Mac SD Card Recovery with Disk Drill

Disk Drill is the best SD card recovery Mac app supporting Mac OS X 10.8.5 and newer. Whether you have an SD card or a MicroSD card, Disk Drill can help you recover files from it.
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.

#1 Things To Remember

Photo recovery from SD cards: the minute you realize you have lost data on your SD card, stop using your device. For example, if you realize you have lost a photo on your camera’s MicroSD card, take the card out of the camera immediately. The less you use the card, the higher the chance to recover files from memory card on Mac. Most cameras don't delete photos completely from your camera memory card upon deletion or formatting. In many cases, your photos remain on the SD card until they are overwritten. However, if you keep using your camera and continue to save new photos to the card, it is possible you may overwrite your old data, making it unrecoverable.

Broken SD card recovery: Even if your SD card can't be read by your Mac – or you get a message saying that the card needs to be formatted, try Disk Drill. Its Deep Scan method can examine your SD card on a binary level to search for your pictures, music or other recoverable data.

#2 Install Disk Drill

Disk Drill requires Mac OS X 10.8.5 or newer and is compatible with El Capitan and macOS Sierra. Once you've downloaded our free Mac SD card recovery software and saved it to your Applications folder, launch the app and complete the following steps to recover SD card on Mac.
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch Disk Drill

#3 Connect Your Card-Reader or Device

Your SD card or MicroSD card needs to be connected to your computer before you can start the SD recovery on Mac. It needs to be mounted in mass storage mode (meaning it needs to appear as a disk in Finder). If you can only communicate with the card via MTP-protocol, SD card recovery on your Mac will not be possible. Once it is mounted, launch Disk Drill, find your SD card in the list and select it.

#4 Scan Your SD Card

If you are new to SD and MicroSD card recovery on Mac, your next step should be to click the "Recover" button next to the card name. This will automatically go through each of Disk Drill’s sophisticated scanning methods one after the other. If you’re an expert user, then you can click the drop-down arrow on the Recover button and choose the exact scanning method you wish to use.
Disk Drill is able to recognize many file formats, including JPG, PNG, TIFF, MOV, MP4, and many RAW camera formats. Scan Your SD Card

The best SD card recovery Mac method is protection!

Use unique SD card data protection possibilities of Disk Drill to keep your files safe and intact. These protection methods are Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery. Recovery Vault sketches a special "map" for Disk Drill to easily locate the lost files. The Guaranteed Recovery method keeps an eye on file operations and safely stores invisible copies of trashed files for a successful SD card recovery for Mac when needed.
SD card Mac protection

#5 SD Card Recovery: Last Step!

Once the scan is finished, you will be shown a list of files Disk Drill has located.

Select a file and click the "eye" icon to preview it. Previewing each file is the only way to ensure they are not corrupted! Be sure to watch movies all the way through.
When you are done previewing, check the box next to the items you need recovered from your SD card, click the Recover button and follow the instructions. SD Card Recovery
That's it. You are successfully done using our SD card recovery Mac OS X app!

Disk Drill is an obvious choice!

Are you in despair and thinking there is nothing left to recover from your SD card? Let us disagree! To recover files from SD card on Mac Disk Drill will use its Deep Scan that digs deep into core structure and can find remaining file chunks to put the files back together. Disk Drill works great with all sorts of file systems as well as file types including JPG, XLS, DOC, AVI, MP4.

SD card recovery on Mac can save the day!

Disk Drill 3
Recover photos from SD card on Mac and all other types of files!
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See how others use Disk Drill

  • Dan Burkhardt
    I originally bought disk drill to recover media from GoPro SD cards that had been accidentally formatted. It worked amazingly well but it was never a crisis situation until about two years ago when I dropped my main backup disk off my desk, shattering the case on the ground while it was still running, effectively nuking everything I had stored on it, my entire life’s worth of data until that point. The partition was lost and the disk would no initialize on my mac without manually doing so under utilities. I tried deep file scan and was able to recover some things but not all. Then, yesterday, after not using disk drill for a long time I took that old broken disk off the shelf and made a sector-by-sector backup to DMG on a new external I just purchased. After it completed, I was able to mount it and THERE WAS ALL MY DATA!! Years of family photos, countless video projects I have generated, my digital portfolio, tons of media content has been restored. I’m in awe at what you guys have managed to achieve with this tool and so thankful for your work. Upgrading to pro was the literal least I could have ever done. Let me know your Venmo handle and I’ll send you all money for coffee and doughnuts along with more thanks for your amazing work.
  • TUAW
    Disk Drill Mac data recovery software available for free at Not a bad free Christmas present for Mac owners!