How to Recover Files from a Micro SD Card (2021)

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Recover files from micro sd card

Advancing technology has made it easy to store large amounts of data on chips smaller than your fingertips. These tiny chips, called micro SD cards, are so convenient that they are used in all sorts of devices, from mobile phones to cameras. Since they are so common, panic sets in when the memory card is unreadable. But if this happened to you, worry not. Data loss can be solved with micro SD card recovery!

What’s so special about a micro SD card?

Without going into the technicality of it, a micro SD card – true to its name – is a much smaller version of a regular SD card.

Micro SD cards are the smallest SD cards available and are only as big as your thumbnail. Although their standard size is 15mm x 11mm x 1mm, they can store vast amounts of data, ranging from 8GB to even 1TB! Micro SD cards are designed for use in devices with small slots. Mobile phones, such as your Android, use only micro SD cards as additional storage.

Micro SD cardsAlthough micro SD cards are mostly used in phones, they can be easily used in slots for regular SD cards by combining them with SD card adapters. These combined features make the cards extraordinarily versatile and useful for all kinds of gadgets.

The bottom line is that we end up storing lots of important data on micro SD cards. Sometimes though, you forget to backup your data, and your micro SD card is unreadable. There are several reasons why this might happen, but most of them are fixable. Not all is lost; keep calm and try our solutions to recover data from micro SD card.

How to Recover Data from Micro SD Card: Featuring Data Recovery Tools

Using a data recovery tool for micro SD card data recovery is quite reliable and hassle-free. With a huge number of recovery tools out there, picking the right software can be confusing. Worry not, our team has done the research for you to find the most reliable recovery tool – Disk Drill SD Card Recovery.

Are you dealing with the traditional SD Card? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on memory card recovery.

Disk Drill is a free-to-use memory card recovery tool that can help recover files from micro SD cards in no time. It is very user-friendly and helps you recover data from a wide range of devices, from SD cards to external hard drives. Regardless of the file format, you can recover micro SD cards quickly. Read on for a step-by-step guide!

Data Recovery Software Walkthrough for Micro SD Card Data Recovery

Steps to recover files from a microSD card:

Step 1. Download and Install Disk Drill for Windows or Mac.

Disk Drill setup windowOnce the download is complete, install the software with the administrator’s credentials. This free version allows you to recover 500 MB of data. Run the program after installation.

disk drill installation sequenceStep 2. Select the microSD Card and the recovery method you wish to use.

In Disk Drill’s main window, you will see a list of drives connected to your PC. Select the micro SD card that you want to recover data from. After this, choose a recovery method from the drop-down menu.

disk drill device selection page

The quick scan method works great for files that were recently deleted.
Files that were lost a while ago can take some more effort to recover. In this case, opt for the deep scan method designed to find files from fragments and signatures.

Step 3. Scan for Lost Data.

Once you select the correct micro SD card and the recovery method, click on the Search for lost data button. This will start Disk Drill’s scanning algorithms that can help recover more than 400 different file types. 

disk drill device selection pageThe deep scan might take longer, but you can always pause and restart it at your convenience. You are now almost there, just a couple of steps, and you will recover photos and videos from your micro SD card!

Step 4. Select Files to Recover fro the memory card.

Disk Drill keeps displaying its progress during the scans, so you can see which files have been detected. If you wish, you can pause the scan to quickly recover a single file and then resume recovery. This can help when you are urgently looking for a single file and don’t want to waste time.

To make it easier to find the exact file you want, Disk Drill has a file filter. You can choose to look at photos, documents, folders, audio clips and other file types. What’s more, you can type in the file’s name in the search bar and go straight to the file you want. Simply select the files to recover and click the Recover button.

Of course, you may want to recover all deleted files from your micro SD card. Just wait until the scan is complete and click on Recover all.

disk drill recovery pageStep 5. Recover you data.

Clicking on “Recover” will prompt you to select a location where recovered files from the micro SD card will be stored. 

Remember not to place the files back in the micro SD card that has errors. This can lead to errors and loss of data that cannot be recovered. After recovering the files, you can move them to any location you like.

disk drill recovery completion page

Once you recover files from your micro SD card, remember to regularly backup your data in the future!

What if your computer simply refuses to read your micro SD Card. Don’t worry; We got you covered.

Common Micro SD Card Issues and Fixes

There are several suspects behind micro SD card data deletion. Interestingly, there are some frequent Micro SD card issues that have quick and actionable hacks. Most of these fixes are implementable straight from your PC. Have a go at them:

Your micro SD card is detected but slow

icon depicting slowness

A slow micro SD card is a common problem. While it is not as bad as losing all of your data, it indeed is frustrating. Sometimes, the read speeds can go as low as 10 MB/s on a 90MB/s.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Insert the SD card into a different device and recheck its speed.
  2. If the issue persists, back up all of the data on the card and format it.

Formatting your micro SD card will delete all data on it!

