I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to recover deleted files from an SD card.
Okay, yes I can. Three.
But that’s three times too many.
The first time was after my freshman year of college. I can’t remember the exact reason, but I was totally devastated because I thought I had lost all my pictures.
I paid like $60 bucks for an SD card recovery program, and I retrieved all those photos.
The second time was about a year ago. I realized I formatted my SD card before I retrieved all the photos. I tried to recover them but none of the methods I used were working. The missing photos weren’t all that important, so I gave up.
The third time was two days ago. I started using my desktop computer recently to upload and edit photos. It had just upgraded to Windows 10, and I was confused with how it was importing photos. Long story short, I ended up importing all the photos except for ones taken in July. I didn’t realize this, and I formatted the card in preparation for a photo shoot I was doing the next day.
About 10 seconds later, I realized what happened. I was so sad! There were photos that I had just taken over the past few days with recipes I was really excited about.
So, I decided to see if I could find a way to retrieve the photos. I wasn’t about to pay a bunch of money to retrieve them (I didn’t like the photos that much.) But I thought I might as well try.
I Googled “recover deleted photos from an SD card for free.”
The first thing that showed up was Ease US. It said in the title that it was a free SD card recovery service. Awesome, right?
Not so much. It showed me all the files it recovered alright. But if I wanted to have access to them, I was going to have to upgrade and pay a fee.
Not gonna happen.
So then I found PhotoRec, which actually is free. However, I found it really confusing to use, and even after I downloaded the files, my computer kept saying something was missing. I’m a pretty tech-minded person, but this was a little over my head. All the reviews say it’s very powerful, but it is not super user-friendly.
Then there was another one I tried, and it was just confusing. It said that it found like 700 files, but when I went through the process of having it retrieve the files…it said it could only recover like eight. That was a waste of 20 minutes of my life.
I was about to give up and just be sad that I lost pictures of some delicious pies I had made when I came across Pandora Recovery. It looked legit and free, so I downloaded it.
It showed that it was finding tons of files, so I was cautiously optimistic. It took about 10 minutes, and when it was finished, it let me preview the files that it retrieved. You can also search for a file by date, file size, last accessed, etc.
Since I only need about 20 pictures, I found those ones, told it to recover, and I was SO excited when all the files were actually recovered – in their original size – and saved to my computer. And it was 100% free.
So if you are like me and looking for to recover deleted files from an SD card for free, hopefully this will help and you won’t have to go through all of the stress that I went through!
Forrest lives in Colorado with the wonderful Katie Clark and their two sons. Forrest was raised in North Carolina, graduated from BYU with a degree in political science, and loves to dabble in lots different things. Plus, he is a big MLS fan.