How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card on Mac

Updated to macOS File Recovery Tips by Robert on Nov 17, 2023 | Approved by Christian Cawley

Data recovery is a matter of concern. If you want to recover deleted photos from an SD card on Mac, you can go through the complete article as here we have discussed different methods to help you out. Photos can be deleted due to different reasons such as computer crashes, SD card format, unwilling wipe-out process, etc. No matter what the reason was, we are here to provide you with some troubleshooting methods.

Part 1. Before Recovering Deleted Pictures from SD Card on Mac, What You Should Do?

Though you can recover your deleted photos by using the troubleshooting methods, you have to take care of a few things before getting your photos back. The tips mentioned below ensure your photos' safe recovery.

Part 2. How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card on Mac

Method 1: Find Deleted Pictures on Memory Card from the Trash Folder

In Mac, the deleted data don't get completely deleted from the system at once. Instead, they go to the trash folder. You can get them back from the trash folder. Follow the below-mentioned steps to recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac without software.

  1. The trash icon is located at the right end of your dock. Click on it.
  2. Go through the trash folder and find the files you want to recover.
  3. Right-click on the files and click on the putback option.

As your SD card has its trash folder, you have to display the hidden files to view the content. Follow the steps mentioned below.

For macOS Sierra or later:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Press SHIFT + CMD + (period).

For Mac OS X:

  1. After opening the Finder, go to Applications
  2. Go to utilities
  3. Launch the Mac terminal app and enter these commands
  4. defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

    Killall Finder

So, if you can find your files in the finder or trash bin, you can put them back in a safe place. If you can't find them there, go through the following troubleshooting methods.

Please note: files save in the trash folder for only 30 days. After that, they are completely deleted, and you will need to use memory card recovery tool for Mac to find those photos.

Method 2: How to Restore Deleted Photos from SD Card on Mac with Software

As Mac computers don't have any in-built data recovery software, you have to install one to find the photos that are still physically present on your SD card. Some of the best SD card photo recovery software for Mac are mentioned below.

1. iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

It is one of the best software that can be used by professionals as well as beginners to resume all missing data from both Mac internal hard drives as well as SD cards connected with Mac. Follow the steps to recover deleted photos on an SD card on Mac by using iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac.

  1. Insert the SD card into your Mac, letting it be recognized as an external disk.
  2. Download and install this SD card recovery software for Mac. After then, launch it.
  3. In the first Window, keep Pictures selected and click "Start".
  4. After then, select the SD card and then click the "Scan" button.
  5. Your card is now scanned, and it will show you the files that are physically present on your SD card.
  6. From here, select the photos you want to recover. You can also use the preview button to be sure about your selection.
  7. Click on the "Recover" button and select the destination for these files. Your photos will be recovered and saved in the selected destination.

2. PhotoRec

It is an amazing open-source data recovery software that allows users to get the answer for how to recover permanently deleted photos from Mac for free. Though it is not user-friendly, it has enormous popularity among users. Follow the steps to recover photos on an SD card on Mac by using PhotoRec.

  1. Paste the following command in Terminal to install Homebrew (It is an open-sourced software package management system.
  2. /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

  3. Type brew install TestDisk and click on enter to install it (PhotoRec is included in that package)
  4. Here, type "sudo photonic" and launch it by hitting enter
  5. Select the SD card
  6. Select the partition you want to scan. If you are willing to scan the whole SD card, click on No partition.
  7. Now, you have to select the right file system and press enter. PhotoRec will auto-select the right option.
  8. Select the saving destination. Once done, press C on the keyboard.
  9. Your photos will be saved in your selected destination.

Though it doesn't have an easy interface, at last, it is free, and it's the main reason behind its popularity.

There is also other free data recovery software for Mac that is easy to use and allows users to find all the photos from SD cards. The names are mentioned below.

  1. iBatsoft Data Recovery for Mac
  2. CardRescue for Mac
  3. EaseUS data recovery wizard for Mac
  4. Recoverit data recovery for Mac
  5. Stellar data recovery for Mac
  6. LazerSoft data recovery for Mac

Method 3: How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card without Software on Mac

One of the most useful unique features that Mac has is the in-build data backup application called Time Machine. You can use the best SD card recovery software for Mac to get photos back even if they are overwritten. If your photos are overwritten within the SD card, it is the only troubleshooting method that you can use to retrieve your files.

Following are the steps to recover deleted SD card photos from a Time Machine backup:

  1. Connect your Mac with your time machine backup drive.
  2. Launch the Finder and open your SD card.
  3. Find the time machine icon from the menu bar and click on it to enter.
  4. Find the files you are willing to recover by using the timeline on the right edge of the screen.
  5. Click restore, and your selected photos will be restored.

Part 3. Frequently Asked Questions for Photo Recovery from SD Card on Mac

How to recover overwritten photos from an SD card on Mac?

It is difficult and, to be honest, it is nearly impossible to recover the overwritten files from SD cards. The only option you have is the time machine backup of your photos. Without backup, there is not a single change for you to get the photos back that are not physically present in your SD card. Anyway, you can still try with iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Can I recover pictures from a formatted SD card?

If the file is not overwritten, it is possible. Several high-quality data recovery software, like iBeesoft Data Recovery, allows users to recover photos from a formatted SD card. Here are the steps.

  1. Connect the formatted SD card with your Mac.
  2. Download the right version of iBeesoft Data Recovery for your computer and install it.
  3. Launch it and click "go to setting" to filter file types
  4. Click the "Scan" button beside the formatted drive.
  5. Wait for the scanning process to finish. After then, preview the found recoverable files.
  6. Select files needed and click "Recover" to save them on your computer.

Can a corrupted SD card on Mac be fixed?

Many First Aid features, such as Disk Utility, allow users to fix corrupted SD cards on Mac. Following are the steps to do that.

  1. Open the Finder and go to applications
  2. Then, go to the utilities
  3. Launch Disk utility
  4. There is a list of storage devices available on the left. From here, select your SD card.
  5. Click on First Aid and start checking the selected volume.

This way can also fix pictures on SD card not showing on Mac and drive not showing up in macOS.

Can corrupted pictures be fixed on an SD card?

If the pictures got corrupted after deletion and recovery, then you must try a professional tool to fix them. iBeesoft Data Recovery is updated with the most advanced feature to fix picture corruption. Here are the steps.

  1. Connect the memory card with your computer.
  2. Install and launch the picture corruption fix tool on your computer.
  3. Select the SD card and click "Scan" in the first window.
  4. It will scan, collect, and match information for corrupted pictures on an SD card. Wait patiently for the process to finish.
  5. Select the needed corrupted pictures to preview. After then, select them and click "Recover" to save them on your computer.

All of the above-mentioned methods are powerful enough to restore your photos, depending on whether they are in a trash folder or they are overwritten. I hope this article was helpful to you and you've succeeded for undeleted files from SD card on Mac.