How to Recover Deleted CCTV Footage ?

Summary: CCTVs are used for security and surveillance. Thus, it is important to safeguard the data on the CCTV systems. This blog discusses the scenarios that may lead to loss of CCTV footage and methods to retrieve deleted CCTV footages using Photo recovery software.

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If your CCTV footage is lost or has got deleted due to unfortunate reasons and you need to recover it, then you will need a photo recovery software to restore deleted CCTV footage. You can download the free demo version of the Stellar Photo Recovery software to preview your recovered CCTV footage before saving it.

इस पोस्ट को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें।

Why CCTV Cameras Are Important In Our Daily Lives?

At Public Places for Surveillance: One of the most important and common functions of CCTV cameras is surveillance of public places.

In Business Organizations: In offices, CCTV cameras are installed to safeguard assets with continuous monitoring. CCTV cameras, in some cases, have even replaced security guards.

By Individuals: A lot of homeowners are investing in CCTV cameras to keep their homes secure and also to keep an eye on kids and pets.

Why CCTV Video is Deleted from the DVR or Hard Drive?

Here are a few main reasons that can result in damage or loss of recorded footage in CCTV systems.

  • Accidental deletion of CCTV footage.
  • Failed DVR or hard drive (logical and physical failure).
  • Fire damage to the DVR.
  • Water damage.
  • Bad sectors in DVR hard disk drive.
  • Formatted SD card, corrupt or damaged CCTV SD card or DVR.
  • Malware or virus attack on CCTV hard drive/SD card.

Does CCTV Footage Get Deleted Automatically?

Yes. The footage of a CCTV camera is stored on a local hard drive, cloud server, or an offsite server. In most cases, by default, old data is overwritten with new data after a month. Another major reason for automatic deletion of footage from a CCTV server is the lack of space on the storage device. To avoid automatic deletion of CCTV footage, it is advisable to regularly monitor the storage space.

How to Recover Deleted CCTV Footage?

The recovery solution depends on the type of damage caused. You can easily recover deleted CCTV footage with the help of photo recovery software or video/photo recovery services provided by Stellar Data Recovery Services. Below we will discuss CCTV footage recovery methods that are effective in restoring the deleted CCTV footage.

1. Restore Deleted CCTV Footage using Backup

If you have a backup, you can access the files by following these simple steps:

  • Look for the footage backup folder and open it.
  • Find the deleted video from the DVR hard drive or SD card and copy it back to the disk or SD card.

2. Recover Deleted Footage from CCTV Using CMD

You can use Control Prompt Command or CMD to retrieve lost or deleted CCTV footage. Follow the steps below:

  • Open Command Prompt (CMD).
  • Right-click on the Start key. Click Run. Or, press the Windows key and alphabet X (Win+X). Select Run to open the Run prompt. Enter cmd and click Enter.
  • In Command Prompt, type chkdsk space Drive Letter /f (/f parameter fixes the detected errors on the disk). Wait till the command completes its actions.
  • Use the parameters for mentioned functions to fix the errors and recover the data.
    -h: shows the Hidden attributes.
    -r: provides the location of the bad sectors and recovers Read-only information.
    /s: Commands the system to search for the specific path location.

Drawbacks of Command Prompt (CMD)

Though the Command Prompt does not require any other additional device to recover the deleted CCTV footage, it has a few limitations.

  • It isn’t ideal for amateur or technically un-savvy users.
  • If the files are bug infected, chance of restoring the deleted data of CCTV cameras decreases.
  • Recovery of permanently deleted files is a complicated process. Inadequate knowledge will lead to corruption or permanent loss of data.

Also Read: How to recover deleted photos from Nikon Camera?

3.  Recover Deleted CCTV Footage with Stellar Photo Recovery Software

In the absence of a backup, you can recover deleted CCTV footage with data recovery software, like Stellar Photo Recovery. It supports a wide variety of formats captured by different CCTV cameras, including Hikvision, CP Plus, Dahua, Sony, and Bosch, among others.

Steps to recover CCTV footage using the software:

  • Download and Launch Stellar Photo Recovery on your Windows or Mac system.



  • From the main screen, select your CCTV SD card to recover the CCTV footage and click on Scan to start the scanning process.

photo recovery software

  • When the scanning is complete, the software will display the CCTV photos and videos. Select and preview
    [Note]: You can also opt for the deep scan option if you do not see the required footage in the list.

For customizable and speedy recovery of photos check What are the Advanced Settings Options of Stellar Photo Recovery Software

photo recovery software

  • Select the files which you want to restore and click Recover.
  • After selecting the Recover option, a dialog box will appear asking you to specify the location to save the videos. Click Save.

photo recovery software

  • All the CCTV files get saved at the specified location.

Watch Video to know more

To get activation key of stellar photos recovery software you can either directly purchase from the website or using a free demo version click on ‘Get it now’ tab to buy the software.

4. Seek Help of Stellar Data Recovery Services to Recover CCTV Footage

If the data recovery software is not helpful, seek help from experts. The team of experts at Stellar Data Recovery Services has expertise in deleted CCTV footage recovery.

Benefits of Deleted CCTV Footage Recovery Services

CCTV/DVR data recovery is a challenging task and requires technical expertise to restore deleted video footage, while also maintaining the original video quality. Stellar’s team of data recovery experts is skilled in handling simple as well as complex CCTV data loss scenarios, such as accidental deletion, formatting, crash, physically damaged storage media, burnt footage, etc.

Stellar Data Recovery, an ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 27001:2013 certified company, has Class 100 Clean Room lab, which is necessary to open sensitive DVR hard drives for safe data recovery. The team of recovery specialists recover deleted data stored in a damaged DVR with 100% efficiency and accuracy. Do you know! By using Stellar Photo Recovery you can perform digital camera recovery in any data loss situations.

How to Avoid Further Damage to the CCTV Footage?

Water Damage: If your CCTV/DVR hard drive is damaged due to exposure to water, do not dry it. Drying the hard drive would further damage its platters, reducing the chances of data recovery. It is recommended to keep your hard disk wet.

Physical Damage: If you hear clicking sounds from the DVR hard drive, stop using it. Any noise from the storage drive indicates physical damage, which requires professional assistance to recover data.

Fire Damage: If CCTV/DVR hard drive gets damaged due to fire, do not try to clean or dismantle it on your own. This may lead to permanent data loss. Seek professional help to recover video footages from burnt CCTV hard drives.

CCTV/DVR Failure: If you get errors or there is any kind of clicking or grinding noise from CCTV/DVR, it is a warning sign of drive failure. Do not try to open the DVR hard drive on your own. It can lead to permanent data loss.


CCTV or surveillance cameras are increasingly becoming intrinsic to our lives. It is, thus, important to safeguard the data on the CCTV systems. In this blog, we’ve discussed the scenarios of footage loss in CCTV systems and the methods to retrieve the footage. We have also discussed some tips that can help in avoiding damage to CCTV footage. In situations when easy DIY solutions don’t work, opt for a reliable software solution, like Stellar Photo Recovery Software or Stellar Photo Recovery Services.

  1. NITIN June 22, 2018
    • Meenakshi Nagri June 25, 2018
  2. Arlo July 1, 2018
    • Girish July 1, 2018
  3. Shahbaz Anshari November 12, 2018

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