How to recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac?

Accidentally deleted photos from SD card on Mac? Download free SD card data recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery Software for Mac to recover deleted pictures from SD card.

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on July 2nd, 2020 |

SD card has become one of the most used flash memory cards among vast users to store additional amounts of information.

However, it can always happen that you deleted the perfect picture or even worse, you've accidentally deleted a whole album of vacation pictures from your SD card.

This is definitely a painful experience for everyone. Thankfully, you can still get deleted photos back, even if you have emptied the Mac Trash Bin.

From this complete guide, you can learn about how to recover deleted files or photos from SD card on Mac.

Table of contents
1. Tips before recovering deleted photos from SD card
2. How to recover deleted photos from SD card without software?
3. How to recover deleted photos from SD card with software?
4. FAQ

What is an SD card and how does it work?

An SD card is a thin, light data storage device designed to expand your space for music, movies, documents or even apps. Its particular form factor makes them ideal removable storage for small devices, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, M3 players, and other popular digital devices.

What is an SD card

There are three defined form factors for SD card: MiniSD, MicroSD, and standard SD card. microSD took replaced miniSD, therefore, two form factors are more commonly found in the marketplace. They are no bigger than your fingernail but can store loads of data. In general, a standard SD card is used by the digital camera, while a MicroSD is mainly used in mobile phones, such as Android phones.

How does an SD card work? An SD card is a storage device that has many useful features depending on how and where it's used. Most of the time, when you insert an SD card, your device will automatically begin to scan the memory card at once. Then you can store files on the SD card, edit or review its contents.

I accidentally deleted photos on my SD card. How can I recover them?

Whether you use a standard SD card or Micro SD card, it will be filled up one day. You may want to delete some pictures to free up more space. But in this process, important photos could be deleted from SD card mistakenly, which will cause great loss. Here is a user asking for help in a forum:

Hi, I use SD memory card on my Canon Vixia HF digital camera to store all pictures I captured. Every time when I take some photos, I will connect the camera to my MacBook to transfer all these photos. Today, while viewing these images on my MacBook, I accidentally deleted some graduation photos. There is no backup copy of deleted photos and I cannot think of losing it. How can I recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac?

We all make mistakes and you wouldn't be the first person in the world to delete important files from an SD card accidentally. Well, congratulations! You've come to the right plce. We are going to tell you the exact solutions you need.

Tips before recovering deleted photos from SD card

It's true that you have great chances to retrieve deleted photos from your SD card, but there are still risks that these files become unrecoverable. To improve the computer data recovery process as quickly and as possible, you should take the following two tips into consideration:

  1. Stop using this SD card once you delete or lost your pictures. Whether you delete these picture on your cameras or on Mac computer, the system will not remove your images from the SD card immediately. Instead, it will mark these spaces as available for saving new data, that's to say, your photos will not be erased until they are overwritten by new files.
  2. Don't make any improper operation after photos are deleted, for example, formatting the SD card on Mac, or saving new files on the card. This will only make things worse because recovering data from formatted SD card will be more difficult.

Deleted photos are still on this SD card

How to recover deleted photos from SD card without software?

If you deleted photos from the SD card which is connected to your Mac through a card reader, the deleted pictures were only moved to Trash. It means you can try your luck to restore the deleted photos from Trash, without software.

Step 1: Find Trash on your desktop and open it.

Step 2: See if your deleted photos are there. If so, right-click on them and select "Put Back".

Recover deleted photos from SD card without software

Step 3: Open your SD card and check if the deleted files are recovered.

However, what if you can't find your deleted photos in Trash? Why does this happen?

  1. You have emptied the Mac trash after deleting photos.
  2. You have right-clicked the deleted photos in Mac Trash and selected the "Delete Immediately" button.
  3. You have deleted photos by pressing the following keyboard shortcut: Option + Command + Delete. This will instantly and permanently delete the photos.
  4. You have deleted photos from your camera, mobile phone or another device. The photos won't be moved to the Trash.
  5. You have set your Mac to automatically remove items from the Trash after 30 days. If your photos are older than 30 days, they will be automatically removed from Trash.

"Can I recover emptied Trash on a Mac?" "How can I undelete files on Mac?" You may ask. Don't worry! No matter how you delete your photos, you can recover them using a file recovery utility. Let's move forward.

How to recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac with software?

1. Video tutorial: how to recover deleted photos from SD card?

This video tutorial will show you how to recover deleted photos from Mac Trash. If your photos are deleted from an external device, you also can follow this tutorial to get your photos back.

2. Guidiance to recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac

Let's walk through the SD card photo recovery on Mac in some simple clicks.

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on Mac.

Step 2: Connect your SD card to your Mac computer with a card reader and select the SD card where you deleted your photos.

recover deleted photos from SD card on Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 3: Tick "Deep scan" at the bottom, and click "Next" to start scanning for all lost data. Then the software will start to scan your hard disk and storage. It will take for a while to deep scan and search your lost data.

Note: If the capacity of the SD card is smaller than 128GB, the Deep scan mode will be selected automatically. If your SD card capacity is even larger, please click on Preferences (the gear on the top left), tick File Types and then tick Deep scan.

Step 4: Double click the found pictures from the list and choose the pictures you want to get back.

It allows users to preview the found data before recovering it. This feature can better help users evaluate whether files are what they want.

Step 5: Click "Recover" to start recovering deleted photos.

preview deleted photos on Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

So easy.

Most of the time, deleted photos are recoverable as long as you act quickly. However, in some situations, you will be disappointed. For instance, your deleted photos have been overwritten by new data, or your SD card is corrupted or damaged physically. Thus, compared with looking for how to recover deleted photos after deletion, do regular backup is always advised to avoid data loss.

FAQ about deleting and recovering deleted photos from SD card

Q1: Can I recover recently or permanently deleted photos from SD card?

Answer: Yes, you can. Keep in mind that photos deleted from SD card aren't really removed. Instead, they will continue existing overtime or as long as there is no read/write actions performed.

When you permanently delete a photo from an SD card, it's not physically erased from the card. The simple delete command on most cameras or computers just removes the entry of the deleted photo and mark the space it occupied as reusable. As long as you don't record anything new onto the card, the bits and bytes are there and the information can be easy to recover.

Q2: Can I recover deleted photos from SD card on Android phones?

Answer: Yes. Usually, Android phones use micro SD cards. If you can take the micro SD card out of your Android phone, you can insert it into a card reader and then recover deleted pictures with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. But if the card is built in the phone body, you may need to look for some photo recovery app for Android.

Q3: How to avoid deleted photos being removed from Trash automatically after 30 days?

Answer: By default, photos, as well as videos, documents, music files, etc., that you move to the Trash from your Mac or SD card remain until you empty the Trash. To confirm, you can open Finder > Preferences > Advanced, make sure the option "Remove items from the Trash after 30 days" is unticked.