Recover photos deleted from your memory card

While shooting, you accidentally delete a photo. Or worse... you format your entire memory card. With the push of a button, it's all gone. Now what? Is it really lost? Don't worry, you can retrieve deleted photos! How does it work? You'll learn just that in this article.

Do not create new photos on your memory card

Deleted photos can often still be retrieved, they remain hidden on your memory card. This means they remain there in the background. If you take new photos, the deleted photo's will be overwritten at some point. After that, they really are lost... Naturally, you don't want that!

Therefore, the first and most important step after accidentally deleting photos is not to create any new photos on your memory card. Stop shooting. Turn off your camera. Remove your memory card from the slot, and insert it into your card case. Thus, you avoid overwriting the pictures and there is a better chance of recovery. This is also a great reason to always carry more than one memory card around.

Did you know...

There are three common situations where you can accidentally delete your photos?

  • By simply throwing your photo in the recycle bin
  • By formatting your memory card
  • By removing your memory card from the camera while it is on

Download recovery software

You want to retrieve your photos. But how do you do that? It's pretty simple. Download recovery software.

With (free) recovery software, you can make deleted, or hidden, photos visible again. Sometimes you get this software for free when buying a memory card, such as with a Lexar or SanDisk memory card. Don't have the software yet? No problem at all. There are plenty of programs you can download. Paid or totally free.

Recovery software for Windows

You can find both paid and free programs for Windows. Cardrecovery is a paid option. It allows you to recover deleted photos as well as repair damaged memory cards. The software costs €40, but has a free trial. Useful if you first want to see if the program finds the hidden photos.

Recuva is an excellent free program. It is a powerful program with a clear interface. So you can simply retrieve your deleted photos both from your camera and your phone. It even recovers deleted files from a hard drive.

Recovery software for Mac

Unfortunately, there are no free versions for Mac. Don't mind paying? Then we recommend SanDisk Pro Recovery or SanDisk Pro Deluxe. Recovery software for Mac and Windows. The price for this recovery software is relatively low and you always have the option to use a free trial first.

Of course, there is also the option to borrow a Windows PC.


Repairing deleted photos

Recovering lost photos is easy and fast. You specify the file type you are looking for and where the program should look: your memory card. The software also always looks for easy-to-find files first. Are all your photos lost? Then choose the Extensive search option, or Deep search. Now your deleted. or hidden, photos will be retrieved. Finally, move it to a new location: a hard drive, USB stick or another memory card.


  • Always give the software the command 'search all files'.
  • Images often mean .JPG; .PNG; .GIF; and .RAW. With the latter, a problem arises. Some cameras create RAW photos with an extension: .NEF (Nikon); .DNG (Pentax); or .TIFF. These are not found in 'search images'.

Nothing is more annoying than losing photos before they are on a PC or another backup device. Luckily, you can retrieve deleted photos! We hope these tips will help you succeed. Good luck!

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