Home Technology How to Recover Deleted Files From SD Card [2020

How to Recover Deleted Files From SD Card [2020

recover files from sd card with disk drill

SD cards are widely-used to provide extended storage on mobile devices and digital cameras. The small, portable storage media allows users to exceed space constraints and are often an essential addition to devices with limited capacity. They may contain irreplaceable images that hold great sentimental value for the user.

Unfortunately, the images or files on an SD card can suddenly disappear or get inadvertently deleted. This can result in a lot of stress and despair if important data was on the card. In this article, we will discuss the best way to recover deleted files from an SD card.

Step 1: Make sure the files have been deleted

When faced with a data loss scenario involving important files on an SD card, the first rule to follow is not to panic. Approaching the situation methodically gives you the greatest chance of recovering your files. So take a deep breath and try to calm down.

The first thing to do is to make sure that the files have really been deleted from the SD card. It could be that the files or folders you are looking for are still there and you just missed them for some reason.

Here are some common issues that may make it seem as if files have been deleted from your memory card:

  • Use the Search facility on whatever device the card was connected to when the files apparently disappeared. Every digital device, including your computer, smartphone, digital camera, and tablet have the capacity to search the data in its storage. Take the time to carefully review the files that reside on your device. It is possible that you just missed the file previously or were looking for it under a different name. If you are lucky, the journey ends here with the discovery of the missing data.how to recover deleted files from sd card by search facility
  • Enable hidden files to be displayed by your operating system. Sometimes, when you connect the SD card to your computer, the OS may not be able to see the files. Perhaps they were hidden by a virus and all you need to do is to make them visible again. The specific details are dependent on your machine and operating system.
    how to recover deleted files from sd card for free with enabling hidden files
  • Clean the SD card of any infection from malware or viruses. You can scan the card with a virus removal tool to identify any malicious software. Let the software remove the offending program and try to view the files again. The malware may have hidden the files you need, so you may need to enable hidden files after cleaning the memory card.
  • Ensure the files are truly deleted and that the card is not corrupted. Signs that your card is corrupted include:
    • Unexpected error messages such as access denied;
    • Black screen on the device that contains the card;
    • Missing files or the appearance of new and unknown files;
    • Read and write failures;
    • The card is not recognized by your operating system.

Hopefully, one of these techniques has worked and you have access to your files again. If not, move on to the next step to recover deleted data from an SD card.

Step 2: Use data recovery software to restore deleted files from your SD card

how to recover data from sd card

Data recovery software offers a viable method with which to recover deleted files from an SD card. These types of applications take advantage of the way modern operating systems and mobile devices handle file deletion. When files are deleted, the operating system and applications can no longer access the data. The operating system removes the link to the data and marks the space it occupied as available for use. But until that space is overwritten, the original files that were deleted can be recovered with the right software.

free data recovery software Disk Drill for Windows & macOS Free Download

For example, Disk Drill data recovery software is the right tool for recovering deleted data from an SD card. It can recover your lost files with a few clicks. You can download Mac or Windows version for free.

We will highlight the main differences in the two versions as we go through the recovery steps.

The recovery capabilities of Disk Drill go far beyond the ability to restore data from SD cards. The application can help you recover from a data loss scenario involving any type of disk-based storage device. Its powerful scanning algorithms can search a disk sector-by-sector to find and restore files in hundreds of different formats. It’s a versatile and reliable solution for data loss situations.

Versions of Disk Drill are available for both Windows and macOS systems. Before going through the actual recovery steps, you need to download and install the tool. This is essentially the same on a Windows or Mac machine. Select the proper version for your system and download it to your computer. During installation, the program may ask for your administrator’s password so it can make changes to your system. Program will not make any changes in deleted data that you recover, so go ahead and provide the credentials.

Step 3: Locating your SD card

Follow these steps to find your card in Disk Drill:

  1. Attach the SD card to your computer. Use the computer’s card reader or directly connect the device that contains the card.
  2. Launch Disk Drill.
  3. Select the card from the list of disks available in the application’s main window.
  • Windows users should first select Data Recovery in the left-hand panel to bring up the disk list:how to recover deleted files from sd card for free
  • Mac users should follow next steps:how to recover permanently deleted files from sd card

Step 4: Scan the SD card to search for lost files

These are the steps to start scanning for recoverable data.

  1. Select the type of scan you want to perform or let Disk Drill run through all of its scanning procedures in the optimal order.how to recover deleted files from sd card
  2. Start scanning process
  • Clicking on Search for lost data is the next step for users of the Windows version:how to recover data from sd card via disk drill for windows
  • Mac users should click the Recover button to begin the scanning process:recover files from sd card via disk drill for mac

Allow the application to complete its scanning procedures. You can pause the scan if needed and resume it at a later time.

