How to Recover Photos from Formatted SD Card?

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How can I recover photos from a formatted SD card? This article centers on formatted SD card recovery which includes a step-by-step guide of recovering photos from formatted memory SD card. The first thing you should do after accidentally formatting SD card is to stop using it immediately, avoiding any possible data overwrite. Then follow steps provided below to get back lost photos from formatted SD card.

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Can you recover photos from a formatted memory SD card?

"I have a Kootion 64GB Micro SD Card, and it is used on my Android smart phone. The SD card is pretty good with proper capacity and fast speed. It contains tons of images for me. However, I just formatted it by mistake. It might have problem in the file system part, and Windows asked me to format it. I hit the format button accidentally. I just learned SD card recovery is possible, but I'm new to such topic. Does someone here have similar experience? It is really appreciated any tips that will recover formatted photos."

SD (Secure Digital) cards are the storage device for many electronic products, such as Android Smartphones, Tablets, Digital Cameras, Game Consoles, Aerial cameras, Dash Cameras, Drones, Surveillance System, GPS Devices, Music Players and so on. In most cases, photos and videos are of great importance to SD card owners. Thus, SD card recovery draws concerns when an SD card gets formatted.

Are you wondering whether it is possible to recover lost photos from a formatted SD card? The answer is YES in most situations. Let's take a quick look at what happens when you format an SD card. SD card formatting is the process of preparing it for initial use, and the immediate effect is that everything on the SD card is gone. Apart from removing all data, the formatting process also creates new file system.

In Windows, you can perform either a quick format or a full format via selecting or unselecting the option "Perform a quick format". Simply put, a quick format does not completely erase data, but a full format permanently erases all files from SD card. In addition to Windows, Android phones and other devices perform quick format by default. That's why formatted SD card recovery is possible. However, formatted photos cannot be recovered if you continue using the SD card after data loss. Because, any writing action may overwrite lost photos and make them unrecoverable.

The step-by-step guide: How to recover photos from formatted SD card?

As previous mentioned, it is possible and easy to recover lost photos and other data from an SD card which is accidentally formatted. The SD card photo recovery is available for both experts and beginners with the help of DiskGenius. It is the best SD card recovery software, and its highly specialized algorithms ensure the formatted recovery effective. With DiskGenius, you can easily recover all kinds of photos and images from formatted or corrupted SD memory cards, such as, JPG, CR2, CR3, TIF, DNG, HEIC, RAW, ORF, NEF, SR2, CRW, PSD, PNG, etc. More features:

  • Search for and preview lost files free of charge before final recovery.
  • Recover data from various devices, including, HDD, flash drive, pen drive, memory card, virtual disk, Windows Storage Spaces, RAID, etc.
  • In addition to format recovery, DiskGenius also supports RAW drive recovery, lost partition recovery, deleted file recovery.

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Steps to recover lost photos and other data from formatted memory SD card

Step 1. Connect the formatted SD card to your computer.

It is quite easy to connect an SD card to computer and make it be recognized by Windows. You can just insert it to a card reader and plug it to computer USB port. What's more, if your laptop has a built-in card reader, you can insert the SD card there directly. Once it is properly connected to computer, Windows will recognize it automatically.

Step 2. Install and open DiskGenius on your PC.

DiskGenius trial edition can be downloaded free of charge from the downloading page, and it helps users verify if formatted photos are still recoverable. Moreover, the installation is not required if you download the portable version.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card

Step 3. Right-click the SD card and choose Recover Lost Files from appeared menu.

After opening DiskGenius, you can see the SD card listed on the left pane, see the picture below, the RD1:SMIUSBDISK(15GB) is attached SD card, and it is formatted to exFAT file system.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card

Step 4. Search for lost files form the formatted SD card.

