The ability to capture and store videos instantaneously is something that’s easily taken for granted by many. While many devices may only have internal storage only, many others still rely on SD cards for primary or additional storage.
SD cards are user-friendly, compact, and affordable to the point where you can get one without having to break the bank. Because of their simplicity, they can be found in a whole range of devices, from smartphones to professional-grade cameras.
But, what happens when you lose video files from your SD card? Well, in most cases, they can be recovered, even after deletion.
To give yourself the best chance at recovering your video files, refrain from using the SD card until you have read this article, as active use can cause your files to be overwritten, rendering them unrecoverable.
Reasons Why Your Videos Become Lost or Deleted
Before you look at ways to recover your video files, it’s good to know how they can become lost or deleted in the first place to better understand how this has happened.
- Physical damage. As with most electronics, SD cards are susceptible to physical damage. Repeated dropping and mishandling can gradually reduce the integrity of the SD card over time, and cause problems with its reading and writing functions.
- Formatting of the SD card. When an SD card is formatted, all contents on that card are removed. It’s the more effective alternative to simply selecting all of the files on the card and deleting them. In most cases, formatting is done on a computer. However, some cameras actually have a formatting function built-in, which serves almost the same purpose.
- Improper removal from a device. When removing a storage device like an SD card from a device (namely a computer), it’s recommended that you eject the storage media safely rather than simply pulling it out. This is because the storage media could still be in the middle of a read/write action, and removing it can cause file corruption, which is just as bad as deleting the file.
- File corruption. Your files can become corrupted for a variety of reasons. In most cases, it’s unavoidable and strikes at random. No matter the reason, file corruption causes your files to become unrecognizable, rendering them unusable.
- Accidental file deletion. Humans make mistakes. In the context of the media stored on an SD card, it could simply be that the files were accidentally deleted.
How to Recover Deleted Videos from SD Card on Windows 10
Recovering lost or deleted video files from an SD card can be tricky, so it’s best to use specialized recovery software. There are many options out there, but we recommend using Disk Drill Data Recovery due to its user-friendly interface, proven reliability, and robust functionality. Not only can Disk Drill recover deleted videos on your computer, but it can also help recover deleted videos from external media, like an SD card.
Here’s a super-quick guide to recover deleted videos from SD card:
- Download, install and open Disk Drill.
- Connect the SD card to your computer.
- Select your SD card and click on “Search for Lost Data”.
- Select the video files you want to recover and click “Recover”.
- Choose a proper recovery destination and hit “Confirm”.
Read the detailed guide below.
Before starting, make sure that your SD card is not write-protected. If write-protected, you will be unable to save anything to the SD card while it’s in your computer. If the card is currently write-protected, flip the switch on the side of your SD card to disable it.
Step 1: Download and install Disk Drill to your Windows 10 PC
To start, download and install Disk Drill for Windows.
Step 2: Insert the SD card and find it inside Disk Drill
Connect your SD card to your computer. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in card reader in its case, you can use a USB card reader. Alternatively, you can try connecting the device that uses the SD card to the computer directly to see if Windows allows you to access the SD card through it as a storage device.
Step 3: Initiate the scan
With your SD card connected, select it in Disk Drill, then click on the ‘Search for lost data’ button. Disk Drill will begin its scan.
Step 4: Review the results
At the end of the scan, Disk Drill will display the recoverable files it has discovered on the card. Go through the file list, and select the files that you’d like to recover by checking the box next to their names.
Step 5: Recover the files
When you’ve selected the files, you can click on ‘Recover’ or ‘Recover all…’ to begin the recovery process. From there, you will need to specify a location where the files can be recovered to. Ideally, the specified recovery location will sit outside of the SD card (like on your computer’s hard drive, or a USB).
How to Recover Deleted Videos from SD Card on Android
Smartphones, particularly those that run Android, are popular for their ability to house SD cards to expand their storage. While not all phones can accept SD cards, there are a good number that can.