Step 5: Selecting the files for recovery

There are differences in the final recovery steps based on the OS you are using. Follow these steps to select and recover your files.

  1. Click on the icon representing the type of file you are recovering. You will only be able to select filetypes where recoverable data has been found.how to recover deleted files from sd card for free via disk drill for windows
  2. Select the checkboxes to the left of the files you want to recover.
  3. Click Recover.
  4. Choose a storage location for the recovered data. Do not use the original locations to avoid overwriting or corrupting the files during recovery.how to recover permanently deleted files from sd card with disk drill for windows
  1. Click on the checkboxes of the files you want to recover.how to recover deleted files from sd card via disk drill for mac
  2. Select a recovery location in the “Recover to:” field at the top of the window.
  3. Click the Recover button to perform the recovery to your specified destination.recover files from sd card by disk drill for mac

With any luck, Disk Drill has successfully recovered the files from your SD card to a safe location on your computer. If you have tried a quick scan that did not find your data, rerun the process and choose a deep scan to uncover data that is more difficult to locate.

Scanning tips:

Running a deep scan may require you to search the Reconstruction Section to find the results of the procedure. Deep scan reconstructs files from fragments and identifies them as best it can by file type and extension. There are two different types of reconstructed files that are listed based on how much information could be determined about them during deep scan. Within each listing, the files are ordered according to general file types such as documents or pictures.

The “Reconstructed” folder contains files where deep scan was able to identify the file type but not the name of the file. You can preview the files before recovery to ensure you want it restored.how to recover deleted files from sd card for free via deep scan reconstruction

The “Reconstructed labeled” folder contains files that have been reconstructed by deep scan and where the process discovered metadata inside the files that can be used as the filename. Again, you should preview the files before recovery to determine it is the file you want to restore.how to recover deleted files from sd card with deep scan reconstruction

All types of SD cards supported:

  • SD;
  • Mini SD;
  • Micro SD;
  • Nano SD;
  • CF;
  • SDSC;
  • SDHC;
  • SDXC.

File system formats of memory card:

  • HFS/HFS+;
  • APFS;
  • FAT32;
  • exFAT;
  • NTFS.

File formats supported by Disk Drill:

  • 3G2 / 3GPP2 / 3GP / 3GPP (Videos for 3G UMTS services)
  • AVI
  • BIK (Bink Video)
  • CRM (Canon raw movie file)
  • DIR (Adobe Director Movie)
  • DV (Digital Video)
  • DXR (Protected Adobe Director Movie)
  • FCP (Final Cut Pro)
  • FLA (Editable Adobe Flash movie)
  • FLV (Flash video)
  • FCPEVENT (Final Cut Events)
  • M2T (HDV video)
  • M2TS (Blu-ray BDAV Video)
  • M4B (iTunes audiobooks)
  • M4P (iTunes Music Store audio)
  • M4V (iTunes video)
  • MKV (Matroska Video)
  • MLV (LabVIEW mathscript file)
  • MOV (Apple QuickTime movie)
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 video)
  • MPA (MPEG-2 Audio File)
  • MPG (MPEG video)
  • MTS (commonly called AVCHD, a high-def MPEG Transport Stream video format; recovered as M2TS)
  • MXF (Material Exchange Format)
  • OGM (Oog Media)
  • R3D (Redcode Raw video image)
  • RM (RealMedia)
  • RMVB (RealMedia Variable Bitrate)
  • SWF (Flash movie)
  • TOD (JVC Everio Video Capture)
  • TS (Video Transport Stream File)
  • WEBM (HTML5 WebM Videos)
  • WMV (Windows Media Video)

  • AA (Audible Audio Book)
  • AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)
  • AIF, AIFC, AIFF (Audio Interchange File)
  • ALP (Ableton Live Pack)
  • AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate audio codec)
  • ASF (Advanced Audio Streaming Format)
  • AU (Audacity audio files)
  • AWB (Adaptive Multi-rate Wide Band)
  • CAF (Core Audio File)
  • CDA (CD Audio Track)
  • CPR (Cubase Project)
  • DS2 (Digital Speech Standard Pro)
  • ENS (REAKTOR Ensemble)
  • FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
  • FLP (FruityLoops Project)
  • IDF (MIDI instruments Definitions File)
  • M4A (Apple Lossless Audio)
  • MID (MIDI)
  • MP3 (MPEG Audio Stream, Layer III)
  • MP2 (Audio file format used with MPEG Audio Stream; recovered as MPA)
  • MPA (Audio file compressed with MPEG Layer II compression)
  • MPC (Musepack Compressed Audio File)
  • MUS (Finale Notation)
  • NGRR (Guitar Rig sound files)
  • OGA (audio extracted from OGG; recovered as OGG)
  • OGG (Ogg Vorbis Compressed audio file)
  • PTF (Pro Tools Session File)
  • RA (Real Audio)
  • RFL (Reason ReFill Sound Bank)
  • RNS (Reason Song File)
  • RPP (REAPER Project Files)
  • RX2 (REX2 Audio Files)
  • SIB (Sibelius Score)
  • VOC (Creative Labs Voice)
  • WMA (Windows Media audio files)
  • ZRV (Philips Voice Traver)
  • SESX (Adobe Audition CC Session File)

