How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card [FREE/PAID]

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Sep 28, 2022 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

SD cards are of great use and convenience and are best suited for digital cameras, camcorders, and other mobile devices. Sometimes you may also face some data loss with a minute operation. The way you lost your images is not a thing of concern; instead, your focus must be on how to recover deleted photos from an SD card on Mac/Windows/Android.

But first, as soon as you realize you have deleted the photos, do not use the SD card further for any purpose to avoid the images disappearing permanently.

Through this write-up, we are throwing some light on professional software to help you recover deleted photos from SD card in Windows 11/10/7, Mac, and Android. Along with this, you will also get your hands on some free solutions that do not require you to download software.

Tips to Increase Success SD Card Photo Recovery Rate

Before getting to tips related to increasing the chances of success of photo recovery rate from an SD card, it is essential to know what exactly happens when photos get deleted from your SD card. Once you discover that some files get accidentally deleted on your SD card, it may shock you, but the data related to them does not get erased instantly; instead, your device marks the space it stores as free space and hides it in the index table.

In this case, the visibility of photos may not be there, but they are present on your card unless you overwrite them with additional images. So, you still stand a chance to get the old deleted pictures back.

There are a few tips for you to follow to increase your chances of recovering deleted pictures from a memory card.

Retrieve Deleted SD Card Pictures with Software [High Success Recovery Rate]

In everyday use, careless deletion of the SD card photos is common. Here, we offer you a piece of secure and dependable SD card data recovery software - iBeesoft Data Recovery. It has a workflow and layout that is user-friendly, along with being powerful and flexible at the same time. This tool can automatically repair corrupted photos during the process of extracting data. It also has the following properties:

📜 Applicable Scene:
Accidental deletion, formatting/erasing, loss when transferring/pasting/copying/cutting, card corruption, file system showing as RAW, access denied, and more.
🏷️ Supported SD Card Brands:
SanDisk, Lexar, Sony, Kingston, PNY, Samsung, Integral, Transcend, KOOTION, INLAND, Verbatim, Gigastone, V7, KODAK, Bestsellinc, Skyoyo, Gigastone, SP Silicon Power, READYXIO, SUPERDUODUO, TOPESEL, Ritz Gear, Alisinsen, Nuiflash, Nuiflash, NUILAKS, Patriot Memory, and more.
📋 Supported Flash Memory Type:
🗃️ Recoverable Picture Types:
Jpg, jpeg, png, bmp, orf, gif, tif, tiff, epx, nrw, cr2, raf, nef, dng, sr2, arw, raw, rw2, dcr, kdc, erf, 3fr, mef, pef, srw, mrw, mdc, max, indd, psd, dwg, dxf, hpgl, hp, hpg, plt, skf, dgn, cdr, dcd, dcf, eps, emf, fmz, fzb, fh10, fh11, fh9, fh7, fh8, raf, shp, gue, gmp, ico, jp2, lwo, lws, gdb, mb, mix, vsd, vss, vst, pcx, pdf, scr, psp, ppm, pgm, pbm, hcr, biz, qxp, qxd, qxb, qxl, qpt, cad, x3f, sdr, sdt, swi, db, tcw, wmf, xar, dib, jpe, jfif, hdr, tga, exif, fpx, svg, pod, ufo, cgm, pict, pic, cmx, cur, ani, clk, mos, and more.
🗂️ Other Valuable Features:
It is straightforward and effortless to use with efficiency on multiple devices.
It seamlessly helps recover videos, photos, or any other format of files from memory cards from the camera.
The separate versions of software for Mac and Windows devices give you the ease of use and flexibility to retrieve deleted photos from SD cards, hard disks, USB drives, CF cards, etc.
Download for Windows Download for macOS

To Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from SD Card in Windows 11/10/7

  1. Connect the SD card to your PC.
  2. Start by downloading and installing software, then go ahead with launching it.
  3. Choose a target card and proceed with clicking on the 'Scan' option to go ahead with a scan of your lost photos.
  4. When you see the process is complete, find all the missing files on the screen. You can click the preview button to check them.
  5. Finally, you can save the required files by selecting them and tapping the 'Recover' option.

Note: If you cannot find the needed photos from the "Deleted files" folder, you can also go to the "Other lost files" or "Tags" folder to check the deleted pictures.

To Restore Deleted Photos from SD Card on Mac Free

  1. Opt for downloading and installing the Mac data recovery software on your Mac device. You should check the options under System preferences if you see any message on your screen that does not allow software installation. In addition, you must check the possibility of 'Install apps from App store and identified source.'
  2. Connect your SD card and Mac by making it an external hard drive. After launching iBeesoft, you must tap on the 'Start' option. If you are looking to shorten the time for scanning all the files, you can deselect the not required files before beginning the process.
  3. Select the drive representing the SD card in the next window. Tap on 'Scan' and relax for the process to end.
  4. Last, you can see all pictures found on the SD card when the scanning process is finished. Select the ones you need and click 'Recover' to save them on your Mac. That's it!

Note: If you cannot find the target files in the original location, you can also click "Deep Scan" to retrieve more data. You can also go to the XXX(RAW files) folder to check the deleted photos. This trial version can help you recover 200M files for free.

To Recover Deleted Picture from SD Card on Android

If you accidentally delete photos from the internal storage of your Android phone. Then iBeesoft Data Recovery can't help you. Because it cannot get root permission to scan this storage. Don't worry, and you can also use a data recovery tool for Android (Photos Recovery)

  1. Launch the app and click the "Start Scan" button.
  2. Check to find photos after scanning is complete.
  3. Select them and save them to Android storage.

