It doesn’t take much to accidentally delete videos from an SD card, especially if the SD card is shared between multiple cameras and computers. Fortunately, it also doesn’t take much effort to learn how to recover deleted videos from any SD card, as we explain in this article.
Improve Your Chances of Successful Video Recovery
The results of any video recovery attempt are never 100% guaranteed, but you can greatly increase the likelihood of getting all lost data back by following the two recommendations listed below:
🛑 Stop Using the SD Card. Contrary to what it seems, deleted files physically remain stored on the memory card until new files are written in their place. If you keep using the memory card, you risk overwriting the lost files before you have a chance to recover them. When that happens, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done to get them back. For this reason, you need to stop using the SD card until you’re ready to restore deleted videos from it.
🕐 Start the Recovery Process ASAP. We understand that this may be your first experience with recovering deleted videos from a memory card, but that’s not a good reason to delay the recovery process more than absolutely necessary. By postponing it, you risk misplacing or damaging the memory card, overwriting the deleted files, or simply forgetting that you’ve lost a bunch of videos in the first place.
How to Retrieve Deleted Videos from an SD Card with Software
Disk Drill makes recovering deleted videos from SD cards or other memory cards easy, and you should be able to complete the entire process in just a few minutes, depending on the speed and capacity of your card.
Download and Install Disk Drill.
If you haven’t done so already, download Disk Drill to your computer and install it. The Windows version can recover up to 500 MB for free (that’s the version we’re using to explain how to recover deleted videos from an SD card), whereas the basic version of Disk Drill for Mac can only preview recoverable files.
Regardless of which version of Disk Drill you choose, you need to install it on your internal hard drive (or another suitable storage device) and NOT the SD card from which you want to recover deleted videos. Why? Because you could overwrite the deleted videos and lose them permanently.
Scan Your SD Card.
Next, launch Disk Drill and find your SD card. It should be listed in the main window alongside all other storage devices connected to your computer. To scan it, you need to first select it and then click the Search for lost data button.
Disk Drill lets you specify which recovery method you want to use, but you can also let it run all recovery methods in the optimal order by leaving everything in default settings. The scan process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more—it all depends on the speed of your SD card and its capacity. You can see the remaining time at the bottom of the scan window.
If the scan is taking too long, and you can’t wait to see if Disk Drill has been able to retrieve your files, you can click the Review found items button in the top-right corner. This will let you browse the scan results without interrupting the scan itself.
Recover Lost Videos to a Safe Location.
Finally, select the video files you want to recover by clicking the checkboxes on the left. Remember that Disk Drill can preview all commonly used video files, so there’s no reason to add all recoverable files to your recovery queue just to restore a single file.
When you’re ready to get back your lost videos, simply click the Recover button and select a safe location. Any folder located on a different storage device than the card that you’ve just scanned is considered safe.
How to Recover Deleted Videos From an SD Card Without Software
Although there are less options available to you, it is possible to recover deleted videos from an SD card without downloading software. Here’s what you can try.
Restore From Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin is one of the easiest ways to restore your deleted videos from your SD card. But, it’s only possible if the files were deleted when the SD card was connected to your computer. Even then, this may not work if the files skipped the Recycle Bin because they were too large. Regardless, it is worth pursuing if you lost your videos while the SD card was connected to your computer.
This is how you can restore your deleted videos from the Recycle Bin on Windows.
Once restored, the files will be returned to their original location. Alternatively, you can restore them to another folder by simply dragging them out of the Recycle Bin and into the designated folder.
Recover Using Data Recovery Services
In cases where your SD card has sustained physical damage and is no longer accessible via Windows, or if none of the other methods in this article have worked for you, the next step is to let a data recovery professional recover the deleted videos for you.
Using a data recovery service involves sending your SD card to a team of data recovery specialists who use industry-level equipment to analyse your SD card and recover the data from it. Of course, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that your data can be recovered, but this is the best chance you’ll get at recovering your videos.
