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The best microSD cards you can buy for extra space and security

When it comes to securely storing your files and photos, microSD cards are a great option for expanding your media storage.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer and  Kayla Solino, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Nina Raemont

It's easy for all of our digital content to build up over the years. But our devices only offer a limited capacity to store our files and data. So, what do you do when you have files you need to store but no more space on your device? 

A microSD card could be the answer. These tiny cards help with transferring and storing files, and provide a safe, secure place for your files to live -- off of your other devices' internal storage. But not all microSD cards are created the same, which is why it's key to find the best microSD card to trust with your files that also fits your needs.

Also: The best external hard drives

ZDNET rounded up the best microSD cards based on storage capacity, price, and transfer speed to ensure you can find a viable microSD option for you. Our top pick is Samsung's Evo Plus microsSD card for its reliable performance, quick speeds, and durability. See more of our other microSD picks for gaming, larger storage needs, and more below. 

The best microSD cards of 2023

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great read and write speeds
  • Fast transfers
  • 4-year warranty
Cons
  • Low speed grade
More Details

Samsung Evo Plus microSD card Tech specs: Read speed: 100MB/s | Write speed: 60 MB/s | SD Class: 10 | Capacity: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 

The Samsung Evo Plus microSD card is the overall best microSD card, thanks to its reliable performance and tough, durable build. This is a well-protected microSD card with four-proof protection; it is waterproof and can stand up to varying temperatures with both an X-ray and magnet-proof design. It is a reasonably priced card which offers quick read and write speeds with 4K UHD support for all of your important videos and files. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ultra fast
  • Affordable
  • Reliable performance
Cons
  • Smaller than the Pro
  • Best for smaller devices
More Details

Lexar Professional 1066x microSDXC card Tech specs: Read speed: 160MB/s | Write speed: 120 MB/s | 
SD Class: A2| Capacity: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 

The Lexar Professional 1066x microSDXC card is perfect for video storage. With UHS-I technology, transfers are super fast -- one of the fastest on our list -- with support for Full HD and 4K UHD content. This card is compatible with a series of devices, including your smartphone, tablet, and camera, as well as drones and other action cameras. It is water-, shock-, vibration-, and X-ray-proof, for a reliable build that you can take with you on the go. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Fantastic compatibility
  • Long warranty
  • IPX7 rating
Cons
  • Limited capacities
  • Not as fast as other microSD cards
More Details

Samsung EVO Select microSD memory card Tech specs: Read speed: Up to 100MB/s | Write speed: 90 MB/s | SD Class: 10 | Capacity: 128 GB, 256 GB

The Samsung EVO Select MicroSD Memory card also supports 4K UHD content. Another class 10 card, it comes with a full-size SD adapter so you can begin saving right away. Benefit from both SD and microSD compatibility for greater flexibility. The Samsung EVO is fast, too. You have the ability to transfer a 3GB video in 38 seconds and it is equipped to store up to 20 hours of full HD video or 37,600 photos.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Reliable performance
  • Super affordable
  • IP55-rated
Cons
  • Slower speeds
More Details

Sandisk Extreme SSD V2 Tech specs: Read speed: Up to 90MB/s | Write speed: 40 MB/s | SD Class: 10 | Capacity: 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB

The Sandisk Extreme SSD V2 comes in very high capacities, with as much as 4TB of storage. Transfer speeds are slower than the other options on our list, but this cards' large storage range helps make up for it. It is twice as fast as its previous model, using NVMe™ solid state technology to store and transfer your files. The portable design brings extra peace of mind with a build that is both IP55 water and dust resistant and can withstand a two-meter drop.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Waterproof
  • X-ray-proof
Cons
  • Not compatible with all devices
  • Pricier than the SanDisk Extreme
More Details

Sandisk Extreme Pro microSDXC card Tech specs: Read speed: Up to 200MB/s | Write speed: 140 MB/s | SD Class: 3 | Capacity: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB 

The Sandisk Extreme Pro MicroSDXC card has the fastest speeds of all the microSD cards ZDNET rounded up. While this card can be utilized for traditional storage, it is also an excellent fit for those looking to use a microSD card in their smartphones, as it is equipped with an A2 rating. Sandisk QuickFlow Technology means 4K UHD video recording and full HD video, plus delivery of those photos in high resolution. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Largest capacity
  • Fast read speed
  • Reliable
Cons
  • Expensive
More Details

