How to Recover Deleted Files from SD Card (3 Situations)

If you mistakenly delete files on SD card, you will need the best software to recover deleted files from SD card. Get it in this article and other other 4 methods, even for Mac.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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I accidentally deleted all files from my SD card. I didn't format it but just deleted it. I had a whole day of videos on there. I know there are ways but are video files recoverable? Please let me know. Thanks.

-  Question from DPReview

Recover Deleted Files from SD Card

The Need to recover deleted files from SD card

SD card (also known as a secure digital card) is a next-generation flash-based memory device, which is utilized mostly for mobile and portable applications like digital cameras, laptops, and smartphones to extend storage.

They may contain irreplaceable images, audio, videos, etc that are highly memorable to users. Unfortunately, you might delete them mistakenly or malicious people do this. You might worry about your data, but it does not matter, and I’ll show you how to recover deleted files from SD card easily and quickly.

Say no to second damage of the SD card

If you delete a file from SD card, it just not show in the file manager. The system ONLY deletes the data from the file log and classifies the file's disk space as “free”.  It’s recoverable as long as you don’t overwrite this "free" disk space is occupied by new data, the lost data is in a recoverable state. So please don’t do the following:  

  • Run chkdsk.
  • Format disk.
  • Rebuild partition.
  • Add new files to this “free” space.
  • Restore to original location.

Best data recovery software for Windows

 MyRecover is a powerful data recovery software for Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server that can help you recover deleted files from SD cards.

Restore deleted files with a high success rate and fast speed.
Recover deleted images, audio, video, documents, etc. from SD cards with more than 200 data types
Deal with deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, and more data loss scenarios.
Keep the original file names and path after recovering deleted files.
Support major SD card brands, such as SanDisk, Sony, Lexar, Kingston, Toshiba, etc.
Compatible with all types of SD cards including SD card, SDHC card, Micro/miniSD card, MMC card, and more.

In addition, you can even recover deleted files from SD card without waiting for the scanning process to complete. To recover unlimited files, please upgrade MyRecover to Professional or Technician edition. They are super cost-effective.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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How to recover deleted files from SD card in Windows 10 or 11

Step 1. Connect your SD card to the computer with a card reader and be sure it’s detected. Install and run this powerful data recovery software - MyRecover. Then, hover the mouse over the entire SD card or partition containing deleted files and click Scan.


Step 2. The data recovery program will automatically start a quick scan and deep scan to find all of your deleted files from SD card.


Tip: If you want to locate the deleted files on SD card faster, you could try Filter option. It has 3 filter types including Type, Data Modified, and Size.

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in SD card, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom. To perform SD card data recovery at a specific time period, try the last option.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above. Also, you can customize the file size you want.

Step 3. Check the scanning result and select the deleted files from SD card, e.g., videos. Then, click Recover files to recover deleted files from SD card. It will show you the number of files you can recover and the total file size.


Now you have easily and safely managed to recover deleted data from memory cards. Also, if you need help restoring flash drive files, you could utilize this useful software.

How to recover files deleted from SD card without software

If you feel your files is hidden instead of deleted, you could try attrib command to recover hidden files from SD card.

Step 1. Connect your SD card with the hidden files you want to restore. Then, press Win + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Step 2. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and press Enter in the command prompt window.


Note: G: is the drive letter of your SD card.

How to get back deleted files from SD card on Mac

If you delete a file from SD card, it will be first moved to the Trash folder. It will remove in this folder until you empty the main system Trash, format SD card or safely eject it. So you can try to recover deleted files from Trash folder first. Or use open source data recovery software for Mac - PhotoRec.

Way 1: Recover deleted files from SD card using Trash folder

Step 1. Click the Trash icon at right hand of Dock. Then, locate your deleted files and select them.

Step 2. Right-click any of the selected files and select the Put Back option.

Put Back

Step 3. If you cannot find the deleted files in the Trash folder, you need to first unhide this folder on the SD card.

  • Launch Finder and navigate to the SD card root directory.
  • Press Command + Shift + . (dot).
  • Open the .Trash folder and go to Bin.

Note: All the deleted files from memory card should be located in the Bin folder on SD card. You can move them to any location you want.

Way 2: Restore deleted files from SD card using PhotoRec

PhotoRec is a command line data recovery software for Mac users to recover deleted files from memory card. It supports recover more than 400 types of files, from photos, videos, archives to documents.

Step 1. Insert your SD card with deleted files. Download and install PhotoRec on your Mac. Then, launch it with Terminal. It requires you to enter the Mac password.

Type Password

Step 2. Select the SD card where you want to recover deleted files and press Enter.

Select SD Card

Step 3. Then, you will be asked to select partition type and file system. Remember to Press Enter each time.

Step 4. Select the output folder to save the recovered files from SD card. Then, press C to recover deleted files from memory card on Mac.

Select Location

Step 5. Navigate to the output folder and check if all the deleted files are recovered successfully.

How to prevent an SD card data loss

In many cases, the problem of SD card data loss can be avoided. Some methods to avoid data loss are presented as follows.

Choose a high-quality SD card. When purchasing SD card memory cards, try to choose products from well-known manufacturers and purchase them on officially recognized platforms to ensure that the quality of the memory card you get is guaranteed.

✍ Develop good usage habits. When using the SD card, handle it with care, and select "Safe to Remove Hardware" to remove the SD card after use; in addition, if it is an SD card that works with cameras or mobile phones, you need to install or remove the SD card after shutdown.

Use anti-virus software. Computer viruses or malicious software can deliberately encrypt or delete your SD card data, so it is critical to scan the SD card with anti-virus software on a regular basis.

Backup files in SD card regularly. The best way to avoid data loss on SD card is to backup SD card to a safe place (eg: backup SD card to Google Drive) with free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard, and make a duplicate copy of your SD card. So you are sure your data is always there.

FAQs about recovering deleted files from SD card

Wrapping up

This tutorial summarize different methods in different situations to recover deleted files from SD card in Windows PCs or Mac. Powerful SD data recovery software - MyRecover is recommended for Windows users. And it also allows you to recover files from corrupted SD card, recover lost pictures from SD card, etc.

For Mac users, you can first try to restore deleted files from Trash folder. If you cannot find files in it, try PhotoRec. It supports recover more than 400 file types from SD card.

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.