How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card without Software Free

If you delete photos from SD card on your laptop, mobile devices or digital camera, don’t panic. Read this passage to learn how to recover deleted photos from SD card without software.


By Lora / Updated on March 29, 2024

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How can I recover my deleted photos from my SD card without software?

I cleared my photography SD card without realizing I didn’t upload all the photos to my laptop. I cleared it today, but have used it since. Is it possible to get the photos I deleted back without software?

- Question from Reddit

SD card is commonly used in mobile phones, laptops, DSLRs, digital cameras, and other devices to take and store numerous digital photos and videos. But sometimes, SD card photos get deleted due to accidental deletion, simple mistake click, formatting or virus attacks.

For whatever reason, losing precious photos due to deletion can be very frustrating. So, when you delete the photos on SD card like the user above, you may also wonder if you can recover deleted photos from SD card without software? The answer is YES! This tutorial will help you know how to recover deleted photos from SD card without software.

recover deleted photos sd card

In fact, if you have backed up important photos, you can retrieve deleted pictures from SD card by backup. In case, if you don’t have a backup of your photos, then you can perform SD card data recovery without software using Command Prompt. It is a Window built-in tool allows you to retrieve lost data by entering command lines.

Please continue to browse this page. Just try the below-mentioned solutions in turn to learn how to recover pictures from SD card easily.

NOTE: When you encounter such a data loss situation, please stop using your SD card immediately, because adding new data will overwrite deleted or lost photos.

How to recover deleted photos from SD card without software

Now, here are some methods on how to recover deleted photos from memory card without any software. Connect your SD card/memory card with your computer via adapter, and follow the methods below.

Tip: When you delete photos on your laptop or Mac, you can first go to the Recycle Bin or Trash to see if the deleted photos are there. If there are, you can restore them directly.

Way 1. Retrieve photos from SD card via Backup and Restore

Backup is one of the best options anyone can try to recover SD card data without software. If you have backed up your deleted files, you can try Windows Backup function to restore them. Please refer to the following steps:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to the computer, press the Win + I key together to open Settings.

Step 2. Click on the Update & Security, and then tap Backup.

Step 3. Tap Restore My Files at the Backup & Restore tab.

restore my files

Way 2. How to restore deleted photos from SD card using attrib Command Prompt

CMD (Command Prompt) is one of the most powerful features on Windows. If you know well about command line, you can try this way to perform SD card data recovery without software.

Step 1. Plug in the SD card to the computer, press Windows + R to launch Run.

Step 2. In the Run window, type the cmd and click OK.

Step 3. Type the command in the window: attrib -h -r -s /s /d drive letter:\*.* and hit Enter, as for example, ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D F:*.*

attrib command

H assigns the Hidden attribute to the selected files.
R refers to Read-only attribute, which means files are readable but non-modifiable.
S assigns ‘System’ attribute to the selected files.
/S implies to search the specified path including subfolders.
/D includes the process folders.
Replace the F in the command with the letter of your SD card.

Step 4. After the command prompt returns to its original location, the process will complete, then you can go to the destination to check these files.

Way 3. Run CHKDSK to retrieve photos from SD card

Sometimes due to SD card corruption, the photos you saved on it gets deleted, in this case you can use CMD option to repair and restore SD card.

Step 1. Plug in the SD card to the computer, press Windows + R to launch Run.

Step 2. In the Run window, type the cmd and click OK.

Step 3. Enter the following command: chkdsk H: /f /r

Replace H with the drive letter of your SD card.

chkdsk command

Suggested: get back your permanently deleted photos from SD card in an easy way

Hopefully, after trying the above methods, you will be able to recover deleted data from SD card. As you can see, you can restore backup files or use command prompt to restore deleted photos from SD/memory card without software.

But in reality, you may not back up your data in advance. And CMD has a lot of complicated parameters and lacks a graphical user interface (GUI), which is a bit technical for the average user. A wrong command can lead to further problem. 

So for most people, I suggest you  to turn to use MyRecover to recover deleted images from SD/memory card. It has a graphical user interface, no complicated parameters and no need for backup, which can help you get rid of all data loss situations effortlessly. And it gives high successful rate. Even if you have permanently deleted the photos, it can help you easily get them back.

Why choose MyRecover to recover deleted photos?

● 100% safe and trustworthy with a virus-free guarantee.
● Recover deleted or lost photos of various file formats like JPG/JPEG/JPE, PNG, TIF/TIFF, HEVC/HEIC/HEIF, GIF, PSD, SVG, ARW, X3F, from any storage device.
● Run two advanced scan methods to get fast and accurate results for your deleted photos.
● Supports recover 200+ file types with original file format, including pictures, videos, audios, emails, compressed files, documents, archives, Zip files and so forth.
● Recover various data loss scenarios - normal or accidental deletion, emptying the recycle bin, formatted disk, system crash or damage, virus attack, etc.

Now, download the free deleted photo recovery software- MyRecover and read on to learn how to retrieve deleted photos from SD card in a few clicks.

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

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your computer first, open MyRecover, and hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

external hard drive start scan

Step 2. It will automatically find deleted or lost pictures, you can click each folder from the Scanned files list to browse data.

external hard drive scanning

Step 3. If you find the deleted photos you want to recover, click Recover x files to get them back.

external hard drive recover files

Final Verdict

In this article, three methods are provided to help you understand how to recover deleted photos from SD card without software - backup and restore, attrib and chkdsk command. You can try them to recover your photos, but if none of them work, you can use MyRecover to help you. It is a 100% safe and reliable tool.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that with a little attention, the problem of SD card data loss can be avoided. So, if you keep some good habits of using SD card, you will reduce the probability of losing stored photos. For example, choose a qualified SD card, don't directly remove the SD card from the device, back up your SD card to computer regularly, etc.

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.