If you’ve accidentally deleted videos from the SD card in your phone, there’s a chance that they can still be recovered if you act fast enough.
DiskDigger is an app available on Android that can search for and recover lost photos and videos from your device’s internal memory and SD card. It features similar functionality to Disk Drill but is designed to work directly from your Android smartphone.
In order to recover videos using DiskDigger, your device must have root access. If your device doesn’t have root access, DiskDigger’s basic scan will only be able to detect and recover photos.
Step 1: Install DiskDigger
Install DiskDigger to your smartphone from the Google Play Store.
Step 2: Start a basic scan
Once you open the app, you’ll be met with a few options. Choose ‘Start Basic Photo Scan’ to begin DiskDrill’s scan of your device. Before the scan starts, you will also need to give DiskDigger permission to access your storage, which will appear as a prompt after you start the scan.
Step 3: Review the results
When the scan is complete, you will be met with the files that DiskDigger was able to find on your device (and SD card).
At this point, you can begin going through and selecting the files you’d like to recover by tapping on them.
Step 4: Recover the files
Once you’ve chosen the files you’d like to recover, tap on the ‘Recover’ button. You will be prompted to choose a recovery location. To ensure the files can be recovered safely, it’s suggested that you use a cloud-based platform to store your files, like Google Drive or Dropbox. Otherwise, restore them to your Android device and move them to a different storage media afterwards for safe keeping.
If you have access to a PC, you can make use of Disk Drill to scan and recover the files on your SD card. In order to do so, you will first need to connect the SD card to the computer, either through an SD card reader or by connecting through a media that allows the computer access to the SD card. Once your computer has access to the SD card, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier to select your SD card and attempt recovery.
Recovering Lost Videos from Digital Cameras & GoPros
The great thing about SD cards is that they can be used in a wide range of devices. If you have a camera, chances are that camera uses an SD card to store photos and videos. Using recovery software, you have a good chance at recovering the files you lost or deleted as long as the camera hasn’t been used since the files were lost.
You can do this by either removing the SD card and connecting it to your computer using an SD card reader, or by connecting your camera directly to the computer as a storage device. Connecting your camera to the computer as a storage device allows recovery software to access the SD card, even though it’s still inside your camera.
Once your SD card is connected to your computer, you can then make use of SD card recovery software to scan and recover the files that were lost or deleted from the SD card.
Keep Your Files Safe
SD cards do a great job at storing your files, but they’re not perfect. They’re still susceptible to physical damage and corruption, and either of these can happen at any moment. Because of that, it’s good to make sure that you’re taking care of the files you store so that in the event of file loss, you’re prepared.
- Backup important media files – Instead of keeping your media files on an SD card exclusively, you can make copies and store them on other media like an external hard drive, or even cloud-based storage like Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Store your SD cards appropriately – If you have multiple SD cards, consider buying a case to organise and house them safely. Otherwise, make sure your SD cards are stored in a space that’s safe from exposure to excessive heat or moisture.
- Safely eject from your computer – Removing your SD card without first safely ejecting it can interrupt the read/write process, causing files to become corrupted.
- If errors appear, stop using the card – If you start having issues with your SD card, stop using it immediately and get any files off the card. Errors are a sign that the SD card is failing, and continued use could cause catastrophic file loss.
Losing video files can be devastating, and at some point or another, it happens to everyone. Luckily, using the above solutions, recovering your files has never been easier thanks to recovery tools like Disk Drill and DiskDigger.
To ensure that your files stay safe from corruption and accidental deletion, it’s good to establish a proactive backup routine. This way, even in the event of file loss, you can get yourself back up and running in no time.
Jordan Jamieson-Mane is a freelance content writer with a passionate interest in technology. Starting from a young age, this interest gradually turned into a career, with Jordan studying in the field of IT and moving into a technical role right out of tertiary education. After gaining first-hand experience in the field, he started his journey as a freelance content writer. As a tech enthusiast, his interests within the realm of technology include hardware, networking, smart technology, and consumer electronics.
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.