How To Recover Photos from SD Card? | 3 Guides

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Are you trying to recover deleted or lost photos from SD card? This tutorial includes 3 step-by-step guides which will show you how to recover deleted photos from SD card as well as how to recover lost pictures from formatted or corrupted memory card with the help of SD card recovery software and photo recovery software. Follow this guide and you get 85% to 100% chance of successful photo recovery.

DiskGenius - Efficient photo recovery software to restore deleted photos/pictures/images from SD card.

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About recovering deleted and lost photos from SD card

Recovering photos from SD card is quite important kill when you accidentally formatted your memory card or delete pictures from SD by mistake. SD card data loss has been common and many of us must have experienced it already. It is really a horrible situation if you cannot get back lost pictures which haven't been backed up.

SD card or microSD card can be used on various digital devices to store photos or videos such as phone, camcorders, digital camera, GoPro, etc. It is able to provide very large amount of storage space for these devices so that you can store all kinds of files. SD card can be formatted to different file system types like exFAT, FAT32, ext4, etc. according to specific necessities. In addition, SD card or other memory cards can be connected to computer via card reader, by which we can transfer or backup data easily. Although SD card provides plenty of benefits, it also comes with issues you should notice, for example, data loss. The memory card in your phone or camera may be filled with photos and it is running out of space easily. In this case, you can either move photos to computer or delete unnecessary pictures to free up space. During clearing SD card, you are likely to delete photos mistakenly. Besides, memory cards and other flash drives are very portable, which increases the chance to get damaged or corrupted. The consequence is losing all photos on the memory card.

Fortunately, in many cases, deleted or lost photos can be recovered from SD card. It has been proven that photos deleted or formatted from SD card are not wiped immediately. Instead, lost photos keep existing on SD card as long as they are not destroyed or overwritten. Therefore, there is no need to worry about even though you are not computer geek or IT professionals. Operations of recovering lost pictures from memory card is no longer a complicated task. SD card photo recovery software can do the job for you. After a few clicks, you'll successfully recover lost or deleted photos, pictures, images, videos and audios. Photo loss is not avoidable, we should be prepared to know how to do SD card photo recovery. In this article, we'll show you three methods to retrieve lost photo/pictures/images from memory card.

The best free & professional photo recovery software free download

To recover photos from SD card, you need reliable SD card photo recovery software. There are quite a few photo recovery programs, some are free of charge and some are expensive. Most data recovery software is safe to use, as the photo recovery process is read-only and does not damage lost data on SD card. Some recovery software is limited to certain data loss situations and some can deal with almost all data recovery cases. The recovery result might be different if you use different recovery software. Besides, paid photo recovery software usually provides a trial version which is able to help users to get an indication of recoverable data. If you google photo recovery software, you can find about 462,000,000 results, which is too many to make a choice. How to choose proper software to recover lost photos and images? Our technical team have tested a list of recovery software and picked up two photo recovery programs:

Free photo deleted recovery software – Eassos Recovery Free

Eassos Recovery free is free data recovery software for Windows. It is highlighted here mainly for two reasons: it is designed with user-friendly interface and the recovery wizard can guide through the recovery process step by step, which is very helpful if you are not familiar with the task; it is efficient to recover deleted or lost photos, images and pictures from SD card and other storage devices, thus you can perform pen drive recovery, external HDD recovery, flash drive, etc. This free photo deleted recovery software allows users to preview files during and after scanning so that you can easily find photos to be recovered in the program.

Professional SD card photo recovery software – DiskGenius

DiskGenius is great data recovery software and it can be used as both SD card recovery and photo recovery software. It comes with effective algorithm to search for deleted or formatted photos from SD card and recovers data with their actual names and paths. Also, it has the ability to recover photo from RAW drive or unformatted partitions. Photo recovery and partition recovery can be performed via a friendly interface and file preview is provided prior to recovery. Apart from recovering photos from SD card, it is also capable of recovering other files (e.g. video, email, music, etc.) from hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, pend drive, virtual disk, RAID and so on. A widespread of file system are supported, including NTFS, FAT32/16/12, exFAT, EXT2/3/4, etc.

Guide #1: How to recover deleted photos from SD card Free of charge?

In this section we use photo deleted recovery freeware Eassos Recovery Free to get back deleted photos/pictures/images from SD card. This freeware can recover 1GB data free of charge, and you can upgrade it to full edition to recover extra amount of data. If this freeware does not work on your case, you can try specialized recovery software DiskGenius.

Step 1. Connect SD card to a Windows computer and let it be recognized properly. Then download and install Eassos Recovery Free on computer hard drive.

Step 2. Launch Eassos Recovery Free and choose Recover Deleted Files option from the main interface.

recover photos from SD card

Step 3. Select your SD card and click Next to search for lost photos.

