Just deleted important images from your memory card? Here is how to undelete them for PC users.
Those are probably the first two words you will say when you realize your photos have disappeared. If you have accidentally formatted your card or you suspect it has become corrupted, there are ways to recover your images. Here's how to get started.
You will need a card reader, a computer, and the memory card in question.
Step 1: Do not do anything to your memory card once you realize photos have been deleted. This means, do not take any more photos on the card and remove it from the camera immediately.
Step 2: Select a recovery suite. The software mentioned in this guide is Recuva for Windows which is a free option.
Bear in mind that there are plenty of other options out there, and you may already have one that was included with your memory card if it was from a vendor such as SanDisk.
Step 3: Install and set up the software on your PC.
Step 4: Start the program and choose what types of files you want to recover. In this guide, we are looking for photos, but Recuva also gives you the option of finding a number of other file types.
Click through the menu until you reach the screen telling you in which location to look. Plug your card reader into your computer and select the root directory of where your camera stores its image files—provided it has not disappeared when the card was formatted or the pictures were deleted. This is typically a folder called DCIM, or the name of the camera manufacturer or model.
Step 5: Run the scan and see what files it finds. If you get results here it means the software has found your images.
|The "health" of your files indicated by green, orange or red lights.|
If you chose to search only for pictures in step 4, it will only show up standard file formats like JPEG. If you are looking for raw files and they are not showing up, there is one more step you can do.
In Recuva, click "Switch to advanced mode", which will show you what file types the software is looking for. All you have to do is add the file extension of your camera's raw format. This is typically something like .CR2 for Canon, .NEF for Nikon, or .ARW for Sony. Other camera brands will have their own proprietary file format. If in doubt, check your camera manual.
|Add your raw file extension to the box circled above.|
Step 6: With Recuva, select all the images you want to restore, and click the "Recover" button. Choose a place you want to restore the files to. You will want to choose somewhere you can access easily, like the desktop or your pictures folder. Do not to save them back to the memory card.
Step 7: Check the files that have been recovered, then back them up!
Hopefully, these steps will have recovered your images. If not, there are other options to try, including paid software, as well as professional data recovery services.