Recover Deleted Files from a microSD Card on Mac

Disk Drill is the best SD card recovery Mac app supporting Mac OS X 10.8.5 and even macOS Big Sur. Whether you have an SD card or a MicroSD card, Disk Drill can help you recover files from it. This page will show you how to get your valuable data back using a variety of operating system and software methods.

MicroSD card
Mac SD Card Recovery with Disk Drill

If you’ve lost data on your SD card, there is a good chance Disk Drill can help you get it back – even if the card has been corrupted or reformatted. Of course, there are a lot of variables involved in SD recovery on Mac OS X and sometimes a file can be lost for good.

The good news is that Disk Drill allows you to scan your SD card or MicroSD card and preview the recovered files for free. Upgrading to Disk Drill PRO is not necessary until you are positive the files you need are recoverable.

Here is a brief overview of the steps for free Mac SD card recovery. For detailed tutorials, see the following two articles in our Knowledgebase: How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic.

Data Loss Scenarios for a microSD card on Mac

You can lose data from a microSD card due to a variety of issues. These are the most common reasons you will need to perform a microSD card recovery on Mac.

Accidental File Deletion

Accidental File Deletion

The most common reason that data is lost from a microSD card is accidental file deletion. It’s very easy to click the delete button by mistake which can result in the loss of a lot of data.

Formatting the Card

Formatting the Card

Formatting the microSD card can result in the loss of everything that was on the storage device. Fortunately, this damage can be undone and the files recovered with data recovery software.

Physical Damage

Physical Damage

MicroSD cards are not indestructible and can be damaged by improperly inserting or removing them from a device or card reader. Data may not be retrievable if the physical damage is extensive.

MicroSD Card Corruption

MicroSD Card Corruption

File corruption can occur with a microSD card due to several reasons. You may have removed the card from its device during a write operation, been infected with a virus, or been affected by a power issue.

Virus or Malware Infection

Virus or Malware Infection

Infection with a virus or malware can lead to many types of problems including data loss on a microSD card. Try to keep your card out of computers and devices that are not virus-free.

Power Problems

Power Problems

Data can be lost from your microSD card due to power problems with the device using the storage media. Loss of power during a write operation can lead to missing or corrupted files.

Using MicroSD Card Recovery Software to Retrieve Your Data

The most reliable method of recovering lost data from a microSD card is with data recovery software. Disk Drill is a user-friendly data recovery software application that can restore your lost files in a few clicks. This is how to get files off of a SanDisk Ultra Plus microSD card on Mac or any other kind of memory card.


Install Disk Drill

Download and install Disk Drill for Mac on your computer. You will need to provide an administrator’s password to complete the installation.

Install Disk Drill for MacOS

Connect Your Card-Reader or Device

Connect the microSD card to your Mac and launch Disk Drill. If your Mac won't recognize microSD, you will not be able to use this recovery method.

Connect microSD Card to Mac

Choose a microSD card

Select the microSD card from the list of available disks.

Choose microSD card in Disk Drill

Scan Your SD Card

Click the Search for lost data button to start scanning for deleted files. You can select the type of scan to run or let the software use all of its algorithms in the optimal order. That method will get you the best recovery results.

Scan microSD card via Disk Drill

Preview the found files

Preview the recoverable files and select those you want to restore.

Preview found deleted files on microSD card in Disk Drill

Recover the deleted files from a microSD card

Click the Recover button to perform the recovery. Choose a safe storage location where the restored files will be saved. DO NOT use the affected microSD card to save recovered data.

Recover Deleted Files From microSD Card With Disk Drill

Disk Drill Supports Recovering From Any Memory Card on Mac

You can recover lost and deleted data from any type of memory card with Disk Drill. As long as you can connect the card to your computer and the operating system recognizes the device, Disk Drill can scan it and recover your lost data.

SD Card
SD Card

SanDisk®, Sony®, Lexar®


PNY®, Genuine SanDisk®, Lexar®

microSD/miniSD Card
microSD/miniSD Card

Delkin®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power®

MMC Card
MMC Card

Transcend®, Johnziny®, Canon®

xD Picture Card
xD Picture Card

Olympus®, xD-Picture®, Fujifilm®

CF Card
CF Card

MyMemory®, EgoDisk®, Delkin®

File Types Supported by Disk Drill for SD Card Recovery

Disk Drill can recover over 400 different file types from your SD card. This includes all of the most common and popular image, video, audio, document, and archive file types as well as many lesser-used formats that may be important to you.

