Best microSD cards for Surface PCs

Looking to expand the storage on your Surface PC? A great way to do that is with a microSD card, which many Surface devices support. If you're using a Surface Go, Surface Book, Surface Studio 2 or older, and Surface Pro 7+ or older, you're in luck. Expanding storage on those PCs is as easy as plugging in an SD card, which takes a little less than a few seconds.

Best SD cards for Surface Go, Surface Pro, Surface Book & Surface Studio

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Which Surface PCs support expandable storage?

Not all Surface PCs support expansion of its storage via an SD card slot. Many of the most recent Surfaces, including the Surface Pro 9 and Surface Studio 2+, no longer support expandable storage in the form of an SD card or microSD card slot. However, many older Surface devices still do. Here's the list of all Surface PCs that support SD cards:

microSD:

  • Surface Pro
  • Surface Pro 2
  • Surface Pro 3
  • Surface Pro 4
  • Surface Pro 5
  • Surface Pro 6
  • Surface Pro 7
  • Surface Pro 7+
  • Surface Go
  • Surface Go 2
  • Surface Go 3

Full-size SD card:

  • Surface Book
  • Surface Book 2
  • Surface Book 3
  • Surface Studio
  • Surface Studio 2

The Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Pro 9 all support the ability to upgrade the SSD directly without opening the device up, using an M.2 2280 drive. This is one of the reasons why the new Surface Pro's no longer support microSD card storage expansion. The Surface Studio 2+, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Laptop, and Surface Laptop Go also support upgradable storage via the same M.2 SSD drive, but these devices will require the user opens up the device to access it.

Should I upgrade my storage with an SD card?

Adding a microSD card to your Surface PC is a great way to prolong its usefulness by giving you more space for apps and programs. Some Surface PCs to better than others at integrating the SD card reader, with devices like the Surface Go and Surface Pro hiding it neatly underneath the kickstand, making its inclusion seamless.

Other Surface devices like the Surface Book and Surface Studio do less of an elegant job, with the Surface Book's SD card reader on the side, and shallow so the card itself remains sticking out even when fully plugged in. It's the same story for the Surface Studio, though on there the card reader is on the back to it's a little more hidden.

Depending on the performance/class of the card you get, you should be able to treat the microSD card as additional storage, and Windows will allow you to install and run programs from it. Of course, performance of the microSD card won't be as good as your integrated storage, but it should be good enough for most applications such as Office, Slack, and Spotify.

What class/performance should I get?

There are many different performance classes of microSD card on the market, but you really only need to know about one: Class 10, A2, and U3. A microSD card with Class 10, A2, and U3 ratings is the top of the line, meaning you'll get the very best performance out of that card and should be able to install applications to it with no problem. 

In fact, most Class 10 cards should handle this task with ease. If you're unsure, grab one with a U3 rating to be doubly sure. Anything lower, and you might start to notice some issues when installing programs. Lower classes are better for storing files and music, not running programs from. 

Here's a breakdown of the different performance classes:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Minimum Write SpeedSpeed ClassUHS Speed
2MB/secClass 2Row 0 - Cell 2
4MB/secClass 4Row 1 - Cell 2
6MB/secClass 6Row 2 - Cell 2
10MB/secClass 10U1
30MB/secClass 10U3
Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.