How to Retrieve Deleted Files From a Memory Card

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When you're looking through your pictures with your digital camera, it's common to find shots you don't like. Since you can delete pictures off of a memory card directly from the camera, it's easy to get rid of those shots. Unfortunately, some people can get overzealous, regretting some of the deletions they've made. Accidents can also erase an entire memory cards' collections of photos. In these cases, you can retrieve some or all of the photos you have accidentally deleted.

Things You'll Need

  • Card reader
  • Digital image recovery software
  • Connect your memory card to your computer. Do this by connecting your camera to your PC using a USB cable. If you don't have the cord or the camera, you can also connect the card using a memory card reader. Some new desktop and laptop computers have memory card readers built in.

  • Find a data recovery software program. There are dozens of free programs online that can help recover your lost photos. Try software such as CardRecovery, Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery, or Don't Panic Image Recall.

  • Download and install the software program. Some data recovery programs need a full installation, while others can run right from the downloaded executable file. Place the executable on your computer's desktop for easy access.

  • Start the data recovery software. Inside the program, navigate to the memory card connected to your computer, whether through your camera or a card reader. Click "Scan" or the relevant command for the program to find deleted files.

  • Choose the pictures you want from the list. The data recovery program may find photos that you deleted for good reason. You don't need to recover every photo taken with the camera. Instead, choose only the pictures that you know you want to keep. Copy them to a new folder on your computer so they are saved for future use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid taking any more pictures after you accidentally delete an image as these new pictures may overwrite the memory being used for the old, making it hard to recover them.

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