Restore any deleted or corrupted file from NTFS, FAT32/exFAT/FAT, APFS, etc.

Pew Pew madafakas!

Restore any deleted or corrupted file from NTFS, FAT32/exFAT/FAT, APFS, etc.
Last updated: Mar 27, 2023

Best Free Data Recovery Software for SD Cards in 2023

Recovering lost and deleted files from SD cards is quite easy and seamless. But to achieve the best results, you need to use professional SD card recovery software. Fortunately, there are lots of data recovery solutions that support external storage devices such as SD cards and flash drives, both for Windows and macOS users.

Using these applications, you can recover virtually any file type from a corrupt or logically damaged SD card. Here’s a review of the best SD card recovery applications you can use.

What Types of Memory Cards Exist?

There are several types of memory cards available on the market, each with its own features and specifications. Here are some of the most common types of memory cards:

1. Secure Digital (SD): SD cards are the most popular type of memory card, used in many digital cameras, smartphones, and other devices. They come in different sizes and capacities, including SD, SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC.

2. MicroSD: MicroSD cards are smaller versions of SD cards and are commonly used in smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. They come in different sizes and capacities, including MicroSD, MicroSDHC, and MicroSDXC.

3. CompactFlash (CF): CompactFlash cards are larger and more durable than SD cards and are commonly used in professional digital cameras. They offer fast read and write speeds and come in different capacities, including CF, CFast, and CFexpress.

4. Memory Stick (MS): Memory Stick cards are proprietary memory cards developed by Sony and used in some of their cameras and devices. They come in different sizes and capacities, including Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, and Memory Stick Duo.

5. XD-Picture Card (xD): XD-Picture cards are used in some digital cameras and were developed by Olympus and Fujifilm. They come in different capacities and have been largely replaced by SD cards in newer devices.

6. MultiMediaCard (MMC): MMC cards are similar to SD cards but are less common and have lower read and write speeds. They come in different capacities and are mainly used in older devices.

There are other types of memory cards available on the market, but these are some of the most common ones. It's important to check your device's manual to see which type of memory card is compatible with it before purchasing one.

TOP 7 SD Card Data Recovery Apps to Recover Lost Data Files

1. DiskInternals Uneraser SD Card Recovery

DiskInternals Uneraser is a notable SD card recovery software program for Windows, Mac and Linux users. It comes with many features and built-in tools for recovering files, such as free recovery preview, unicode support, virtual disks support, disk image back up tool, helpful recovery wizard, handy file explorer and exporter, etc.

DiskInternals Uneraser recovers from different storage devices: HDD, SSD (both internal and external), SD card, USB flash drive, etc.

DiskInternals Uneraser works with wide variety of file systems, such as FAT12/16/32, APFS(reader), ExFAT, RomFS(reader), HFS+(Mac), Ext2, 3, and 4 (Linux), ReFS, NTFS, NTFS5, UFS, XFS and ZFS.

DiskInternals Uneraser can recover files both from heavily logically and even physically damaged HDD, SSD (both internal and external), SD card, USB flash drive.

Main Features:

  • Recover files for free before paying
  • Top-rated data recovery software
  • File Explorer-like interface, which makes it easy to use – easy to understand and use
  • The app is designed for both beginners and professionals
  • Recover logically and physically damaged devices
  • Supports Unicode for files and folders
  • Recovers files from virtual disk Images (including VMware, VirtualBox, Microsoft VirtualPC, Parallels)
  • Supports MBR, GPT, Apple, and BSD partition tables
  • Includes “Disk Image,” a data backup tool
  • Recovers compressed and encrypted files on NTFS and NTFS5 drives
  • Undeletes folders with subfolders on SD cards
  • Exports recovered files via FTP


  • Easy to use
  • Fast scanning and recovery process
  • Recovers lost files from a wide variety of devices
  • You won’t need to pay until all your deleted files are recovered


  • Not available for macOS or Linux (you need to connect device to Windows computer to recover your files)

2. Recuva


With Recuva, you can retrieve deleted and lost files. There’s a portable version, which means you don’t necessarily need to install the software on your PC before you launch it and start the recovery process. However, Recuva is not available for Mac/Linux users. If you have lost media, documents, or other file types from an SD card, you can launch Recuva on a Windows PC and get back the files.


  • Portable version available


  • Only available on Windows
  • File preview is not supported
  • Supports a limited number of file system formats (FAT and NTFS)

3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard supports FAT, APFS, ExFAT, RomFS, NTFS file system formats. It works on both Windows and macOS computers (like the Apple MacBook). The software hasn’t been updated since 2020, so it may lack important data recovery updates.


  • Available on Windows and macOS
  • SD card data recovery with SanDisk Recovery


  • Hasn’t been updated for a long time
  • Very expensive paid plans

4. IObit Undelete

IObit Undelete

IObit Undelete for Windows PCs is free and enables you to recover your files (only FAT and NTFS) from a wide variety of storage devices (HDD, SSD, SD card, USB flash drive).

