[Updated]: How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card?

Summary: In this blog, we discuss the methods to recover deleted photos from SD cards. We also describe the stepwise procedure to recover deleted photos from the SD card by using Stellar Photo Recovery Software.

Did your SD card die suddenly? Don’t worry, we have the perfect solution to help recover photos from SD cards. To recover your deleted or lost photos from the SD card, download the demo version of Stellar Photo Recovery software. The free trial version of this SD card recovery software lets you scan and preview the deleted images. Stellar Photo Recovery software is available for both Windows and Mac users.

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Table of Content

Photographs are a great way to preserve memories. The growing demand for high-end smartphones and DSLRs is a testimony to the consumers’ love for photographs. While clicking photographs is one thing, their storage is another aspect of importance. For storing photographs, SD cards play a major role.

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Photographs help us preserve memories. The huge demand for high-end smartphones and DSLRs shows the importance we place on capturing images and saving them for posterity.

Safe storage of photographs is as important as clicking them and many prefer to use SD cards. An SD card is a compact storage device that uses flash memory. It is quite similar to SSD drives and uses NAND technology (except that SD cards have a far lower write limit). SD cards are of 3 types SD, SDHC, and SDXC. The difference is in capacity and bus speed.

They fit snugly inside the smartphone or camera and can safely store 256 GB in a minimal form factor. This means a storage capacity enough for 50,000 images or ~4 hours of 4K video. Those who have no need for such capacity can opt for smaller 32 GB cards. But like every other storage solution to date – magnetic tape, magnetic platter, an SD card too may fail suddenly.

recover deleted photos from SD Card

Situations that may result in Deleted Photos from SD Cards

Here are some situations that may lead to the loss of photos from the SD cards:

1. Physical Damage to SD card

An SD card is a very delicate device. Breakage, chipping, improper ejection, physical impact, or exposure to liquid can damage the SD card. Any type of damage can make the data unreadable.

2. SD Card Not Recognized by Laptop/PC

At times, it happens that when you insert the SD card into your camera, mobile, laptop, or PC, it’s not recognized by the device. This may happen because of failure of the controller, too many bad blocks, or manufacturing defects.

3. Corruption of Photos

Corruption of data on SD cards may happen because of the following:

  • Incorrect insertion of the card into the host device.
  • Using a camera that’s running low on battery.
  • Continued use of an almost full SD card.
  • Virus or malware attacks.
  • The card is used on multiple devices.
  • Bad sectors on SD card.

Also Read: Best Ways to Fix Corrupt SD Card/ Memory Card

4. Accidental Deletion

You might have deleted your photographs accidentally or even deliberately, thinking that you won’t need them. In such a case, it is advisable to stop using the SD card immediately. If the SD card is in use after the deletion of photos, chances are that the previous data will be overwritten.

Can I Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card?

Photos from the SD card are not lost permanently after deletion. You can easily restore them with an efficient SD card recovery software such as Stellar Photo Recovery. The surprisingly robust software even allows formatted SD card recovery.

Where do deleted pictures go from SD Card?

Images deleted from SD cards, SDHC, SDXC, and micro SD continue to exist as long as there are no further read/write actions happening. If you add more data to the SD card, it may permanently erase the deleted photos and make them impossible to retrieve even with the best photo recovery software. To recover images from the SD card, please stop using the SD card immediately after realizing that the data on it has been lost.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card?

Here are some methods to recover photos from the SD card.

  1. Use a photo recovery software
  2. Recover Photos from Backup
  3. Choose Photo recovery services

1. Use a Photo Recovery Software

A good SD card photo recovery software can easily retrieve deleted or lost photos from an SD card. Using powerful algorithms the photo recovery software can recover pictures from an SD card in a quick, simple, and efficient manner. It’s important that the software can recover deleted photos not just from SD cards but a variety of other storage media, such as hard drives and USB flash drives.

Another requirement that users have from any top-notch photo recovery software is that it can detect SD cards that are no longer visible under ‘My Computer’ or appear as a RAW drive under ‘Disk Management. A trusted and proven-effective software is Stellar Photo Recovery. You can download the free trial version of Stellar Photo Recovery software for both Windows and macOS. It will offer you a preview of the files that can be recovered. Once you’re satisfied, you can go ahead and buy the software license and save the recoverable files

Also Read: Recover deleted videos from Flip camera

Why use Stellar Photo Recovery Software?

  • Recovers photos from formatted SD Card.
  • Works with RAW images as well as JPG, PNG, and every other popular file type. 
  • Has a dual monitor function so you can operate using multiple windows. 
  • Works with SD cards used in cameras, drones, mobile phones, laptops, and CCTV.
  • Deep scanning delivers the best possible results.
  • The drive output can be saved as a drive image or ISO file.

The Premium Edition of the photo recovery software also repairs corrupt images and videos.

How Does the Photo Recovery Software Work?

Follow these steps to recover deleted photos from SD cards with the help of Stellar Photo Recovery software.

Step 1: Download and Install Software

First and foremost Download and install the Stellar Photo Recovery software.

