What is the app that recovers files from SD card?

Losing important files stored on an SD card can be devastating. Thankfully, with the right recovery app, it may be possible to get those files back. This article will explore some of the top apps for recovering deleted or lost files from SD cards.

What causes files to be deleted or lost from an SD card?

There are a few common reasons files may disappear from an SD card:

  • Accidental deletion – Files are deleted by mistake and the trash is emptied
  • Corruption – The file system or partition on the SD card becomes corrupted
  • Improper ejection – The card is removed from a device without properly ejecting
  • Physical damage – The card is physically damaged in some way
  • Formatting – The card is formatted, erasing all data

When a file is deleted or lost from an SD card, the data itself is typically not erased right away. Rather, the file system just marks the space used by the file as available for new data. This means the original data likely remains on the card until it gets overwritten.

Recovery apps can scan the card and look for these residual file fragments to attempt to reconstruct corrupt, deleted, or lost files.

What to look for in an SD card recovery app

Here are some key features to look for when choosing a file recovery app for SD cards:

  • Effective recovery algorithms – The app should use advanced scanning to find recoverable file fragments and rebuild files efficiently.
  • Broad file format support – It should support recovering common file types like photos, video, documents, archives, etc.
  • Deep scan capabilities – For more stubborn cases, deep scanning may be needed to thoroughly search the entire card.
  • Preview function – Preview found files before recovering to avoid recovering unwanted files.
  • Filtering – The ability to filter scan results by file type, size, etc makes it easier to find target files.
  • Memory card compatibility – Works with SD, microSD, CF, and other common memory card types.
  • Operating system support – Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, etc.
  • Ease of use – Simple, intuitive interface for straightforward operation.
  • Positive reviews – Favorable reviews from independent testers and real-world users.

Top SD Card Recovery Apps

Based on the criteria above, here are some of the top-rated apps for recovering files from SD cards and other removable media:

1. Disk Drill

Disk Drill is a highly-rated, professional-grade recovery app for Windows, Mac OS, and iOS. It offers several advanced scanning modes, including Quick Scan, Deep Scan, and Undelete Protected Data. Scans can filter by file types and reconstruct hundreds of different file formats.

Key features:

  • Recovers from deleted or lost partitions
  • Bulk recovers multiple files at once
  • Preview scans before recovery
  • Protects recovered files from overwriting
  • Compatible with SD, microSD, CF, memory sticks

Disk Drill has free and paid versions. The free version can recover up to 500MB of data.

2. Recuva

Recuva by Piriform is another robust, free Windows recovery tool supporting memory cards and other devices. It offers Quick and Deep scan modes along with advanced file recovery options.

Key features:

  • Recovers files deleted from Windows Recycle Bin
  • Can recover formatted or damaged partitions
  • Restores various file types: documents, photos, video, music
  • Secure overwrite feature
  • Preview files before recovery

Recuva’s free version has limited functionality compared to the paid professional version, but provides strong basic recovery capabilities.

3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

This award-winning program by EaseUS is available for both Windows and Mac. It enables recovering lost files from SD cards, USB drives, digital cameras, and more. Scans offer file previews and filtering by file type.

Key features:

  • Simple wizard-guided recovery process
  • Advanced deep scan capabilities
  • Cloning utility for problematic drives
  • Backs up and restores partition data
  • Free version recovers up to 2GB of data

Overall, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard provides extensive SD card recovery functionality in an approachable interface. The free version is limited compared to the paid version but will meet basic needs.

4. PhotoRec

PhotoRec by CGSecurity focuses specifically on recovering photos, videos, documents, and other media files from hard drives, memory cards, and optical media. It uses read-only access for non-destructive recovery.

Key features:

  • Targeted recovery of media files
  • Supports unformatting partitions
  • Small download size
  • Completely free and open source
  • Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux

For recovering lost media like photos and videos from SD cards, PhotoRec is a compact yet powerful free option. However, the interface is less intuitive than some commercial tools.

5. UndeleteMyFiles Pro

Exclusive to Windows, UndeleteMyFiles Pro provides deep scanning and effective recovery of permanently deleted files. It can extract data from damaged or corrupted media as well.

