Apple M1-Powered MacBook Pro Owners Report Frustrating SD Card Reader Issues

M1-powered MacBook Pro with SD card reader
Many people were delighted when Apple returned the SD card reader to its latest MacBook Pro models. Unfortunately, there have been a number of complaints about the reader slot on the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models not working as expected. In some cases, the SD cards crash and can't be accessed, while others are noticing unusually slow transfer speeds.

The problems range from slow access time to error messages. Occasionally, users experience the Finder app crashing completely. One consumer reports the reader works fine half the time, although it takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute for macOS to show the SD card.

That MacBook owner tried unsuccessfully to solve the issue by reformatting the affected SD cards with the MacBook Pro. To confirm that the problem was with the internal SD card slot, the owner tested each SD card using USB card readers. Each of those worked fine.

A Problem That’s Consistently Inconsistent

Others have reported problems from just about every major SD card manufacturer you can think of—SanDisk, Sony, and Samsung cards of all sizes and formats suffer the same problem. The only consistency noted is that if a card works once, it always works. On the other hand, if a particular card does not work properly the first time, it will never work properly.

One MacRumors forums user wrote that after discussing the issue with Apple support, the tech said Apple is aware of the problem and is working on a fix. Unfortunately, the 16-inch MacBook Pro owner was not advised whether the problem is hardware- or software-related.

We can really only hope that the issue is software-related, meaning it can be resolved with an update to macOS Monterey. If, on the other hand, the problem is with the hardware, solutions could be trickier. The faulty component would have to be replaced with a good one, meaning a trip to the Genius Bar or an authorized repair technician. Even worse, affected users could have to send in their MacBooks for the repair.