Click Start button on the pop-up window and DiskGenius begins to run a complete scanning and deep scanning for the SD card. The option "Search For Known File Types" is for deep scanning, and it should be selected in order to find out as many files as possible. The deep scanning is important for formatted SD card recovery, as it enables you to restore photos even though the file system has been damaged.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card

Step 5. Preview the scanning result.

Lost photos and other files will be displayed in the software after DiskGenius finishes scanning, and you can preview all these files one by one. Double-click a file can open the preview window which shows photo content in original size. By means of previewing files, you can easily make sure whether formatted photos can be recovered correctly.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card

Step 6. Select photos you want to recover and copy them to a safe location.

The last step of SD card photo recovery is to copy files found by DiskGenius to another drive, for example, create a folder on your hard drive. After photos are copied to the specified location, the recovery task is done. Note: Copy files requires that DiskGenius should be registered to a proper edition, and you can go to the Editions page to view differences between DiskGenius Pro and Standard.

How to recover photos from formatted SD card

Useful tips to help you achieve successful SD card photo recovery

1. Stop using the SD card immediately: do not write any data to the formatted SD card in case of data overwrite.

2. Do not format SD card again: formatting many times may damage the original structure of lost files, resulting in that lost photos cannot be recovered with original names.

3. Turn off digital product such as Android phone when you realize its SD card gets formatted. Continuing using the device tends to cause data overwrite.

4. Do not make changes or repair SD card: Even though you are sure the SD card is troubled by bad sectors, do not try any repairing solutions. Otherwise, lost files might be permanently destroyed.

You may also ask

1. How can I recover photos from a formatted SD card for free?

When there is not any backup at hand, the best way to recover formatted photos from SD card is using data recovery software. You got nothing to worry about even though you are new to SD card photo recovery. Here is a step-by-step guide you can refer to: How to Recover Photos from SD Card? In this article, you will learn how to recover photos from formatted/corrupted SD card as well as how to recover deleted photos from SD card free of charge.

2. Can you recover files from a formatted memory card?

The file recovery from a formatted memory card can be done by several methods, for example, retrieve files from previous backups, use memory card recovery software, ask an expert to recover data. If you are urgent to use these lost files or do not have much budget, you can simply use free memory card recovery software such as Eassos Recovery Free to fulfil the task.

3. How do I get my pictures back after formatting?

Follow these steps and you can get back lost pictures after formatting:

Step 1: Download and install DiskGenius to a partition which does not suffer from data loss issues.

Step 2: Start DiskGenius and use File Recovery function to scan the formatted drive.

Step 3: After scanning, you can see lost files are listed in the software with original names. Copy them to a different drive.

4. Can photos be recovered after formatting?

Yes, photos can be recovered after formatting. Windows operating system or other digital products perform quick format by default, and a quick format does not completely remove files. In other words, there is a good chance of recovering formatted photos and other files before they get overwritten. Therefore, you should try best to prevent formatted data from being overwritten before they are recovered successfully.

5. How to recover formatted SD card using Command Prompt?

A lot of users are interested in recovering formatted SD card using Command Prompt, and many guides recommend similar methods as well. However, in fact, the cmd command attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.* only works to find out hidden files on SD card instead of recovering deleted, formatted or lost files. In short, Command Prompt cannot recover formatted SD card.

6. How to recover files from formatted SD card Android?

Here are steps that you can try to recover files from formatted SD card Android:

Step 1: Turn off the Android phone and take out the SD card. This can prevent possible data overwritten.

Step 2: Connect the SD card to computer via a card reader.

Step 3: Install and open DiskGenius on computer. Then run SD card recovery using File Recovery function.


By way of steps mentioned above, you will be able to recover photos, videos, audio and other files from formatted SD card easily. It is suggested that the formatted recovery should be performed as early as possible. The faster you act, the less chance you get lost photos overwritten. So, do not spend time blaming yourself for the accidental formatting, just hurry up to start the formatted SD card recovery at once. Do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or need help regarding SD card recovery or photo recovery.

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