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How to Unformat a SD Memory Card to Retrieve Files from SD Card


Computer says that the SD card needs to be formatted? When transferring photos or videos from camera SD card to computer, the computer will inform you to format SD card occasionally. Here are some examples:


My sd card says I need to format it. If I format it will it delete all of my pictures?
I can't even use it. I've put it in my computer, my camera, everything and it just keeps saying to format it but I have 700 pics on it and I don't know if I should format it. So please tell me what to do?
From Barbara, a mother with 2 years child


I had been using my SD Card to transfer pictures from my Canon EOS 1100D camera for a few weeks now and have never experienced a problem. Then, today I put it into the SD Card slot of my computer (as I always do) and tried to access some pictures I took earlier. When I try to access the pictures, Windows tells me that "You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" When I go to format it, it says that this will erase everything on it, but I can't have this happen- I took valuable pictures for my photography project.
From OrlaHazel, a photographer


My friend loaned me her camera to use and I don’t know why but when i was putting the pictures on my pc if told me i need to format the "F" drive and my friend has pictures on it and if i erase those pics she will be really mad pleaseee help!
From a online user Megan


Are you in a dilemma as to whether to format your SD card or not? If you don’t format the SD memory card, you cannot use your SD card any more, and you cannot transfer files from SD card to other devices. If you format the SD memory card, you will loss all the files like photos and videos on your SD card.


If you meet the problem as above, try to take a SD card reader to connect your SD card to your computer, but not directly connect your SD card to your computer with card slot. If the computer still let you format your SD card, and finally you must format your SD card, do not worry, unformat SD memory card may help you!

Unformat SD memory card help you get out of the dilemma. After format the SD card, you can unformat your SD memory card to retrieve files from your SD memory card. All your files on SD card can be recovered and you can use your SD card again.


Here are the steps:

Step 1, Do not take any new files to your SD card, if it is a camera SD card, do not take any more photos or videos. The new files may overwrite your SD card. So you cannot unformat your SD card to retrieve files form SD card.


Step 2, choose a right data recovery software for you. If the formatted files are only photos and videos, photo recovery software is enough for you. If there are more files types, take File recovery tool, download link as below. Download it and install it on your computer.


Step 3, connect your SD memory card which need to be performed a unformat to your computer with a card reader, launch the data recovery program, in the software interface, switch to Standard Mode, choose “Lost File Recovery”.


Step 4, select a location to unformat your SD memory card. When connecting your SD card to computer, it will shows as a drive in “My Computer”, for example, drive I, just select this drive to scan.


Step 5, preview and save your files from formatted SD memory card. After finishing the scanning, you can preview the formatted files with this program.

All of recoverable files will be list at software panel. If you cannot find you files you have formatted, you may have overwritten your SD card or the files may be destroyed.


Then the last step is click “Recover” to unformat your SD memory card to retrieve files. you can save your files to a different drive.





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