How to Fix: Photos Disappeared from Camera SD Card?

How to fix the issue of photos disappeared from camera SD card? This post shares two solutions with you to recover deleted & missing files from SD card.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

How do I recover lost photos on my SD card?


I used my Nikon d5100 for four days on a trip with the same memory card. I looked at the LCD screen and all seemed fine at the time. Although I didn’t download photos to my computer when I returned home, the previous day did. I put the card into my camera and the last day’s photos were gone. I didn’t delete or format the SD card. Why did my camera pictures disappeared? Is it possible for me to recover lost pictures from SD card free? Thanks.

-A user from Tom’s Guide

If you’re seeking ways to recover missing files from SD cards, you’ve come to the right place because this post is prepared for you to recover the deleted/lost pictures as long as you haven’t overwritten them.

Why did my camera pictures disappeared?

Let’s learn why photos disappeared from camera SD card before starting photo recovery.   

Hidden photos on the digital camera SD card.
Accidental/intentional deletion.
Bad sectors or damaged file system.  
Physical damage/corrupted digital camera SD card.
Virus infection.

To avoid unnecessary steps, you can check whether your missing files are hidden or not using Windows File Explorer. 

Plug the SD card into your PC and press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer. Then click your camera SD card and click “View” > “Options” to open Folder Options.


Then click “View” and tick the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option. Please remember “Apply” and reconfirm it by clicking the “OK” button.

How to fix: photos disappeared from camera SD card?

For a better photo recovery rate, you’d better not add new data to your digital cameras or other storage devices after data loss.

Because once the deleted/lost data have been overwritten, these disappeared photos will become irrecoverable and purified.

There’re two types of data recovery software for your preferences to tackle this matter.

Method 1. Recover lost pictures from SD card free via Windows File Recovery

If there’s no sign of your pictures in the Recycle Bin, you can recover lost pictures from the SD card free with Windows File Recovery. This command-line software devotes to recovering lost files from your local storage devices (HDD, USB, and SD cards).  

Windows File Recovery cannot support cloud storage and network file share recovery. Meanwhile, you will be prompted to fill your selected mode and switches in the basic command format due to a lack of a GUI (graphical user interface).

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

  • Ensure the source drive (where to store your needed photos before disappearing) is not the same as the destination drive (where to store your recovered photos).
  • Regular, Extensive, Regular, and Segment modes support NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.
Windows File Recovery only works with Windows 10 and above
Recover the lost Word documents, Excel, PPT, ZIP, PDF, MP3, MP4, PNG, JPG, JPEG, etc.
Check the file system of your SD card: Connect the SD card to your PC. Then press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer, then click “This PC” > right-click on the SD card > “Properties."


After figuring out the file system of the SD card, let’s designate the mode and switches.

Step 1. Select the basic “Regular” or “Extensive” mode.

  • The Regular mode is the standard recovery option for non-corrupted NTFS drives.
  • The Extensive mode is a thorough recovery option suitable for all file systems.    

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Step 2. Select some common switches from the following switches.



Supported          modes


Recover specific extension groups, comma-separated



Saves a log file of the recovery operation in a different location than the default location on the recovery drive (for example, D:\logfile).



Overrides user prompts, which is useful in a script file.



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

NTFS Segment


Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers files without primary data streams.

NTFS Segment


To keep your results manageable and focus on user files, some file types are filtered by default, but this switch removes that filter. 

NTFS Segment


Specifies which file types are filtered.

NTFS Segment

Step 3. Download and install Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store by clicking the “Get” button. Then “Open” it.


Step 4. The following adjusted command line depicts how to recover deleted PNG files from the C drive to the E drive.

▶winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

▶winfr C: E: /x /y :PNG

Please copy the command line in the command prompt window, and press “y” to go on. If you want to stop the recovery process, please press the “Ctrl + C” keys.

Method 2. Recover deleted & missing files from SD card with photo recovery software

Windows File Recovery is powerful data recovery software, but it’s not a well-designed tool. Not to mention it could be seen as a top-rated data recovery software for Windows.

So why not give MyRecover a shot to recover deleted/missing files from SD card with ease? This professional photo recovery software fills the above gaps and provides a better user experience for newcomers.

For example, you don’t have to open the recovered image files to identify their contents because you can judge them based on their original path, filename, and format.

Other supportive points: 

Designed to recover the deleted/lost files from HDD, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.
Recover Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Videos, Audio, Emails, Webpages, Compressed files, and other 200+ types of data.  
During scanning, search for your needed photos or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers after running Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover on your PC. Then connect the SD card to the computer.

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

Step 2. After loading the disk, hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 3. You can search or wait to view all the deleted and other missing files from SD card after running automatically.


Step 4. Go to the Deleted files/Other missing files folder, and select your desired photos. Then click “Recover x files” and save them in your destination place.


Bonus tips

Photos disappeared from camera SD card! How to fix it? Read the above content to find the targeted methods. If you want to prevent data loss for SD cards, please follow these tips below.

  • Do not remove or eject the SD card when the SD card is reading/writing data.
  • Eject the SD card gently and do not drag it out.
  • Avoid high temperature and humid environments like liquid.
  • Please think twice before permanent deletion.
  • Utilize data loss prevention software, AOMEI Backupper to backup files, folders, disks, partitions, or the system without paying.
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.