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Some users say the new MacBook Pro’s SD card slot simply doesn’t work

Apple’s new range of MacBook Pro laptops have gone a long way to fixing much of what was wrong with the company’s previous Mac efforts. Part of that was bringing back far more variety in the ports on offer – yet it’s exactly this that is apparently causing problems for some Mac users.

A number of users on the MacRumors forums have been voicing their frustrations with the SD card slot on the new MacBook Pro, which made its return in the 2021 MacBook Pro after an absence of half a decade. Concerningly, the complaints cover a wide variety of situations, making it tricky to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong.

A side profile view of the MacBook Pro's port selection.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The thread was started by user 0071284, who explained that they have several SD cards that go unrecognized by their new MacBook Pro. However, when using Apple’s external USB-C to SD card reader, 0071284 says their Mac has no trouble reading their cards.

The issue seems to affect different cards of the same capacity, too. Forum user wilberforce states that their 64GB Sony SD card works in the MacBook Pro, but their 64GB SanDisk SD card does not. They added that they have tried all manner of SD cards from different manufacturers and with different capacities, with the likelihood of success seeming to be “completely random.”

For some people, MacOS could take minutes to recognize the SD card and show its contents in Finder. Even so, that still resulted in Finder sometimes crashing. Some users tried formatting their cards, which did not help.

While it’s certainly possible that some of the fault lies with old or outdated SD cards, we doubt that can be entirely responsible for the slate of issues users are having. Indeed, the fact that some cards seem to work perfectly in an external SD card dongle but then throw up an error message when inserted directly into a MacBook Pro suggests the problem could lie with the laptop itself.

It’s not an auspicious return for the SD card slot in Apple’s MacBook Pro. The company was criticized for many years for streamlining its laptops to only use USB-C slots. While that remains the case on the MacBook Air, Apple evidently felt it was right to concede on this point with the MacBook Pro, where demanding workloads that often involve SD cards are more the norm. If the SD card slot is here to stay, Mac users will be hoping Apple can fix this issue as soon as possible.

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