By Ivy / Last Updated September 24, 2020

Now, you may just want to know how to recover files from a formatted SD card free or not. But, before that, you need to know something about a formatted SD card so that you can treat it in a correct way.

What is formatting?

Formatting refers to a process of preparing a data storage device for initial use, such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, USB flash drive or memory card. During the process, it will be divided into small areas, and numbered. And every new disc or disk needs to be formatted before use. If not, your computer will not know where to write and read.

Then, you may wonder “How SD card get formatted?”. It may be a doubt in many users. Some users feel they may accidentally format the SD card, and others users ensure that they don’t delete it. If you don’t delete it by mistake, why your SD card is formatted. Here are two main reasons for it.

1. Your SD card is infected by Virus.

2. Your SD card behaves abnormal and cannot be used for data storage.

What happens when you format an SD card?

When formatting an SD card, the system will mark the space to be available for new data storage but the original files were not erased completely.

On the computer, a formatted SD card will show as empty device and all data will become invisible. And many users think that all the files are gone forever. However, this is not the truth. You files are still lying safely here and you just delete the entry to it. Just pay attention to the following things, or your files cannot be recovered all the time.

1. Do not add new items to SD card, it will occupy the space of old files.

2. Do not reformat the SD card, the process will make it impossible to recover your files. During the reformatting process, SD card formatter will re-construct the boot, directory and files entries information for it. Besides, some digital cameras may write "0x00", "0xFF"or other characters on every sector of the memory card.

3. Stop using the SD card until your files is recovered.

Can you recover files from formatted SD card?

"Mistakenly, I formatted one of my SD card, which did not be backed up. I believe that there might be a way to recover my lost files from formatted SD card, including pictures, document, word files, excel files, etc. But I don't know which one is the right software. Any suggestion will be welcome."

If you do not add any new items to your SD card or reformat it, your files will remain intact there. And you have a chance to recover deleted data from formatted SD card using CMD or data recovery software, like Recuva. It’s free and used by many users in worldwide.

Wether there is a way to recover data from SD card deleted or formatted with PC or not, you still need to develop a backup habit. Backing up data on SD card can rescue all your files and folders when needed.

How to recover files from formatted SD card?

SD card is very common in the daily life. Thus, there is a risk that your SD card will be formatted owing to some reasons. After that, your files will be deleted and you cannot access it.

Be relax! See below and learn to recover audio files, video files, raw files and other files from formatted SD card.

Recovering files from SD card after formatting using CMD

If you are familiar with command prompt, you can recover files from quick formatted SD card via chkdsk.It’s used to check the specified disk for structural corruption.

Now, get started with the following steps.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer via a card reader.

Step 2. Check the drive letter of your SD card via Computer or Disk Management.

Step 3. Type cmd in the search box on the start menu, right click it and run as administrator.

Step 4. Type the following command in the command prompt and hit Enter to run it. If the command prompt tells you the volume is in use, you can type Y and press Enter.

chkdsk H: /r



chkdsk is used to check the specified disk for structural corruption.

/r refers to repair attribute: tell command prompt to repair problems when it finds any.

Recover files from formatted SD card via data recovery software

CMD is a little tricky for common users, thus you can consider data recovery software for SD card. In this article, I will how to recover files from formatted SD card, free download it and follow the steps below.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer and check the drive letter of it.

Step 2. Download Recuva on your computer and Start it.

Step 3. Use Recuva without the wizard. You can click Do not show this Wizard on startup in the Recuva wizard and click Cancel, then restart it.

Step 4. Scan files on the entire SD card. You can click Options and select Actions tab, then check Scan for non-deleted files.

Scan For Non Deleted Files


Scan for non-deleted files option in Recuva can scan the entire SD card for deleted files, both occupied by other data and not. This option will be useful, especially when your files have been overwritten.

Step 5. Select SD card from the drop-down menu and click Scan at the right side.

Select SD Card

Step 6. In this window, tick the lost files and click Recover


Step 7. Select a path to save the recovered files and wait for the final result.

Recommend for you: backup data instead of recovery

If you do not add new items to your SD card, there is a chance to recover files from formatted SD card. But if you add new items to your SD card, your old items will be overwritten and your files will be gone forever. Thus, recovery is not the best way. The best way to backup data and recover it from backup image created before.

To create a file backup for your audio files, video files, raw files and other files, you need a backup and restore software. I recommend you AOMEI Backupper. It’s free software to backup and recover files from formatted SD card. It supports all the basic backup solutions, including file backup, partition backup, system backup and disk dackup. Also, it provides the corresponding restore feature, such as, file restore, system restore, etc.

Besides backup and restore software, it’s still a disk cloning software, which allows you to clone system, disk, or partition. After that, you can directly use the cloned disk or system to replace the disk having problems.

To backup files with AOMEI Backupper, you just need to download it and select File Backup, then follow the prompts to finish the rest of steps.


Note: During the process, you can enjoy many useful features. You can email notification to see if your backup is completed successfully. Also, you can reduce the backup space via compression. You still can backup your files at Daily, Weekly, Monthly. If you just want to backup the changed part, you can use incremental or differential backup.

To Restore files, you can click Restore and select a file backup image, then follow the prompt. If you backup the entire SD card, you still can restore files from backup via Explore Image.


This software is also applied to recover files from formatted SD card Android, recover files from formatted hard drive, recover files from Sandisk SD card, recover files from a crashed hard drive, recover files from SD card that needs formatted, etc.