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: Dec 30, 2022

How to Recover Deleted Files From an SD Card

SD cards are used to extend the primary storage of mobile phones and digital cameras; they can be used for other storage expansion purposes, too. But SD cards are no different from other forms of storage media, whether internal or external storage. You can lose files from an SD card, and the scenario can be quite traumatizing.

However, just as you can recover files from typical storage drives, you can also recover files from SD cards – you just need a reliable SD card recovery solution. There are quite many data recovery solutions out there, but the DiskInternals Uneraser proves to be the best you can use at the moment; it is intuitive, easy to use, and comes with many great features.

What is an SD Card, and where is it Used?

An SD card is a type of external storage device in the sense that it can be removed from the computer, mobile phone, or device where it is inserted. It provides the flexibility of storing data and accessing the same data across devices. But, if you constantly remove an SD card to put it into a new device, the SD could get corrupted on one of the occasions.

SD cards come in different sizes (not physical size anyway); for example, there are 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, and up to 128 GB memory cards. If you need to expand your device storage, you have to choose the most suitable SD card storage size that can contain all your files and data. Furthermore, SD cards are easily corruptible because they are always removed and reinserted into devices.

SD cards use NANO Flash Memory storage; some notable companies that manufacture SD cards include SanDisk, Panasonic, Toshiba, and other unpopular brands. The standards for SD cards are managed by the SD Card Association. Mainly, SD cards are used to expand the primary storage space on the following devices:

  • Mobile phones
  • Digital cameras (Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm, etc.)
  • Media players (MP3 players)
  • And many other players/devices

It is important to note that SD cards use the FAT16 or FAT32 file, depending on the storage capacity and maker, but by default, the standard file system is FAT32. Some common physical size variations of SD cards are:

  • miniSD cards – 21.5 x 20 x 1.4mm
  • microSD cards – 15 x 11 x 1mm

SD cards are made to be small, so they can fit into a wide range of devices and "card readers." Nevertheless, SD cards can get corrupted, and your files saved inside could go missing. So, it is important that you know the signs and symptoms of a failing/corrupt SD card, so you can act early to resave your files/data to another storage media.

Common Signs & Symptoms of a Corrupt SD Card

Talking of SD card corruption, it is something that can happen due to a wide variety of reasons. If you frequently remove the SD card from the primary device (maybe your digital camera or portable media player) and insert it into a computer to move, copy, or manage the files saved inside, chances are that on one or more occasions, you inserted the SD card into a corrupted PC and the SD card also got corrupted. Also, physical damage to the SD card body can cause permanent loss of files. Another scenario that can cause SD card damage is incomplete formatting.

Well, when an SD card is corrupt or damaged, you'd experience the following error signs while trying to access the files/data saved inside.

  • The SD card is unable to "Format" SD Cards – you get the error message "Unable to complete format."
  • You always get an error message when trying to open the SD card from a mobile device or PC.
  • Some file directories on the card are inaccessible.
  • You get the "Write protected" message, which makes it unable to add, delete, save, or copy files to/from the SD card. The typical error message is "disk is write-protected."
  • Sudden loss of files and data saves on the SD card.
  • When you try copying files to the SD Card, you get the error message, "Read / Write error on SD card" or "Unreadable SD card."
  • Photos on your SD cards are missing'Memory card error' or 'corrupt memory card.'
  • "SD card is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" message pops up every time you insert the card into a PC.
  • Error messages like "SD Card Locked" or "SD Card Read Only" always appear.

These are the common signs. There could be other errors you may experience when trying to access a corrupt SD card.

What To Do Before Troubleshooting a Corrupt SD Card

When you're faced with a corrupt SD card situation, you don't have to jump into troubleshooting it immediately.

First things first, you should check if the device's SD card slot is functioning properly. That is to say, if you connected the SD card to a computer system when it showed the error messages, you should crosscheck if the computer's SD slot is functioning well. Sometimes, the issue may be due to the SD card slot on the device you're connecting the card to; once the slot is not functioning well, you won't be able to access your files from the SD card.

Secondly, you have to check if the SD card is "write-protected." Some SD cards have a small nob by the side; the nob/switch slides up and down; if the switch is up, slide it down and check if you can access the SD card files; if it's down, slide it up. For some SD cards, sliding it up means "write protection," and sliding it down means disabling "write protection." Well, some SD cards work the other way around. If these simple fixes don't work for you, try the ones below.

