Some new MacBook Pro SD card readers are struggling to read SD cards

M1 Max Macbook Pro Design
M1 Max Macbook Pro Design (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Some new MacBook Pro owners report that their SD cards are not being read correctly when inserted into their machines.
  • Users report slow transfers, Finder crashes, and more.

Apple's new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro brings SD cards back to the Mac, but it isn't all sunshine and rainbows — because not all SD cards appear to work properly and there's little explanation as to why.

According to a MacRumors report, multiple people have posted to a thread in its forums to report that some SD cards don't appear to work correctly when inserted into the MacBook Pro's slot. Some cards reportedly cause Finder to crash, while others are able to transfer data but at a speed much slower than expected.

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.

Worryingly, there doesn't appear a pattern to much of what people are reporting but there might be a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. Some people who have contacted Apple have been told that the company knows of the problem and that a fix is coming via a software update. Unfortunately, no timescale has been given as to when that will be released and while some note that the issue is more likely to occur with older cards, the lack of predictability is a problem right now.

The new machines are among the best Macs the company has ever made, especially for professionals. But non-functional SD card slots will definitely temper the excitement of a new machine somewhat. Fingers crossed for a quick fix. If you own a new MacBook Pro and are suffering from this issue, reach out to Apple and add your voice to the chorus — the more Apple is aware of the issue, the better.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.