6 Best Free SD Card Recovery Software for Windows and Mac in 2023

15 minutes read

Find out the 6 best SD card data recovery tools along with their Pros and Cons. All these tools are shortlisted after testing under different data loss scenarios. Also, it consists of key information that can help you choose the best SD card recovery tool to restore your data. Such as the Price point, platforms available, supported file formats, and finally performance under real-time data loss scenarios.

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The role of SD cards in the 21st century has become more crucial than ever it was. As we all know SD cards have high data transfer rates and are portable devices, most photographers and even smartphone users majorly depend on them to save all their personal or project photos and videos. Moreover, SD cards are also popular due to their compatibility with various devices. Such as Smartphones, digital cameras, CCTV, drones, DSLRs, and many more.

In today's world, losing photos from SD cards is quite common due to uncertain data loss scenarios. Such as accidental deletion, formatting, corruption, lost files while transferring to a computer, and many more.

Recovering data from an SD card is merely impossible without using any reliable data recovery software. And claiming as the best software to recover data from SD cards is easier on the internet. To overcome this issue, we have tested 5 reliable SD card recovery software to help you make a decision on what is best for you.

Selecting The Best SD Card Recovery Software

When you use the term "best SD card recovery software," it is understood that the software meets all the good software benchmarks and SD card users’ recovery needs regardless of the data loss scenarios.

We have selected a few software that mostly meet all the qualities a good software must have and do the job efficiently without any hiccups, and software that follows pay after the recovery process:

  1. Remo Recover
  2. Stellar
  3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  4. Photorec
  5. Disk Drill
  6. Recuva

These tools have a proven track record of working magic when it comes to recovering data from SD cards. But which one performs a better trick? Read on as we comprehensively tested and compared every single aspect of the software.

Which is the Best SD card Recovery Software?

Test Conducted: We conducted a test on a SanDisk 32GB Micro SDHC card consisting of RAW images and high res videos and experimented with these tools to get to know which among these software is the best SD card recovery software that’s going to bring back the SD card data from simple deletion, formatting, and corruption issues.

SanDisk SD card used during the best SD card recovery experiment

Read on to know how the first-hand experience and the recovery results of all the software turned out to be.

Remo Recover (Windows and Mac)

Remo Recover is a complete tool to restore SD card data. It can detect over 500 file formats and ensures recovery of almost all file formats like photos, videos, raw images, and many more. Further, It has an option that allows users to define custom file formats. Supports SD card recovery from various file formats. Such as NTFS, FAT32, ExFAT, APFS, HFS, and other.  

This can be a significant advantage to users who deal with unfamiliar file formats or, to users who work with usual devices such as medical equipment or geographical survey hardware.

Remo Recover preview feature

Coming to testing scenarios, it showed a 100% success rate even in the most complicated data loss scenarios such as corrupted SD card recovery, unallocated partition, and formatted SD cards. Also, this tool can recover data from unrecognized SD cards.

Results: Remo Recover recovered almost all the images and videos that were present on the SD card in less than 10 minutes and I was able to save them locally during the scan process without any hassle.

Remo Recover SD card recovery

We found several online reviews about the software, where users have explained their own experiences of software with their devices.

Few online reviews of Remo Recover:

Fantastic Software, Great support!

“Fantastic Software! I honestly tried 4 other data recovery software programs and they found nothing! This includes Norton Utilities!
Remo is the only one that after doing a Deep scan was able to recover my lost jpgs after my card messed up! And this was after a day of shooting at a wedding!
Great support also, they really add the personal touch.
Highly recommend!”

Deleted videos from SD card on camcorder

“My oldest daughter accidentally deleted all our videos of her younger sister from the SD card on an old Sony Handycam. It took a little waiting but the Remo software recovered all 39 videos from the SD card and they are now safely stored on a memory stick. Thanks Remo! My wife is thrilled.”

Source: Trustpilot

Self-explanatory and clean user interface with quick responses.No complete hard drive scan option.
The recovery experience gets a lot easier when you use Dynamic Recovery View and Search box features.The complete recovery time depends on the capacity of your SD card.
No purchase prompts or Ads popped up throughout the whole recovery process.The software lacks multi-language support.
Works both online and offline that can ensure that your data is safe.
The recovered results were sorted in an easy and understandable manner.

Stellar (Windows and Mac)

Stellar may seem like a good option at a price of $79.95, but it is important to note that it is subscription-based. However, if you can overlook the price, Stellar is one of the best SD recovery software available. It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to use.

Performance is comparable to Remo Recover. The tool completely streamlines the recovery process. If the normal scan doesn’t work, Stellar automatically kicks in the advanced scan. The advanced Scan option is more meticulous while scanning for lost data on the SD card.

Similar to Remo, Stellar is also compatible with all file systems and ensures to detection of almost all file formats.

stellar recovery window

Results: Stellar was able to recover almost all the image and video files around 20-25 mins of time and was able to preview all of them without any issues.

Few Online Reviews of Stellar

Do Not Use This if you are in a hurry!

“It took them six hours to get me an activation code after charging my credit card.
Don't expect timely support. 12 hours to get a response to my request.
So far, it appears to work but don't get in a hurry with these guys, they are working on a different timeline.”

Worked perfectly

“Worked perfectly! I am a pro bird photographer and accidentally left my camera on while switching lenses and ended up with a corrupt card that could not be read. I thought I had lost all of the images from several hours of shooting - but all were recovered easily after installing the software. Thanks very much!”