Key features:

  • Very deep scanning capability
  • Recovers old or permanently deleted files
  • Retrieve files from reformatted media
  • Preview found files before recovery
  • Free trial version available

UndeleteMyFiles Pro excels in cases where files were deleted long ago or a drive was reformatted. While not free, it can rescue even more stubborn file loss situations with deep scans.

6. Wise Data Recovery

This free data recovery tool by WiseCleaner supports recovering lost files from SD cards, USB drives, external hard drives, and other storage media. It offers quick and deep scanning modes.

Key features:

  • Straightforward interface and recovery process
  • Filter scan results by file category
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Retrieve files from formatted partitions
  • Completely free with no size limits

For quick and easy SD card recovery, Wise Data Recovery hits all the fundamentals while keeping costs down. However, the free version lacks some of the advanced capabilities of paid options.

7. Remo Recovery

Remo offers a recovery solution tailored specifically for SD cards and other removable media. It supports all key file types and utilizes deep scanning for more difficult file recovery cases.

Key features:

  • Specialized in SD card recovery
  • Advanced media recovery algorithms
  • Recovers from formatted cards
  • Preview scan results
  • Free trial version available

By focusing specifically on removable media like SD cards, Remo Recovery is able to provide robust recovery capabilities. But it comes at a relatively high cost compared to some alternatives.

Choosing the Right SD Card Recovery App

With many great SD card recovery apps available, choosing the right one depends on your specific needs:

  • Ease of use – If you want a very simple interface, try Wise Data Recovery or EaseUS.
  • Flexibility – For use across devices and operating systems, Disk Drill is a top choice.
  • Advanced capabilities – For the most power, opt for UndeleteMyFiles Pro or Remo Recovery.
  • Affordability – The free options PhotoRec and Recuva offer solid basic recovery.
  • Photography – For recovering photos/video, specialized tools like PhotoRec work best.

Make sure to download trial versions first to test out an app’s capability to recover your lost files before purchasing.

Avoid software requiring rooting or jailbreaking mobile devices, as this poses security risks. Also be cautious of ads promoting suspicious or untested programs.

Preventing File Loss from SD Cards

While recovery apps provide a good fallback solution, it’s better to avoid file loss in the first place. Here are some tips to prevent deletion or corruption of important files stored on SD cards and other media:

  • Safely eject the card before removing it from devices
  • regularly back up your media to another location
  • Store cards properly in a protective case
  • Handle cards carefully and avoid physical damage
  • Reformat cards only when truly necessary
  • Use brand name cards from reliable manufacturers
  • Avoid cheap no-name cards that may be prone to issues

Following best practices for memory card use and storage will reduce the chances of data loss happening. But an SD card recovery app provides insurance for those times mistakes still occur.


Losing irreplaceable files and memories due to deleting or corrupting an SD card can be devastating. Thankfully, with the right recovery app, restoring those lost files is often possible. The top software options combine advanced algorithms, deep scanning capability, broad file format support, and an intuitive interface to effectively recover data from SD cards and other media in a wide range of scenarios.

While paid apps like Disk Drill and UndeleteMyFiles Pro offer the most power and capabilities, excellent free open source tools like Recuva and PhotoRec are great options as well for basic file recovery needs. The ability to preview found files before recovery ensures you can get back just what you need without hassles.

Carefully vetting candidates to select the SD card recovery app that best aligns with your specific needs will offer the best chance of recovering deleted or lost files. Just be sure to also implement preventive measures, like regular backups and proper memory card handling, to minimize ever needing to rely on recovery software in the first place.

App Supported OS Notable Features Cost
Disk Drill Windows, Mac, iOS Deep scanning, partition recovery Free & paid versions
Recuva Windows Recovers overwritten files, secure overwrite Free & paid versions
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Windows, Mac Wizard interface, clone drives Free & paid versions
PhotoRec Windows, Mac, Linux Targeted photo/video/media recovery Free open source
UndeleteMyFiles Pro Windows Recovers old permanently deleted files Paid only

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