How to fix corrupted SD card – Top 10 solutions

There are many ways to access your files from a seemingly problematic SD card. Ensure to follow these methods keenly.

1. Unhide Hidden Files On The Corrupt SD Card

Unhide Hidden Files On The Corrupt SD Card

It could be you; it could be due to a virus that got into the SD card; either way, the files you think are missing from your SD card could be possibly "hidden." Yes, the files could be hidden, so they won't appear naturally until you "unhide" them. To do this, you have to connect the SD card to a computer system and use Windows File Explorer.

  1. 1. Connect the SD card to your computer system
  1. 2. Launch Windows Explorer and open the SD card from "My PC"
  1. 3. Go to the "View" tab from the top menu
  1. 4. Check the "Hidden Items" option to activate all hidden files

This option should automatically make all hidden files on your system to appear. But if it didn't work, or your files are saved in folders, try these steps:

  1. 1. Right-click on the Folder where you previously saved the missing files
  1. 2. Select "Properties" from the context menu
  1. 3. On the Properties page, uncheck "Hidden" and "Read-Only"
  1. 4. Click OK

These two methods should fix the situation for you. However, if it doesn't work for you, try the other methods below.

2. Use Windows CHKDSK Command

Use Windows CHKDSK Command

Windows Check Disk Utility (CHKDSK) is free and available on all Windows OS computers. However, it is an admin-level utility, which means that it requires admin access before you can run it. The CHKDSK utility helps to automatically check for errors on a storage disk/drive and fix them.

So, firstly, you have to log in to the computer as an Admin, and know the actually "Drive Letter" of your SD card (use file explorer to see the drive letter), then proceed with the steps below to run the CHKDSK utility.

  1. 1. Right-click on the "Start" icon and select Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  1. 2. Run this command: chkdsk E: /f

Note: "E" is the drive letter and "/f" means you're telling the CHKDSK tool to check for errors on the indicated drive and fix them

  1. 3. Wait for the command to execute completely, then you can close the PowerShell/CMD interface and reboot the system before checking the SD again.

3. Assign a New Drive Letter, if SD Card Is Not Detected By the PC

Assign a New Drive Letter

If the SD card does not show on your PC's file explorer, maybe that's probably because it doesn't have a drive letter assigned to it. To assign a drive letter to the SD card, you have to go through the Disk Management tool. This method works best if you always get the error message "Please Insert the Disk Into Drive E:"


  1. 1. Right-click on the Start icon and click on Disk Management
  1. 2. Look out for the SD card in the available drives connected to your PC, right-click on the SD card when you see it, and select "Change Drive Letter"
  1. 3. Change the drive letter of the SD card
  1. 4. Save the changes and exit the Disk Management page.

4. Reinstall the SD Card Driver

Reinstall the SD Card Driver

By reinstalling the SD card driver, you could fix the problems you're facing with the drive. Sometimes, outdated drivers can be the reason why a connected device is malfunctioning. Here's how to reinstall the SD card driver.

  1. 1. Right-click on Start and select Device Manager
  1. 2. Look out for "Disk Drives" or "Other Devices" on the page and expand the option
  1. 3. Right-click on the "SD Card" driver and select "Uninstall"
  1. 4. Once the driver is uninstalled, remove the SD card and restart the computer, the newest version of the driver will automatically reinstall as the computer reboots.

5. Use Windows Troubleshooter

Use Windows Troubleshooter

Windows come with a built-in troubleshooter that lets you troubleshoot many problems you may face using the OS. This built-in troubleshooter is accessible for free and easy to use; hereunder are the steps on how to use the tool.

  1. 1. Firstly, you have to connect the SD card to the computer
  1. 2. Then go to Settings (press the Windows Key + I) 🡺 Update & Security 🡺 Troubleshoot
  1. 3. Look out for Hardware Troubleshooter and run it
  1. 4. Wait until it runs completely; close the window, and try accessing the SD card again

6. Use The SD Card's Manufacturer's Solution

Some SD card manufacturers offer a solution for fixing common issues with their SD cards. If you're using a Samsung or SanDisk card, you can easily find the manufacturer's solution and see if it'll help to fix the issue. You may contact their customer support for assistance.

7. Try Drive "Error Checking" Feature

When you insert the SD card into your PC, but it refuses to open, use the "Error Checking" feature to check what is wrong with the card.

  1. 1. Right-click on the SD Card from the "My PC" page on File Explorer and select Properties
  1. 2. Go to the Tools tab and click on the "Check" button under the "Error Checking" section
  1. 3. Wait for the scan to run completely; if errors were found, you'd see them, along with the instructions on how to fix them.

