If your photographs have been permanently deleted from your Secure Digital (SD) Card, there may be a way to recover them.
I wrote a blog post and created a Youtube video about how to recover deleted photos using a free version of Recuva software. I made that video to help a friend in our photography club who accidentally deleted over 1,000 photos. This can be an emotional experience when you believe you've just lost photos with sentimental or monetary value.
I received a peer review with a question: What if you permanently deleted your photos by formatting your SD card?
I went back to my camera to test again. In this test, I used the same SD card from two weeks ago where I recovered over 1,000 photos. This SD card is now empty, so I took a few photos and then formatted the SD card to simulate a permanent deletion. What happened next is not what I expected.
To my surprise, not only did it recover the few new photos I just took, but it also recovered the over 1,000 deleted photos prior to formatting. There was only one difference in the steps to recover the photos. When I selected recover, I was presented with a message that the software could not find any photos and asked if I wanted to do a deeper scan. Of course, I accepted the deeper scan and let the software do its work.
After several minutes, the software presented me with the option to recover over 1,000 photos. I selected this option and it worked. This impressed me that a free version of the software had this feature available. Recuva has a paid version and it's inexpensive. If you need to recover photos I'd give this free program a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend purchasing the paid version as a way of thanking the developers. At the time of writing this post, the lowest price for the paid version is just over nineteen dollars. That is a fair price for the benefit of recovering valuable photos (or files).
I hope you never need to recover deleted photos, but don't panic if you do. There is hope.