How to print photos from a memory card only

Updated April 17, 2017

Digital photographers do not need computers to perform print jobs anymore. Some printers have built-in memory card readers that allow users to print digital photographs by inserting the card directly into the face of the printer. Photo printers with built-in card readers are available to consumers for in-home use, and many photo printing service retailers have self-service kiosks with built-in card readers at store locations.

Connect a printer that has a built-in card reader to an electrical power outlet, and turn it on. HP, Epson, Sony and Kodak manufacture consumer grade photo printers with card readers. These printers are sometimes called "photo only" printers.

Load photo quality paper into the printer's paper tray. Avoid overloading the tray by consulting the printer's owner manual or user guide for specific page load guidelines about your machine.

Insert the memory card in the memory card slot that fits the size of your card. The slots correspond with some of the most popular card types such as Compact Flash, Secure Digital, Multi-Media, XD Picture Card, Memory Stick and Smart Media.

Select the print options that you desire on the printer's display. Most photo printers with built-in card readers have basic options such as the number of prints on a page, the dimensions of each print and the number of copies. Consult the printer's user guide or owner manual for print options your machine offers.

Select the "Print," "Confirm" or "Start" command to process the print command, and begin printing your photos.

Go to a retail store with photo printing kiosks. These machines function like automatic teller machines or ATM machines with similar input and output technology. Retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS have self-service photo kiosks with card readers.Tap the touch-screen monitor on the kiosk to bring the machine out of sleep mode.

Enter the start commands on the touch-screen menu according to the machine's instructions on the screen. This may include things like setting the appropriate language for the rest of the steps.

Follow the directions on the screen to set the media type to "Memory Card."

Insert the memory card in the memory card slot on that kiosk that fits the size of your card. The machine will start reading the card and begin processing previews of the images on the touch-screen display.

Tap the touch-screen monitor on the kiosk to bring the machine out of sleep mode.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo printer with built-in card reader
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About the Author

Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.