8. Use the Diskpart Utility

Use the Diskpart Utility

Similar to the CHKDSK utility is the Diskpart utility; it is free to use and runs through the command prompt. You also need admin access to be able to run this command successfully. Below is how to run the Diskpart command to fix a corrupt or inaccessible SD card.

  1. 1. Right-click on the "Start" icon and select Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  1. 2. Run this command: chkdsk E: /f
  1. 3. Type Diskpart and press Enter
  1. 4. Type list volume to see all devices connected to your PC
  1. 5. Find your SD card drive/volume number
  1. 6. Type select volume 1 (where 1 is the volume number of your SD card)
  1. 7. Now, type attributes disk clear read-only and hit Enter
  1. 8. Wait for the scan to complete, remove the SD card, then reboot the system and try accessing the card again.

9. Format to Repair Corrupted SD Card

Formatting the SD card will completely erase every data on the drive, so it should be your last resort. You can reset the SD card from File Explorer or Disk Management page.

  1. 1. Open My PC and right-click on the SD card
  1. 2. Select "Format" from the context menu and untick "Quick Format"
  1. 3. It is best to leave the File System as it is unless you really understand what it means to change a device's file system
  1. 4. Click Start and wait
  1. 5. Close the window and try accessing the SD card again.

All These Didn't Work?

If all of these tips don't work for you, then you should use a third-party SD card recovery software solution. For example, if you need to retrieve image files from the SD card, you could use a "Photo Recovery Software," and if you need to get back video files, you could use a "Video Recovery Software." On the flip side, if you need to recover more than one file format, you need a comprehensive data recovery solution, and the Uneraser is a great choice. For as long as the SD card is not physically broken, DiskInternals Uneraser can help you retrieve virtually all files saved inside.

How to Recover Files from SD Cards on a Windows Computer

Uneraser is a professional data recovery solution that works to help you get back files from a corrupt SD card that still appears on File Explorer. It comes with different recovery modes and can recover multiple file formats. The Uneraser software also supports all known Windows file systems and features a built-in Recovery Wizard that guides you every step of the way to recover your files.

Step One:

Launch trial version of Uneraser.

Download and install DiskInternals Uneraser software on the PC (or another PC if you’re disconnecting the SSD from the main computer to avoid TRIM command interference). Then launch the Uneraser software and select the affected SSD device.

DiskInternals Uneraser - recovery window wizard.

Step Two:

Recovery Wizard Uneraser - choose disk or folder to scan.

Select the file formats you want to recover (you can select all file types) and proceed with choosing Full Recovery mode. This mode will search deeply into the SSD and recover any chunk of file in hidden partitions.

Recovery Wizard Uneraser - select file type.

Step Three:

Recoverable files are marked with red cross.

Wait for the scan to run completely (it may take a long time, depending on the data volume), and you’ll see the permanently deleted files marked with a red asterisk. You can preview the recovered files for free before proceeding to re-save them or export to remote storage via FTP.

Save the recovered files to computer or ftp.


This is a detailed article on how to recover deleted or corrupted files from an SD card. These tips shared here will work if the SD card is not physically damaged, but if the SD card is physically damaged, the chances of getting back your files will be very low. Uneraser is a professional SD card recovery software for Windows OS users.


How to Recover Deleted Files from an SD Card?

1. Download and Install DiskInternals Uneraser

2. Choose the SD card and recovery method you need

3. Start scanning for lost data

4. Select the files which you want to recover on your SD Card

5. Recover the deleted data from your SD card

How do I fix an unreadable SD card?

1. Connect your SD card to your computer

2. Type cmd in the Windows search bar and click Command Prompt. If asked, click Run as Administrator

3. Type in chkdsk F: /f /r /x (replace F with the drive letter of the SD card) and hit Enter on your keyboard

4. Once the process is finished, type exit

What is the Best Free SD Card Recovery Software?

DiskInternals Uneraser is a professional data recovery solution that works to help you get back files from a corrupt SD card that still appears on File Explorer. It comes with different recovery modes and can recover multiple file formats. The Uneraser software also supports all known Windows file systems and features a built-in Recovery Wizard that guides you every step of the way to recover your files.

How much does SD card recovery cost?

DiskInternals Uneraser is only $39.95

Related articles

FREE DOWNLOADVer 8.15, WinBUY NOWFrom $39.95

Please rate this article.