However, this software program does not come with advanced settings and tools that other apps may have. It is just a basic data recovery software application with standard features and tools, and is more suited for beginners. Just choose “File type” and “Device”, and hope everything will be OK. If not, there are no further settings to improve your recovery experience.


  • A portable version is available, so there’s no need to actually install the software
  • Easy to understand and use


  • It does not have advanced tools for deeper recovery
  • File preview is not supported
  • Not available for macOS

5. Disk Drill SD Card Recovery

Disk Drill SD Card Recovery

Disk Drill is a data recovery solution for Windows and macOS. This SD card recovery solution is developed by CleverFiles, and it supports a variety of file formats (FAT12/16/32, APFS(reader), ExFAT, RomFS(reader), HFS+(Mac), Ext2, 3, and 4 (Linux), ReFS, NTFS, NTFS5). Using this software, you can recover files from a wide range of internal and external storage devices (HDD, SSD, SD card, USB flash drive).

Nevertheless, recovery scan process is very time-consuming, and you can recover only 500 MB for free. It doesn't allow you to make sure your corrupted devise is recoverable (in contrast to Uneraser) without paying full price.


  • Runs on Windows and macOS computers


  • You can only recover 500 MB for free
  • The recovery scan process can take a while

6. R-Studio


R-Studio is available across the three mainstream operating systems – Windows, macOS, and Linux. R-Studio supports most popular file systems, including NTFS, NTFS5, ReFS, exFAT, FAT12/16/32, APFS, and HFS/HFS+. Also, this app can recover files from even heavily logically damaged SD cards (but not physically damaged SD cards).


  • Supports file preview for recovered files
  • Available across macOS, Windows, and Linux platforms


  • Free version is limited in features (recovers only FAT and NTFS file formats)

7. Recoverit Free Data Recovery

Recoverit Free Data Recovery

Recoverit is a data recovery solution for Windows and macOS computers. With Recoverit, you can retrieve lost files from HDD, SSD (both internal and external), SD card, USB flash drive. Recovery process is time consuming and new users can be confused with the complexity of the recovery settings.


  • Available on macOS and Windows platforms
  • File preview supported


  • The recovery scan process is a bit sluggish

How We Selected the Best Tools for SD Card Data Recovery

These applications on this list were not just picked out of a hat. We had to actually thoroughly test these programs across their various supported platforms to determine their performance and recovery rates. Here are the thing we looked at when we made this list:

  • App Features: This is one of the biggest things to look out for when comparing between two or more products that promise the same results. The best data recovery software apps will come with more features than the other ones have; moreover, they won’t be just bells and whistles, but they will be all useful for the things you are trying to do.
  • Recovery Success Rate: Of course, the success rate of a data recovery app is absolutely critical when it comes to choosing which is best. All the programs on this list proved to be efficient in recovering lost and deleted files from different types of SD card storage media.
  • Intuitive UI: This refers to the ease of using each application mentioned in this article. All these software programs have pleasant interfaces across all supported platforms.
  • Price: While you can recover your files using the free version, you must have the paid version to resave the recovered files to your local storage or remote storage, via FTP or other SSH connections.

Quick comparison of the best free SD card recovery tools


Main advantage

Main disadvantage

Price (USD)

DiskInternals Uneraser

Recover files for free before paying

Cannot be installed on macOS or Linux device



Portable version available

File preview is not supported


EaseUS Data Recovery

Available on Windows and macOS

Very expensive paid plans


iObit Undelete

A portable version is available

File preview is not supported


Disk Drill

Runs on Windows and macOS computers

You can only recover 500 MB for free



Supports file preview for recovered files

The free version is limited in features



Available on macOS and Windows platforms

Time-consuming recovery process


Note: The programs with a paid version actually have different pricing options; what’s listed above is the least you’d have to pay for each product to activate its premium features and save your recovered files.

How to Recover an SD Card with DiskInternals Uneraser

Losing important files from an SD card can be heartbreaking and traumatizing. However, there is a way to get back those lost files, even if you have hardly ever used a computer before. With DiskInternals Uneraser, you’re 95 percent sure of getting back your files in good condition.

One good thing about Uneraser is that it runs on all Windows versions, from Windows XP to Windows 11. DiskInternals Uneraser features a built-in Wizard that simplifies the entire recovery process. Here are the steps to follow:

Launch trial version of Uneraser.

Step One: Install the Software

DiskInternals Uneraser - recovery window wizard.

First things first, you have to install Uneraser on your computer and launch it to recover your files. Make you have connected the SD card to the computer where DiskInternals Uneraser is installed.

Second Step: Select the Drive and Scan

Recovery Wizard Uneraser - choose disk or folder to scan.

