Micro SD adapter: how it works

What is the micro SD adapter for?

Micro SD adapter: how it works

As you can easily guess from the name, the microSD adapters perform the precise task of applying to the microSD card a format that can be easily inserted into devices not natively equipped with a special reader (such as, for example, laptops).

In concrete terms, a microSD adapter is nothing more than an external "casing", not equipped with an independent storage chip, in which to insert the small memory card: once inserted and established the connection between the metal contacts of the microSD and the contacts inside the adapter in question, the latter will act as an intermediary between the reading device and the microSD itself.

Currently, the most used types of microSD adapters are mainly two: the first, as well as the most widespread, allows you to transform the microSD into a standard size SD card (the one used in old cameras, so to speak). These devices are almost always included in the microSD sales packages and are widely used for inserting the small memory card into the computer equipped with SD card reader, in the digital cameras / camcorders or in other devices equipped with standard memory card reader (SD Card, S e SDHC).

The second category of adapters, on the other hand, transforms the microSD into a similar device in all respects to one USB pendrive in full swing: these "casings" have the features of a common USB drive (or a "box" with multiple inputs, which can be connected to the computer via USB cable), without the memory chip and with a special slot in which to install the microSD . Although these adapters must be purchased separately, they represent the best solution regarding compatibility: USB ports are extremely widespread, it is difficult to find a device (except for smartphones and tablets) that does not have at least one!

How the micro SD adapter works

Having clarified the usefulness of microSD adapters, the time has come to fully understand their operation. As I mentioned earlier, these devices do not have a memory chip inside them, but are designed to read and write data from the microSD, transmitting or receiving the necessary information through the connection format they have.

From microSD to SD card

Micro SD adapter: how it works

Use adapters from microSD to SD card, i.e. those included with the small memory card, is really simple: identify the slot dedicated to inserting the microSD, usually located on the lower edge of the adapter, then gently insert the card inside (the microSD connectors must be facing upwards), respecting the direction of insertion, and push carefully until the edge of the adapter and the microSD are aligned. In case you encounter resistance, change the direction of the microSD and try to insert it again.

When you're done, check that the toggle lock adapter (usually located on one of the side edges) is set to OFF, unless you want to set the microSD in read-only mode, and locate on the computer (or on the device you are using) the exact slot for inserting the SD card thus obtained: if you use a desktop computer, it is usually placed on the front of the body, possibly protected by a flap, to avoid the accumulation of dust. When you have found it, insert the microSD with the adapter into the appropriate slot (identified by the wording SD CardSD, SDHC/SDXC MMC), gently and without forcing.

On notebooks, however, you can find the slot dedicated to SD cards on one of the side parts of the body or in its front part (usually under the touchpad): in this case, you have to insert the microSD with its adapter very gently, up to hear a small "click". On some notebook models, to avoid dust, you may find a "dummy" SD card inserted into the slot, which you must take care to remove each time you use.

If your computer does not have a built-in card reader, you can purchase an external one, which can be connected via USB cable, at computer stores or online. Please pay attention to the type of connection required by the PC you have: USB-A, the one currently more "common", or USB-C, the smaller one that allows you to insert the connector in both directions.

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MicroSD to USB

Micro SD adapter: how it works

The operation of the adapters that transform a microSD into a real sort of "USB key" is practically identical to that seen previously: what you have to do is insert the "card" in the appropriate slot located on the adapter, taking care to respect the direction of insertion, and then connect the adapter itself to the computer or to any other device with a USB input (desktop media players, NAS, router, TV Box, etc.).

In both cases, the operating system will recognize the microSD with the same recognition "modes" applicable to the type of adapter (SD Card or USB key) and will behave accordingly. If you need a hand in this regard, you can consult my tutorials on how to read the SD Card on a PC or on how to open a USB stick, in which I have explained everything to you in detail.

Where to buy a micro SD adapter

Micro SD adapter: how it works

Now that you understand perfectly how a micro SD adapter works, I bet you can't wait to get one to read the contents of that "ticket" you haven't used for a long time!

For your information, the adapters microSD/SD Card they are almost always included in the microSD sales package; if you don't have it, you can still get it for very little money at a computer store or online. Below I propose you some of the best.

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Also for adapters microSD/USB the same goes: although they are not sold together with memory cards, they can be purchased for little money in computer stores, or online. In this case, however, pay close attention to the type of USB connection available on your computer, USB-A USB-C, to avoid buying a device that is not suitable for you. Below I show you some, available online.

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Micro SD adapter: how it works

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