How to Recover Overwritten Files on SD Card

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Mar 13, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

SD cards have become essential in modern digital devices due to their small size, low price, and easy portability. They often store images and videos from cameras, camcorders, recorders, and drones. Unfortunately, these precious files may be overwritten due to careless operation or machine settings; however, there is hope. This post provides various methods to recover overwritten files on SD card. So if you are ever faced with losing important data because of a silly mistake, worry not -- we will help you to get them back!

Quick Navigation
Part 1: What is an Overwrite on an SD Card?
Part 2: Can Overwritten SD Card Photos/Videos be Recovered?
Part 3: How to Recover Overwritten Files from SD Card
Part 4: How to Avoid Memory Card Data from Being Overwritten
Part 5: FAQ

What is an Overwrite on an SD Card?

SD card overwriting occurs when you copy an item with the same filename to replace an older version or when the memory card fills up while shooting a new video; your device must delete old material to save new material. Contrary to popular belief, overwriting does not erase files on your SD card but instead replaces the existing data with a new version

Can Overwritten SD Card Photos/Videos be Recovered?

First, the meYou should understand that the memory card is divided into several sectors to save your videos and pictures. The first sector is the boot sector, whose primary function is to record the location and sector information of the file storage. Also, no matter how you cause the data to disappear from your memory card, the system will only delete its information in the boot sector; the file still remains in the sector it occupies. It's just that the position it occupies is marked as blank. But there are other areas marked as empty. So newly saved data may be stored in other sectors' districts. So, you still have a chance to recover overwritten files from SD card. It's just that different situations will have different recovery rates, which are:

How to Recover Overwritten Files from SD Card

If your files on an SD card were inadvertently overwritten, don't despair; you can still use some methods to get them back. But please stop using this memory card before taking action to avoid a worse situation. Finally, please don't give up hope; start before it's too late!

Method 1. Use Data Recovery Software

The principle of file recovery is to search for the residual traces of the data that was once guaranteed in your device to achieve file restoration. Hence, you can try such a tool to recover overwritten files from an SD card. Here, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery. Compared with other tools, it can also automatically repair damaged items. At this point, it is more helpful to restore replaced files on Mac or Windows PC. Even if some attributes are overwritten, it can still help You get the correct file.

Download for Windows Download for macOS
  1. Choose the correct version to download according to your system and follow iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac or Window
  2. Click "Go to settings" to deselect the file types that do not need to be retrieved.
  3. Select your memory card and click scan.
  4. Select the items in the file category and click Restore to save.

Note: Due to recovering overwritten files from the SD card, some properties of your target project may be overwritten. At this time, our software can't classify it correctly, and then you can also go to the "Files Lost Original Directory," "Other Lost Files," or "Tags" folder to check the files.

Method 2. Recover Overwritten SD Card from the Previous Version

If you have ever backed up your card on Windows or Mac, at this point, you will quickly recover SD card overwritten files from the copy. To do this, please select the corresponding steps according to different OS.

For Windows PC:

  1. Connect your memory card to the computer and find it in explorer.
  2. Right-click and select "Restore Previous Versions."
  3. Select a version before the overwritten file in the newly opened window and click Restore to save the desired items.

For Mac:

  1. Connect the external drive as a backup to macOS.
  2. Open Time Machine and select the overwritten data according to the timeline.
  3. After completing the confirmation, click the Restore button at the bottom of the screen.

Method 3. Restore Overwritten files on SD Card using CMD

PCs have a built-in command prompt to perform various tasks by entering specific commands, which include retrieving data. Therefore, you can use the following methods to recover overwritten files from SD card. But its success rate is low; you can try your luck.

  1. Press the Windows+X keys simultaneously to select Windows Powershell (Administrator).
  2. Type chkdsk E:/f adn attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:\*.* (replace E with your SD card drive letter ).
  3. Reopen your card to check if the overwritten items reappear.

Tip: When you accidentally remove essential data, you can still use the above steps to recover deleted files using CMD.

Method 4. Overwritten SD Card recovery by Data Recovery Services

Many people may feel hopeless when it comes to overwritten SD card recovery. Data recovery services can often step in and lend a hand. Through digital forensic techniques, professionals can analyze the items on your SD card, identify areas of existing and overwritten information, and allow you to get back those precious photos or videos from the card you thought lost forever.

  1. You can search for service providers near you through the map and get contact information.
  2. Tell customer service that you need to restore the details of the overwritten SD card (the size of the overwritten file, time, etc.)
  3. Wait for a technician to work out a solution for you
  4. Choose one that suits you and send the memory card to the data service provider
  5. After waiting a few working days, you will receive your card back with overwritten data.

How to Avoid Memory Card Data from Being Overwritten

One of the most frustrating experiences is finding out that old files on the SD card have been overwritten and realizing that you still need them. Luckily, you can take some simple tips to protect the data stored on your memory card from being overwritten.

Taking these few precautions can significantly reduce the risk of losing precious memories stored on your digital media card due to an inadvertent overwrite.



Accidentally overwriting files on your SD card can be a significant setback. Whether the files were new work, essential documents, or sentimental items such as photos, losing them can be heartbreaking. Thankfully, this article provides various methods to help you recover overwritten files from SD card on Mac or Windows 11/10. With these correct methods, you should be able to get them back.