If you use an SD card for storing music files on your Android phone, camera, or anything else, you’re likely used to having to juggle files a little. And, that means that from time to time, you may make a mistake – and accidentally delete a file that you intended to keep. This could happen just from trying to make more space on an SD card, or from a formatted SD card, and so on. 

how to recover deleted music files from an SD card

Thankfully, however, there are ways to recover deleted files from an SD card, with the right tools. Here’s how to recover deleted or lost music files from an SD card.

Can I Recover Deleted Music from an SD Card?

Thankfully, yes. It’s absolutely possible to recover music from an SD card, as well as other files, like documents, videos, and so on. Specifically, you can recover music files in all kinds of formats – including MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV, and more. In other words, if you accidentally deleted your hi-res audio library, you should still be able to get it back.

Follow the instructions below to recover deleted music from an SD card, depending on your computer’s operating system.

Recover Deleted Music from an SD Card with Software

If you need to recover lost music files from an SD card on a Windows computer, it’s worth using a software like Disk Drill. Follow the instructions below to use Disk Drill on a Windows computer.

Disk Drill
Data recovery for free
Your Companion for Deleted Files Recovery

How to recover music from an SD card on Windows 

1. Download and install Disk Drill for Windows.

2. Connect your SD card to your computer. You may be able to directly slot the SD card into your computer, or you may have to connect it using an adapter.

3. Open Disk Drill and find your SD card in the list of drives that appear on the screen. Make sure you know which one is the SD card, as running the program on the incorrect drive could have other effects. In the screenshots below, the SD card is labelled “NIKON D3200.”

A screenshot of the Disk Drill SD Card recovery software on Windows 10

4. Select the “Search for lost data” button on the bottom right of the display.

5. Wait for the program to scan your SD card for deleted music. This may take a few minutes, depending on how many files Disk Drill found – and how big those files are. During this time, you’ll be able to see what kinds of files the program has found, and you can show the scan results in the file explorer.

SD card scanning process to recover deleted music files

6. Select the “Choose Folder” button at the top of the window and browse to a folder that you want to save your files to. It’s important to not save the files to the SD card itself.

7. Select to either “Review found items,” or “Recover all…” at the top of the window. If you choose to “Review found items,” you’ll be able to select from folders that were found during the scan. If you’re unsure where your files are, you may want to choose to “Recover all…”. If you chose to “Recover all…” you’ll need to select a folder to save the recovered files to. You’ll be able to recover up to 500GB worth of files using the free version of Disk Drill. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the Pro version for more.

recover deleted audio files on Mac using Disk Drill for Windows

8. If you chose to review the found items, tap the “Recover” button at the bottom of the display. You’ll then need select a folder to save the recovered files to. You’ll then need to wait a few minutes for the program to save the recovered files to your computer.

Disk Drill on Windows 10 SD card recovery process

Your lost files should now be save to your computer. Navigate to the folder you saved your files to, and browse through those files to find the one you’re looking for.

data recovery on a memory card complete


How to Recover Music from an SD card on Mac 

Like on Windows, perhaps the best software to use to recover your lost music files is Disk Drill, which works not only with music, but with all kinds of files. You can use Disk Drill for Mac with an SD card, external hard drive, or even an internal hard drive. Follow the instructions below to recover your lost files from your SD card using Disk Drill.

Disk Drill
Data recovery for free
Your Companion for Deleted Files Recovery

1. Download and install Disk Drill for Mac.

2. Plug your SD card into your computer. Depending on your Mac computer, you may be able to connect the SD card directly to the computer, or you may need an adapter.

3. Open Disk Drill and find your SD card in the list of drives that appear on the screen. Make sure you know which one is the SD card, as running the program on the incorrect drive could have other effects. In the screenshots below, the SD card is labelled “NIKON D3200.”

4. Select the “Recover” button next to the name of the SD card that you want to recover your lost music files from. 

recover deleted files from an SD card using Disk Drill for Mac

5. Wait for the program to scan your SD card. This may take a few minutes, depending on how many music files Disk Drill found – and how big those files are. 

6. At the top of the window, select the “Choose Folder” button, and browse to a folder that you want to save your files to. It’s important to not save the files to the SD card itself.

recover deleted audio files from an memory card using Disk Drill for Mac

7. Select the folders that you want to recover, from the ones that appeared during the scan. If you’re unsure where your file is located, you may want to select all of them. 

Disk Drill SD card recovery software on macOS Catalina

8. Press the “Recover” button at the top right of the window. Wait for the program to scan and save your files to the folder you specified in step 6.

how to recover deleted music files from an SD card on Mac

Your lost audio files should now be save to your computer. Navigate to the folder you saved your files to, and browse through those files to find the one you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can tap on the magnifying glass next to the files in Disk Drill to go to the file.

MOV music file recovery

Recover Deleted Music from an SD Card without Software

Without software, it’s a little more difficult to recover deleted music and other lost files – though there are a few things to try. 

Perhaps the first thing to try would be to check the “Recently Deleted” folder for the SD card in question. If you’ve deleted it recently, but haven’t yet deleted the files from the deleted folder, you may be able to find the file you’re looking for. If so, you can restore the file to the SD card without any issues.

The other way to ensure that you don’t accidentally lose files in the first place is to ensure that you regularly back up your files. You can back up the files on an SD card by copying them to a computer or other hard drive, or by uploading them to a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. 

Unfortunately, if the file isn’t in the deleted folder or Trash Can, and you haven’t previously backed it up, you may be out of luck – unless you download and use a software like Disk Drill.

Christian de Looper

Christian de Looper is a technology journalist, consultant, music producer. He creates articles about Technology, Software, Hardware, Apple news, reviews, and so on. Over the years, he wrote thousands of articles on sites...

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Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.