  • 3FR (Hasselblad camera 3F RAW image)
  • AEP (After Effects Project)
  • AFPHOTO (Affinity Photo)
  • AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  • ALBM (HP Photo Software Album)
  • ANI (Windows Animated Cursor)
  • APM (Adobe raster images)
  • ARW (Sony Digital Camera)
  • BLEND (Blender 3D Data file)
  • BMP (Bitmap)
  • BPN (ArchiCAD Backup)
  • C4D (Cinema 4D Model)
  • CDR (CorelDRAW)
  • CR2 (Canon Raw Image)
  • CR3 (Canon Raw 3 images)
  • CRM (Canon RAW Movie)
  • DJVU (DjVu Images)
  • DNG (Digital Negative)
  • DPX (Cineon image file)
  • DXF (Drawing Interchange File)
  • EMF (Enhanced Windows Metafile)
  • EPS (Encalsulated PostScript file)
  • ERF (Epson raw image file)
  • FFF (Hasselblad Camera RAW image)
  • FH3 (FreeHand 3 Drawing file)
  • FH8 (FreeHand 8 Drawing file)
  • FH10 (FreeHand 10 Drawing file)
  • FH11 (FreeHand 11 Drawing file)
  • GPR (GoPro raw image format)
  • HEIC (High Efficiency Image File Format)
  • ICNS (Mac OS X Icon)
  • ICO (Windows Icon)
  • IDML (Adobe InDesign Markup Language)
  • IIQ – Phase One RAW Images
  • INDB (Adobe InDesign Book)
  • INDD (Adobe InDesign)
  • INDL (Adobe InDesign Library)
  • INX (Adobe InDesign Interchange)
  • JNB (SigmaPlot)
  • JP2 (JPEG2000 image)
  • JPG (JPEG image)
  • KDC (Kodak Photo-Enhancer File)
  • KEY (Apple iWork Keynote)
  • LRCAT (Adobe Lightroom Catalog)
  • LXO (Luxology Modo)
  • MA (Maya Project)
  • MAX (Autodesk 3ds Max Scene)
  • MB (Maya Binary Project)
  • MEF (Mamiya raw camera image format)
  • MOS (Uncompressed Leaf raw image file)
  • MP (Maya PLE Project)
  • MPO (Multi Picture Object File or simply stereo images)
  • MRW (Minolta Raw Image File)
  • NEF (Nikon camera RAW image)
  • NRW (Nikon Raw Image File)
  • ORF (Olympus camera RAW image)
  • PCX (bitmap images)
  • PEF (Pentax RAW image)
  • PLA (ArchiCAD Project Archive)
  • PLN (ArchiCAD Project File)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphic)
  • PS (PostScript File)
  • PSB (Adobe Photoshop Large Document Format)
  • PSD (Adobe Photoshop)
  • RAF (Fujifilm RAW image data)
  • RW2 (Panasonic camera RAW image)
  • RAW/RWL (Panasonic/Leica RAW image file)
  • SKP (SketchUp)
  • SR2/SRF (Sony raw digital photos)
  • SRW (Samsung camera RAW image)
  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
  • TPL (ArchiCAD Project Template)
  • VSD (Visio Drawing file)
  • VWX (VectorWorks Design File)
  • WEBP (Image format for Web)
  • WMF (proprietary Windows graphic format)
  • X3F (X3F SIGMA raw images)

  • 7Z (7-Zip Compressed)
  • ARJ (ARJ Compressed File Archive)
  • CAB (Windows Cabinet File)
  • DMG (Mac OS X Disk Image)
  • ISO (ISO-9660 CD Disc Image)
  • JAR (Java Archive)
  • MBX (Apple Mail mailbox file)
  • PST (Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders)
  • RAR (WinRAR Compressed Archive)
  • RDB (Retrospect Backup Set)
  • TAR.XZ (XZ Compressed Tar Archive)
  • ZIP (Extended Zip File)


Here are some questions users may have regarding deleted or lost data on SD cards.