How To Recover Deleted/ Lost NEF Files From Windows and Mac?

Are you looking for a sure-shot way of recovering deleted or lost NEF Files from Nikon Camera SD cards? Then look no further; this article answers in depth about recovering .nef photos from any Nikon Camera.Use the Remo Photo Recovery tool for an absolutely safe .nef file recovery. The tool is tried and tested by hundreds of expert photographers and thousands of amateur photographers for flawlessly recovering NEF files.

Written by John Harris / Updated on June 19, 2023

What is an NEF File?

Photos shot on a Nikon camera are saved in the .nef file format on the external SD card. The NEF file is Nikon’s raw image format, which basically includes all the metadata about the image captured, including the type of Nikon camera used and its settings, camera lens data, etc., in an uncompressed and raw form.

Losing or deleting NEF image files from any Nikon camera or SD card can be very devastating, especially those high-resolution raw image files that mean a lot to anyone. In case if you are looking to recover deleted NEF files, then you need not worry! Here is an easy guide on NEF photo recovery from SD cards using a powerful nef file recovery solution like Remo Recover.

How To Recover Deleted NEF Photos From SD Card Or PC?

Thousands of users ask, “Is it possible to recover a deleted NEF File?” The answer is yes. The safest and the most effective way to recover lost nef data or other Nikon raw images, such as .NRW and .NKSC is by using specialized tools like the Remo Photo Recovery tool.

Remo Recover is one of the most reliable data recovery software available in the market. As mentioned earlier, Remo has been rigorously tested under 1000+ data loss scenarios to recover more than 500 types of files, including 75+ RAW file formats of all major camera brands such as .PEF of Pentax, .CR2, .CRW and .CR3 of Canon, .SR2, .SRF, and .ARW of Sony, to name a few. Moreover, Remo is compatible with all external storage devices such as Memory Cards, SD Cards, Compact Flash cards, External Hard Drives, etc.

Remo makes the complicated process of recovering Nikon NEF images as simple as booking a cab. We swear. Don’t take our word.
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How To Recover Deleted NEF Files from SD card or PC?

Follow the below steps to recover your deleted or lost NEF files from your SD card using Remo Recover:

  • Download, install and run Remo Recover software.
  • Choose the drive from which you wish to recover the NEF files and click on Scan, Click on the Can't find drive? option if you are unable to view your device on the main screen.
  • select-the-drive-to-recover-nef-files

  • After the scanning process, you will see all the recovered files, In the Search box search for .nef to filter out the other files.
  • Note: You can use Filter and Advanced filter option also to sort the files as per your preference.


  • You can Preview the recovered files to examine if the NEF files are restored properly.
  • preview-the-nef-files

  • If you are satisfied with the recovery results, select the NEF files which you want to restore and hit the Recover button to save them at your desired location.


I am sure by now you have safely recovered your deleted or lost .NEF files from the Nikon cameras. Moreover, you can refer to this article to recover deleted photos from Sony camera.

If you are curious, read the following section to find out how other Nikon Camera users lose their Photos.

How NEF files can be lost from SD card?

  • Accidental deletion of NEF files while deleting unwanted files from the Nikon camera or accidentally pressing the Delete All button while previewing the NEF photos files on the camera.
  • Formatting the SD card/ camera without having a backup.
  • Improper usage can lead to SD card data corruption or data loss. For example, using the SD card on infected devices.
  • Clicking images when the Nikon camera is low on battery.
  • Abrupt removal of the camera card from the system while moving the files from the card to the computer may lead to file deletion.

Irrespective of the reason why you lost your files from the memory card. The good thing is those RAW files are recoverable. But the catch is you need to ensure that the Nikon camera card doesn’t get overwritten with new data. So we highly recommend you stop using your SD or Memory card immediately after encountering the dreadful issue of losing data. To boost the chances of Nikon Photo Recovery.


We highly recommend you take regular backups of your important files, which can be used in the event of data loss. This article explains how you can easily recover your NEF files from your SD Card using Remo Recover. With the help of Remo Recover, you can effortlessly restore photos and other files from any SD card, USB drive, external hard drive, etc., on any version of Windows and Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're unable to open NEF files on your computer, you can resolve this issue in Windows by installing the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack. This pack enables the use of NEF, DNG, CR2, CRW, PEF, RW2, and other RAW picture formats.

Several software applications that can open NEF files are:

  1. Nikon ViewNX-i
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Adobe Lightroom
  4. Capture One
  5. Corel PaintShop Pro

Yes, NEF files are a type of RAW file. NEF is the proprietary raw file format used by Nikon cameras. Therefore, NEF files and RAW files refer to the same thing when discussing Nikon camera raw files.

Yes, it is possible to convert a NEF file to a JPG format using Nikon ViewNX-i or any other third-party software.

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