Have you been struggling trying to copy photos from your SD Card? If yes, then you should know that the card may be corrupted. To learn how you can recover your seemingly lost images without any trouble, read this post till the end.

Here we discuss the five best SD card recovery software that you can use for this purpose.

SD card is a type of memory card, it is the default storage device that comes fitted in most electronic devices, like digital cameras, video game consoles, smartphones, or even laptops. It is used to save photos, videos, and documents, making it easier to share them between devices. To transfer photos from one device to another, you just need to detach the SD card from the source device, attach it to the destination device, and issue the command.

Considering that an SD card can contain a lot of critical data at any point in time, the thought of it becoming corrupted can cause panic if you don’t have a backup of that data. But let’s face it, SD cards are electronic devices, and sooner or later they are bound to malfunction due to one or the other reason. Thus, you should always know how to deal with this situation.

Here we look at some reasons why SD cards may become corrupt and also the ways you can use to perform an easy SD card recovery if needed.

Why can an SD card become corrupt?

1. Improper Use

An SD card is a delicate device that needs proper handling. Physical damage to it can make the data inside it become irrecoverable. Similarly using the same SD card for years across multiple devices can also ruin it due to wear and tear.

2. Removing from a device during file transfer

If you remove an SD card from a device during file transfer, it can very well lead to data corruption. Hence, you should use the “Safely remove hardware” option while removing it.

3. Malware

Malware can erase photos from your SD card or corrupt its data making the photos saved on it inaccessible.

4. Accumulated bad sectors

SD cards also use a file system to store data. Over time, and with repeated copying, overwriting, and deletion of data, some sectors on the file system can get damaged. Known as “bad sectors”, when your SD card accumulates such sectors the photos saved become irrecoverable.

5. Manufacturing Defects

SD cards can have manufacturing defects that can corrupt all data stored on them, including your photos.

Let us now move on to look at some solutions to recover photos from SD cards.

How to recover your images from corrupt SD cards?

SD card recovery software can recover your photos from corrupt SD cards within a few minutes. But there are many such software available in the market, which can make selecting one very difficult.

To make your task easier, we’ve compiled a list of the five best SD card recovery software below.

1. Stellar Photo Recovery

Stellar Photo Recovery is a purpose-built application to recover photos and videos from SD cards (Mini, Micro, SDHC, and SDXC), hard drives, portable drives, and USB thumb drives. It follows an easy three-step data recovery process that even beginners can use to restore lost, damaged, or deleted data. Supporting multiple photo and video file formats and equipped with an easy-to-use interface, this software allows users to preview images before recovering them.

Here’s a quick overview of the steps you can use to recover photos with Stellar Photo Recovery:

a. From the software’s official website, download its installer and install it using the default settings. Once installed, launch the software.

b. From the home screen, select the location which is to be scanned for recovering photos. After selecting, click on the Scan button to initiate the scan.

rec 01Select the location to scan for recoverable photos

c. When the scanning finishes, all recoverable photos will be listed in a tree-view list in the left-hand sidebar of the software interface. Click on any photo to preview it in the right-hand side panel. If you can preview the photo, that means it can be recovered.

rec 02 Preview photos before recovering

d. Select the photos you wish to recover and click on the Recover button. You will be asked to select a destination folder for the photos. Select it to proceed.

rec 03Save recovered photos at a destination of choice

e. The recovery process will take some time depending on the number of photos to be recovered.

2. R-Studio

R-Studio is a professional-grade SD recovery solution that is equipped with quite a few essential features to recover data from corrupt SD cards. Some of them include the integration of DeepSpar Disk Imager, a disk imaging device specially built for recovery from storage devices with hardware issues. It also has an advanced RAID reconstruction and built-in HEX editor that prove useful when recovering data from corrupt storage devices.

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Preview of R-studio Photo Recovery


  • · Easy to use File Explorer-style interface powerful features
  • · Advanced data recovery algorithm


  • · Not intended for casual users
  • · Professional grade recovery features are expensive
3. Recuva

Recuva provides users with basic file recovery capabilities and supports popular image and video formats. The free version can recover an unlimited number of photos and videos which is one reason for its popularity. Recuva can recover photos from corrupted SD cards including permanently deleted photos from your storage drive.

rec 05

Preview of Recuva


  • · Easy to use interface
  • · Fast scans
  • · Recovers unlimited data for free


  • · Sub-par recovery performance
  • · Limited customer support

4. PhotoRec

PhotoRec is a versatile data recovery tool with a menu-driven command-line interface. Since the software does not provide a graphical user interface, it might not be the right tool for users who don’t have a technical background. Users have to use commands to search for lost files and recover them. If the lack of a graphical interface doesn’t bother you, then PhotoRec can be the SD recovery software you need. It supports more than 480 file types (for images, videos, and documents) and also supports recovery from hard drives, memory cards, CD-ROMs, and other storage devices.

rec 06

Preview of PhotoRec


  • · Runs on any operating system
  • · Great performance
  • · Unlimited and free picture recovery


  • · Not suitable for beginners
  • · Lack of graphical interface

5. TestDisk

TestDisk is an open-source photo recovery application that supports all common file formats. Its noteworthy features include its ability to make non-booting disks bootable again and find lost partitions. Just like PhotoRec, it lacks a graphical user interface and the user has to perform the recovery tasks from the command-line interface. Hence, the software might not be suitable for beginners who don’t have the experience to work with a command-line interface.

rec 07

Preview of TestDisk


  • · Open-source and free
  • · Supports several operating systems
  • · Can recover lost partitions


  • · No graphical interface

Wrapping Up

Everyone knows losing data due to SD card corruption is a common thing, but recovering can become a big ordeal unless you equip yourself with some of the best SD card recovery software available. Generally, SD card recovery software can recover data from a wide range of storage devices including your HDD and USB thumb drives. The digital image recovery performance and speed combined with the ease of use make this software a blessing when you face the risk of losing your memories.