Truly Free SD Card Data Recovery Tools

Many situations can result in data/file loss (deletion). In such cases, well, the data files that have been deleted need to come back. I recently had an SD card full of travel pics, inserted it in my office PC – Virus detected, files deleted. Happened VERY fast. The virus actually deleted my picture files, and created .exe versions of the folders to propagate itself when clicked. over 1,000+ nice pictures lost. Thus, my hunt for software to recover my pictures. It didnt take long to discover that almost ALL the data recovery tools that said they were free  on their website were actually all paid in the 35 – 100 USD range. All kinds of gimmicks were implemented . Some scanned and found my pictures and showed me thumbnails – what relief! And just before I clicked the recover button, asked for a detailed registration process and credit card info. OK. Others said I could recover just 100 and pay if I wanted the others. At some point I considered quickly writing my own data recovery tool.

As a software developer, I do perfectly understand the need for developers to get paid for their work, and do not begrudge the fact that money was required. Its just that it would be better for the software to be clearly described as paid rather than advertised as free. This post discusses briefly how data recovery works and what truly free tool(s) worked for me in recovering my picture files without hassles.

How Data Recovery Works in a few words

When files are deleted from your external storage media, they are not actually destroyed and removed from your storage media. Instead the record of its existence on removed from the list of “available” files. It is only destroyed when new data is written on its position. Thus, it is still possible to recover “deleted” files provided new data has not been written to the storage media.  More about that here .

What Free Tool Worked

I was able to successfully recover them files using Wise data Recovery. Remember to run it as administrator and it definitely recovered all the lost files on my SD Card. Hopefully it stays this way.

Wise Data Recovery is a free data recovery program. It can recover files (photo, word, email, txt, etc.) that have been “permanently” deleted and marked as free space by the operating system. The program can also be used to recover files deleted from USB flash drives, memory cards, or MP3 players.

The process was fairly straightforward. On the left, you select the storage media you want to recover data from and scan it. Next you select the files you want to recover and select a destination to save them in . That simple!

I also tried KickAss Undelete , a free/open source alternative which worked well, but didn’t recover some files.

What Didnt Work / Asked for Payment at the Last Minute

Interesting these are the ones that show up in the search results , and masquerade as “free” data recovery tools. Most turned out to be time wasters , especially if you are not comfortable shelling out the 35 – 100 USD they demanded.

Easeus Data Recovery
Undelete Plus
Pandora Recovery


About Vykthur

Mobile and Web App Developer and Researcher. Passionate about learning, teaching, and recently - writing.
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  • Gemmy Johnson

    Remo recover is also one tool that can be used to restore data from SD cards,
    just try out this application; it offers the most convenient approach.

  • Its very pain full whenever people lost their valuable data and the result very much worried common people, but it also be true that its a common problem and so many free software or tool available in market as name data recovery software but friends! i suggest you to go for trustworthy manufacturer company to recover data.

  • AlbertAon0

    Honestly, it is absolutely terrible to find
    all cherished friend photos and other stuffs were gone off from SD card without
    any sign. When that trouble occurred to me, I nearly cried out. But, I didn’t
    let the sorrow swallow myself. After calming down, I just searched a lot and
    tried many data recovery software online, some paid ones and free ones.
    Luckily, I got my desired stuffs back with one of them here:
    I just feel really grateful and lucky that I
    could find such great data recovery tools. Thanks!!

  • Hobert Winston

    Is gallery not showing all photos on SD cardc? if you are worrying about it and want to recover those photos then you need to take help of an ultimate solution of data recovery which is named as photo recovery software.

    For more detail

  • Steven Jerry

    Mistakenly deleted precious photos or SD Card corrupted? How do I recover files from SD Card, USB Drive, Mini SD card, Micro SD card, CF card, etc. Try this powerful Free Card Data Recovery, it can recover any lost data including photos, videos, files, pdf and more from your SD Card. Here’s the step by step user guide,

  • Harshit Gupta

    I do believe that photos are the most important thing in your memory card. I would recommend use photo recovery software if you want to recover lost, deleted and formatted data.

  • MaHureo03

    Hello, Free iCare SD memory card recovery software is also another free memory card data recovery tool that could help recover deleted photos from sd memory card:
    Actually, i did have tried all your mentioned data recovery tools, some of them really were free and useful, like Recuva, 4Card Recovery and more.
    Hope my experiences all helps you.

  • Terence Ruffle

    absolute rubbish, Wise Data doesn’t even trial, more internet bollocks!