3 Ways to Recover LOST.DIR Files on Android SD Card

What is LOST.DIR folder? Can the LOST.DIR folder be deleted from Android devices? And how to restore the deleted files from LOST.DIR? If you have all these concerns, relax. This page will answer these questions one by one and guide you to perform LOST.DIR recovery on the Android sd card with EaseUS data recovery software.

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20 May 2024

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What Is LOST.DIR Folder on an Android SD Card

LOST.DIR is a file folder generated by the Android OS, performing like the Recycle Bin on Windows platforms, from which you are allowed to retrieve deleted Android files such as documents and photos. 

what is lost.dir

Usually, an Android phone or tablet creates a LOST.DIR directory when the device suddenly shuts off or encounters the following issues:

  • Sudden flashback of running applications
  • Unexpected Android OS crash or freeze
  • Improper abrupt or ejection of Android SD card
  • Unplug the Android SD card while the read-write process is carrying on
  • Accidental interruption while downloading files or apps to Android devices

How to Recover Files from LOST.DIR on SD Card or Android (3 Ways)

When the Android system suddenly fails or shuts down, all the lost files will be collected into this folder. That is to say, if accidents happen, the Android system will recover files during the next system boot up and place these files into Android LOST.DIR directory. At the same time, the filename extension of files will be replaced by the numeric sequence name. So, you can't recognize these files. If you delete the LOST.DIR folder, it will be recreated automatically in the next boot up.

What happens if you delete the LOST.DIR folder from an SD card? Basically, nothing will happen when you delete that folder. But if you want to learn how to recover LOST.DIR files, you can read on to get LOST.DIR recovery methods. To restore LOST.DIR files on Android SD card, follow Method 1 to apply reliable SD card recovery software for help. To retrieve LOST.DIR files from Android internal storage, refer to Method 2 with practical Android file recovery software for help. 

  1. Method 1. How to Recover LOST.DIR Files on Android SD Card
  2. Method 2. Restore LOST.DIR Files from Android Devices
  3. Method 3. Recover LOST.DIR Files by Adding Filename Extension

Method 1. How to Recover LOST.DIR Files on Android SD Card

As the LOST.DIR folder will be generated again when Android devices reboot. Therefore, the more urgent task is to find the lost files from LOST.DIR folder. First, download and install reliable file recovery software on your PC. Here, we'd like to recommend you try EaseUS data recovery software which simplifies the recovery process in 3 steps.

  • Recover data from SD card, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Support data recovery for 1000 types of files like .png, .jpg, .doc, .mp4, .mkv, .exe. pdf, and more.
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations

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Next, you need to  connect the SD card of your Android phones or tablets to your PC and follow the tutorial steps below to bring back all missing files:

Step 1. Select the SD card to scan

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SanDisk/Lexar/Transcend SD card to the computer. 
  • Open EaseUS SD card recovery software and choose SD Card Recovery on the left panel. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card and click "Scan for lost data".
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

  • Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • Specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures or Videos.
  • Click "Preview" to check if they are the wanted files.
filter the lost photos

Step 3. Recover SD card data

  • Preview the recovered files and click "Recover".
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the original SD card.
Recover lost photos

Method 2. Restore LOST.DIR Files from Android Devices

As you know that most Android devices no longer need to add an external SD card to extend the device storage capacity. About 90% of Android devices only contain one internal storage. So when you deleted or removed files on your Android devices or cleaned the LOST.DIR folder files, how to bring the lost files back? Reliable Android data recovery software is your best choice.

EaseUS MobiSaver for Android enables you to bring the LOST.DIR files and other important lost data in only a few simple clicks. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Connect your Android phone to the computer

Install and run EaseUS MobiSaver for Android and connect your Android phone to the computer with a USB cable. Then click the "Start" button to make the software recognize and connect your device.

Connect Android phone to PC and run EaseUS online data recovery software for Android

Step 2. Scan Android phone to find the lost data

After connected your Android phone, the software will quickly scan the device to find all the existing and lost data. You can easily find the lost files you want by choosing the correct file types.

