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How to Restore Lost Files from Android SD Card

By Emily Watson, Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Nowadays, most Android phones like Samsung Galaxy S9/S8/S7 are coupled with a 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB SD card. Android users store media files (photos, audios, and videos) in Android SD card built-in Android phone. Unfortunately, data loss sometimes occurs before you back up your files. Relax! You still have a chance to restore deleted files from the Android SD card if you have stopped using your Android phone so that deleted files have not been overwritten by new content. And the next thing you need to do is downloading and installing FonePaw Data Recovery to fix the SD card recovery issue.

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Solution 1: Android SD Card Recovery without Root

The most effective way to recover files from an SD card is to remove the card from your phone, then plug the SD card to the computer with an SD card adapter and use FonePaw Data Recovery to apply SD card recovery on the card.  The lost files on the SD card can be recovered without inserting the card to phone or root. Deleted Documents, photos, videos, etc. can all be recovered.

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1. Insert the card into the card reader and then connect the card reader to PC.

2. Double click to open FonePaw Data Recovery on Windows. On the homepage, you will see your memory card is recognized as Removable Drive.

Launch Data Recovery

3. Select data types/all data and tick the circle of your SD card in the Removable Drive list.

4. Go scanning and you can use Quick Scan or Deep Scan to find the lost data back. Please note that Deep Scan will take a longer time but display more deleted files for you.

Select Data to Recover

5. Check the scanned results and restore those lost files back to your computer.


Solution 2: Restore Lost Files from SD Card on Android

If you don't have an SD card adapter right now, you can use FonePaw Android Data Recovery, which can get back all kinds of files, especially media files, from the Android SD card without removing the card from the phone. 

Just connect your phone to the computer (both Windows and Mac are supported), you can enable the SD card to be scanned and recovered. The program would not destroy your file so that you can get back a full-size photo and a complete music/video file. Besides, deleted items can be extracted from heaps of files so that you are able to recover important files in Android with it.

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Step 1. Connect Android Phone to Computer

Run FonePaw Android Data Recovery on a Windows/Mac computer. Then connect your Android phone (with SD Card) to the computer with Android USB cable. Turn on USB debugging on your Android phone. After that, your device should be detected by the computer.

Connect Android Phone to Computer

Step 2. Select File Types to Scan

In this step, the program will require you to select file types to scan. All compatible file types are listed in the menu, for example, photos, music, and videos. Choose the types you are intended to recover and click the button "Next".

Select Files of Android SD Card

Step 3. Allow FonePaw Program to Access Android SD Card

FonePaw Android Data Recovery will try to install an app to get permission to access data on the SD card. On your Android phone, open Settings and enable Install via USB to install the FonePaw app. 

Install FonePaw App

After the app is installed, it will pop up with messages asking for permission to read phone data, just tap the button "Allow"

Tap Allow on FonePaw App


Step 4. Scan Deleted Files in Android SD Card

After getting the access permission, FonePaw Android Data Recovery will scan your Android SD card and try to find out all deleted files. It will apply a standard scan at first, if the deleted files on SD card don't appear after that, click Deep Scan.

Preview Deleted Data

Step 5. Choose Files to Restore from Android SD Card

Scan complete! In the left pane, you can see the scan result. Choose file types. Then you can preview data in detail. Remind that the names of deleted ones are in red font. And you can tap the ON/OFF button and set to displayed deleted items only. Check the contents you want. Click the button "Recover". You can get them back lost files from Android SD card.

Choose Files to Restore from Android SD Card


Nice job! You have restored deleted files from your Android SD card to your computer successfully. Don't forget to back up your important files in the future. With these programs, you can also back up existing files by transferring them from Android SD card to your computer or use Android Backup & Restore to save all data.

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