How to Recover Photos from Corrupted SD Card in 2021 (5+ Fixes)

Roxanne updated on Jan 22, 2021 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Do not worry if the SD card on your digital camera or Android phone gets corrupted and your photos on it become unavailable. First, stop using your SD card and download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to learn how to recover photos from corrupted SD card. Then try the other 5+ methods to fix a corrupted SD card on your own.

Why the SD Card Get Corrupted

Expandable storage media, such as SD cards, are great. They can make your phone or digital camera a much store more items and transfer files easily between devices. But when a card gets corrupted, you'll lose a lot of precious files, generally photos, if you don't have a reliable solution to recover the corrupted SD card. Corrupted SD card is a problem that has puzzled lots of people. An SD card may get corrupted due to the following reason:

  • The memory card is physically or electrically damaged
  • The file system of your SD card is corrupted
  • MBR corruption
  • I/O device error

The possible causes are more than the ones listed above. Depending on the specific situation of the SD card, you will have different causes and different fixes. Besides, the possibilities to recover pictures from the corrupted SD card vary based on the situation.

Can You Recover Photos from a Corrupted SD Card

To answer the question about whether you can recover photos from the corrupted SD card, you need to check the status of the SD card in Disk Management first. Connect your SD card to your computer via a card reader, then go to "This PC" > "Manage" > "Disk Management". You will see your SD card in one of the following situations:

  • The SD card shows in Disk Management but you cannot access the drive (you may see it has a RAW file system)
  • The SD card shows in Disk Management but the partition is lost
  • The SD card shows in Disk Management but the state of it is "No Media"
  • The SD card shows in File Explorer but not in Disk Management
  • The SD card is not showing up in both File Explorer and Disk Management

You have a high chance to recover pictures from the corrupted SD card if you are in one of the first two situations. There is a possibility to retrieve data from the SD card after you fix the device in the third and fourth situation. While if your SD card is not showing up at all, you can try to change the card reader and connect the SD card to another computer. If the problem remains, you are recommended to send it to professionals for manual repair.

If you are not in the last situation, read on to get the corresponding solutions.

How to Recover Pictures from Corrupted SD Card and Fix It

Unlike recovering corrupted pictures from an SD card, recovering photos from a corrupted SD card need the help of data recovery software. As long as your SD card is not dead or failed completely, you can follow to recover photos from your SD card and fix the corrupted device with the fixes provided.

Situation 1/2. The SD Card Shows in Disk Management but Its Partition is Inaccessible/Lost

The inaccessible SD card generally results from a file system error. The solution is to run CHKDSK to check and repair disk errors first, if it doesn't work, perform SD card recovery and then format it. If the partition is lost on your SD card, recover photos from your corrupted SD card and then format the device directly.

Method 1. Run CHKDSK

Step 1. Click "Start" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Enter the following command: chkdsk H: /f /r

Replace "H" with the drive letter of your corrupted SD card.

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Method 2. Perform Corrupted SD Card Recovery and Then Format the Device

To recover data from the inaccessible SD card, you can use the hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It will help you recover pictures and other files from your corrupted SD card that becomes inaccessible.

To recover pictures from a corrupted SD card with EaseUS SD card recovery software, you should first download and install it on your computer. Then, you can follow the guide below to do the recovery job. It requires no technical skills or professional knowledge, but only some simple clicks.

Step 1. Connect the SD card and start scanning.

Connect the SD card to the computer via a card reader. Then launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the SD card, and click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the photos you want to recover.

Wait until the scanning completes and then select the photos you want to recover. To locate the items faster, click "Filter" > "Pictures".

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover photos.

Click "Recover" and choose a location on another device to save the photos.

Recover lost data

After recovering files from the corrupted SD card successfully, you can now format the device without any worry.

The easiest way to format the SD card:

Step 1. Insert your SD card into your computer via a card reader.

Step 2. Open "This PC". Right-click your SD card and choose "Format".

Step 3. In the new window, set a file system and click "Start".

Step 4. In the Warning window, click "OK" to start formatting your SD card.

Format Corrupted SD card

Situation 3. The Corrupted SD Card Shows As No Media

No media is a state indicates your SD card is not working properly. To fix the corrupted SD card shows "No Media", you can refer to the article about how to fix "there is no media in the device".

Situation 4. The SD card shows in File Explorer but not in Disk Management

The solutions to a corrupted SD card in such a condition are updating driver and changing a card reader. If these two fixes don't work, you should ask help for manual data recovery services.

To update driver:

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage" > "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand "Disk Drives", then right-click your corrupted SD card and select "Update Driver".

Step 3. In the new window, choose "Search automatically for updated driver software".

Update SD card driver

The Bottom Line

The possibility to perform corrupted SD card recovery depends on the condition of your SD card. If it's physically corrupted, you should send it to for repair. If not, there is a high chance to recover data from the corrupted SD card with data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. In addition to the way on how to recover photos, the fixes for a corrupted memory card are also provided. Hope they can be useful to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

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

6. 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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