Easy Steps to Recover Formatted SD Card

"Tried all the manual methods and still unable to Recover Formatted data from SD card? It is possible to restore files after you format them even if a situation feels hopeless. Here is an effective tool that recovers all the lost data from formatted SD card in few clicks."

SD cards are widely being used in various small portable devices such as digital cameras, digital video camcorders, handheld computers, audio players and mobile phones. Wondering what to do after formatting the SD card unintentionally? Or unable to find the stored files on SD card. No matter what the situation is, you will be able to recover formatted SD card easily. Further sections of article explain a free method and a quick method to restore formatted SD card.

Before looking on formatted SD card data recovery, it is important to know what is formatting and what are the scenarios that leads to formatting of SD card.

Most common causes of formatting a SD Card

Formatting means the process of preparing the chosen partition on the drive to be used by an operating system by clearing all of the data on SD card and setting up a new file system for further use.

Generally, SD cards are formatted due to following reasons

    1. Unintentional formatting of SD card
    2. SD card infected by virus.
    3. Your SD card shows up the error and cannot be used for further data storage.

Possibility of formatted SD card recovery after Quick format or Full format- briefly explained

While formatting a user can choose to either perform a quick format or full format. Technically, a user does not usually know the difference between an SD card being formatted quickly and completely.

Full memory card format performs slow erasing of data from SD card. Every bit of data is wiped out from memory card. This formatting takes a long time to complete its action and clears all errors from the SD card. Data erased from this formatting is impossible to recover using the manual method.

Fast/quick formatting of an SD card is a process by which all files on a memory card are erased. It takes lesser time than the full format. Formatted space is marked as unused, without actually deleting data from SD card.

If you have performed a full formatting on SD card, manual method cannot be able to manage restoring of formatted SD card. SFWare SD Card Recovery software is designed with user friendly GUI that makes recovery process easier for all kinds of users. It has a quick scanning algorithms make the recovery of formatted SD cards quicker and simpler. It is compatible on Windows Operating System and Mac OS as well.

How to Recover Files from Formatted SD card?

When you perform formatting on SD card/memory card, the system does not actually erase the data but makes it invisible. In other words, it simply marks the space on the disk available for new data to be stored. Formatted data still exists on the medium until it is overwritten by any other data.

Two easy ways are explained to recover a formatted SD card in the following sections

Note: Avoid using a formatted SD card before recovering it. Overwriting on SD card makes older data unavailable for recovery.

Method 1: Formatted SD card recovery using Command Prompt

It is a command-line interpreter that is available in most of the Windows OS. It understands only the command language and hence instructions are executed using commands only.

Step 1: Connect SD card to the computer and check for the drive letter of SD card in Computer.

Step 2: Type cmd in the search box, select command prompt and click OK.

Step 3: Type chkdsk H: /r command and hit Enter to run it. (Replace H with the drive letter of your formatted SD card)

Step 4: If the command prompt tells you the volume is in use, you can type Y(yes) and press Enter until command line start again

Step 5: Once the process is done you will find a new folder on your external drive with the name of the recovered file. It would be in a .chk format, change the file format and save.


chkdsk: Command used to check a specified disk and repair or recover data on the drive if necessary.

/r: Refers to repair attribute that tells command prompt to repair problems when it finds any.

When you execute anything in cmd prompt it only follows the cmd instruction. Hence, if you are not a regular or familiar with cmd prompt you may end up having a trouble while executing the steps. To avoid such problems, it is recommended to use SFWare SD Card Recovery software that helps you recover formatted data from SD memory card easily and effectively.

Method 2: Recover formatted SD card using SFWare SD Card Recovery software

Download and install the SFWare SD Card Recovery Software and follow the below steps to recover formatted SD Card:

Step 1: Launch the application, main screen displays "Recover Files" and "Recover Formatted/Corrupt" options

Select option for Recovery of Formatted SD Card

Step 2:Next screen list of drives/partitions are displayed. Select the appropriate drive to recover files from formatted SD card and click on "Next"option

Select Drive for Recovery of Formatted SD Card

Step 3: Scanning process initializes. Once it is done, files are displayed in "Data View" and "File Type View".

Select Files from the View

Step 4: Save the recovered files by giving preferred location.

Benefits of SFWare SD Card Recovery


Formatting of SD card sometimes proves useful in terms of keeping it safe and secure. But in return erases all the data from the storage media. In such cases, it is recommended to use SFWare SD card recovery software for hassle-free recovery. This tool assists you to retrieve all your lost photos, music files, videos and documents from a formatted memory card.