What Is an MLV and How to Recover Deleted MLV Files?

Learn to recover deleted MLV files via data recovery software and get related data loss prevention measures in this article. Besides, you can also get a recommended Windows backup tool.


By Penny / Updated on September 18, 2023

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What is the MLV file format?

The MLV file format opens up a world of advanced features and capabilities for Canon cameras, thanks to the Magic Lantern open-source code software.

Acting as a powerful add-on to the Canon firmware, the MLV software enables users to unleash enhanced capturing potential by simply adding a memory card with the software to their camera. Though Canon has not officially endorsed the MLV firmware, its popularity has grown due to its impressive features.


The MLV format is highly favored by users for its ability to save footage in RAW data, resulting in stunning 14-bit and 4:4:4 format images. With over 68 billion color shades, this format allows for incredibly versatile editing options during post-production.

The official website lists various functions that MLV supports, including audio controls, exposure controls, image overlays, display tweaks, advanced scripting, shoot features, and focus tools.

Possible reasons for MLV video loss

When working with MLV or similar file types, you may encounter data loss because of various reasons. So it’s necessary to figure out the potential reasons for MLV video loss before selecting a targeted method.

  • Accidental deletion
  • Accidental formatting
  • Unsaved workflows
  • Virus or malware attacks

Part 1. How to recover deleted MLV files from SD cards?

Since deletion is the most common data loss scenario, let’s demonstrate how to recover deleted MLV files from Canon camera SD cards.

For a beginner-friendly and proficient data recovery approach, employing software like MyRecover is recommended, especially for users without regular backups.

This professional data recovery software is designed to recover deleted/missing videos (MLV, MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, WMV, RMVB, ASF, etc.) from Canon camera SD cards.

Highlights of MyRecover:
  • High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as videos, photos, MS Office and WPS files, folders, compressed files, audio, songs, and websites from SD cards, HDDs, USB drives, 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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It’s imperative to halt ongoing operations on your used storage device without delay because overwriting your deleted/missing MLV files with new files can render data recovery impossible.
After SD card video recovery, please save your retrieved MLV videos in a new path.
To recover deleted large deleted videos from local hard drives, consider upgrading MyRecover is a better and more cost-effective choice.

Step 1. Install and launch MyRecover on your Windows> select the D drive > click Start Scan.


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

You can preview or filter your wanted MLV videos according to Document Type, Name, Date, Path, or Size.

  • 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. Under the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder, choose your needed video files. Please click “Recover x files” to start the SD card video recovery process.


Part 2. How to recover deleted MLV files on Mac?

If you need to recover deleted MLV files on Mac operating systems, you can make good use of Mac Time Machine because an activated Time Machine can automatically create hourly, daily, or weekly backups according to your situation.   

To make the Time Machine on your desktop, please go to the Apple menu > click System Preferences > Time Machine > Show Time Machine on the Menu bar.

Step 1. Open the window where you lost MLV videos.

Step 2. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, find Time Machine, and click Enter Time Machine.


Step 3. Use the up and down arrows to locate the ICO pictures you want to restore.


Step 4. “Restore” your desired MLV files to their previous location.


How do I open an MLV file?

Converting MLV files to formats compatible with commonly available software is a simple way to access and work with them. By downloading and installing the MLV app, you can easily import, playback, and process the files before converting them into different formats. The app caters to both Windows and Mac users.


Besides, there’re other applications that can read MLV files.

  • RAWMagic
  • Raw2dng
  • Raw2cdng
  • MLV Converter
  • Rawanizer

Related suggestions

What is an MLV file? How to recover deleted MLV videos? You can get the corresponding answers from the above content.  

Moreover, there’re some practical data loss prevention measures to safeguard your precious MLV files and avoid the frustration of data loss. Please take some of them into practice.

  • Save your data periodically: Regular manual saves during projects can prevent potential data loss.
  • Ensure a stable network connection: For projects involving MLV files, a reliable internet connection is crucial.
  • Sustain a decent power supply: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can provide valuable time to save your work during power outages.
  • Avoid using pirated software: Using reputable software from legitimate sources helps prevent malware attacks and system crashes.
  • Use a reliable antivirus: Installing a trustworthy antivirus program protects your computer from malware and data loss.
  • Maintain regular backups: Create backups to retrieve data easily in case of system crashes or malfunctions.

If you prefer easier operating steps and more flexible backup options, this freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard is better than Windows features.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Key features of AOMEI Backupper Standard::✎...   
Enable to back up files, folders, partitions, disks, or systems to an internal/external hard drive, USB stick, Network, or Cloud drive.
Implementing intelligent backup strategies allows you to create daily incremental backups, effectively conserving storage space.
By scheduling backups, you can ensure the continuous protection of your valuable data.   

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper on your Windows PC. Under the Backup tab, select the “File Backup” option.


Step 2. Click “Add Folder/Add File” to add the folder or MLV videos you prefer to back up.


Step 3. Click “Schedule Backup” to enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers or USB plug based on your needs. Then click the “Start Backup” button.


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.