How to Fix ‘Photos on Memory Card Disappeared’ Issue

Photos on memory card disappeared? Don’t worry, you could check the methods to find lost pics or recover deleted photos from SD card easily.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why did my pictures disappear from my SD card?

Many artists, photographers, or camera users utilize SD cards frequently to store their tons of pictures. And it is no doubt that the photos are of vital importance and no one wants to lose any of them.

However, unexpected data loss accidents may fall on you one day.


Missing Pictures from SD Card


I’m using a Nikon Camera. I have taken almost 1,000 pictures on the new SD Card. SanDisk Extreme Pro 128 GB. I get home today and 15 of the 90 pictures are missing…the other 800 from the last few weeks are there. How could I recover them?


- Question from NikonForums


Some of the users might have accidentally deleted photos from SD card, and some just have met system crashes, viruses, and other issues. And these are the reasons why photos on memory card disappeared.

File deletion. Unintentional deletion by you or intentional deletion by viruses lead to an intuitional photo loss. Once deleted from the SD card, the photos are permanently deleted because the SD card is an external device.


◢ Virus infection. As mentioned above, viruses will deliberately delete, hide, modify, or encrypt your files. After being infected, you may find the SD card deleting files by itself, actually, they were deleted by viruses.

◢ System crash. An unexpected system crash will interrupt the data read and write process, and lead to data corruption or loss. Refer to the tutorial to perform corrupted SD card recovery.


◢ Physical damage. If the SD card was physically damaged and broken, it can cause data loss to a large extent.

Troubleshoot: photos on memory card disappeared

With the reasons given above, we could fix the ‘photos disappeared from SD card’ issue better.

1. Fix photos disappeared from SD card via unhiding files

To pictures hidden by viruses, users could unhide them manually.

Step 1. Connect your SD card with a card reader to the Windows PC > This PC.

Step 2. Double-click the SD card device > View > Options > View> Show hidden files, folders, and drives.


Thus the hidden files and folders will be visible. Don’t forget to use Antivirus software to remove the viruses. This inbuilt feature could also help you find folder disappeared from flash drive.

2. Recover lost pictures from memory card using Windows File Recovery

If no files were found using the last method, the photos might have been deleted already. Given this, a data rescue utility will be preferable. Windows File Recovery, provided by Microsoft, is recommended to users who know commands a lot.

This app uses a command to scan and restore lost files from healthy/corrupted/formatted hard drives.

The command format is: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

  • Source drive: the place where files were originally stored
  • Destination drive: a different drive from the source drive to store the recovered files
  • Mode: recovery mode, including Regular/Extensive (general), and Segment/Signature (advanced)
  • Switch: parameters to filter the scanning

To decide which mode and switches to use, refer to the detailed ‘how to use Windows File Recovery’ guide.

It is only available for Windows 10, version 2004 (Build 19041), or later versions. 
The source drive must be different from the target drive. 
To fix any possible errors or correct the command syntax, check the Windows File Recovery tutorial.

Step 1. Connect the SD card properly > This PC > right-click the SD card device > Properties. Check the File System.


Step 2. The recovery mode to use depends on the File System and how the data was lost.

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

Step 3. Switches can help you target the files with filters faster.

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

Step 4. Go to Microsoft Store > click Get to install Windows File Recovery.


Step 5. Command format: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

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


Using this command, you could recover all jpg files from the SD card to another drive.

Please make sure the command syntax is right. If you have difficulties in using commands, the next method is recommended.

3. Recover deleted photos from SD card without any difficulties

Commands, for most ordinary users, are a tough issue to fight against. Not to mention that misoperation can lead to further damage, which is quite dangerous.

Instead, we suggest users try an easier Windows data recovery tool – MyRecover. Thus, both safety and efficiency can be insured.

It is one of the best eligible data rescue apps that can help you restore deleted and missing files from external/internal hard drives, including SD card/USB/HDD/SSD, etc. Many of its features can facilitate you to achieve your data recovery goal.

Recover deleted photos from SD card in a breeze
  • Restore 200+ kinds of data, including photos, videos, audios, office files, compressed files, etc. 42 types of images are recoverable.
  • Apply to comprehensive data loss situations, e.g., deletion, system crash, disk formatting, viruses, etc.
  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Server. You could also restore deleted files from Windows Server 2016.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download
Quick Scan only applies to NTFS drives. If the SD card is non-NTFS, please go to Other missing files to seek your wanted photos.

Step 1. Install and run the software > connect the SD card properly > hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 2. Search or sort the files using filters like extensions, size, date modified, and path.


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


Thus, you could recover deleted photos from SD card effortlessly. Using this app, it is also easy to recover deleted videos from SD card.

Related suggestions

If you are seeking methods of how to fix the ‘photos on memory card disappeared’ issue, this article can offer some help.

What’s more, some extra suggestions are also prepared to help you prevent future data loss.

  • Connect and disconnect the SD card, USB, and other external devices properly. Remember to choose “Safe to Remove Hardware” after use.
  • Do not delete items from the SD card in a hurry.
  • Clean the SD card interface after use to remove dust, oil, or liquid.
  • Back up SD card data from time to time.
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.