Source: Trustpilot

Works flawlessly in all data loss scenariosDoes not segregate the deleted or lost files from the existing files after recovering.
Simplistic design approach on the user interface.Only one-year subscription.
Occasional crashing and freezing were observed during the deep scan.All the files that show up as recoverable are actually not recoverable.
You will have to enable Deep Scan manually 

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard(Windows and Mac)

EaseUS Data recovery wizard is one of the decent recovery tools available in the market today if you are looking to recover data from SD cards, they are priced at 69.95 $ offering very good support for file systems.  

With pro version purchase whenever you can preview any of the recovered files from the drive.

EaseUS recovery window

Results: The tool was able to recover some of the raw images and some videos from the SD card after scanning for a long time compared to Remo Recover.

Few online reviews of EaseUS:

i recovered thousands of raw photos…

i recovered thousands of raw photos that got my card corrupted. Everything was done the same day, it took the whole evening but they were fast and reliable for any future issue with my files.Thank you!

It Worked!

“I used Ease US to retrieve footage from an SD card i had accidentally formatted. I did have to buy the $90 version but I have all of my files. A few of the pictures are cut off but overall was a good move.”

Source: Trustpilot


The UI is well-designed with well-laid-out touchpoints, and the software is very responsive throughout the recovery process.
The customer support was difficult to reach out to.
The recovery support for different file types is very high.Occasionally provides already existing data as deleted, or recovered.
Slower recovery time for large files.The software couldn’t preview some of the images and videos and kept prompting Pro version purchase prompts during the preview.

Photorec(Windows and Mac)

PhotoRec is a free SD card recovery software. However, being free and open-source also means you will not be having any customer assistance. PhotoRec works on the MS-Dos platform. It implies that PhotRec is compatible with almost all computer operating systems. This includes Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, and even Solaris OS.

PhotoRec has two interfaces, graphical UI and MS-Dos UI. The tool is highly technical and detailed; it can even display individual storage sectors on the MS-Dos UI. In comparison to its commercial competitors, it is complicated to use. You need to be tech-savvy to navigate through this software.

photorec recovery window

Results: The software uses the advantage of being a Command line interface tool as it is very fast to navigate through and lists the file types that are being recovered from the SD card.

There is an estimated scan time to complete the SD card recovery and saves the recovered files in the destination folder after the scanning is completed.

The tool is free to use which means you can access it for free.The process of finding, downloading, and installing the software was more challenging than other software.
It can recover various file formats under various data loss scenarios.You would need a bit of technical knowledge of using command lines, as the tool doesn't have a GUI.
Supports all file systems of SD cardsNo customer support 
Since it is a free tool your data can be at risk.

Disk Drill(Windows and Mac)

Disk Drill is a well-known recovery tool that can recover SD card files in almost all data loss cases, It is one of the most expensive data recovery software out there starting with $89.00 for a lifetime license.

The tool is capable of recovering SD cards from most data loss cases in SD cards.

Disk drill recovery window

Results: I experienced occasional freezing during the test and it took almost 45 mins to actually see the recovered data after the wait, I got to see a preview of the videos but not images.

Few online reviews of Disk Drill:

Disk Drill Review

“Due to some malware I lost all the important documents and images of my external drive. After watching several YouTube videos who had recommended this, I tried the free version first. Than I noticed that it has recovered most of them. That was the time when I decided to purchase it. Fortunately I got all the images and documents but I could not recovered the videos. It was recovered but corrupted, unable to play.”

WARNING not a good program

“WARNING not a good program, you can get far better form a recognised brand and it will not rip you off”

Source: Trustpilot

Has Extra features like S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, Drive Backup, and Data protection.Requires a system restart when the software is installed.
Free data recovery up to 500 MB.The user interface is confusing.
Only 400 file formats are supported in the software.There is no voice support only email.


Recuva is a highly recognizable brand, and pricing at $24.95 makes it one of the most cost-efficient SD card recovery tools. Yet, it is a subscription-based service, you have to renew it every year. Even though Recuva performed well while recovering deleted photos from SD cards but it is not on par with other tools to restore SD cards under complicated data loss scenarios. While scanning the drive, it might display the number of files found, yet files are not available in the recovery window.

Recuva recovery window

Results: The tool was the easiest to operate and it completed the whole SD card recovery in less than a minute it was able to recover a few of the images from the SD card, but I didn’t get to see any preview of the file. 

The simplest user interface, really easy to use.Not available in the Mac version
Best performing SD card recovery software at its price pointCannot perform in complex data loss scenarios
Can recover all file formatsSluggish customer support team
Fastest Scan times among all the competitors 

Bonus: If you’d like to know about the best hard drive or SSD recovery software then refer to the attached articles.


After evaluating and comparing various data recovery software, it becomes evident that Remo Recover emerges as the top choice. With its robust features, user-friendly interface, and exceptional recovery success rate, Remo Recover stands out as the most reliable and effective solution for retrieving lost or deleted data from SD cards for all kinds of file types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to recover data from a corrupt SD card?

Yes. It is definitely possible to recover data from a corrupt SD card, Some of the Best recovery tools like Remo Recover can perform the task efficiently.

Can I recover data from an SD card without recovery software?

No, you cannot recover data from an SD card without recovery software, unless you have a data backup.

Why do SD cards fail?

SD Cards can fail due to various reasons:
- Corruption.
- Physical damage.
- Virus and Malware.
- Wear and tear.

How to fix a corrupt SD card in a mobile?

To fix a corrupt SD card on mobile:
- Open Settings
- Click on storage.
- Select the SD card and click on format.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…