ARW File Recovery | How to Recover Deleted ARW Files?

Learn to perform ARW file recovery via professional SD card photo recovery software on this page. Besides, there’re some relevant data loss prevention measures.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What is an ARW file?

Sony Alpha Raw (ARW) is the file format used by Sony digital cameras to store RAW image data. In brief, ARW is a proprietary camera raw format unique to Sony Alpha digital cameras.

Similarly, other camera manufacturers also have their proprietary RAW formats such as Nikon’s NEF, Canon’s CR2 or CR3, Fujifilm’s RAF, and Olympus’s ORF.

The raw format refers to the images being unfinished, unprocessed, and unpolished, allowing for extensive editing while retaining the original image data. And the ARW files are uncompressed and lossless, meaning that no information is lost when saving them.


Professional photographers and camera enthusiasts who use Sony digital cameras will frequently encounter ARW camera raw files because most files from newer Sony digital cameras will undoubtedly be in ARW format.

Compared to compressed formats like JPG or PNG, ARW file format stores vast image data. This attribute allows photographers to capture images of higher quality and enables more precise and detailed editing during post-processing.

How to open ARW files on Windows and Mac?

Windows users can open ARW files with various image-editing tools such as Microsoft Photos with Raw Image Extension, File Viewer Plus, Adobe Photoshop 2023/Elements, Corel PaintShop Pro 2023, ACD Systems ACDSee Photo Studio, ImageMagick, as well as Sony Imaging Edge Desktop.  

Please refer to the following clicks to open ARW image files via Microsoft Photos with Raw Image Extension.   

With the Raw Image Extension from the Microsoft Store, you can view thumbnails and metadata of supported raw file formats directly using File Explorer or Microsoft Photos.  

» After connecting your Sony camera SD card to the Windows > locate the ARW file you want to view > right-click on it > select Open with > Photos.


But how to open ARW files on Mac? For Mac, you can employ these third-party tools to view or edit ARW images.

  • Adobe Photoshop 2023
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Corel PaintShop Pro 2023
  • Snap Converter
  • MacPhun ColorStrokes
  • Sony Imaging Edge Desktop

How do I recover ARW files?

Different from Windows data recovery, SD card doesn’t have a temporary storage place like Windows Recycle Bin. Therefore, even if you’ve accidentally deleted photos from SD cards, there’s no sign of these removed ARW images on your Sony camera SD card.




Where do permanently deleted photos go? Can you recover ARW photos?

In theory, your deleted ARW images might be still on the SD card because the permanent deletion execution performance only can remove the file path of the corresponding ARW images instead of wiping them out.

But in practice, newly taken or saved ARW photos can overwrite the deleted ARW files. For a higher ARW file recovery rate, please begin photo recovery with MyRecover as soon as possible because this professional SD card photo recovery software is good at recovering deleted and missing camera images (Sony ARW, Olympus ORF, Nikon NEF, Fuji RAF, etc.) from SDHC and SDXC cards.  

SD Card Photo Recovery Software:  

✐ High-efficiency: Recover about 50 types of images, MS Office and WPS files, folders, compressed files, audio, songs, videos, and websites from HDDs, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.

✐ Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.

✐ Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.

✐ Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems and be compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download   
After photo recovery, you need to save your recovered ARW photos in a new path.
Don’t have to pay for retrieved ARW images within 500MB because MyRecover offers a 500MB data recovery allowance with unlimited times.
Please consider upgrading MyRecover to recover a large number of deleted/missing images from local drives if you prefer a more cost-effective plan. 

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your Windows via a card reader > launch MyRecover > Hover the mouse over the SD card saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. MyRecover can automatically scan your SD card and display all the recoverable files.

To save time and quickly locate your wanted Sony ARW files, please preview and filter images according to Document Type, Filename, Path, Date, Size, etc.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Under the Other Missing Files folder, select the Sony camera photos you prefer. Then click Recover x files.


Related suggestions

What is an ARW files? How to open ARW files? How to perform ARW file recovery? Please get the corresponding answers from the above part.

Moreover, if you want to prevent data loss and maintain the integrity of your ARW files, please put the following data loss prevention measures into practice.

  • Please save your work frequently to avoid losing unsaved information.
  • Use reliable devices to minimize the risk of malware or virus damage.
  • Use an uninterruptible power supply to safeguard against data corruption during power surges.
  • Regularly back up your ARW files to multiple devices or a secondary location with this free Windows backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Key features of AOMEI Backupper Standard:✎...
Enable to back up files, folders, partitions, disks, or systems to an internal/external hard drive, USB stick, Network, or Cloud drive.
Implementing intelligent backup strategies allows you to create daily incremental backups, effectively conserving storage space. 
By scheduling backups, you can ensure the continuous protection of your valuable data.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper on your Windows PC. Under the Backup tab, select the “File Backup” option.


Step 2. Click “Add Folder/Add File” to add the folder or ARW pictures you prefer to back up.


Step 3. Click “Schedule Backup” to enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers or USB plug based on your needs. Then click the “Start Backup” button.


Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.