This page covers everything that you may want to know about formatted SD card recovery. When you accidentally formatted your SD card, stop using the card first. Then, follow the provided solutions here to recover your formatted SD card and bring all lost files back immediately:

Note that the sd card format recovery solution also applies to recover files from formatted hard drive partition, external hard drive, USB, camera, media player, etc., devices.

Can You Recover Formatted SD Card

Case 1 - "How do I recover pictures from a formatted SD card? I saved thousands of pictures on my camera SD card. But Yesterday, the camera asked me to format the SD card. Is there a way to recover those pictures after formatting the SD card?"

Case 2 - "How do I recover a formatted SD card? I formatted the wrong SD card on my media player, and now all videos and music files are gone. Is there a way to bring them back from the card?"

SD Card Format Recovery

When you accidentally formatted your SD card, it's smart that you choose to search ways of "recover formatted SD card" online. However, you may get confused by the overwhelmed result in Google or other search engines. Stay calm when you mistakenly formatted the SD card on your camera, computer or cellphone.

Here is what to do when you mistakenly formatted your SD card, USB, external or internal hard drive by mistake:

1. Stop using the formatted SD card immediately.
2. Take it out of your device, insert it into your computer.
3. Turn to a reliable SD card recovery solution as shown in the following to bring all your files back instantly.

Download Formatted SD Card Recovery Software for Help

Instead of wasting your time searching and test memory card recovery software online, we are here to introduce a straightforward data recovery tool named EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to you. EaseUS data recovery software enables you to recover files from formatted SD card, memory stick, USB, and internal/external hard drive, etc.

Download and install this EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Then, apply this software to scan the whole formatted device, finding all your missing files like photos, videos, audio files, Microsoft files, Adobe files, etc., in only a few simple clicks.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Besides formatted recovery, you can also apply this software to recover data from accidental deletion, OS crash, partition loss, virus attack, RAW, etc., errors.

How to Recover Formatted SD Card

This part shows the complete process of how to recover files from formatted SD card with the help of EaseUS data recovery tool. Let's start to bring all your lost files back from your formatted SD card with ease.

# 3. 3-step Tutorial of Formatted SD Card Recovery

You can either follow the video tutorial or the detailed steps below to recover your formatted SD card with ease:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the formatted SD card, USB flash drive, or Pen drive from which you what to restore lost files and then click "Scan".

select the formatted memory

Step 2. After the scan completed, all scan results will be displayed on the screen. Use the "Filter" or "File Type" feature to find your target files.

search for lost files

Step 3. Choose the files you want to recover from your formatted external drive and click "Recover". A new window will appear, you need to choose a new location to store the files. Then, click "OK" to confirm.

recover data from formatted memory card

Why Is It Possible to Recover Files from Formatted SD Card

This part will discuss two top concerned questions that you may interest in: 1. What does "Format SD card" mean; 2. Why is it possible to recover files from formatted SD card?

If you happen to have doubts about these two questions, follow and learn why.

#1. What Does 'Format SD Card' Mean

Formatting SD card is a process of preparing the SD card ready for data storage. Two things will happen during the process:

  • One is changing the file system on the SD card. For example, your SD card is NTFS and you can format it to FAT32, exFAT, etc.
  • The other thing is to remove all existing data, restoring the full capacity to the SD card.

Generally, when you get a new SD card, it's pre-formatted and is ready for use. But there are situations in which you need to format your SD card manually in order to use it as normal, for example:

# 2. Why Is It Possible to Recover Files from Formatted SD Card

Although formatting will cause file loss on the SD card, it doesn't mean the data is totally erased. Formatting only breaks the data structure on the card, marking the whole device as "empty". But in fact, the data is still there.

Therefore, the answer to "Can a formatted SD card be recovered" is Yes. As long as you don't overwrite the data with new content, you CAN successfully recover files from the formatted SD card.

As we mentioned above, once your device gets formatted, turning to a reliable data recovery tool, like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you'll immediately bring your files back.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Bonus Tips for SD Card Format Recovery

Although recovering files from a formatted SD card with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is useful, it's always better to nip the data loss in the bud. Here we collect some useful tips to help you protect your SD card data from formatting, deleting and even virus attacking.

To do so, you have three choices as listed here:

  • Tip 1. Create a full backup of the SD card in advance

You have three options to back up your SD card files:

  1. 1. Manually Back-Up Files via Copy and Paste
  2. 2. Back Up the Device with Third-Party Software
  3. 3. Back-Up the SD Card to Cloud Storage

Free backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup can help you effectively make a backup of the files on a device with simple steps. With the software, you can back up your SD card automatically. It even allows you to back up files to Cloud so as to saving a huge space on your drive.

  • Tip 2. Run Antivirus Software to Clear Virus or Malware

Unknown virus or malware infection may cause your device unusable or even locked. File loss also happens regularly. It's a smart way to keep your SD card and other storage devices safe with antivirus software.

  • Tip 3. Eject and Use SD Correctly

In addition to backing up your files regularly, you should also grow a good habit of using the storage device correctly to prevent data loss on your SD card. For example, if you don't eject your SD card but directly unplug it from your computer, you may encounter an SD card RAW issue, which will require formatting the card.

The Bottom Line

With the widespread use of SD cards, data loss on this storage device occurs almost daily due to various reasons, mainly accidental formatting. The direct way to retrieve data from a formatted SD card is to apply third-party software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help.

Being 100% secure, virus-free, and plug-in-free, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a good choice for formatted SD card recovery.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Besides getting a trustworthy data recovery tool, you should also pay attention to data loss prevention, which is to back up your precious files elsewhere. The possible ways are available now in the Bonus Tip part.

Recover Formatted SD Card FAQs

Apart from the resolution of formatted SD card recovery, according to the People Also Ask part in Google search results, many users have more questions on SD card formatting.

Here, we collected 3 top concerned questions and left a brief answer below each question. If you are concerning one of these questions, follow to find the answer now.

1. Can I use the CMD command to recover formatted SD card data?

Some of you may think of using command prompt for data recovery to recover the formatted SD card because it's free. However, the cmd command of attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.* only works to find hidden files on your devices, not deleted, formatted, or emptied.

Actually, the "-h" option is used to clear the hidden attribute, the "-r" option to clear the read-only attribute, and the "-s" option to clear the system attribute. 

In a word, you can't use the CMD command to recover formatted SD card data. All you need is reliable data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help.

2. When do you need to format an SD card?

Here is a list of common situations in which you may format your storage device:

  • To format a brand new SD card so which is not pre-formatted.
  • To remove a virus on your SD card.
  • To allocate a new file system that is compatible with your computer.
  • To fix errors like "You need to format the disk in drive", "The disk is not formatted" or "SD card showing the wrong size".

3. How do I format and restore my sd card to the original size without deleting files?

As explained above, formatting will delete the existing data and information on the SD card. If you don't want to lose any files by formatting an SD card to its original size, you'll need to backup all files first.

Here are the steps that you can do:

  1. Step 1. Connect SD to your computer.
  2. Step 2. Copy and back up SD card files to another safe location.
  3. Step 3. Open File Explorer, locate and right-click on SD card, select "Format".
  4. Step 4. Reset file system for SD card - FAT32 or NTFS, tick "Quick Format" and click "OK" to start.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors and data recovery specialists of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is mainly good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization of RAID 0, 5, and 10.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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