How to Recover Formatted SD Card for Free on PC and Mobile

How to Recover Formatted SD Card for Free on PC and Mobile

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In How To, software, Updated On
March 2nd, 2023

Accidental data loss often happens in our daily life. Imagine you have taken many fascinating pictures using an Android phone or a camera but accidentally deleted all the images by formatting the SD card. What would you do? Get frustrated and retake photos? It is nearly impossible. But take it easy. Some methods can restore your deleted data. You can apply third-party software or a built-in computer program to bring them back. But how to recover formatted SD card is still a question.

With its powerful recovery algorithms and user-friendly interface, it is the perfect tool for recovering lost, deleted, or corrupted data from SD cards

Don’t worry. This post covers what you want. We explain how to recover deleted files on a formatted SD card for free on a computer and Android without a PC. If you act quickly, there is a good chance to retrieve those formatted files. Read further to learn what those methods are and how to get started.

Can a Formatted SD Card be Recovered?

Yes! Formatting an SD card doesn’t mean permanently erasing the data on it. It only destroys the entries of the existing files and disallows you to find and see those hidden data. However, the data remains until new files overwrite it.

Therefore, when you accidentally format an SD card, don’t panic. You should immediately STOP USING the card and take quick measures to restore them. We recommend you safely eject the formatted SD card in your devices and restore its data on computers. This is the most reliable way. But it is also possible if you need to recover it right on your mobile devices.

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How to Recover Formatted SD Cards on Windows

You can apply professional SD card recovery software or try the built-in feature on the Windows system. Read on to learn how to use them for formatted SD card recovery.

How to Recover Formatted SD Card with Free Software

There is numerous data recovery software in the market. But finding a completely free tool is challenging. Much software advertises they are free. But they always come with limitations in recovery size, free recovery time, and advanced features. So we insist on finding a purely free program that doesn’t cheat on users. After trying and researching numerous data recovery tools, we found one—WorkinTool Data Recovery.

This software is professional in handling formatted data recovery and permanently deleted file recovery. Users can connect their SD card storage media to a computer and use WorkinTool to scan and recover all lost or selective files in seconds.

Look below to see how to fix a formatted SD card with WorkinTool

  • Step 1: Connect your SD card to a computer and launch WorkinTool Data Recovery.
  • Step 2: Click Formatted Recovery on the home page and select your SD card drive to perform a quick scan.

Recover Formatted SD Card

  • Step 3: In the result page, select Deleted Files > Select All or tick the files you want to restore > hit Recover > select a path to recover the to-be-recovered files.

Recover Formatted SD Card

Note: You can select the files by type, size, and deletion date. The process is pretty simple. In addition, WorkinTool Data Recovery software covers more advantages than you think. For example:

  • Able to recover lost files on any device, from computers to mobile phones, internal storage media to external storage media, etc.
  • Available for all types of files, such as videos, pictures, documents, audio files, and more.
  • Capable of recovering deleted files due to accidental deletion, software error, system corruption, unintentional formatting, etc.
  • Fast scanning and recovering speed with easy operations.
  • No registration requirements, ads, or locked features.
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How to Recover Formatted SD Card without Software

Recover Formatted SD Card

Windows built-in tool Command Prompt (command line/CMD) sometimes also works well to retrieve deleted files on Windows computers. Compared with WorkinTool Data Recovery, this preinstalled program is a little bit complicated for beginners, especially for those users without a solid foundation of computer knowledge skills. In addition, it doesn’t support selective file recovery.

Anyway, follow the detailed steps below to have a try 

  • Step 1: Connect your formatted SD card to a computer, and type CMD in the desktop search field to open the command prompt window.
  • Step 2: Type “chkdsk X: /f/x/r” and press Enter. (Replace the letter X with the formatted SD card drive letter.)
  • Step 3: Waiting for the procedure to complete. And you probably can see all the formatted files be recovered to a new folder in the SD card.

Note: This method may not always be workable. But it is still preferred by users that want to restore formatted data on SD cards without software.

How to Recover Data from a Formatted SD Card on Android without a PC

Recover Formatted SD Card

Data recovery programs like WorkinTool Data Recovery and Command Prompt are incompatible with Android. Although Android apps may not be as full-featured and intelligent as desktop software, they can also get the job done in most cases.

Therefore, if you have not kept any backups on your Android phones, you can only apply third-party data recovery apps like DiskDigger to restore lost data on mobile. We recommend this app because it combines two scan modes and adequate results with a clean interface. It also works on both rooted and unrooted devices.

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Let’s see how to recover formatted SD cards on Android phones without a computer 

  • Step 1: Download DiskDigger from Google Play Store and run it.
  • Step 2: Tap on Start Basic Photo Search to run a basic scan. Grant this app access to your device’s photos, media, and files.
  • Step 3: In the result list, tick the check box next to the files you want to bring back.
  • Step 4: Hit the Recover button and select where you want to save the recovered files.


After learning how to recover formatted SD cards, reading this post, you can easily perform a quick formatted SD card recovery by Remo on your computer or Android phone. Many data get formatted due to human errors. To avoid future data loss, try to keep a regular backup of your important files and use your SD card properly.

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