images are transferred. It can be embarrassing to go out to take photos and not have a memory card because it is still in your computer. Some people put their spare memory card in the camera when they take the memory card out to prevent this.
WI-FI OR BLUE TOOTH
Some digital cameras let you transfer your digital images wirelessly using wi fi or blue tooth. You will need to read your cameras’ manual to see how to do this.
LOOK IN PICTURES FOLDER ON COMPUTER
Photographs are generally loaded to the Pictures folder on your computer by default. It is a good idea to check that folder to make sure the photos did get transferred to your computer after you disconnect the cable connecting your camera to the computer.
CHECK AFTER DISCONNECT
Your computer will show the images on your camera but if you don’t click the Import or Save button on the computer (or whatever your computer says) they won’t be saved to the computer. You want to check after removing the cable or the memory card from your computer to see if they really are saved on your computer.
DON’T FRY YOUR MEMORY CARD
IMPORTANT: DO NOT disconnect the cable or remove your memory card while photos are loading to your computer. This will fry your memory card. You can still try to have the card recovered to get he images that had not yet been transferred.
SAVING MEMORY CARD OR REUSING IT
Some people save their memory card as a way of backing up their photos. Other people delete the images after they are transferred and use the card again. Make sure your images are transferred to your computer before deleting your memory card.
BACKUP TWICE BEFORE DELETING
I suggest having them backed up to your computer plus an additional source like an external hard drive or the internet before deleting them off your memory card.
DELETE IN CAMERA
You want to delete images in your camera not the computer. Formatting deletes a memory card even cleaner than delete all. If you delete images by mistake you can send the memory card in to have a photo lab try to recover them. For more about recovering deleted images check out our Recovering Deleted Images post.
GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT
It can be a challenge to do this but give it a shot. Write down the steps so you can repeat them. If you lose your digital camera you lose all the images if you haven’t saved them to your computer. You also can’t share them until they are on your computer.