What is a BMP file & How to Recover BMP Files?

How to recover BMP files on Windows? Get three feasible ways to perform BMP file recovery in this article. Moreover, there’re relevant BMP file recovery tips.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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What is a BMP file?

The BMP file format or bitmap is a type of raster graphics image file format commonly used to store digital images.

They store uncompressed image data, ensuring consistent image quality across different devices and operating systems. The BMP format has evolved over time, with Windows 3.0 being the most stable version. This format serves as the foundation for subsequent versions of the BMP extension.


So what is BMP file format used for?

Initially developed by Microsoft to prevent image distortion across different systems, the BMP file format gained widespread adoption. It became the standard image format for applications like MS Paint and its alternatives on Mac. Unlike other formats, BMP files do not require external software for compatibility since they contain all the image data.

But on the other hand, BMP files are less suitable for sharing and transmitting over the Internet because of their large file size.

Useful tips for BMP file recovery

To recover BMP files efficiently, please refer to the following pertinent suggestions to maximize your chances of successful photo recovery.   

✐ Avoid loading your PC with new data after photo loss to prevent overwriting deleted & missing BMP pictures.

✐ If your BMP files are deleted or missing, it’s advisable to begin photo recovery as soon as possible.

✐ If your BMP images are damaged, please try to fix corrupted BMP files via the last part.

✐ The sooner you start photo recovery via a reliable data recovery tool, the better chances you’ll be.

✐ Make multiple file backups of your BMP files, distributing them across external storage devices or cloud services to prevent data loss again.

By adhering to these tips, you can minimize damage to your BMP files and enhance the productivity of the data recovery process.

3 methods to recover deleted BMP files on Windows

Since deletion (accidental deletion & intentional deletion) is the most common data loss scenario, let’s perform how to recover deleted BMP files on Windows via three methods.

Way 1. Restore accidentally/recently deleted BMP files from Recycle Bin

After the first deletion, your Windows OS will automatically send your unwanted BMP files to the desktop Recycle Bin. If you never emptied your Recycle Bin or pressed the Shift + Delete keys to remove the recently deleted BMP image file from this temporary storage place, you can easily restore it.     

Sometimes, this easy but efficient method also can help you recover deleted WebM files.

» Double-click your desktop Recycle Bin icon to open it > find your needed BMP image file > right-click on it > select Restore to its previously saved path.


Way 2. Restore deleted, lost, or damaged BMP files using File History

Though Windows Recycle Bin offers a quick and straightforward way, it cannot recover photos from Recycle Bin after emptying them.


What’s worse, if your BMP files become corrupted/damaged because of file corruption, virus attacks, or unexpected system crashes, can you recover deleted/lost/damaged files?

In this scenario, regular backups made by File History are ready to deal with unexpected data loss situations. This built-in emergency backup feature makes it possible to recover deleted, lost, or corrupted original BMP files after activating File History.   

Windows File History is designed to back up files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop folders, and offline OneDrive files saved on PCs. Please ensure you’ve stored BMP files in these locations.
After turning on File History, Previous Versions enables you to recover overwritten Word documents.

Step 1. Type “System and Security” in the search bar to open it.


Step 2. Click File History > Restore your files with File History.


Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.


Step 4. Restore” your selected BMP file to its original saved path.


If you need to change its saved path, you can right-click on Restore > Restore to. When it comes to problems regarding how to see recovered BMP files, go to the original path or your designated path to check retrieved BMP images.

Way 3. Recover deleted BMP files via photo recovery software

As you can see, the majority of users haven’t cultivated a good habit of making regular backups. So how to recover permanently deleted BMP files from Windows PCs without backups?

The answer is using a professional third-party tool, which is also the most effort-saving method. Released by AOMEI Tech, MyRecover is designed to recover deleted/missing different file formats of images from computer hard drives.

In summary, its reliability and efficiency make it an excellent choice for data recovery.

  • After recovery, please set a new saved path to save your recovered BMP pictures.
  • MyRecover enables you to recover 30 MB of files for free each time. In this scenario, if you only need to recover one BMP image within 30 MB, you do not need to pay for it.
  • To recover a large number of deleted/missing files from local hard drives, upgrading MyRecover is a better and more cost-effective choice.
Highlights of MyRecover:
  • All-inclusive: Handle data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, or virus attacks.
  • High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as photos (BMP, ORF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, etc.) Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, WPS files, folders, compressed files, videos, audio, songs, and websites from HDDs, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.
  • Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.
  • Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.
  • Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems and be compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC.
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Install and launch MyRecover on your Windows> hover the mouse over the C drive > click Scan.


Step 2. MyRecover will automatically run Quick and Deep Scan to scan your selected C drive and display all the recoverable files.

You can preview or filter your needed BMP image files according to Document Type, Name, Date, or Path.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Go to the Recycle Bin folder and select your desired BMP pictures. Then click “Recover x files” to start the photo recovery process.


What app opens BMP files?

You can enjoy the highest possible image quality displayed on different screens because one of the biggest strengths of the BMP file format is that it does not rely on a graphics adapter.

Since BMP files are compatible with Windows and MacOS, you can open BMP pictures through default options such as Microsoft Photos and Apple Preview.

» For Windows users, please locate the stored path of your BMP image > right-click on it > select Open with > Photos.


Meanwhile, File Viewer Plus, Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer, Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer, Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop 2022, and Corel PaintShop Pro 2022 also can open BMP pictures on Windows.

Similarly, how to open BMP files on MacOS? Apple users can try the following editing software or manufacturer-specific programs.

  • Apple Photos
  • ACD Systems ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac
  • Adobe Photoshop 2022
  • Adobe Illustrator 2021
  • CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021

Bonus tips: How can I prevent my BMP images from data loss?

Please refer to the following pertinent suggestions to protect your BMP images.

  • Please think twice before deletion.
  • Run the latest anti-virus software to protect your PC.
  • Only regular backups can prevent data loss at the source. If you prefer easier backup & restoration steps, this freeware-AOMEI Backupper Standard is better than Windows features.
Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper on your Windows PC and select the “File Backup” option.


Step 2. Click “Add Folder/Add File” to add the folder or files you want to back up.


Step 3. Click “Schedule Backup” to enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers or USB plug as you prefer. Then click the “Start Backup” button.


Relevant Q&A about BMP file recovery

In conclusion, the data recovery methods mentioned in this article are helpful in recovering deleted BMP pictures. By employing the appropriate techniques, you can recover BMP files easily.

Apart from that, there’re relevant tips about BMP file recovery and data loss prevention measures.

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.