Select the SD card device from the list of available or connected storage media on your PC. If you can’t find the SD card drive, remove the SD card and re-connect it (perhaps by using another card reader). Once you have selected the drive from the list of available drives on your PC, launch a scan to recover those files, after choosing between Fast and Full Recovery scan modes.

Third Step: Preview the Recovered Files

Recovery Wizard Uneraser - select file type.

After the scanning is complete, the deleted files will appear with a red asterisk to separate them from the existing files on your drive. You can preview the recovered files to confirm they are the actual data you were looking for. Once you’ve done that, you can save them back to your PC (on another storage device).

Fourth Step: Recover

Recoverable files are marked with red cross.

The recovered files must be saved in a new storage location – not the SD card where they had been erased. DiskInternals Uneraser lets you export the files to remote storage via FTP in addition to local storage options.

Common Problems with SD Cards That Lead to Data Loss

If you use SD cards as one of your primary storage drives, you should be careful to avoid the following, which could lead to data loss:

  • Physical Damage: Physical damage to an SD card may lead to permanent data loss, as the SD card cannot be read by any computer, regardless of the card reader used. This is the worst damage that could ever happen to your SD card storage – avoid it by any means necessary. Perform regular backups so that you have something you can fall back on if such scenarios occur.
  • Wrong Formatting: Before you format an SD card, make sure that you have backed up all the files saved. This is because formatting instantly erases all data on the SD card and makes it like a new one. Also, SD cards typically use the FAT file system, don’t try to format them as NTFS or another file system, or you will lose your files on the card.
  • Virus or Malware Corruption: You can’t be too careful with these things. If you continuously insert the SD card into computers that do not have an active antivirus program, you may end up inserting it into a PC infected by a virus or malware, and that will instantly corrupt the files in the drive. Always pay attention to these things.
  • User Mistakes: Well, this shouldn’t sound weird; everybody makes mistakes. User mistakes of all kinds can lead to the loss of files on an SD card. Examples include accidental deletion of files from the SD card, wrong formatting, and other errors.

How to Format SD Cards Safely

To format SD cards safely, follow these steps:

1. Backup your data: Before formatting your SD card, make sure to backup any important data on the card to prevent data loss.

2. Insert the SD card into your computer: Use a card reader or connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.

3. Open the Disk Management tool: In Windows, press the Windows key + X and select "Disk Management" from the menu.

4. Locate the SD card: Look for the SD card in the list of disks and volumes displayed in the Disk Management window. The SD card will typically be labeled as "Removable" and have a drive letter assigned to it.

5. Right-click on the SD card: Right-click on the SD card and select "Format".

6. Choose the file system: Select the file system you want to use for the SD card. If you're using the SD card with a device, check the device's specifications to see what file system it supports.

7. Format the SD card: Click "Start" to format the SD card. A warning message may appear indicating that all data on the card will be erased. Click "OK" to proceed with formatting.

8. Safely eject the SD card: After formatting the SD card, safely eject it from your computer to prevent data loss or corruption.

Note that formatting the SD card will erase all data on the card. If you're unable to format your SD card or encounter errors during the formatting process, the card may be physically damaged and require replacement.

Tips for Keeping SD Cards Healthy

  • Properly eject your SD card: Before removing your SD card from a device, make sure to properly eject it. This ensures that any pending data transfers are completed, and it reduces the risk of file corruption or data loss.
  • Avoid using the same SD card in multiple devices: It is generally not recommended to use the same SD card in multiple devices. This is because different devices may use different file systems or have different formatting requirements, which can cause problems with the SD card.
  • Keep your SD card clean and dry: Dirt, dust, and moisture can damage your SD card, so make sure to keep it clean and dry. If necessary, use a soft, dry cloth to gently clean the contacts on the SD card.
  • Protect your SD card from physical damage: SD cards are relatively fragile, so make sure to protect them from physical damage. This may include using a protective case or sleeve, or simply being careful when handling the card.
  • Don't overwrite data too frequently: Overwriting data on an SD card too frequently can cause wear and tear on the card, which can eventually lead to data loss. Try to avoid constantly writing and rewriting data on the same SD card.
  • Format your SD card regularly: Formatting your SD card regularly can help prevent data corruption and improve performance. However, make sure to back up any important data before formatting the card, as formatting will erase all data on the card.
  • Store your SD card properly: When not in use, store your SD card in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or humidity, as this can cause damage to the card.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your SD cards remain healthy and reliable over time.


DiskInternals Uneraser tops the list of the best free SD card recovery software apps because it allows you to recover more than 5 GB of data for free and also comes with an intuitive Wizard that guides you throughout the recovery process. You can also back up your SD card’s data using Uneraser’s Disk Image feature.


FREE DOWNLOADVer 8.16, WinBUY NOWFrom $39.95

Please rate this article.