How to Recover Data from SD Card Formatted As Internal Storage

Jean updated on Jul 12, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


When you adopt an SD card as the internal memory of Android, the card is encrypted and the data is completely erased. If you did not back up photos or other important files on the SD card, recover data from SD card formatted as internal storage with third-party data recovery software.

What Happened to SD Card If Formatted As Internal Memory

  • Your Android phone erases all data on the SD card
  • Android formats and changes the regular FAT32/exFAT format to ext4 or f2fs.
  • It is not possible anymore to mount this SD card to another Android smartphone.

Speaking of the availability of adding expansion storage to Android's internal memory for permanent use, there are both good news and bad ones.

For Android phones with 4-8GB internal storage, like Andriod One devices, it's easy to run out of space when installing apps. Since the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google introduced Adoptable Storage. With this feature, users are able to install a removable SD card on an Android phone to be used as the internal storage. SD card is traditionally used to store photos, songs, and videos but never for installing apps.

Now it's no longer a problem to expand internal storage for Android devices. To use the SD card as internal storage on Android, it requires the card to be formatted to make it secure, so formatting erases all data currently stored on the card. To avoid losing the data, consider backing it up.

format sd card as internal memory

How to Recover Data from SD Card Formatted As Internal Memory

According to the first part explanation, when you adopt an SD card as the internal memory of Android, the card is encrypted and the data is completely erased. If you did not back up photos or other important files on the SD card, you can only use data recovery software to bring erased data back.

Apart from the lack of backup, there is one more risk of losing data on the SD card after it's served as the internal memory. Using SD card as permanent storage would require more frequent read/write operation, this will largely degrade its performance over time. It'll become slow, corrupt, as a result, data is inaccessible. 

No matter you're trying to recover data from a formatted SD card or access data from a slowly corrupted SD card, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard could make it true. Compared with the standard SD card data recovery process, it takes one more step for you to recover the adaptable storage card data. You need to decrypt the card so that Windows computer could recognize it.

How to Decrypt SD Card from Android Internal Memory

  • On your phone, go to Settings > Storage > Storage Settings
  • Tap Format as portable

format sd card as portable

  • Tap Format.

Safely unmount the SD card from your Android after making it portable again.

How to Recover Data from Formatted SD Card

Download the trial version of EaseUS disk data recovery software on your computer, and put your SD card in a compatible card reader, connect it to the computer. You should see the SD card appearing as a removable disk. Next, start with the SD card data recovery guide.

Stop using your SD card immediately once you lost files on it. Continuing using the card would hugely increase the chance of data overwriting, which makes data unrecoverable.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC

Insert the SD card to a card reader, and connect the card reader with your SD card to a healthy computer.

Step 2: Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card under the External Devices column.
  • Then click Scan to start finding lost data on your SD card now.
Run SD card recovery software.

Step 3: Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can preview and find your lost SD card files from below listed tabs:

  • Deleted Files: List your deleted files there.
  • Drive X: All lost files can be found here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.

And you can use Filter and Search to quickly find your files.

Find lost SD card files.

Step 4: Restore SD card data.

  • You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them.
  • Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or an external storage.
Restore lost SD card files.
Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

2. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

3. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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