Step 2: Select the location

  • Connect the damaged SD card to a PC or laptop.
  • Run the software.
  • Select the location (SD card drive) from where you want to recover the files.

(Fig 1: Select location from the main interface)

Step 3: Scan and Preview

Click the Scan button. When the scanning is complete, the software will list all the recoverable photos. Select the photos you wish to preview.

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

(Fig 2: Scan and Preview Recoverable Photos)

Step 4: Recover and Save

  • Choose the photos you want to recover and then click “Recover”.
  • A pop-up appears asking to browse a location
  • Select a location to save the recovered photos.
  • Click “Start Saving”

The stellar Photo Recovery software will continue to run and save deleted images for many hours. If there are thousands of images the progress will be slow. Please be patient since data recovery is a computing-intensive task.

(Fig 3: Save and Recover Photos)

Also read, How to get the activation key of stellar photos recovery software?

You can directly purchase from the website. If you are using a free demo version click on the “Get it now” tab to buy the photo recovery software.

2. Recover Photos from Backup

If you have a backup of the photos on the cloud or hard drive, it is easy to recover deleted photos from an SD card. It is advisable to create a backup whenever you take new photos. Use Google Drive, iCloud, MS One Drive, Dropbox, external/ internal hard drive, or any other suitable backup option. A backup ensures that your data is safe from accidental erasure and can be used to retrieve the data whenever the need arises.

3. Use a Photo Recovery Service

If you are unable to recover images using photo recovery software, it has to be turned over to experts. A data recovery expert has more tools to work with and draws upon technical know-how. They can recover deleted images/photos/videos from a damaged SD card because the experts have a long experience.

Before handing over your media, ascertain the track record of the data service provider. Data is sensitive and you have to be fully sure that none of it will be misused or sold.

Watch the video on “how to recover deleted photos from SD Card with the help of Stellar Recovery Software

Tips To Prevent Deleted Photos from SD Cards

  • Never remove the SD card from the device while it is still in use.
  • Never use the same SD card on different devices.
  • Avoid exposing the SD card to heat, humidity, and moisture.
  • Stop using the card when it is 90% full.
  • Maintain a backup of your photos always.


  • How long do SD cards last?

About 10,000 write cycles before it enters the end-of-life phase. 3D NAND in SSD lasts 35,000 write cycles.

  • Does Windows OS damage SD cards?

Not exactly but the OS has strange protocols. For example, if you run an SD card on an Android device (e.g. Samsung smartphone) it will by default create 3 system files – .mediaexplorer, Android, and LOST.DIR.If you insert it into a Windows laptop, it will immediately offer to fix the device! Always click “continue without scanning” or it might corrupt images and data created while the SD card was in the Android environment.

  • How to remove SD cards?

SD cards are in theory hot-swappable. That means you can insert and remove them while the host device is powered on. But if there is a data transfer happening the SD card might become corrupted. Therefore play it safe and turn off the host device.

  • Should we regularly format SD drives?

As long as the card is being used on a single device it need not be formatted. But if you are using the same card for different phones and cameras then formatting it helps. Remember that deep formats reduce the life cycle. Use the quick format option.

  • Why not use cheap memory card readers?
    1. They might create a power surge or deficit.
    2. The pins might not align perfectly.
    3. The memory card cover might grip the SD card too hard.
  • How to recover deleted files from an SD card?

All the files deleted from the SD card should be located in the recycle bin folder, the deleted item stays in the recycle bin for around 30 days after which the files get deleted from the recycle bin. Another way is that the files may be deleted by using the shift + delete button, in this case, the files are permanently deleted and now you won’t be able to find the folders anywhere. You need to take the help of professional software. Stellar Photo Recovery is the right tool to recover your data from an SD card. Download and install the stellar data recovery software for your windows and mac.

Also Read: How To Recover Files Deleted From Recycle Bin?

  • How to Recover Photos from a Corrupted SD Card Free?

There are tools available in the market, which can help you recover and repair corrupted photos. One such tool is Stellar Photo Recovery Professional. This corrupted photo repair tool not only helps repair the photos, it can also recover deleted photos and videos. This software supports all popular photo formats like Jpeg, TIFF, DNG, etc. Free Demo is available online for customers to evaluate the functionality.

  • How to Restore Deleted Photos from SD Card?

When you delete photos from an SD card, the data does not get deleted, the space is simply marked as unused and can be used to store new files. To restore the deleted photos from the SD card, we suggest the users immediately stop using the SD card, this is helpful in 100% recovery of deleted photos. If the SD card, will be in use, the chances of data overwriting are high. Download, Stellar Photo Recovery Software on your desktop or laptop. Open the software interface, connect the SD card, and let the software scan the SD card.


Do you want to avoid using photo recovery software altogether? Then inculcate the habit of backing up at regular intervals. But being mere humans we are bound to forget at times. And that is invariably when bad luck strikes. One fine day you stick the SD card inside your laptop and nothing shows up. Thankfully professional photo recovery software such as Stellar Photo Recovery will minimize the damage. Whether you have lost data due to logical or physical errors, it will most certainly bring the images back to life.

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