How to recover deleted files from camera sd card (for free)

The following steps show how to recover deleted images and videos from a digital camera using TestDisk – a free recovery tool.


  • This process will not work if the camera’s memory card has been reformated
  • File recovery can be a hit and miss process – you might not be able to recover the file(s) completely (which would give you a corrupted file) or at all
  • For any hope at recovering the deleted files you must STOP using the camera straight away – the more you write to the memory card the more deleted files you loose forever
  • We’re going to assume the camera uses FAT32 – this format is extremely common for portable devices
  1. Download TestDisk from
  2. Extract the zip file
  3. Browse the extracted folders and run “photorec_win”
  4. A black command prompt window will open.
  5. If prompted, press enter on your keyboard to create a new log file
  6. TestDisk list the drives connected to your computer
  7. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard select the disk you need to recover the deleted files from
  8. Press enter on your keyboard to select the drive
  9. With the correct partition selected (it should be by default) press enter on the keyboard
  10. Make sure the correct file system type is selected (it should be by default) and press enter on the keyboard
  11. Leave ‘Free’ selected and press enter on the keyboard
  12. Press ‘C’ on the keyboard to restore to the current folder
  13. The restore process will start to scan for deleted files and save to the folder selected above (in a folder called something like recup_dir.1 – for example C:\Users\UserName\Downloads\\testdisk-7.0\recup_dir.1)
  14. When you browse the folder you will find your images, and most likely the thumbnail versions of the images. 
  15. The complete restore process will take awhile – so be patient.