[3 Ways] How to Recover Photos from Formatted SD Card

Wondering how to recover photos from formatted SD card? This page covers 4 easy and efficient solutions to formatted SD card recovery. Read it and retrieve your formatted data in minutes.


By Kelsey / Updated on July 11, 2022

Share this: instagram reddit

Can photos be recovered after formatting?


I recently traveled to Athens to photograph some of the sites. When checking the available space on my SD card, I mistakenly formatted my card, destroying all of my work. Is there any hope of getting my photos back? How can I recover photos from formatted SD card?

SD card is a very versatile storage device that can be used as expansion space for mobile phones or as a memory card for cameras. If you format an SD card, can you get pictures back? This article will address the topic of retrieving photos from formatted SD cards and introduce two SD card format recovery applications, as well as several SD card photo recovery methods.

Sd Card

☞ Tip: SD card format recovery solutions also are available to recover data from formatted hard drives, USB flash drives, cameras, and more.

What does format mean on an SD card?

Can you recover pictures from a formatted SD card? Of course! When you accidentally delete all your SD card files or perform a quick format to the SD card, the data stored on the SD card will disappear. When you check the SD card file system, you will find that there is no data.

But in fact, the files are not completely gone. As long as no new files are written to overwrite the original data, there is hope for formatted SD card recovery.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card with ease

Many people recommend using the attrib command to recover files, but it only works if the data is hidden and not formatted. Similarly, the chkdsk command is used to check and fix the file system for logical errors, but not for formatted recovery.

You can employ the useful data recovery programs in this chapter or use the recovery methods in the following chapter to recover formatted SD cards effectively.

Option 1. Recover formatted photos from SD card using data recovery software

MyRecover is a professional data recovery software with excellent recovery algorithms in photo recovery. In addition to recovering formatted SD card photos, it can also retrieve files on SD cards that have disappeared due to accidental deletion, virus invasion, or partition loss.

This data recovery software provides a clean interface and intuitive wizard. What's more, it does not cause any damage to the original data and allows users to restore data while keeping its original formats, filenames, and paths.

✔ Easy to use - Recover data in 3 easy steps
✔ Multiple recovery modes - format recovery, deleted file recovery, lost partition recovery, system crash recovery, and so on
✔ Various recovered file types - photos, videos, audios, texts, documents, emails, Zip files, etc.
✔ Support lots of storage devices - Aside from SD card recovery, it also supports data recovery from USB, local disk, external hard disk, HDD, SSD, etc.
✔ Widely compatible system - NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems in Windows 11/10/8/7 & Windows Server.

How to recover photos from micro SD card after format using this recovery software? Install it on PC and perform the instructed steps below:

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer. Run MyRecover and select the formatted SD card disk to click Start Scan.

Select Formatted External Hard Drive To Scan

Step 2. This application will scan and display all recoverable files automatically.

Scanning External Hard Drive

Tip: You can enable the Filter feature on the top right corner to locate specific recoverable file types and file sizes. Also, you could search for files and folders in the Search box for recovery directly.

Step 3. Choose the photos you want to recover and tap Recover x files. Then, determine a location to save recovered items.

Select Files To Recover From External Hard Drive

Option 2. Recover photos from formatted SD card with Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is an official program from Microsoft that can be used to recover files from formatted or damaged disks. It doesn't have a graphical interface - it runs via the command line. Additionally, this tool requires that you have Windows 10 version 2004 or newer systems installed.

To recover pictures from formatted SD card with Windows File Recovery, you need to first get and download it from Microsoft Store on your computer. Then, you should remember that the basic command format is winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/mode] [/switches]. Now, you can follow the guide on how to recover formatted SD card from camera below:

Microsoft Store Get

Step 1. Check the file system of your SD card by opening the This PC app > right-clicking the SD card drive > selecting Properties.

Check File System

Step 2. Choose which recovery mode you should use.

Wfr Mode

Step 3. Select suitable parameters for your formatted picture recovery.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n To filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers system files.



/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.



Step 4. Search for “Windows File Recovery” in the Windows Search bar and run it.

Step 5. Type the specific command line and click Enter. For example, if you need to recover pdf files from D: drive to E: drive an NTFS hard drive, your command line should be like winfr D: E: /regular /n *.pdf.

Winfr Regular Pdf

If the Windows File Recovery is stuck at 99%, there may be some issues with your command line or you don't have enough storage space on the destination drive.

Option 3. Recover formatted SD card photos from Windows backup

If you want to recover photos from formatted SD card free without the help of recovery software, using a Windows backup is the best option. With backup files, you can recover permanently deleted photos effortlessly.

But, you need to make sure that you have applied the Windows Backup and Restore tool to backup your formatted photos in advance. If so, you can learn how to recover deleted photos from formatted SD card with a backup file from the tutorial beneath.

Step 1. Open Control Panel, click System and Security, and pick Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Windows Backup And Restore

Step 2. Tap on Restore my files.

Windows Backup Restore My Files

Step 3. Click Browse for files to locate the photos you desire to get back, and hit Next.

Browse For Files To Restore

Step 4. Select a location to restore files and press the Restore button.

Since formatted data will disappear directly from the hard drive instead of being removed to the Recycle Bin or elsewhere, recovery methods that do not rely on software may not work on formatted data.


No matter what the reason for SD card formatting is, picture recovery is something that needs to be done as soon as possible. We have listed 3 useful methods you can use to recover photos from formatted SD card. You can choose the one that's right for you.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.