Sandisk Extreme Plus 1TB microSDXC memory card Tech specs: Read speed: Up to 200MB/s | Write speed: 90 MB/s | SD Class: 10 | Capacity: 1 TB 

If you're looking for a reliable high-storage microSD card, the Sandisk Extreme Plus offers 1TB of storage capacity -- an absolute monster amount for the average person. With a video speed class rating of 30 and UHS support, the Sandisk Extreme Plus captures high-quality 4k UHD and Full HD video and allows for high-speed transfers. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Fun design
  • Multiple storage options
  • Easy to add to Nintendo Switch
Cons
  • Lacks versatility
  • A slight gimmick
More Details

Sandisk microSDXC memory card for Nintendo Switch Tech specs: Read speed: Up to 100MB/s | Write speed: 90 MB/s | SD Class: 10 | Capacity: 256GB, 400GB, 512GB

With incredible speed, this Sandisk microSDXC card designed for the Nintendo Switch console lets you add 256GB of space to your system. With read and write up speeds of up to 100MB/s and 90MB/s respectively, you can spend more time gaming. Plus, this microSD card is backed by a lifetime warranty, so don't worry about anything going awry. 

What is the best microSD card?

The Samsung Evo Plus microSD card is affordable with reliable performance and tons of positive user reviews. Other options may have faster read and write speeds, but the user experience for this microSD card is fantastic. To see how it compares, these are the other best microSD cards you can buy:

Best microSD card
Cost (Base capacity)Read speedWrite speed
Samsung Evo Plus microSD card$19100 MB/s60 MB/s
Lexar Professional 1066x microSDXC card$19160 MB/s120 MB/s
Samsung EVO Select MicroSD card$20100 MB/s90 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme microSD card$1390 MB/s40 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme Pro MicroSDXC card$25170 MB/s90 MB/s
Sandisk Extreme Plus 1TB microSDXC card$170200 MB/s90 MB/s
Sandisk microSDXC microSD card for Nintendo Switch
$38100 MB/s90 MB/s

Which is the best microSD card for you?

While the Samsung Evo Plus microSD card is ZDNET's top pick, its best to consider your needs before making a selection. 

Chose this best microSD card ...If you want ...
Samsung Evo Plus microSD cardExcellent value and performance
Lexar Professional 1066x microSDXC cardTo store a lot of videos
Samsung EVO Select MicroSD cardA versatile microSD card at a great price
Sandisk Extreme microSD cardTo store a ton of files affordably 
Sandisk Extreme Pro MicroSDXC cardTo use your phone for file transfers
Sandisk Extreme Plus 1TB microSDXC cardFor maximum storage
Sandisk microSDXC microSD card for Nintendo Switch
For extra Nintendo Switch storage

How did we choose these best microSD cards?

ZDNET considered several factors while researching and selecting the best microSD cards:

  • Capacity: If you do have a lot of photos and videos, a smaller microSD card will not be enough to store all your items, so you would want to look for a larger microSD card, like one with 128 GB or even 1 TB if you need it. 
  • Speed: Most devices are compatible with a Class 10 or U1-rated card. However, if your device requires a lower speed class, shop for microSD cards that have a Class 2, 4, or 6 classification. 
  • Cost: The price of a microSD card is a major consideration because budgets can vary significantly. We look for microSD cards that suit a number of budgets, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

What is a microSD card?

A microSD card is designed to be used with smaller devices, such as your phone or camera. It is the smaller version of a standard SD card, offering space for your photos and videos in a more compact presentation. 

How does a microSD card work?

A microSD card is simple and straightforward to use. It works with the SD card slot in your device when you use an adapter. microSD cards can also be used with video game systems, cameras, drones, and smartphones. 

How much do the best microSD cards cost?

microSD cards are generally very affordable, and most range between $15-60 depending on the size and model that you choose. Larger microSD cards, such as 1TB models, can cost upwards of $100-plus or more. 

Are there alternative microSD cards worth considering?

These microSD cards may be worth a second look.

samsung-pro-plus

Best microSD card for professionals

Samsung PRO Plus

A great alternative option for saving work files and data. 

View at Amazon
sandisk-ultra-microsdhc

Best alternative microSD card for smartphones

Sandisk Ultra MicroSDHC

Perfect for expanding the storage of your smartphone. 

View at Amazon
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