Some SD Cards Not Working Properly With 2021 14 and 16-Inch MacBook Pros

The SD card reader slot on the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models is not functioning as expected with some SD cards, according to multiple reports on the MacRumors forums.

2021 MBP SD Card Error Feature
In a long complaint thread, MacRumors readers have detailed the issues that they're having with some SD cards, and there seems to be little consistency between reports and affected SD cards. Some SD cards crash and can't be accessed, while some have unusually slow transfer speeds. MacRumors reader Wildct explains the issue:

Same issues with 14" M1 Pro. Just seems to be super flakey and inconsistent. Half the time it'll recognize the card successfully (though it takes anywhere from 30s to 1m) and half the time it'll throw an error. These are all Sandisk Ultra cards, both XC and HC, that were formatted in my camera. I tried reformatting them w/ the MBP and that didn't seem to make a difference. All my cards work as expected in my 3 other USB card readers.

In some situations, there's just an error message when attempting to use the SD card, sometimes Finder crashes, and sometimes the SD card takes many minutes to be accesible. From MacRumors reader 2Stepfan:

It's very frustrating. I was hoping that import from SD card including preview of images would be quick on my new 14" MBP. I have a fairly new 64GB SD card which had been working fine. But Photos on the MBP using the internal SD card slot takes minutes to show photos and sometimes crashes half way through. Sometimes the Finder crashes too.

Based on the thread, formatting does not appear to be the issue, though it could be a factor. There also does not seem to be a common thread between which cards work and which do not, but multiple users have reported that using an SD card reader over USB-C works when the SD card slot does not. From MacRumors reader wilberforce:

I tried many cards, and could find no pattern of brand, size, type, format, age. Seems to be completely random. The only thing that is consistent is that if a card works, it always works, and if a card does not work properly it never works properly. Reformatting, even to all other possible formats, makes no difference. Sandisk, Sony, Samsung, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, UHS-I, UHS-II, micro-SD, FAT32, exFAT, makes no difference. 100% of my cards work perfectly via a dongle.

Some readers who have contacted Apple have been told that the company is aware of the issue and that a fix is coming in a future software update, but it is not clear if this is a hardware issue or a software issue. Some users who had problems replaced their MacBook Pro and did not continue to have issues, so it's not known exactly what might be going on.

Many of the reports are about older SD cards and there may be a particular issue with some 128GB cards, but for the most part, complaints are all over the place in terms of SD card brand, speed, and capacity.

One user reported that the macOS Monterey 12.1 beta had fixed the issue, but another person on Reddit said that the most recent beta did not address it, so we also don't know if macOS Monterey 12.1 might have a fix.

Those affected who are unable to use their SD cards with the SD card slot can access their cards by using an SD card reader dongle, which is not an ideal solution but at least provides a way to get SD card content onto an M1 Pro or M1 Max Mac.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Michael Scrip Avatar
11 months ago

This sounds about right for SD cards. They are slow and prone to fail.
So wait... you're blaming this problem on the cards themselves?

Not these new Macbook Pros?

How do you explain when a card works fine in an external card reader... but not in their $2,000 Macbook Pro?

Is it still the card's fault?

:P
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
11 months ago
SD card slot finally comes back... Hooray!

SD card slot doesn't work properly... D'oh!

:(
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Radeon85 Avatar
11 months ago
How the hell can Apple break something as basic as an SD Card reader?. Most likley a software issue as Apple seems to have a lot of those latley.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sideshowuniqueuser Avatar
11 months ago

Each microSD card has its own controller and there are dozens of companies making their own controllers, each with different firmware.

