Nikon Photo Recovery: How to Recover Deleted Pictures from Nikon Camera?

Learn how to recover deleted pictures from Nikon camera using Window File Recovery or another data recovery software to perform Nikon photo recovery in this tutorial.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I recover deleted pictures from my Nikon SD card?


I have taken some photos using my Nikon camera and saved them using an SD card. And I tried to view them by inserting the SD card into my computer. But I accidentally some of them. Is there a way to recover photos from the Nikon camera?

- A user from Tom’s Guide

Nikon cameras enjoy a prestigious reputation worldwide because Nikon specializes in optics and imaging. Many users usually save image files on Nikon digital camera SD card. However, data loss seems like an inevitable problem for users in the digital age.

Have you accidentally deleted photos from Nikon? Or have you failed to open NEF files? Without exception, these manifestations prompt you to perform Nikon photo recovery. But in practice, how to recover deleted pictures from Nikon camera? Please check the specific solutions below.

Part 1. How to recover deleted photos from Nikon camera SD card?

The SD card is widely used in portable devices such as digital cameras because of its small size and large capacity. Nikon camera does the same. Let’s tap into the NEF file (Nikon Electronic Format) because it’s a Nikon Raw Image file. That means this format is only for Nikon cameras.


NEF format is a digital negative of the captured image without compression or quality loss. And you can alter the image file without reducing the quality and original details.

This part offers you two efficient solutions to recover deleted NEF files. Those users who are proficient in computers could attempt to use Windows File Recovery. If you cannot recover files using CMD, you can select another more user-friendly software.

Case A. Use Windows File Recovery to perform Nikon photo recovery

How to recover deleted photos from Nikon camera SD card? Utilize the command-line software-Windows File Recovery to perform photo recovery. Please pay attention that the source drive (where to save pictures before deletion) needs to be different from the destination (where to store recovered photos). And don’t add new data on your PC or other electronic devices after deletion.


▶Designed to recover the lost files from HDD/SSD/USB/SD card and other storage devices.

▶Recover Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, ZIP, PNG, JPEG (jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfi, and jfif), MP3, MPEG, and more. For example, use it to recover the deleted MOV files from the SD card.

▶Extensive, Regular, Segment and Signature could support NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

▶Without paying.


▶Resemble the corresponding command lines based on the basic command format, winfr source-drive: destination drive: [/mode] [/switches] due to a lack of graphical user interface.

▶Windows File Recovery is only compatible with Windows 10/11.

You’re supposed to determine to select your needed mode and switches first. Then you can fill them in the basic command format and type the adjusted command lines in the command prompt window.

Step 1. Connect your camera SD card to your PC with the card reader. Click “This PC” > right-click on the source drive (SD card) > “Properties.”


Step 2. After figuring out the file system of your SD card, select a comprehensive mode according to your data loss scenarios.

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Step 3. Select common switches you need with the following form.



Supported mode(s)


Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recover specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment

Step 4. Prepare your command lines, let’s take PNG pictures as an example. Assume the drive letter of your SD card is “C” and the drive letter of your destination dive is “E”.

The adjusted command lines: winfr C: E: /n \Users \Username\Pictures \*.PNG

Step 5. Get” Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store and install it on your PC.


Step 6. After installation, “Open” it and type your prepared command lines in the window. Then hit “Enter.” You’ll get the recovered data in the destination place after the recovery process. If you need to stop the process, press Ctrl + C.”

Case B. Use MyRecover

It’s easy to see that the complicated command lines could discourage non-professionals from using it. Are you seeking another handier photo recovery software with a GUI (graphical user interface)? Perhaps you will be more inclined to select MyRecover and put it into practice after learning more about it.

There are other highlights of MyRecover:

Recover the deleted and lost files from SSD/HDD/USB/SD card and other storage devices.
Recover 200+ types of data such as Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Videos, Audios, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.
Keep its original path, filename, and format for the deleted files.
Perform Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to detect all the deleted files and other lost files of your selected partition/disk.
Apply to broader data loss scenarios: deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, etc. For example, use it to recover formatted files from USB.
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.  

If possible, stop using the computer or other storage devices after deletion because any written performances could overwrite the free space where saves the deleted/lost files. Test this powerful and user-friendly software by downloading it at once!

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

Step 1. Connect your SD card to the computer and launch MyRecover on your PC. Hover the mouse over the SD card, then click Scan.


Step 2. You’ll see all the deleted files and other lost files on the SD card after performing Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.


Step 3. Check the scanning results and click the “Recover x files” button. Then store these recovered image files in a new location.


Part 2. Data loss prevention for Nikon camera SD card

The SD card is similar to the Micro SD card. Thus, the following suggestions also apply to the Micro SD card to prevent data loss. You can get more details to recover data from the Micro SD card if you’re interested.

✦Store your card reader properly and keep it away from liquids and heat.

✦Connect and gently eject your SD card using a card reader.

✦Create and update backups using the Windows feature or trustable backup software. In this case, why don’t you try the best freeware, AOMEI Backupper?

Wrapping up

In this post, you may have a clearer understanding of NEF files. Do you work to recover deleted NEF files? Select the best solution for yourself after getting an overview of this page. If you want to avoid data loss in the future, you can consider the practical tips above.

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.