How to Get Pictures Back after Formatting SD Card?

How to get pictures back after formatting SD card? This article with detailed info will be worth reading to help you recover images from formatted SD card.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can you recover photos after formatting memory card?

Why do you need to format an SD card? It is undoubtedly to say that majority of users have met these situations: virus attack on SD card, corrupted file system, sluggish SD card, unrecognizable SD card, etc.

All these circumstances force you to format your SD card to bring it back to normal. It is obvious that corrupted SD card recovery solutions are in urgent need.

In addition, there are more people who are prone to make human errors like accidentally formatting hard drives like SD cards, USB flash drives, etc.


Has anyone had any success with recovering files from an SD card that has been formatted by a Canon camera? I'm looking for any suggestions.


- Question from DPReview


Then, what actually happens when SD cards are formatted?

What happens if you format an SD card?

Without a doubt, data loss is a remarkable symptom. But behind this, it brings other results.

If the SD card was full formatted, things will be tough and tricky. A full format will check the SD card for possible bad sectors; meanwhile, “0” will be written to the SD card to overwrite the remained data on it.

Therefore, the formatted SD card can never be recovered, all the data on it vanishes permanently.

In contrast, a quick format will be safe. Some users are wondering does quick format deletes files, the answer is yes, but it only deletes the data on it and creates a brand new file system to facilitate file management.

It is to say, the data will be recoverable as long as no new data writes in.

Now check the 2 practicable methods to recover images from formatted SD cards.


How to get pictures back after formatting SD card?

To achieve formatted SD card recovery, common methods and tools that can only back up files on local hard drives on PC will not work well here. But users could use commands to make it.

Also, a professional data recovery tool will always be helpful.

Solution 1. Recover photos from formatted SD card using commands

Microsoft has developed an official file rescue tool named Windows File Recovery. It recovers deleted and missing files from healthy, corrupted, and formatted hard drives.

It supports recovery modes and filter search, using commands to help you target and restore files.

But please note that it is only available for Windows 10, version 2004, Build 19041, and above. Also, it offers no user interface, which is absolutely very inconvenient and unfriendly.

For better use, check the user guide “How to use Windows File Recovery”. To utilize this app, firstly, you need to check the file system of the SD card.

Please connect the SD card to your PC > This PC > right-click the SD card > Properties. Check the file system.


The file system is used to decide the recovery mode. Extensive mode is for a non-NTFS drive.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Also, this app supports filter scanning. You could use wildcards and parameters to specify the scanning range.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/segment Segment mode; recovers files under NTFS drives using file record segments. Segment
/signature Signature mode; recovers files under all file system types using file headers. Signature
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Now, follow the steps to recover photos from formatted SD card.

Check the Windows File Recovery tutorial to correct the syntax of the command.

Step 1. Go to Microsoft Store > search for Windows File Recovery > click Get > after installation, click Open to start it.


Step 2. Input the recovery command. The source drive (the SD card) must be different from the destination drive to prevent overwriting.

Command format: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

E.g., winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg /n *.png


In this way, you could get all jpg and png files from the formatted SD card drive to another place.

Solution 2. Recover images from formatted SD cards in an easy way

Apps without a graphical user interface will force users to spend more time learning how to use the app smoothly. Not to mention that the commands are so difficult that users don’t know commands are prone to make further damage.

How to get pictures back after formatting SD card? Under this situation, an easy and efficient Windows data recovery tool is necessary.

MyRecover is the second-to-none choice due to its amazing features.

Using this app, you could restore deleted or lost data due to disk formatting, file deletion, system crash, virus, etc. You could also use it to recover accidentally deleted photos from SD card.

Offering an intuitive user interface, it is easy to use for every user even without any expertise. 
Also, it supports data recovery from any devices, e.g., local/portable HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc. 
More than 200 forms of data are recoverable using this application, including 42 kinds of images. 
Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/Server, it is convenient to use.

Now don’t hesitate, just download and use this easy tool to recover images from formatted SD card.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the SD card > hover the mouse over the SD card drive > Scan.


Step 2. Sort and search the detected files by Date modified, Type, Size, etc.


Step 3. Go to Other missing files > select the files you need, e.g., Images > click Recover x files.


What’s more, you could use it to retrieve deleted videos from micro SD cards.

Related suggestions

Reading this post, you could learn how to get pictures back after formatting SD card. In general, Windows File Recovery and professional data rescue apps will be a feasible remedy.

Also, check these extra suggestions to minimize the data loss risk in the future.

  • Before performing operations like file deletion and disk formatting, please think twice.
  • When connecting the SD card, plug in and out the SD card properly.
  • After use, clean the dust, oil, or liquid on the SD card interface, if any.
  • Back up the vital files on the SD card now and then. Using professional backup software for Windows is preferable.
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.