By Lora / Last update May 11, 2022

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

“How to recover deleted files from SD cards?” Questions like this are often posted on some forums or discussion groups. Users demand a practicable way to solve this problem.


Now, in this article, users could find an actually viable way to recover deleted data from memory cards, as well as the definition of SD card, and the possibility to get back the deleted data from SD card.

What is an SD card?

To perform SD card recovery, it is necessary to get to know what an SD card is first. The SD card, which is a next-generation flash-based memory device, is also known as a secure digital card. Utilized mostly for mobile and portable applications like digital cameras, laptops, and smartphones. Today, it is frequently used in life, and its large storage and convenient usage are well-known.

But while SD card provides us with convenience, it also causes certain difficulties. The data that we keep there, sometimes, is gone somehow. what's worse, it may get corrupted, then you will have to retrieve corrupted SD card

Then, is the deleted files recoverable?

Is it possible to recover deleted files from SD cards?

In general, there is still hope for recovery as long as the lost data is not overwritten. Let’s take deletion as an example to illustrate the data recovery idea briefly. If the SD card files are deleted, the files will not be shown in the file manager, but the files are not actually erased or wiped immediately.

Because the system just deletes the data from the file log and classifies the file's disk space as “free”. Before this "free" disk space is occupied by new data, the lost data is in a recoverable state.

How to get back deleted files from memory cards? The SD card files will be analyzed by data recovery software, and the lost files can be recovered.

How to recover deleted files from SD cards?

Several ways to recover deleted files from SD cards will be covered in this part.

Retrieve lost files from SD card using Windows File Recovery  

Another tool that could be utilized is an official tool released by Microsoft - Windows File Recovery. It's a command-line app, which could help users restore lost files in Windows 10 2004 and later.

But, using this tool is somewhat difficult without an intuitive interface, if you need an easier tool, please head over to the next part.

To use this tool, firstly, you need to figure out your File System, and what recovery modes and switches to use. More detailed info on these modes and switches can be found in the Windows File Recovery use guide.

To check your File System, go to “This PC” > right-click on the SD card drive > “Properties”.


Then choose a recovery mode according to your File System and files loss conditions.

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

And if you need to use switches to filter the scanning range, check this table.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recover specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS

Now you could follow the steps below to start file recovery.

Step 1. Click "Get" to install Windows File Recovery in Microsoft Store.


Step 2. Start Windows File Recovery, and input the command line. The Windows File Recovery command template goes like this:

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

For example, if you need to recover word files that you have deleted for a while from F: drive to D: drive, then you need to choose Extensive mode (Non-NTFS could only utilize Signature mode). Unfortunately, the Signature mode could not be used with the "/n" filter.

Then the command will go like this:

winfr: F: D: /signature


Step 3. Click "y" to continue. When finished, a folder named "Recovery_date and time" will be automatically created. 

Restore deleted files from SD card using Windows data recovery software << Recommended

When encountering a data loss on an SD card, instead of trying so hard to use commands to restore files, seeking help from a professional Windows data rescue utility is always the best choice to save your time and labor. 

No matter what data loss scenarios you are going through,  having manually deleted SD card data, formatted the SD card, or met a virus attack, AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows could be utilized.

It can restore lost or deleted data in 3 easy steps with a high recovery rate and a simple interface and easy operation.

AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows

A reliable and efficient data rescue application designed for Windows

  • Restore deleted files with all the filenames, formats, and paths remaining unchanged.
  • Retrieve 200+ types of data from HDD/SSD/USB/SD card.
  • Support NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1/Server.
  • Get files back while scanning - no need to wait.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Now, follow the steps below to regain access to your data.

When saving the scanned data, please choose another destination drive different from the source drive.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows > connect your SD card to the computer with a card reader > select the SD card partition > Start Scan.


Step 2. It will automatically search your data with Quick Scan & Deep Scan; Quick Scan aims at finding deleted data, while Deep Scan searches for other lost data.


Step 3. Check the scanning result > select the desired data  > Recover x files.


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 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.

Back up data in time. To successfully avoid numerous data loss issues, important data in mobile phones or digital cameras should be backed up regularly.

Wrapping up

In this post, users could get a pragmatic method to recover deleted files from SD cards by using dependable data recovery software. In addition, the definition of an SD card and the precautions to prevent future data loss on SD cards are also given in detail.

Lastly, every piece of data is really valuable, so it is recommended to develop the habit of backing up the data on the SD card in time. Here AOMEI Backupper could help you out with its useful backup features: "Disk Backup", "File Backup", "System Backup", etc.