A Simple 3-Step Guide on How to Recover Deleted Pictures from your SD Card

Have you lost or accidentally deleted pictures from an SD or MicroSD card? Don’t worry! In this guide, we will show you how you can recover them by completing just 3 simple steps.

sd picture recovery

What You Need to Know

If you don’t care about technical details and understanding how things work, you can skip this step. However, spending just a few minutes and learning what goes on under the hood will help you feel more at ease when we get to the data recovery process itself.

You see, data recovery is no magic, but neither is it a trivial manner. When you delete a picture from an SD card, your operating system marks the physical location where the image was stored as empty. The image is still there — all the ones and zeroes are intact, but other apps are free to overwrite them as they please. If you manage to use a data recovery program before the original picture gets overwritten, you will have it back. Even if not, there’s still a good chance that, at least, some part of it remains on the disk. A good data recovery program should be able to recover the corrupted file, giving you something instead of nothing at all.

How can a data recovery program recognize a deleted picture without knowing where it is? Because it contains a database of signatures of common file formats. These signatures are a lot like fingerprints. When the data recovery program finds a matching fingerprint, it knows that what follows is, for example, a picture of your baby or puppy or brand new Lamborghini.

In summary, a successful recovery of deleted pictures from an SD card requires a tried and tested data recovery app compatible with your operating system and the ability to react quickly enough before it’s too late.

Step 1: Download and Install Picture Recovery Program

Now that you know how picture recovery from SD cards and other storage devices works, it’s time to download and install a data recovery program that we will later use to recover your pictures.

We highly recommend Disk Drill, a professional data recovery software solution that’s both easy to use and capable of recovering more than 200 different file formats from all commonly used storage devices. What’s more, you can download and install Disk Drill for free.

Disk Drill data recovery app

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

Step 2: Use Disk Drill to Locate Deleted Pictures on Your SD Card

Launch Disk Drill and select the SD card from which you wish to recover your pictures. Disk Drill offers many options how you can recover your pictures, but, for now, it’s enough to click on the Recover button and let the program do its job. Depending on the size of your SD card, Disk Drill could take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes before it finishes finding all your files.

Step 3: Select Which Pictures You Would Like to Recover from Your SD card

Once finished, Disk Drill will display all deleted pictures from your SD card and give you the option to select which of them you would like to recover. Just like that, your deleted or lost pictures are back in their original location. As you can see, picture recovery with Disk Drill could hardly be any simpler.

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator. He also has a more than 10-year experience in program development for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android.Arthur Cole is a writer with deep expertise in programming, who can easily...

Read full bio
Approved by
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.