Here’s how you submit a request to recover the deleted videos from your SD card.
Once completed, you will be instructed to send your device away for inspection. Following successful recovery, your device (if you chose not to recycle it) and the recovered data will be returned to you.
How to Recover Deleted Videos From an SD Card on Phone
If you don’t have a computer to perform recovery, you can try recovering the videos directly from your phone. Here are two methods you can use to restore deleted videos from your phone’s SD card.
Restore From Cloud Backup
If you have a copy of the videos in your cloud storage, you can restore them directly from there. For instance, If you have Google Photos installed on your device, there’s a chance that it has automatically created a backup of your videos to Google Drive if the folder they were stored in was selected for backing up.
The below instructions will guide you through restoring a video from Google Photos, but this process will be similar for other cloud-based storage solutions, such as Dropbox and OneDrive.
After you restore the video, it will be returned to your Google Photos library.
Recover Using DiskDigger
DiskDigger is an Android data recovery application. In function, it’s the same as any other data recovery tool. It can scan your phone’s storage, as well as any removable storage in your device (like your SD card). Using DiskDigger, you can scan for and recover your deleted videos without the need for a computer.
The free version of DiskDigger allows you to recover photos and videos. However, in order to recover videos, your device must first be rooted. Therefore, if your device isn’t rooted, this method will not work for you unless you’re only recovering photos.
Follow these steps to recover your videos using DiskDigger for Android.
Upon pressing OK, DiskDigger will begin to recover the files. This should be quite fast, but it can take a little while if you’re recovering a lot of files at once. Once finished, your files can be found in the folder you specified for recovery.
What Should I Look for In a Video Recovery Tool?
You can find many different video recovery tools for all operating systems, but the differences between them can be enormous. Here are five things you should look for when selecting a video recovery tool:
- Video files can be very large, so it’s best to choose a video recovery tool that can recover at least several hundred megabytes of data for free. If you need to recover multiple video files or a single long HD or 4K video file, it’s best to spend money on a paid video recovery tool with unlimited recovery.
- Without the ability to preview recoverable videos, it can be extremely difficult to find the video you want to get back since most video cameras automatically generate filenames based on the time of their creation.
- There are many video file formats, and you need to choose a video recovery tool that supports all the formats you use to record RAW video footage and render finished projects. The most commonly used video file formats include AVI, WMV, MOV, MP4, MKV, and AVCHD.
- Some video recovery tools restore deleted videos from SD cards much faster than others. The difference in performance can be caused by better optimization, but it can also stem from the support for multiple video recovery algorithms to address different data loss scenarios.
- It goes without saying that the video recovery tool of your choice should be easy to use and intuitive. There’s no reason to go through the trouble of reading lengthy manuals and watching complicated online tutorials just to recover a few video files when there are video recovery tools that make the entire process completely painless.
If you’ve lost or accidentally deleted some videos from your SD card, don’t panic. Using the solutions presented in this article, you can recover your lost videos in no time.
Following the successful recovery of your videos, take some time to back them up so they’re safeguarded against any future data-loss scenarios. Taking just a few moments to do this now can save you hours, potentially days, of recovery in the future.
- Download DiskDigger from the Google Play Store.
- Tap Start Basic Photo Scan. If prompted, allow DiskDigger access to your photos, media, and files on your device.
- Mark what photos or videos you want to recover by tapping on them. When ready, tap Recover.
- Specify where you want the recovered photos and videos to be restored to.
- Navigate to the output folder and tap OK.
- Assign or change drive letter- Windows may have trouble reading your SD card if it wasn’t assigned a drive letter. Assign a drive letter if one is missing. Alternatively, try changing the existing drive letter.
- Try a different card reader - The fault could sit with the card reader. Try using a different card reader or USB port to make sure it’s not a hardware fault.
- Update or reinstall drivers- If your drivers are out-of-date, it can result in the SD card being unreadable. The same is true if they’re corrupted. Try updating or reinstalling the drivers through the Device Manager to fix this.