Free Recover Deleted Photos on SD Card without Software [Not 100% Working]

For a Windows PC

Command prompt, or CMD, is an efficient utility if you are looking for how to recover deleted photos from an SD card for free. However, before using this method, it is advisable to start cloning the drive first and then go for the recovery of files. Before beginning the process, ensure you have connected your SD card to your PC.

Steps to use:

  1. Start by tapping on the Start menu and typing Command Prompt. From the result, please find it and right-click on the same. Then go ahead by choosing the option of Run as administrator.
  2. Now, on the window for Command Prompt, go ahead by typing chkdsk E:/f and press Enter. Alternatively, you can replace H with the drive's letter from where you have deleted the files.
  3. Move forward by typing Y and confirm your action by hitting Enter; it will start the examination.
  4. Go ahead by typing H or the drive's letter you are looking for to recover deleted photos.
  5. Go ahead by typing the attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:\*.*, then press Enter. You may have to wait patiently till the command shows its effect and restores your deleted files.

For a Mac Computer

If you are searching for how to recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac for free, then Time Machine can help you. It works even in cases where files get already overwritten without the installation of software required for the purpose.

Steps to use:

  1. Connect your Mac device and your backup for Time Machine.
  2. Go ahead by launching Finder and opening your SD card.
  3. You can go ahead by clicking on the icon for Time Machine from the menu bar and choosing the Enter Time Machine option.
  4. You can locate deleted photos you are looking for recovery using a timeline. You'll get it on the right portion of the screen.
  5. Select the particular files, and tap on the Restore option.

Check the Internal Memory or Storage of Your Device

If you have deleted any photos from your SD card, you can look for them in your device's internal memory or temporary storage, be it Windows or Mac. The recovery differs based on device type, like whether the SD card should be accessed or the area for photos lost recently. For example, you may look up to recover deleted photos from the SD card in the Trash area or the folder for Recently deleted found in the Photos app.

Steps to use:

  1. First, locate the Recently deleted folder in the Photos app or Trash icon to find the lost files.
  2. After opening the Photos app, go to the folder for Recently Deleted and look up the lost photos.
  3. Once found, choose to move them to your favorite place on the device.

Note: You can access your deleted SD card photos up to 30 days from the deletion date.

For Android

If you are using an Android, you can free recover deleted pictures from an SD card even without software with good service for cloud backup. With the Google photos option, you need to turn on a sync or backup option before you delete your photos accidentally or otherwise. It will help you in getting them back even without software.

Steps to use:

  1. Open the application for Google Photos.
  2. Search for the photos that got deleted accidentally.
  3. Now, select the images you require to recover.
  4. Then, you may tap on the option of 'Save to device.'

Note: In case you cannot see the deleted photos in Google photos, you have to ensure checking of the Trash folder via Menu as for 60 days, the deleted photos remain there.

For iPhone/iPad

If you accidentally or otherwise deleted your pictures from your iPhone and are thinking about how to recover deleted photos from an SD card, then iCloud can help you out. You can use this automatic function to store each picture you have taken in the cloud. For example, you have to turn on iCloud Photos using another iOS device and access the images from the same.

Steps to use:

  1. Go to the Settings application.
  2. Click on iCloud and then the Photos option.
  3. Go ahead with turning on iCloud Photos.
  4. Select the Recently Deleted option in the sidebar.
  5. Select the destination file and click the "Recover" button.

Based on the speed of the internet, it may take a while to get your deleted photos back. You have to keep an eye on checking the app for some time.

For a Digital Camera

If you use a digital camera sometimes, you may face the issue of deleted photos. This data does not get deleted, but the file pointers say it is marked free as a space to store additional photos. In this case, you need to recover deleted photos from memory card as early as possible before they get overwritten with new pictures. You can use the command prompt for this purpose.

Steps to use:

  1. First, tap on the 'Run' option in your PC's start menu. You must go ahead in the text box by typing' cmd.'
  2. In the command prompt, you must go ahead by typing' CHKDSK [driveletter] /r'. Suppose the drive for your SD card is 'E'; then, you can type 'CHKDSK E: /r' in the command prompt. The 'CHKDSK' command will check the particular disk to find any corruption with the structure. Herein'/r' indicates the order used for recovering the data found.
  3. Now, you have to choose 'Yes,' and you will discover CHKDSK reporting the action taken. Then you have to click on My computer and look for the particular drive.

Further Reading: Tips for Preventing Photo Loss on SD Card in the future

To avoid or prevent losing your precious photos on an SD card in the future, you must keep some tips in mind. Herein we are listing a few of them for your ready reference:


An SD card is an efficient tool for storing images and other essential data conveniently. It offers portability and an extension of the storage capacity for your mobiles or digital cameras. However, you may fall victim to losing photos on an SD card for several reasons. For example, we listed an efficient software (iBeesoft Data Recovery). This handy software provides solutions in extreme conditions for helping you to recover permanently deleted photos from SD card on Mac or Windows PC.

Along with this, we also offered various freely available ways for Windows/Mac devices, Android, iPhone or iPad, and a digital camera, along with the advice of checking your device's internal memory or storage. But we would still recommend iBeesoft data recovery software as the best solution to the issue.