In this step you can view all volumes on the computer including the SD card. Make sure your SD card can be detected by the software and choose the correct drive in the software before clicking Next button.

recover photos from SD card

The scanning process won't take too long if the memory card is not physically damaged, and you can preview files during or after scanning.

Step 4. Recover photos from SD card.

When scanning is finished or paused, you can select photos you want to recover and click Recover button. Then you can set a location on your computer to save recovered photos.

recover photos from SD card

Guide #2: How to recover photos from formatted SD card?

If the SD card hasn't been reused to store data after formatting, even if it's been long time, you can still recover lost photos from SD card using DiskGenius. It is able to recover lost pictures, music, video, documents, audio files and so on from various kinds of storage media. In addition, it also enables users to recover lost data from corrupted or RAW drives easily. In this example, we use DiskGenius to recover pictures from an exFAT SD card.

Step 1. Install and launch DiskGenius from Windows computer and you can view the connected SD card from the interface.

Step 2. Right-click on the SD card and choose Recover Lost Files option, as below.

This opens Recover Files window, which can also be opened by clicking File Recovery button from toolbar.

recover photos from SD card

Step 3. Select recovery options Complete Recovery and Search For Known File Type, and click Start button to search for photos.

"Complete Recovery" option runs a full scanning from selected device and "Search For Known File Type" carries out a deep scanning, which guarantees the software can find out as many recoverable files as possible.

recover photos from SD card

Step 4. Preview photos in scanning result and locate what you want to recover.

Double click a file and you can open it in a previewing window, by which you can view photo in its original size. File preview is convenient to find out desired data in scanning result and helps to check if the file is damaged.

recover photos from SD card

Step 5. Recover pictures from memory card.

After scanning is complete, you can select what you need and right-click on selected data to choose Copy To. Then a window shows up to help you browse and set a destination folder to save recovered pictures.

recover photos from SD card

Guide #3: How to recover lost pictures from corrupted SD card?

When your SD card gets damaged or corrupted, you may receive error messages like "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it". Such issue can be the result of corrupted file table/volume, improper removable of device, power issue, etc. Fortunately, photos on corrupted SD card are recoverable. To ensure the best recovery result, you should keep corrupted SD from being formatted before recovery. In the following guide, we use DiskGenius to recover photos from corrupted SD card. For more information about recovering corrupted drive, please refer to RAW partition recovery.

Step 1. In DiskGenius, select the corrupted partition on SD card and click File Recovery button from toolbar.

This opens Recover Files window where you can choose recovery options and start searching for lost photos. Once scanning finishes, you can save desired photos to computer disk. If the SD card is damaged too badly and scanning process cannot proceed, you can move to Step 2.

recover photos from SD card

Step 2. Select the corrupted disk and choose Tools and Recover Files By Type, as below:

This function recovers files by file type via deep scanning mechanism, and yet recovered files are classified by file type and named with numbers.

recover photos from SD card

Select a destination folder to output recovered data and click OK button.

recover photos from SD card

How does photo get lost from SD card?

Are you wondering how photos on SD card or Micro SD card get lost? Factors causing the issue can be as many as the number of photos stored on the memory card. It is useful to understand causes when you are looking for solutions to recover deleted/lost photos from memory card. The following section lists the most common reasons that lead to photo loss from SD card.

  • Inadvertently delete photos from SD card: You accidentally delete photos or videos from memory card prior to backing up them to computer. The chance of recovering deleted pictures are high as long as lost photos are not overwritten.
  • Format SD card: Quick formatting memory card will lead to the loss of all data. You may want to format memory card for many reasons such as change file system type, wipe data or repair corrupt partition. Chances of recovering formatted photos from memory cards are good if the card is not used to store data after photo loss.
  • SD card corruption: Partition on the memory card gets damaged and it is on longer accessible as usual. If you attempt to access it on computer, you may receive error messages like "Location is not available. H:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable."
  • Virus or malware attack: If the digital device such as phone often connects to the Internet and there is not anti-virus software installed, the device tends to infect virus when browsing webpages or downloading files. Virus can destroy or delete data and brings about severe data loss issue.
  • Compatibility issue: some SD card is not fully compatible with the digital device, for example, some digital camera is picky about the speed of memory card and only works well with qualified cards.
  • Physical damage: If SD card is suffering from physical damage, you are left little chance to recover lost photos.


So much about how to recover photos from SD card and hope these guides can help a bit in recovering photos. There is free photo recovery software as well as specialized recovery tools, and you can start the SD card picture recovery task from downloading DiskGenius. Photo recovery software is excellent tool rescue lost or deleted pictures, but data backup is the still the perfect option. If you need more help with recovery process, please feel free to contact our support team.


DiskGenius - Top SD card recovery software to recover lost/deleted photos, music, videos, email, etc.

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