How to Recover Photos from Encrypted SD Card?

Summary: This blog discusses a few simple methods to recover photos from a BitLocker encrypted SD card. Also, it mentions the ways to decrypt encrypted SD/memory in case you’ve forgotten the BitLocker password.

If you have lost data from SD card download demo version of Stellar Photo Recovery software to get a preview of deleted photos from SD Card. The software can recover pictures even from a corrupt SD card.

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Windows’ BitLocker Encryption is a useful feature to keep your personal photos and other data on an SD card protected behind a password to avoid access by an unauthorized person. However, it may sometimes happen that you may delete photos without realizing that they’re important or the SD card becomes inaccessible/corrupt and showing error message while accessing it. Now you want to recover your photos from the corrupted SD card? It is as easy as a pie. We have shared some do-it-yourself methods in this post for Encrypted SD Card recovery.

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Methods to Recover Photos from Encrypted SD Card

Encrypted SD Card Recovery – When you know the password

If you know the BitLocker password of your encrypted SD card, use a professional photo recovery tool such as Stellar Photo Recovery software to recover deleted photos. The software can recover pictures even from a corrupt SD card. Steps to run Stellar Photo Recovery Software:

  • You just need to download and install the software on a Windows PC, connect your encrypted SD card to the PC, and run the software.
  • When you select the SD card for scanning, it prompts you to enter the BitLocker password.
  • After entering the password, the software thoroughly scans the card and shows the list of all the recoverable pictures.
  • Select the pictures you want to recover and save them on the desired location.

NOTE: Don’t save pictures on the same SD card from where you lost your pictures. Select a save location on the PC or any other external media.

Encrypted SD Card RecoveryWhen you forgot the password

1. Use BitLocker Recovery Key

Forgot the BitLocker password? You can decrypt your encrypted SD card with the help of the BitLocker Recovery Key and restore your photos.

BitLocker Recovery Key is a unique 48-digit numerical password that is automatically generated when you activate the BitLocker encryption. This Recovery Key helps you unlock the encrypted media or drive when you forgot the PIN or password.

When you encrypted your memory/SD card with BitLocker, Windows must have asked you to back up your Recovery Key. It may be stored in your Microsoft account, in print or in a file, depending upon the option you chose to back up the key while encrypting the card.

Recover Photos from Encrypted SD card

Steps to Access Encrypted SD Card using BitLocker Recovery Key:

Enter the BitLocker Recovery Key to get back the access to the encrypted SD card, and restore photos from it. To do so, follow the given steps:

  • Connect your encrypted SD card to Windows PC, and double-click on it.
  • On the window that appears, click “More Options”
  • Click “Enter Recovery Key”
    Recover Photos from Encrypted SD card
  • Provide the unique 48-digit BitLocker Recovery Key and click “Unlock”.

Now, you may access your encrypted SD/memory card. If you’re not able to find your photos, use Stellar Photo Recovery to get back the deleted/lost photos.

2. Use Diskpart Utility

In case you’ve also lost the BitLocker Recovery Key, you can use DiskPart – a command-line utility in Windows, to decrypt the card. However, attempting this method will wipe out all the data from the SD card.

Steps to Access Encrypted SD Card using Diskpart Utility:

  • Connect the SD card to Windows PC.
  • In the Windows Search bar, type “cmd” and “Enter”
  • When command prompt window appears, type “diskpart” and press “Enter”
    Recover Photos from Encrypted SD card
  • The volume information of all the installed drives is displayed.
  • Type “select disk g” and “g:” is the number of encrypted SD card in the Content Management window. If the SD card volume number is displayed as ‘5’, type ‘select disk 5’.
  • Type “clean all” and “Enter”
  • Exit DiskPart window.

Note: The advanced recovery tool like Stellar Photo Recovery can also recover photos from SD cards that are decrypted using DiskPart utility.


Certainly, you encrypted your SD card using Windows BitLocker feature to protect personal pictures and other stuff from unauthorized access. However, it may happen that you’ve deleted photos from SD card or lost access to your precious photos due to SD card corruption. In such a case, if you know the BitLocker password, use a professional photo recovery tool like Stellar Photo Recovery software encrypted SD card photo recovery.

However, if you forgot the password, you can unlock the SD card with BitLocker Recovery Key. You can also try to decrypt it by using Windows DiskPart utility. This utility will wipe out the entire data on the SD card. You can restore your pictures even from such a card by using the best photo recovery software.

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