How To Recover Files From Formatted SD Card

🕔 6 minutes read

Formatting an SD Card doesn’t mean all your valuable data on the card is lost forever. If you have accidentally formatted SD card, you need not worry! In this article, we will help you restore SD card data after formatting using proven methods. If you are looking for trustworthy SD card recovery software then use Remo Recover to recover most of your files from the formatted SD card with ease.

SD Card compatibility with the devices is unmatchable compared to any other storage mediums and they make the best choice when you are keen on keeping the quality and integrity of files. SD formatting occurs unintentionally or inevitably to many users, there are situations where you are forced to format the memory card to avoid SD card corruption or errors like "Memory card, is not formatted, do you want to format it now?" etc.

So it is recommended to take a backup of your important files before you format the SD card to avoid data loss scenarios. You can format an SD card using either full format or quick format.

When you format the SD card, the space occupied by the files will be marked as ready to be overwritten. Understanding the common reasons behind formatting an SD card is necessary.

Common Reasons Why SD Card Formatting Occurs

Formatting an SD  card is done to remove SD card errors, bad sectors, and free up space and some of the reasons include

Change the file system: SD card formatting before usage is done to create compatibility from the SD card’s file system to the device’s file system.
To perform maintenance: Formatting SD cards regularly is considered good practice to maintain the performance and health of the SD card.
To fix SD card corruption: To prevent SD card corruption caused by viruses and malware
It is considered best practice to format SD cards before use to remove any testing files left by manufacturers.

Reddit user experience of trying to recover data from a formatted SD card.
Source: Reddit

Have You Accidentally Formatted Your SD card Without Taking Any Backup?

Remo Recover can recover photos and videos from formatted SD cards and allows you to preview the file before recovery without any purchase pop-ups and advertisements. Not only that, but it can also recover almost all 500+ file formats including raw file formats from the most popular camera brands like Kodak, Canon, Sony, Hasselblad, etc., and from SD cards that went RAW.

Remo Recover is the best SD card recovery tool available when it comes to the time required to recover data from an SD card, while also keeping the quality of the restored data unaltered.

The software is highly efficient in recovering files from formatted sd card file types like NTFS, FAT32, ExFAT, etc.

Formatted SD Card Recovery Using Remo Recover

The Software is designed with a highly intuitive interface that takes only a few simple clicks to easily recover all your deleted or lost files, photos, videos, and other media files from all the storage devices, even if you have some missing pictures on your SD card.

Step 1: Download and install Remo Recover software on your computer, and insert your formatted SD card into it.

Step 2: Launch the software and select the SD card under the External Drives section and Click on Scan to start recovering from a formatted SD card.

home window of Remo recover to recover data from a formatted SD card

Note: Couldn’t locate your SD card? Click on Can't find the drive? this will show you the devices that were not visible on the Home window.

to open unlocated SD card on home window click on can't find the drive

Step 3: Simply double-Click to preview the file and if the recovered data from the formatted SD card is satisfactory then hit on the Recover button to save the data on your system.

double-click to preview the recovered data and click on recover button to save in the system

Step 4: You can locate your recovered data from the formatted SD card under the Lost and Found files section, use the search box and advanced filters to sort the recovered data as you need.

locate the recovered files under lost and found files section and use advanced filters and search box to customize as your wish

Attention: Save the recovered files from the formatted micro SD card in a different location from the previous location to avoid losing them again

The tool is powerful enough to handle various data loss situations in different data storage devices say for ex, from simple deletion to formatted SSD card to a corrupted CF card. You name it the tool is capable enough to recover data from almost 1000+ devices in 100+ complex data loss scenarios.

Both Windows and Mac have provided built-in ways to recover images from formatted SD cards in which the possibility of  the recovery is relatively less compared to data recovery software and there is a chance of increasing complexity of recovering files from a formatted SD card.

Restoring Formatted SD files using the Command prompt and Terminal

  • Command prompt for Windows users:
    Windows users can use the built-in command line interpreter tool to restore data from SD card on Windows 11/10 by using commands to check and recover files from the formatted SD card

    1. Search the command prompt in the Windows search box and select Run as administrator
search command prompt and run as administrator

2. Then type ‘chkdsk D: /f/x/r’ (Replace D with your formatted SD card letter)

type chkdsk and letter of your formatted SD card

3. Press Enter and wait for the process to complete

press enter and let the process complete

Check your downloads or other folders and  see if the files are recovered

  • Terminal for Mac users:
    The emulator in a terminal can be used to recover files from a formatted SD card with some commands, keep reading the steps for a better understanding.
    1. Open Terminal from Mac's utilities
open terminal from utilities

2. Locate the SD card by typing the Cd command

locate SD card by typing cd

3. Enter this mv 10008.jpg/ command and replace 100008.jpg with the name of the file you want to recover and press return.

enter mv and the file name which you would like to recover

Remember, these tools are designed for the purpose of recovering files from an SD card on a Mac or Windows. if you want to recover complete data from a formatted SD card or formatted USB drive, recovery software like Remo Recover would be the best solution.

We’ll help you with some solutions so that you don’t get into this situation again.

Bonus information

How To Protect Your SD Card From Formatting

Below are some safety measures that you can follow to keep the SD cards safe from formatting issues and other problems.

Use write-protect software: Using write protection keeps the SD card from writing and formatting.

Buy a quality SD card: SD card’s quality matters. So buy a trustworthy card that is branded and well-performing so that you can be safe from corruption and card failures.

Maintain the SD card well:  Though they are advertised as rugged, keep the memory card well maintained, avoid dropping and bending or exposing it to extreme heat or cold, etc.

Conclusion: Recovering data from a formatted SD card needs a tool that is capable and built for this task, we through the article suggests you go with software that has the experience and global presence in doing recovery efficiently like Remo Recover and claimed secondary methods to recover SD card data after format. Hope this article helped you in your search for recovering files from formatted SD cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does formatting an SD card delete everything?

Yes. Formatting would delete all the data in the SD card, but it can be recovered using recovery methods like

1. Command Prompt
2. Terminal
3. Recovery Software

Can SD card data be recovered after formatting?

Yes. It is possible to recover data after formatting but it shouldn’t be overwritten by other files.

How do I recover data from a corrupted SD card?

You can recover data from a corrupt SD card using a capable recovery software like Remo Recover that can access and restore all your lost data from the corrupted SD card.

How to recover files from formatted and overwritten SD card?

Connect the SD card to the computer and right-click and select "Restore Previous Versions" and restore a version from the versions available before overwriting.

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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. His mastery extends from file systems to SD cards, USBs, and external drives on Mac and Windows.

Recognized by cpomagazine, everythingusb, and more, John Harris is your trusted data recovery guide. You can also find his articles featured on, computertechreviews.

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