What is a memory card?

A memory card is flash-based storage that typically comes in a slim, lightweight form. You can insert a memory card into a built-in slot on a device, via a memory card reader, microSD card reader, or with a similar adapter.

Memory cards save data on a wide range of portable devices, such as smartphones, cameras, and handheld gaming consoles — some even work with Chromebooks. Their simplicity makes them a prime choice for storage while on the move.  

Memory Card vs SD card vs microSD card

“Memory card” covers different types of flexible, portable data storage. One of the most popular card types, SD — or secure digital — memory cards feature a high rate of data transfer and low battery consumption. 

microSD memory cards are simply smaller versions of SD memory cards, built specifically for compact devices like phones or Nintendo™ Switch™, which have limited built-in storage capacity. 

How much can a memory card store?

SD memory cards and microSD memory cards come in multiple storage capacities to meet virtually every need, from saving family photos on your smartphone to shooting high-quality video with a GoPro™.  

While 64GB1 and 128GB memory cards are popular choices for everyday uses, flash storage capacity can reach 1TB in a single card for more intensive requirements, such as 4K and 8K UHD video recording.

Memory Cards for Pro-Level Pursuits

Blazing-fast transfer speeds for your largest files and top-of-the-line performance for your 4K, 5K, and 8K advanced and pro-video cameras.3

Memory Cards for Serious Performance

Turn to SanDisk Extreme for serious, pro-grade use with DSLRs, action cameras, and more.

Memory Cards for Everyday Use

SanDisk Ultra memory cards offer outstanding performance for your everyday needs, from compact cameras to smartphones and video recording. 

Memory Cards for Gaming

Level up your game library with microSD cards for Nintendo Switch, smartphone gaming, and handheld consoles.

Specialty Memory Cards

Push performance further and deliver more capacity to specialty devices like surveillance cameras, trail cams, dash cams, and drones.

Memory Card Readers for Creative Workflow

Discover SD cards and microSD™ cards to capture content and grow your game library.

Proof of Rugged Reliability

Our memory cards are tested under harsh conditions. SanDisk SD and microSD (including SDHC™, SDXC™, microSDHC™ and microSDXC™) memory cards are capable of withstanding some or all of the following conditions.2

Water Proof

Tested to withstand up to 72 hours in
1m salt or fresh water; IEC 529 IPX7;
product must be clean and dry before
use.

Temperature Proof

Capable of withstanding operating
temperatures from -13ºF (-25ºC) or
185ºF (85ºC) for 100 cycles (equivalent
to 28 hours).

Shock and Vibration Proof

Capable of withstanding up to 500G of
shock.

X-ray Proof

Immune to airport X-rays.

Magnet Proof

Capable of withstanding up to 5000
Gauss of static magnetic field.

Impact Proof

Able to withstand drops up to
5 meters (16.4 feet).

How to read a microSD card

Capacity

The amount of storage available to hold your content

Rated A2

For faster app loading and performance

Video Speed Class

Supports multiple stream recording

Memory Card Best Practices

Always follow these tips to ensure your data remains safe.

Do

  • Read/Write to a Card Every Year
    Cards left inactive for too long are more prone to data corruption and loss.
  • Always Format in the Camera
    Always format a memory card in your camera. Formatting a card in a computer likely will result in data corruption or loss.
  • Always Use a Card Reader
    When copying your images to a computer, use a card reader instead of connecting your camera to the computer. It will be faster and less likely to corrupt the data.
  • Use Multiple Smaller Capacity Cards
    You don’t want to use large volumes of images if you break or misplace a card. Use smaller capacity cards and then archive them as backup when full.
  • Always Use a Backup
    Have a backup system like the WD My Passport™ Wireless SSD, so you can back up your memory cards in the field, with one click, without a computer.

Don’t

  • Don’t Mix Cards and Cameras
    Don’t use one memory card in two different-model camera bodies. Doing so increases the chances of data corruption and loss. Use separate cards in separate cameras.
  • Say NO to the microSD™ Adapter
    Don’t use the microSD adapter to fit microSD™ cards into a full-sized SD™ camera slot. They are not designed to handle that much data throughput and will likely corrupt your data or lose the image. microSD™ cards should only be used natively in phones, tablets, action cameras, and drones.

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