How to Recover Files from a Formatted SD Card [Easy Guide]

Can you recover data from SD card after format? This article offers you to rescue files from formatted SD card with reliable data recovery software and other 2 other workable ways.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 12, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Can you recover data from SD card after format?


The other day I was looking at photos from my SD card on my laptop, and somehow my card was formatted and all the pictures on it are gone now. I don't know why this would happen. Can I recover data from a formatted SD card, and how can I avoid this in the future?

SD card is one of the most popular data storage devices on merits of its small size, large storage space, and easy portability. Many people use SD cards to store photos, documents, and other files on cameras, mobile phones, and computers.

Do you accidentally format your SD card and lose all your photos and other important data? Can you recover data from SD card after format? Here, we will explain 3 SD card recovery methods for you to recover formatted data from PC.

Recover Data From Sd Card After Format

Overview of SD card format

What does SD card formatting mean? Formatting an SD card refers to deleting all the data stored on the SD card and restoring the SD card to its original state. This process can quickly erase data to free its storage space up. When your SD card is infected with a virus, formatting it can remove the virus and bring it back to normal.

There are many reasons why an SD card would be formatted such as accidentally deleting all the data on the SD, a virus or malware attack causing the SD card to be formatted. Direct removal of the memory card without shutting down the device can result in the file system being corrupted and the data unreadable as well.

When you find that your memory card has been formatted, please stop using the SD card immediately in case the data is overwritten and cannot be repaired. If you are ready to recover data from formatted SD card free, please start with the method below!

How to recover data from SD card after format in 3 ways

Can you retrieve data from formatted SD card? We cover three ways to rescue data from a formatted SD card. Hope they can be helpful.

Method 1. Recover formatted SD card data with data recovery tool

The easiest way to recover data from SD card after format is to use SD card data recovery software. We are here to introduce a professional data recovery service called MyRecover to you.

Powerful Data Recovery Software
  • With a high recovery rate, this tool applies a combination of quick scan and deep scan methods to examine deleted files on the drive and help you recover data quickly.
  • This SD card data recovery software can easily recover photos, videos, audio, documents, and other 200+ types of files in just three steps.
  • It allows you to preview files before performing the recovery. In addition, it also supports recovering permanently deleted files from PC partitions, USB drives, etc.
  • You can filter, search, and preview deleted files during the recovery process.
  • Provide a clear graphical user interface and simple operating steps.

Follow the tutorial below to learn how to recover files from formatted SD card.

Step 1. Run Window Data Recovery for Windows on computer. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

Select Formatted External Hard Drive To Scan

Step 2. It will inspect all lost files on this disk and you can recover files during the scan process.

To find certain files quickly, you can use Filter to select a specific file type, like Documents, Images, Videos, etc.

  • Name: Enter the relevant filename of your needed files to quickly locate them.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Set the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~512MB, etc.)

Scanning Sd Card

Step 3. Choose files you intend to take back, and then Recover x files to start data retrieve.

Select Videos To Restore From Sd Card

  • Please remember to select a new location to save recoverable files to avoid file overwritting.
  • MyRecover allows you to recover files for free, up to 30MB. For more file recovery, please upgrade MyRecover to advanced editions.

Method 2. Recover data from formatted SD card via Windows File Recovery

Another way to recover data from a formatted SD card is to turn to a free Microsoft utility - Windows File History, a command-line application that runs on Windows 10 version 2004 and higher. It works with NTFS, ReFS, FAT, and exFAT file systems.

Since the tool runs through the command prompt, novice users may use it with incorrect command input resulting in Windows file recovery not working and data not being able to recover correctly. You can solve the "can you recover files after formatting SD card" problem using Windows File History by referring to the following steps.

  • The command used to recover data from some disk on Windows File Recovery goes like winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches], such as winfr: F: D: /signature.

  • There are different scenarios for file loss on SD card as shown in the table below.You can right-click on the SD card disk and choose Properties to check your File System.

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago



After formatting a disk



A corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Step 1. Open Microsoft Store in Windows, search for Windows File Recovery in the search box, and click on Get to download it on your computer.

Microsoft Store Get

Step 2. Click Yes to run Windows File Recovery and input the command line.

Winfr Sd Card Signature

Step 3. After data recovery is finished, it will create a new folder named "Recovery_date and time" on your destination drive.


There is alsoa free Windows File Recovery alternative tool - WinfrGUI, which supports data recovery via clickable icons instead of complicated command lines. You can easily restore files from formatted hard drives, SD cards, and corrupted disks on Windows 10/11 with this tool.

Method 3. Recover data from SD card after format via backup

If you have backed up data on the SD card before, you can get back files by restoring the backup. Whether you have used Backup and Restore or File History to create a backup of your SD card files, the following guide is about how to recover formatted SD card without software but with backup files.

‚óŹ Restore backups from Backup and Restore

Step 1. Tap on Start > Settings > Update and Security > Backup in turn, and click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Step 2. Choose Restore my files and select the right backup version to recover data.

Restore My Files

‚óŹ Restore backups from File History

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

Step 2. Click on the Restore personal files button on the left panel and select files you want to recover.

Restore Personal Files

Step 3. Finally, hit the Restore position.

Restore Deleted File


To avoid data loss due to device formatting, we strongly recommend you get into the habit of backing up important data. If you don't know what file backup tool you should use, AOMEI Backupperis a good option. This software lets you automatically back up SD cards and local drives to external hard disks, cloud storage services, local drives, etc. to prevent data loss.

Tips to avoid SD card being formatted

Dealing with an unexpected SD card format can be a vexing experience, requiring time-consuming data recovery, error checks, and reformatting. To avoid this inconvenience, take proactive steps to safeguard your precious data.

  • Ensure Safe Removal: Never hastily yank your SD card from any device. Instead, opt for the safe ejection method or power down the device to detach it securely.
  • Maintain Power Levels: Keep your host device, such as a camera, fully charged. Avoid using the SD card until the device's battery is nearly depleted to prevent abrupt shutdowns.
  • Resist Impromptu Formatting: Refrain from formatting your SD card if prompted by a device, especially if it functions correctly in another like your PC. Prioritize content backup before any formatting decision.
  • Fortify PC Security: On your computer, bolster your defense with reliable antivirus and firewall software to safeguard against malicious threats. Exercise caution when dealing with unverified applications from dubious sources, as they may pose risks to your storage devices.
  • Shield from Harsh Elements: Shield your SD card from the elements. Avoid exposing it to heat, dust, or moisture, as these can be detrimental to its integrity.
  • Opt for Protective Cases: Store your SD card in dedicated carrying cases. Avoid haphazardly tossing it into your pocket alongside items like keys and coins, which could lead to scratches, chips, or bends.
  • Recognize Signs of Wear: If you notice visible wear, your SD card is aging or has previously experienced formatting issues, consider replacing it to maintain data integrity.

The bottom line

Can you recover data from SD card after format? As mentioned above, you can use different methods to rescue data from your formatted SD card. You can choose the appropriate option according to your situation.


Does formatting an SD card delete everything?
Yes. Once your SD card is formatted, all the data on it will be erased. So before formatting it, please make sure that the SD card data has been backed up.
Can SD card data be recovered?
Yes, you can even recover from a formatted SD card with a professional file recovery tool like MyRecover.
What happens after formatting SD card?
Formatting an SD card means wiping out the previously existing data stored on the card and creating a new file system. In this way, the SD card will become a fresh "new" one prepared to store data. After an SD card is formatted, all the original files will be erased and become inaccessible.
Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.