There are countless apps for Windows designed to allow you to recover data that has been lost from your SD card. While everyone hopes that they’ll never need to use it, it’s important to ensure that you have the best SD card software available in case something does happen.
You can take measures to reduce the risk of data loss, but nobody can eliminate the possibility. Once you’ve discovered that files have been deleted, you should stop using the SD card and start up one of these 5 programs – the best pieces of memory card recovery software for Windows.
5 Best Free SD Card Recovery Tools in 2020
Among the various free SD card data recovery programs, Disk Drill is a great place to start and we recommend it as a must-download if you are storing anything important on your SD card.
While any attempt at recovering lost files is more likely to succeed when they were deleted more recently, Disk Drill is also capable of searching through older files with its Deep Scan feature.
This examines your drive and memory cards in their entirety, searching for deleted files to reconstruct. Among the freeware options, there’s a good argument in favor of Disk Drill as the best SD card recovery software.
- High success rate
- Supports all file systems
- Verifies recovery chances with “Preview”
- No portable version
Piriform Recuva includes many of the same features of the other options on this list, and it comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Recuva offers both a free and premium version, but the set of features locked behind the paywall is slightly different, as data recovery is unlimited in both.
Instead, the premium version—available for only $20—offers a few unique features that make the experience more seamless. First, premium users are given priority technical support and automatic updates.
Recuva is one of the best free file recovery software tools available. It’s easy to use and is as effective as any other freeware or premium file recovery program on the market. – Tim Fisher
Possibly more important to some users, the premium software also gives you the option of creating a backup using a virtual hard drive before making any adjustments, thus allowing you to reverse any unforeseen negative consequences.
- Portable version
- Advanced options
- The free version doesn’t include support
- No updates since 2016
Another good choice for free SD card data recovery, IObit Undelete focuses on ease of use. One of its main advantages over the competition is that it’s free to use regardless of how much data you need to restore.
This gives you the ability to recover anything you need without having to worry about hitting the limit, and you can restore large files for which other programs would require payment.
Unlike other software designed for this purpose, IObit Undelete doesn’t need to be installed on your hard drive—installing new programs can overwrite “lost” files, which is specifically what these applications are designed to avoid.
This feature transcends what other pieces of software can offer, guaranteeing that it won’t prevent itself from recovering files. Instead, you can simply put the program on a USB drive, making the application portable and stopping it from interfering with its purpose.
For these reasons and more, IObit Undelete comes with very positive reviews and most of its users are extremely satisfied, especially with the value it provides without any cost.
IObit Undelete is a simple program to use which is already appreciated, because simplicity is our times is very important, another feature that I like in the depth of the scan which allows the deep and exhaustive search of the deleted files… – Ines S,
For simple, free memory card recovery software, IObit Undelete is among the top options, for its unlimited recovery ability, portability without installation, and easy to use interface.
- User-friendly Interface
- Quick scan
- Good results in recovering only recently deleted files
- No advanced options
4. Recoverit SD Card Data Recovery
This option is designed for those looking for a professional data recovery solution, and while it comes with a price tag—$75.95 for a month, $79.95 for a year, or $89.95 for life—its features may be worth it if you need the best software available.
If you’re not sure whether to pay or to stick with one of the freeware options, Recoverit offers a free trial period in which you can test it out without a commitment.
The highlighted features of Recoverit Data Recovery include the sleek, professional interface, good rate of file restoration, speed, and ease of use. If you’re looking for a specific file or type of file, you can narrow your search by file extension, and many of the more advanced options are made accessible to those with less technical experience.
It’s extremely easy to understand the options Recoverit offers, and its menu system seamlessly takes you from step to step.
In the end, nobody but you can determine whether Recoverit’s steep price tag is worth it's set of high-quality features. Those looking for a reliable, easy option, or for software to license throughout a business, may be willing to pay for an application with better ease of use and a simpler interface, but it may be too expensive for those willing to negotiate the slightly more complicated menus of other programs.
- Deep Scan available.
- Clean design.
- Not all files can be previewed.
- Doesn’t show a file’s quality before recovering it.
5. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Like several of the other options on this list, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is available in both a free and paid version. It also offers standard quick scan and deep scan features, allowing you to look for recent files or conduct a more thorough check.
With its premium edition costing $90, it comes in as one of the more expensive pieces of software, but it also has a trial for those who want to try before they buy.
Like Recoverit Data Recovery, EaseUS gives you the ability to search for a specific type of file, targeting your scan to a specific set of files and thus reducing the total scan time. Since the trial is limited to a total of 500 MB of data restoration, you’ll need to pay for a license before scanning for any larger files.
If you’re interested in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you should run its trial version first before making any purchases.
Compared to other similar pieces of software, including those on this list, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can sometimes run slower scans.
The flipside of this is that its performance in finding corrupted and deleted files is among the best on the market, and it also takes up a lower amount of energy on your computer.
If you have the time and patience to wait for the scan to finish, EaseUS is one of the best options available.
- Simple interface
- Good overall recovery results
- The poor recovery rate for video files
- Poor customer support
While the five programs on this list are among the best available for SD card data recovery, each one comes with a unique set of features and shortcomings that makes it particularly useful for a certain audience.
In the end, you’re the best judge of your own needs, and there are plenty of other applications out there.