Your device cannot recognize the micro SD card

icon depicting an error

If you just inserted your micro SD card into a new device, the device might not recognize it. This does not necessarily mean that the card is broken. Every device is capable of reading files in a specific file system. If the file system of the SD card and the device don’t match, the device will fail to recognize it. 

This problem can be easily solved by reformatting the micro SD card. Digital cameras usually use FAT32 or exFAT file systems. They often fail to recognize NTFS formats.

  1. Connect the faulty micro SD card to a computer, right-click on it, and select Format.
  2. In the dialog box that pops up, select the right file system from the drop-down menu and format the micro SD card. 

You encounter an error saying “Micro SD card not detected”

icon depicting error

Most new computers have inbuilt SD card readers that connect to SD cards. These readers detect micro SD cards that are inserted in an adapter.

  1. If your computer cannot detect the micro SD card, reinsert the card into the slot.
  2. And if this does not work, make sure the drivers on your computer are updated. 

Your device detects the micro SD card, but it cannot read it 

icon depicting file read error

Did you switch your camera on to find that it does not read the micro SD card? This is a problem many people have, and the thought of losing data can be terrifying.

  1. Try restarting the device and then reinserting the card. Often, this solves the problem with absolutely no loss of data.
  2. If this does not work for you, create a backup of the data using a different device and then format the card. 

This might catch you by surprise, but did you know that SD Card Recovery for Android is a possibility as well? Moreover, you can even recover photos from micro SD card mounted on your Android device.

Your micro SD card is write-protected

write protection sd card

Standard SD cards and SD card adapters have a tiny switch on the side. This sliding switch is used to lock access to write data onto the card. This issue is very unlikely with micro SD cards, as they lack these switches.

  1. Check the slider on your SD card adapter.
  2. If the issue still persists, try changing the card adapter.

Your micro SD card appears blank

blank icon

Did you suddenly find that all files on your micro SD card are missing, and it appears empty on your device? Before you decide to format the card, it is worth trying out a few things.

First, restart your device and reinsert the card. 

If it does not work, your files might be hidden. To unhide them, try connecting the card to a computer. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and locate the problematic micro SD card
  2. Click on the View tab on the Menu bar
  3. Make sure that the Show hidden box is checked
  4. Your files should now be visible on the micro SD card

Your micro SD card is corrupted

corrupted file icon

A corrupted micro SD card is a bigger problem than the rest. It has logical damage, which stops the files from it being read. A corrupted micro SD card will often appear empty or inaccessible. While this could lead to panic, usually, you can still recover files from micro SD cards. 

Immediately stop using the micro SD card and try out some of the following:

  1. Try a different device to access the card. This will ensure that the card is faulty, not your device.
  2. Check the authenticity of the micro SD card. You can use free tools such as FakeFlashTest.
  3. Check whether the drivers for your SD card reader are updated.
  4. Try to repair the micro SD card using the Disk Repair Tool in Windows.
  5. Change the Drive Letter of the SD card from Disk Management in Windows.
  6. Fix File System Errors using the CHKDSK command in Windows. 

Remember that Command-line solutions modify your system directly. Only use them if you understand what you are doing.

If you are using the micro SD card with a Windows device, you can quickly try out all of the above fixes. If the above hacks don’t work, chances are that your micro SD Card is corrupted. Here’s a comprehensive guide on corrupted SD Card recovery

Still Couldn’t Recover Your Data? Time to Call in the Experts!

As a last resort, you can give data recovery services a shot for recovering data from your micro SD Card. Data recovery services retrieve data from micro SD cards 98% of the time and are highly secure. 

When even data recovery software fails, you should try relying on professionals to help recover deleted files from micro SD cards. Trustworthy services are highly reliable for recovering data from a variety of storage devices. 

Data recoery services

The typical recovery service begins with a free phone call and a quick cost evaluation. Even if your micro SD card is physically damaged, it might be possible to recover it. After the consultation, all you have to do is to ship the faulty micro SD card to the service provider. Their experts will try to clone your micro SD card and recover the data.

Even if you have a cracked micro SD card, data recovery professionals will still do their best to recover your data as fast as possible. Best of all, if they cannot recover your data, they won’t charge you anything.


Getting your data from your micro SD card can be a task. Many users forget to back up their data. Small mistakes such as deleting files or formatting the card can lead to the loss of precious memories or all-important documents. 

Suppose you find yourself using different storage devices all the time. In that case, it is essential to have a recovery tool like Disk Drill around. With Disk Drill, you can rest easy even if you suddenly have problems with your micro SD cards and retrieve your data quickly.

Moreover, as a last-ditch effort, you have the option of approaching a data recovery service center for recovering deleted data from your micro SD Card.

Joshua is a technology content writer for 7Data. He's been in the content world long enough to understand that less is more. Joshua consistently attempts to deliver complicated technical information in concise and digestible chunks. His hobbies include sports betting, listening to Drake, and re-watching the Office like a hundred times.
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12 years experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair.