SD cards are a popular means of providing extended storage to a wide variety of devices. Occasionally, you may accidentally delete files from an SD card before transferring them to longer-term storage. Luckily, these files are not permanently lost when they are logically erased from the card. Until their storage space is overwritten with new data, they can be recovered. This article will show you how to recover deleted files from an SD card using data recovery software.

How to Recover Deleted Data From an SD Card

We believe the best way to retrieve deleted data from an SD card used in a camera or phone is with Disk Drill data recovery software. Unless your device was connected to a computer and made use of its Recycle Bin, it is not possible to recover a deleted file without software. You need to use quality data recovery software that can scan the card and get back your important images.

Immediately upon discovering that you have deleted some photos or images from an SD card, you need to stop using it. Though you cannot access the files logically through your device or computer, the files are still physically present on the card. Using the card before performing a data recovery on it will greatly reduce the chances that you can successfully undelete the missing files.

Here are the steps to follow in order to restore deleted files from an SD card, micro SD card, memory stick or any other type of external storage that can be connected to your Windows machine.

To recover deleted files from SD card follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill for Windows.
  2. Attach the SD card to your computer. This can be done either with a card reader or by directly connecting the device that contains the card to your machine.recover deleted files from sd card via Disk Drill
  3. Launch the program.
  4. Find and select the SD card or external storage in the list of available disks.
  5. Click the Search for lost data button to start Disk Drill’s scanning procedure.recover files from sd card
  6. Review the files that Disk Drill has found that it can undelete.restore deleted files from sd card
  7. Select the files that you want to recover as well as a folder or other location where they will be stored. Do not recover them to the original SD card due to the risk of file corruption during the process.undelete sd card
  8. Click the Recover button and Disk Drill will undelete SD card files and save them to your chosen location.undelete sd card files

Disk Drill uses powerful scanning algorithms to reconstruct and recover files from an SD card. It will allow you to view those jpg files that you thought were gone for good. If you use a lot of cards it is almost inevitable that at some point you will need to rescue them from inadvertent deletion or formatting.

Windows users can download Disk Drill for free and use the app to unerase up to 500MB of data before upgrading their license. The tool provides many features in addition to its ability to undelete an SD card such as:

  • Recovery Vault is free data protection utility that will help protect you from accidental or malicious file deletion.
  • Duplicate finder to assist in identifying extraneous files and eliminating them to regain precious storage space for your system. (will be available soon)
  • Create disk image backups.

Disk Drill offers a full-featured data recovery and protection tool that assists in preventing and recovering from unexpected data loss.

What is an SD Card and Where is it Used?

A Secure Digital Memory Card, or SD card, is a flash memory card that is used to add additional storage to a device. They are primarily used in mobile and portable devices such as digital cameras, handheld computers, and smartphones. SD cards enable a user to swap cards on the go to deliver as much storage as required to complete a project or photoshoot.

They were introduced to the market by Panasonic, SanDisk, and Toshiba in 1999. SD cards make use of NAND flash memory. The standards for SD cards are managed by the SD Card Association. They have defined Speed Class ratings to help standardize data transfer speeds.

undelete sd card files by Disk Drill

There are currently three primary types of SD cards that use different default file systems and provide varying data storage capacity. They are:

  • SD Cards – The basic SD card uses the FAT16 file format and has a storage range of 128MB to 2GB.
  • SDHC Cards – Secure Digital High Capacity cards have storage capacities that range from 4GB to 32GB. They use the FAT32 file format as their default. They are not backward compatible with devices that only take SD cards.
  • SDXC Cards – Secure Digital Extended Capacity provide storage capacity of between 64GB and 2TB. They use the exFAT file format and are not backward compatible with devices that only take SD or SDHC cards.

You can get each type of SD card in three different physical sizes:

  • Standard SD, SDHC, and SDXC measure 32 x 24 x 2.1-1.4mm.
  • miniSD cards have dimensions of 21.5 x 20 x 1.4mm.
  • microSD cards are the smallest at 15 x 11 x 1mm.

The varying physical dimensions allow SD cards to be used as extended storage on a wide range of devices.

Did You Know?

NASA astronauts involved in a spacewalk in May of 2018 had intended to take some pictures while performing maintenance on the International Space Station (ISS). They were using a specially outfitted GoPro camera that was brought along for this specific purpose.

Unfortunately, they did not realize that the GoPro does not come with its own internal memory. The astronauts had failed to bring an SD card with them, negating a chance to capture images that may never be repeated.



Recovering from SD cards can prove to be extremely important. Most mobile users do not perform a backup on all of their storage cards and can easily delete images or format the wrong one. This can lead to once-in-a-lifetime photos being lost due to a simple accident.

Disk Drill data recovery software can help you recover from unintentionally formatted SD cards or retrieve images that you did not really mean to delete. If you make extensive use of SD cards, having a tool like Disk Drill around will make it easy to recover from that eventual misstep.