This is probably why Apple hates add-on storage. They're used to coding for only Apple approved vendors.
And yet other companies can make external card readers that "just work" with every card. Sigh, bring back those days for Apple.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
11 months ago

This sounds about right for SD cards. They are slow and prone to fail.
I’ve literally never had an SD card fail on me in all the years I’ve used them. I get that they’re not the most robust storage system in the world but you make it sound like storing anything on them is a total gamble.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bart4u Avatar
11 months ago
I am sorry but an SD card reader is such a basic thing to add to a computer. Even the cheapest card readers on Amazon will read all SD cards. How could apple blow this. Did they not test a variety of SD card manufactures cards with their computers. I rather an another input port on my computer than having to deal with Apple's SD card reader. It looks like that cannot get that one right.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mobeewave

Upcoming iOS Update Will Allow iPhones to Accept Credit Cards Directly Using NFC

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:00 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new payments service that will allow iPhones to accept payments directly on device with no additional hardware, reports Bloomberg. Right now, iPhones can accept credit cards with add-ons like the Square Reader, but Apple's new technology will eliminate the need for a third-party product. Individuals and small businesses will be able to accept payments with the tap of a...
iphone 12 sim card slot

Sketchy Rumor Claims iPhone 15 Pro Won't Have Physical SIM Card Slot

Friday December 24, 2021 9:13 am PST by
iPhone 15 Pro models may lack a physical SIM card slot, according to a sketchy rumor shared by Brazilian website Blog do iPhone. Image Credit: iFixit While recent iPhone models have a physical nano-SIM card slot and a digital eSIM, the report claims that iPhone 15 Pro models slated for release in 2023 will instead have two eSIMs, ensuring that Dual-SIM functionality remains available....
apple card family promo

Apple Card Promo Offers $10 Daily Cash for Adding New Family Members

Thursday November 4, 2021 4:51 pm PDT by
Apple today sent out an email to Apple Card owners, encouraging them to sign up a family member using the Apple Card Family feature. New users who join an Apple Card holder's account by November 30, 2021 can receive $10 in Daily Cash after making their first purchase with Apple Card within 30 days of signing up. Introduced earlier this year, Apple Card Family is designed to allow up to...
macbook pro ports hdmi sd

SD Card Slot in New MacBook Pros Supports UHS-II With Speeds Up to 250 MB/s [Updated]

Thursday October 21, 2021 6:10 am PDT by
Apple has confirmed to The Verge's Dan Seifert that the SD card slot built into the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models supports UHS-II, and while this could theoretically allow for read and write speeds of up to 312MB/s with USH-II SD cards, Apple has since confirmed that the reader supports up to 250MB/s of data transfer. Some people had hoped that the SD card slot would support...
apple card 1

Apple Card Ranked Top for Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power

Thursday August 19, 2021 5:39 am PDT by
Apple today highlighted that the Apple Card and Goldman Sachs has been ranked top for customer satisfaction in the midsized issuer credit card segment, according to J.D. Power. The J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study showed that the Apple Card ranked highest with a score of 864.1, across all of the surveyed categories including interaction, credit card terms, communication,...
macbook pro 3

M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro Owners Complain of Crashes Playing HDR YouTube Videos

Friday November 5, 2021 2:09 pm PDT by
Some 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro owners have been experiencing kernel crashes when watching HDR YouTube videos, according to a number of complaints on the MacRumors forums. As explained by MacRumors reader Cababah, watching an HDR YouTube video in Safari and then scrolling through the comments results in a kernel error on macOS Monterey 12.0.1. Watching YouTube in full screen and then and...
apple card 1 iPhone 13

Some iPhone Users Experiencing Issues With Apple Card Payments [Resolved]

Monday January 31, 2022 5:58 am PST by
If you have been experiencing issues with paying off your Apple Card today, you are not alone, as complaints are starting to mount online. As noted by Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, some users attempting to make a payment towards their Apple Card are receiving an "Account Services Unavailable" error that says "Apple Pay services are currently unavailable." It looks ...
apple card 1

Some Customers Have Experienced Issues Pre-Ordering the iPhone 13 With an Apple Card [Updated]

Friday September 17, 2021 7:15 am PDT by
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro pre-orders started today, and while many customers have successfully placed their pre-orders, some have experienced issues when attempting to complete their purchase with an Apple Card or Apple Pay. Some customers have turned to Twitter to express their frustration with the pre-ordering process, sharing screenshots of errors that they received, such as "there was...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Don't Want the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8? Amazon Has Record Low Prices on Series 7 Models This Week

Friday September 23, 2022 6:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The best deals are on cellular...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
AirPods Pro Second Generation 2 Pairing Feature 1

AirPods Pro 2 Engravings Appear in iOS During Pairing and Connecting

Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Reportedly Launching Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 7:08 am PDT by
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year. There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...