How to Recover Deleted Photos/Files from CF Card on Mac/Windows PC

Updated to File Recovery Tips by William on Apr 3, 2023 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

Compact flash card, short for CF card, is usually used for popular cameras and other media devices to save pictures and videos. It’s easy to export images and videos from device to computer, as well as manage files, like erasing and formatting. However, it is also the reason that why many people are asking how to recover deleted files on CF card since there are many scenarios causing CF card images, videos, and other data lost.

Since the CF card has played an important role in storing pictures and videos, you must learn the skills for how to retrieve deleted files from CF card in case you encounter the situation.

How Do I Restore Files from My CF Card on Mac?

Unlike a computer, usually, there isn’t a recycle bin on cameras or the devices that use CF cards as the storage method. It means you can’t cancel the deletion at all. In this case, whether you lost the files due to deletion or any other above-mentioned scenarios, the only possible way to find data from CF card on Mac is using file recovery software. You can try iBeesoft Mac data recovery software, a professional data retrieval tool developed to get files back from Mac internal disks and external hard drives connected with Mac. Here in the following we take how to recover photos from CF card on Mac as an example, showing the recovery process.

Tips: this step still applies to Windows PC. So, please download the right version of iBeesoft Data Recovery for Windows or macOS.

How to Recover Deleted Files from CF Card

  1. Connect the CF card with your Mac, making sure it is recognized as an external disk.
  2. Download and install the CF card data recovery on your Mac.
  3. Download for macOS Download for Windows

    The tool is safe to get back files. It is virus-free, only scans your CF card looking for lost files, and does not collect any data at all.

  4. Launch the CFast card recovery software and click "Start".
  5. Select the CF card as the target drive to scan for lost photos. Click "Scan".
  6. View and restore CF card videos/photos

  7. When the scanning process is finished, you can see all the found files are sorted into categories. Click "Pictures" to preview the found photos. Select the needed photos and click "Recover" to save them on Mac.

Is It Possible to Retrieve CF Card after Formatting?

It’s a little hard to restore formatted CF card because files on the CF card might have been damaged or partially removed during the formatting. In this case, if you do not use the CF card after formatting, the chance to recover files from CF card after formatting is bigger. In this case, try to get back files from a formatted CF card as soon as possible and you may get a good result.

  1. Connect the CF card to computer (PC or Mac).
  2. Launch the CF card recovery software and select the CF card as the target drive to scan. Click "Scan".
  3. Wait for the scanning process to finish. After then, select the found files by with filters, preview them. When finding the files you are looking for, select them and click "Recover" to save the lost data.

Can I Recover Data from Damaged CF Card?

It depends on how your CF card is damaged, physically, or systematically damaged. If it is physically damaged, then the only option is to take it to the manufacture, asking them to fix it and protect the data as soon as possible.

If they are just an error causing CF card not recognized by your computer, or you can’t access to it, it is corrupted, then you can try the following method to fix it first.

#1. Fix CF Card on Windows PC with CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a built-in command line in Windows to help users fix issues for partitions and hard drives. To fix the CF card problem, you need to connect it with your Windows PC first. After then follow the steps.

  1. Type "cmd" in the search box at the bottom left and select Run as administrator.
  2. Type chkdsk F: /f and press Enter. (F represents the letter for the CF card on your PC. If it is not F, you should replace it with the right one)
  3. Wait for the whole process to finish. And after then, if a pop-up asks you to restart your computer, do it.

#2. Fix CF Card on Mac with First Aid

If your computer is Mac, then you should use the Disk Utility First Aid to repair the CF card.

Launch Disk Utility > Select CF card in the sidebar and click the First Aid button > Click Run and Continue. Wait for the whole process to finish.

After fixing the corrupted CF card, then all your data come back and accessible. You know, fixing the corrupted CF card can be the best way to recover data from a corrupted CF card.

Is There Free CF Card Recovery Software Available?

You can try iBeesoft Free Data Recovery. It can be the best free compact flash card data recovery software with its advanced features.

Your Safe & Free Data Recovery Software for CF Card

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • Get back up to 2GB of images, photos, videos, and more on CF card for totally free.
  • Supports over 1000+ file types, namely images, videos and files with different file extensions.
  • Retrieve files from all the branded CF cards, including recover files from the SanDisk CF card.
  • Repair and retrieve corrupted videos and photos from CF cards, making them playable.
Free Download

You can download it to have a try. The whole process of using restore deleted files from a memory stick or recover files from CF card for free is quite simple.

How to Fix Photos and Videos in CF Card Cannot Be Opened?

Photos and videos in CF cards can’t be opened mostly because they’re damaged. Some file information was lost. In this case, you can try the methods below.