SD card recovery software comes to the rescue when an unfortunate mistake, software error, or some other factor causes you to lose important data to disappear from your SD card. Since choosing the best SD card recovery software can be difficult, we’ve done the research for you, so you can simply pick the solution you like the most and recover memory card data without any delay.
Disk Drill stands out from the crowd as the best free SD card recovery software currently available, allowing you to preview an unlimited number of files and recover up to 500 MB of data (Windows version only) for free.
It truly delivers on its promise of hassle-free one-click recovery by hiding all the technical complexity associated with SD card recovery behind the “Recovery” button. With a single click, you can retrieve over 400 different file types from any SD card (micro, mini, regular).
Disk Drill is frequently updated to keep it bug-free and reliable. The latest version includes many free extra disk tools, allowing you to back up your data, find duplicate files, and more without having to install any additional software.
|Disk Drill Basic||Free|
|Disk Drill PRO||$89.00|
|Disk Drill Enterprise||$499|
|Competitive Upgrade||50% OFF|
Best for: Disk Drill remains the best option for SD card data recovery given how it can accommodate pretty much all memory card formats.
If you’re a Windows user and are looking for a straightforward free SD card recovery tool that you can use to perform basic data recovery jobs without spending a single dollar, then Recuva is an excellent choice.
You can install Recuva on any PC running Windows XP or newer, and its user interface is so simple that you’ll be able to figure it out in seconds. As far as performance goes, Recuva can confidently recover pictures, music, documents, videos, emails, and other file types that are commonly used by Windows users.
Unlike Disk Drill, it sometimes struggles with newer and more exotic file formats because it was last updated in 2016. Since the original developers are no longer involved in its development, it’s unlikely that Recuva will receive a major update anytime soon.
|Recuva Free||Available without Professional features|
Best for: Since Recuva’s free version allows for unlimited data recovery, it’s an excellent choice for people who want to retrieve more common file types from their SD card without shelling out money.
R-Studio aims to meet the needs of data recovery professionals looking for the most feature-packed data recovery software for SD card recovery available. While the application is a free download, you won’t be able to recover files larger than 256 KB with it. To do that, you’ll need to purchase a license.
So, what does R-Studio offer that Disk Drill and other easy-to-use memory card recovery software for PC and macOS doesn’t? Several things, including a built-in hex editor and support for damaged RAID recovery, to give you two examples.
If these and other advanced features are what you’re looking for, then we encourage you give R-Studio a try. Just know that the data recovery process itself isn’t the most intuitive, but that’s to be expected from a professional tool.
|Free version||Recover files less than 256 KB in size||Recover files less than 256 KB in size||Recover files less than 256 KB in size|
Best for: R-Studio is the optimal choice for experienced users that are looking for a more sophisticated tool to assist them in recovering important files from their memory card.
Just like Disk Drill, Recuva, and other beginner-friendly memory card recovery software tools, IObit Undelete stands out with its one-click approach to data recovery. It also offers a handy portable mode that lets you run it on any Windows machine without installing it first.
Where it does fall behind higher-ranking tools is its data recovery performance. Simply put, IObit Undelete can only recover standard document, video, audio, and graphics file formats, and it can’t even preview them.
There are also no advanced options to speak of, so don’t even bother downloading IObit Undelete if you consider yourself to be a power user. In such a case, download R-Studio or other similar SD card recovery software instead.
Best for: IObit Undelete’s greatest strength lies in its simplicity, allowing you to jumpstart the recovery process with just a single click. This makes it a great tool for novice users who don’t know much about data recovery.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a versatile data recovery solution that recovers over 100 file types, while offering the ability to preview up to 70 different ones, including documents, images, video, audio, archives, and other files.
One special feature offered by MiniTool Power Data Recovery that no other memory card recovery software for PC featured on this page offers is the ability to recover files from a specific directory, such as the desktop folder or the Recycle Bin. This feature can save you valuable time because it frees you from having to scan the entire drive.
Unfortunately, the free version of MiniTool Power Data Recovery, which can recover up to 1 GB of data for free, can’t actually preview any recoverable files without you separately installing the file previewer feature.
