windows 8 recovery disk drive

How to Access Files From SD Cards and USB Drives in Windows 8 Apps

There are Windows 8 apps that play music, videos and photo apps, but can only display content when it is stored in the libraries. Windows does not allow users to store media files on an SD card or USB drive.

The SD card or USB drive has to be made accessible to overcome this problem. The data has to be stored in a different location in Windows thereby tricking both Windows 8 and Windows RT into allowing the user to add it to the libraries.

Create folders

It is better to create separate folders for each type of library on the device. For instance to store music, videos and photos create separate folders in these names on the drive.

create library folders

Give the SD card and USB Drive a Path:

windows 8 power user menu

To make the SD card and USB drive accessible at a different location, the disk management utility has to be used.

Press Windows Key + X or right-click in the bottom left corner of your screen to open the power-user menu, and then click Disk Management.

change-drive letter and paths windows 8

In the Disk Management window, locate the removable device that has to be used. Right –click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. On clicking the Add button, a new path is created.

add drive letter or path windows 8

Enter a location the removable drive will be accessible at, such as C:\USB or C:\SD. The location can have any name you like.

add path for removable drive

At the location specified by the user, the SD card, flash drive or external hard drive will now be accessible. It will still have its own drive letter but it can be also accessed at the new folder location.


Add the Folders to Your Libraries:


Folders can be added to the libraries. Select a Library, click the manage tab that is present at the top of the File Explorer window and click Manage Library. Click the Add button and add the required folder to the library.

add folder on usb drive to library

Windows does not realize that the folder is on a removable device and allows the user to add it normally. Repeat process as required for all your media files/folders.

The process can also be easily done by creating a NTFS junction point instead of the Disk Management Window, but that would require dealing with Command Prompt.

And that’s how we access files from SD Cards and USB Drives in Windows 8 Apps. Let me know if you need any help in the comments below.

Anand S

A techie who loves keeping track of the latest and the greatest in the industry.

  • JF

    I can’t even get the computer to recognize my usb. Please help!