Scan Android phone with EaseUS online data recovery software for Android

Step 3. Preview and recover data from Android phone

Preview all the recoverable files and select the items you want to recover quickly. Then, click the "Recover" button to get the selected files back once.

Preview and recover data with EaseUS online data recovery software for Android

If you don't want to use a computer, you can use the EaseUS MobiSaver app version.

Step 1. Launch the app on your phone and start scanning the SD card by tapping the "START SCAN" button.

Step 2. Deleted files now appear on the screen.

Step 3. Tap on settings. You can set preferences to let the software scan and display certain file sizes, formats, etc.

Step 4. After the scan, select the displayed files and tap on "Recover". Tap on the eye icon. All the recovered files are kept there.

recover lost.dir on using android app

Method 3. Recover LOST.DIR Files by Adding Filename Extension

Another method to recover LOST.DIR files are to add a filename extension. The filename extension indicates the type of a file and can be opened by certain software. Follow the steps to add a filename extension.

Step 1. Find LOST.DIR folder on your Android phone.

Step 2. Check all LOST.DIR files to batch rename them.

Step 3. The common picture formats include jpg, png, jpeg, etc. The common video formats include mp4, mov, avi, etc.

rename file extension manually

Extra Tip - How to Copy Restored Files to the LOST.DIR Folder

After restoring the LOST.DIR files, you can save the restored files to the LOST.DIR folder on your Android external SD card and reboot the device again. If you have further questions about the LOST.DIR or Android data recovery, you can use the Search option or browse to find answers on the Android Data Recovery page.

For those who want to make the existing files readable or recognizable in the LOST.DIR folder, you can try the below tips:

Step 1. Connect the Android SD card or Android device to your PC and copy the LOST.DIR folder to your desktop.

Step 2. Open the copied LOST.DIR folder and change the file extensions to recognizable ones.

For example, change a music file to .mp3, an audio file to .mp4, an image to .jpg, etc. You can repeat the steps one by one to try to make the files contained in the LOST.DIR is recognizable and workable.


In this post, you have learned about what LOST.DIR is how to recover files from LOST.DIR. If you still have questions, you can contact us. Besides SD card recovery, EaseUS data recovery software can help you easily recover hard drive files, restore data from formatted drives, and repair MP4/JPG/JPEG/GIF files.

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Frequently Asked Questions to LOST.DIR on Android Devices

Many Android users may have experienced the same situation when they browse or check the Android storage, they find a strange folder named LOST.DIR? And some of you may have the same doubts about this folder as listed here:

  1. Q 1. Is the LOST.DIR a virus?
  2. Q 2. Can the LOST.DIR files are deleted?
  3. Q 3. Can lost files be recovered?
  4. Q 4. How do I prevent lost .dir?

If you are urgent to learn everything about the LOST.DIR or having the same doubts about this folder on your Android SD card or internal storage, relax. Read on and you'll get complete answers to all these questions.

1. Is the LOST.DIR a virus?

LOST.DIR is not a virus. It is a folder created by the Android system to collect files that are lost when the Android system fails accidentally. In this way, you can recover these files after the system boots up again.

2. Can the LOST.DIR files be deleted?

Yes! The LOSt.DIR folder is created while the Android device boots up. Once the device starts up, all caches will be retrieved from the device. As a result, the folder is usually empty in many scenarios.

Therefore, you can delete the folder. But the next time, when you reboot your Android device, the folder will show up again.

3. Can lost files be recovered?

Yes. But it's not an easy job to recover the lost files from LOST.DIR just like you do from Windows Recycle Bin. The reason is that all files are in LOST.DIR are named with random numbers instead of the original names they were given. You can directly identify them one by one. To resolve this issue, you'll need the help of a proficient data recovery solution - EaseUS data recovery software.

If data has been physically overwritten on a hard disk drive, it is generally assumed that the previous data are no longer possible to recover.

4. How do I prevent LOST.DIR on Android Phone?

There are two ways to avoid LOST.DIR:

  • Flash phone or format the SD card
  • Manage the smartphone properly - before ejecting the SD card, you should close all programs and shut down your phone manually to end the read-write process.
  • Updated by

    Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time. …
  • Written by

    Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices. …
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