For Personal Users:
|Trial version||Recover up to 1 GB data|
|Personal Monthly Subscription||$69.00|
|Personal Annual Subscription||$89.00|
For Business Users:
Best for: MiniTool Power Data Recovery is an excellent choice if you’re planning on recovering data from a particular directory since this program is one of the only recovery tools that has such a feature.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has been around for a long time, and it has gathered countless positive online reviews praising its reliable performance and polished user interface, among other things. Indeed, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard makes it easy to recover files from SD cards of all sizes and types, making it one of the best memory card recovery software for PC.
The main reason why we can’t rank it any higher is the fact it was last updated in 2020. In contrast, Disk Drill has received a major update this month, and updates keep coming at a steady pace, ensuring that users don’t have to deal with annoying bugs that compromise their experience and affect data recovery performance.
|Free trial||Can recover up to 2GB of data||Can recover up to 2GB of data|
Best for: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a great pick for users who want a quality SD card recovery solution with an eye-catching and user-friendly interface. Furthermore, it supports a wide range of file formats and its recovery rate is impressive.
If you’re wondering how to recover data from SD cards using the Command Prompt or Terminal, TestDisk is your answer. This memory card recovery software for PC doesn’t have a graphical user interface, so you can run it on just about any operating system.
It’s also completely free and open-source, which means that you can recover an unlimited amount of data without running into any limits. That said, we don’t recommend you download this data recovery software for PC unless you consider yourself to be at least somewhat advanced when it comes to information technology.
Mastering TestDisk requires a lot more effort than learning to use Disk Drill, Recuva, and other straightforward graphical SD card recovery software applications. If you’re not willing to commit, you better use something else.
Pricing: Free and open-source
Best for: TestDisk is the top option for advanced users looking to recover memory card data using a command-line based solution. It’s free, open-source, and works on pretty much any operating system available.
All SD card data recovery tools offer different features and capabilities, not to mention how wildly they can differ in terms of performance. When comparing them, we pay attention to the following criteria:
|🧰 Software||🔄 Latest update||📄 Supported files||⚙️ System requirements||💸 Pricing|
|Disk Drill||Version 4.4.606 (November 4, 2021)||Over 400 file formats||Mac OS X 10.11.6+ / Windows 7 SP1+||From $89 (free version available)|
|Recuva||Recuva v1.53.1087 (June 07, 2016)||Supports only basic file formats||Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 7, Vista, and XP||$19.95 (free version available)|
|R-Studio||Version 9.0.190275 (January 28, 2022)||Several hundred file formats||Windows, macOS, Linux (all newer versions)||From $49.99 (free version available)|
|IObit Undelete||Version 188.8.131.529||Most standard file formats||Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP||Freeware|
|MiniTool Data Recovery||V10.2 (December 14, 2021)||Supports over 100 file types||Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7||From $69 (free version available)|
|EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard||Version 14.5 (January 19, 2021)||Supports over 1,000 file formats||Windows 2000 or newer / macOS 10.15 ~ 10.9||From $69.95 (free version available)|
|TestDisk||Version 7.1 (July 7, 2019)||Recognizes more than 480 file extensions||Windows, macOS, Linux (all newer versions)||Free and open-source|
Here’s how it works:
SD cards are just one of multiple types of memory cards supported by modern electronic devices. Let’s take a brief look at each major type to understand why it exists and what it has to offer:
Data loss can happen for many different reasons, and you should understand at least the ones that are most common so that you can better avoid them:
Backing up SD card data is easy—the most difficult part is remembering to do so on a regular basis. The good news is that there are various data backup tools that make the process quick and easy. For example, you can use the byte-to-byte backup feature included in Disk Drill, which lets you create a single image containing all data stored on your SD card:
SD cards can become corrupted in a variety of ways. Some of the most common to be aware of include:
Avoiding these situations will help keep your card in good working condition.
There are a number of reasons that your SD card may not be visible to your operating system. Some of the most common causes are:
For you to have the best chance at recovering photos from a damaged or corrupted SD card, you should install a quality data recovery program and have it scan your SD card for you. Once the scan is complete, most programs can show you the different files it’s capable of retrieving.
If you’d like to recover photos from a memory card but aren’t keen on using software, there are a few methods depending on what device the memory card belongs to. If it’s for an Android mobile device, then it’s best to recover the photos from cloud storage or a computer backup. Alternatively, you can try opening the “Gallery” app and checking if your device has the “Trash” feature. If it does, your photos might still be there after deletion.