There are countless apps for Windows designed to allow you to recover data that has been lost from your SD card. While everyone obviously hopes that they’ll never need to use it, it’s important to ensure that you have the best software available in case something does happen.
You can take measures to reduce the risk of data loss, but nobody can completely eliminate the possibility. Once you’ve discovered that files have been deleted, you should stop using the SD card and start up one of these 5 programs – the best pieces of memory card recovery software for Windows.
1. Disk Drill
- High success rate
- Supports all file systems
- Verifies recovery chances with “Preview”
- No portable version
Among the various free SD card data recovery programs, Disk Drill is a great place to start and we recommend it as a must-download if you are storing anything important on your SD card.
Another hero of the day: @Cleverfiles Disk Drill! Had a corrupt SD card with timelapse footage. None of the data recovery apps could see or mount the card. I then formatted the card in a @GoPro , after that the card mounted and Disk Drill recovered everything :))
— Sybren Arnoldus (@IetsMetFilm) March 18, 2019
✔ Available for most current versions of Windows, including Windows XP, 7, 8 & 10, Disk Drill Free version allows you to recover up to 500MB of photos and pictures, music, videos, and anything else for free.
✔ It’s also compatible with a wide range of storage devices, from Sandisk and Samsung SD and micro SD to SDHC, SDXC, and CF.
✔ Additionally, it can read a variety of uncommon file types, such as EXT, NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32.
While any attempt at recovering lost files is more likely to succeed when they were deleted more recently, Disk Drill is also capable of searching through older files with its Deep Scan feature.
This examine your drive and memory cards in their entirety, searching for deleted files to reconstruct. Among the freeware options, there’s a good argument in favor of Disk Drill as the best SD card recovery software.
- Quick scan
- Good results in recovering only recently deleted files
- No advanced options
Another good choice for free SD card data recovery, IObit Undelete focuses on ease of use. One of its main advantages over the competition is that it’s free to use regardless of how much data you need to restore.
This gives you the ability to recover anything you need without having to worry about hitting the limit, and you can restore large files for which other programs would require payment.
Unlike other software designed for this purpose, IObit Undelete doesn’t actually need to be installed on your hard drive—installing new programs can overwrite “lost” files, which is specifically what these applications are designed to avoid.
For these reasons and more, IObit Undelete comes with very positive reviews and most of its users are extremely satisfied, especially with the value it provides without any cost.
“IObit Undelete is a simple program to use which is already appreciated, because simplicity is our times is very important, another feature that I like in the depth of the scan which allows the deep and exhaustive search of the deleted files…” – Ines S, g2.com
For simple, free memory card recovery software, IObit Undelete is among the top options, for its unlimited recovery ability, portability without installation, and easy to use interface.
- Advanced options
- No support for free version
- No updates since 2016
Piriform Recuva includes many of the same features of the other options on this list, and it comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Like Disk Drill, Piriform Recuva offers both a free and premium version, but the set of features locked behind the paywall is slightly different, as data recovery is unlimited in both.
Instead, the premium version—available for only $20—offers a few unique features that make the experience more seamless. First, premium users are given priority technical support and automatic updates.
“Recuva is one of the best free file recovery software tools available. It’s easy to use and is as effective as any other freeware or premium file recovery program on the market.” – Tim Fisher, lifewire.com
Possibly more important to some users, the premium software also gives you the option of creating a backup using a virtual hard drive before making any adjustments, thus allowing you to reverse any unforeseen negative consequences.
- Deep Scan available
- Clean design
- Not all files can be previewed
- Doesn’t show a file’s quality before recovering it
This option is designed for those looking for a professional data recovery solution, and while it comes with a price tag—$75.95 for a month, $79.95 for a year, or $89.95 for life—its features may be worth it if you need the best software available.
The highlighted features of Recoverit Data Recovery include the sleek, professional interface, high rate of file restoration, speed, and ease of use. If you’re looking for a specific file or type of file, you can narrow your search by file extension, and many of the more advanced options are made accessible to those with less technical experience. It’s extremely easy to understand the options Recoverit offers, and its menu system seamlessly takes you from step to step.
In the end, nobody but you can determine whether Recoverit’s steep price tag is worth its set of high-quality features. Those looking for a reliable, easy option, or for software to license throughout a business, may be willing to pay for an application with better ease of use and a simpler interface, but it may be too expensive for those willing to negotiate the slightly more complicated menus of other programs.
- Simple interface
- Good overall recovery results
- The poor recovery rate for video files
- Slow scan
Like several of the other options on this list, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is available in both a free and paid version. It also offers standard quick scan and deep scan features, allowing you to look for recent files or conduct a more thorough check. With its premium edition costing $90, it comes in as one of the more expensive pieces of software, but it also has a trial for those who want to try before they buy.
Like Recoverit Data Recovery, EaseUS gives you the ability to search for a specific type of file, targeting your scan to a specific set of files and thus reducing the total scan time. Since the trial is limited to a total of 500 MB of data restoration, you’ll need to pay for a license before scanning for any larger files.
Compared to other similar pieces of software, including those on this list, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can sometimes run slower scans. The flipside of this is that its performance in finding corrupted and deleted files is among the best on the market, and it also takes up a lower amount of energy on your computer. If you have the time and patience to wait for the scan to finish, EaseUS is one of the best options available.
While the five programs on this list are among the best available for SD card data recovery, each one comes with a unique set of features and shortcomings that makes it particularly useful for a certain audience. In the end, you’re the best judge of your own needs, and there are plenty of other applications out there.
For software that requires a paid license, you should always take advantage of the free trial until you’re sure that the program is right for you.