Tech Tip: How To Mount SD Cards As A Local Drive In Windows

By |2016-10-16T15:59:35-05:00December 4th, 2012|Categories: Tech Tips|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |6 Comments
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With tablets becoming more and more popular and the limited storage space they have when compared to traditional PCs and laptops, the use of removable storage can play a big role. Cloud storage is great at eliminating the need for storing files locally and more and more apps are taking advantage of this. However, there’s still a need to store files locally and if you have limited C drive space, then removable storage might be your only option.

I ran into an issue with this though. I tried to put a microSD card into my tablet and I wanted to use the SkyDrive app to sync my files to it. Right away, this threw up an error saying its an invalid location because its a removable drive. You also can’t move your libraries (Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music) to removable storage in Windows.

There is a solution though!

1. Create the directory you want to use on you C: drive. It can be any valid folder name…I did

2. Right click Computer and select Manage.
3. Under Storage, click on Disk Management.
4. Select the drive that is your SD card, on mine it was D:
5. Select menu option Action -> All Tasks -> Change Drive Letter and Paths…
6. Click Add.
7. Select “Mount in the following empty NTFS folder” (should be selected)
8. Click Browse
9. Navigate to the folder you created above ( [SkyDrive] ).
10. Click OK.
11. Click OK.

That’s all there is to it! Now you can move your libraries or tell the SkyDrive app that you want to use C:[SkyDrive] has your directory and it’ll work without a problem!

Disclaimer: I would only recommend doing this if you have removable storage that you don’t plan on removing, like a permanent SD card. My scenario may be different than yours, but I want my C drive to be used for apps and use my SD card for my personal files.

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  1. D November 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    this is helpful. I was wondering if this will help with my current situation. I take a backup on my usb drive but everyfile that i copy gets password protected and encrypted (office policy). The problem with this is everytime i have to look at files on the usb i have to decrypt and go through the process. if i do the mapping like you suggested will it work? I will be attaching the usb only during back up and when refering to files on the usb.

  2. Robert Russell November 26, 2013 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I think it’ll depend on your office policy. If you have a group policy that automatically encrypts every external drive, then it might encrypt the SD card as well since it is still a removable drive before you map it.

    After mapping it, you might be able to turn off encryption, but that’ll still depend on your group policy.

  3. Tony Vovers September 15, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Russell , don’t know if you are still around. I am trying to use the process above but my computer will not retain my setting for the attached SD card. I have mapped it to drive S: to get it away from the automatic assigned drives but for some reason every time I plug in my Seagate backup drive the SD card decides to reset itself to the drive just above the newly attached drive.
    My computer has installed C: fixed drive.
    For example one of my drives is single partition it becomes D: and the SD moves to E:
    The other of my drives has a boot and data partition – it becomes D: and E: and the SD will move to F:
    Everytime it moves my mapping becomes incorrect for the linked NTFS folder c:\SD
    Any ideas??
    W10 install on Dell I14 3541 laptop with small 32gb SSD only.
    64GB attached SDXC card

    • Tony Vovers September 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      after a complete windows Refresh and update of all drivers the problem of drive mapping being lost for removeable drives disappeared. Now these instructions work well. It is not clear if it is OK to install programs in the drive linked through C:\SD I suspect it maybe risky of occasional disconnects while the main c: drive is alive.
      I have currently put iTunes both media and program on the SD card and so far…. it is all working OK. Thanks for the hot tip and clear instructions.

  4. Tim September 18, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply


    Thanks for the instructions.

    I used this procedure on a laptop (Win 7) to use a SD card for my dropbox folder.

    I notice that the available space reported on the C:\ drive (where the SD card is mounted) did not increase after adding the SD card and also that as the SD card fills with data, the space reported on the C:\ drive reduces correspondingly.

    I wonder what happens when the space used gets to the limit of the original C:\ drive (226GB in my case) but with the SD card added (120Gb) should be 346Gb; I’m guessing programs will check available space and assume there’s none left?


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