AVI, FLV (Flash video), MKV (Matroska Video), MP4 (MPEG-4 video), BRAW (Blackmagic raw video format), SWF (Flash movie)
AU (Audacity audio files), M4A (Apple Lossless Audio), MP3 (MPEG Audio Stream, Layer III), OGG (Ogg Vorbis Compressed audio file)
AI (Adobe Illustrator), CR2 (Canon Raw Image), DNG (Digital Negative), GPR (GoPro raw image format), NEF (Nikon camera RAW image)
APK (Android Package), CS (Visual C# Source Code File), DOCX (Microsoft Word), HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
7Z (7-Zip Compressed), CAB (Windows Cabinet File), ISO (ISO-9660 CD Disc Image), RAR (WinRAR Compressed Archive)
 Other Files
Other Files
M (Objective-C Implementation File), JKS (Java KeyStore), SQL (bundled SQL queries), MYO (MYOB Limited Windows File), PSS (Password Saver)

Alternate Methods of Recovering a MicroSD Card on Mac

Here are several other methods that may be useful in recovering data from a microSD card on your Mac.

Recover From Your Mac’s Trash

Your Mac’s Trash is always a good first place to look for deleted files or folders. Here’s how to check it for your lost data.

  1. Open the Trash by double-clicking on its icon.
  2. Search for the item you wish to recover.
  3. Right-click on the item and choose Put Back to restore it to its original location.
recover files from microsd card via trash

Recover With a Time Machine Backup

Time Machine is a macOS built-in backup and recovery tool. You should consider using it to regularly back up your files. If you have a backup, here is the procedure to follow to attempt a restore with Time Machine.

  1. Open a Finder window in the Folder where the lost data was stored. For example, if you deleted a file from your home folder, open Finder in the home folder.
  2. Open Time Machine by clicking the clock icon on your menu bar, starting it from Launchpad, or by selecting it from System Preferences.
  3. Use the arrows and timeline to browse the local snapshots and backups to find the items you wish to recover.
  4. Select one or more items you want to restore and click Restore.
recover microsd with time machine

Restore Using Another Backup Solution

You may be backing up your data with a different tool than Time Machine. Many users take advantage of cloud storage such as iCloud to back up their data. The specific steps for recovering will depend on the solution you are using, but here is a general overview of the procedure you need to use for restoring from a backup.

  1. Connect the backup media to your computer or establish communication with your cloud backup service.
  2. Search the backup catalog for the files or folders you want to restore.
  3. Choose the items for recovery and follow the steps for your backup solution.
recover from a microsd backup

Bonus tip: How to fix or repair a microSD card on Mac

Disk Utility is the macOS tool that will allow you to fix or repair a microSD card. Use this procedure:

  1. Connect the microSD card to your computer.
  2. Launch Disk Utility and select the microSD card.
  3. Choose First Aid from the menu at the top of the window.
  4. Disk Utility will attempt a repair and inform you if it cannot fix the card.

Other methods of repairing a microSD card can be found on this page.

repiar microsd with first aid mac

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

How can I recover deleted files from a microSD card on Mac?

Use this procedure to recover data from a microSD card for a GoPro or any other type of digital camera:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill for Mac.
  2. Connect the microSD card to your computer and start Disk Drill.
  3. Click the Search for lost data button to scan for deleted files.
  4. Preview the recoverable data and select the files you want to restore.
  5. Click the Recover button to complete the recovery.

How do you fix a corrupted microSD card on a Mac?

Use these steps to repair a microSD card on Mac:

  1. Connect the card to your Mac.
  2. Launch Disk Utility.
  3. Select the microSD card and click on the First Aid selection at the top of the window.
  4. Disk Utility will attempt to repair your card. If this fails, you may need to format the card to use it again.

How do I reset my microSD card on a Mac?

Follow these steps to reset a microSD card on Mac:

  1. Connect the SD card to your Mac.
  2. Open Disk Utility and select the memory card.
  3. Click on the Erase button to format the card.
  4. Select the file format you wish to use.
  5. Click Erase again to finish formatting the microSD card.

How do you remove write protection from a microSD card on a Mac?

Use the following steps to remove write protection from a micro SD card on a Mac:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Right-click on the microSD card and select Get info.
  3. Go to Sharing & Permissions.
  4. Click the lock icon and provide your administrator’s password.
  5. Change Read only to Read & Write.

How do you erase a micro SD card on a Mac?

Use Disk Utility to erase a corrupted microSD card on a Mac using this procedure:

  1. Connect the card to your Mac.
  2. Start Disk Utility and select the card from the panel on the left.
  3. Click the Erase button which formats the card. Select the filesystem you want and click Erase again.

SD card recovery on Mac can save the day!

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