How to fix microSD card and save your data and photos

Take a shortcut:

Make a backup

Did you accidentally delete some files? Then, under no circumstances should you continue writing more data to your MicroSD card. This can overwrite areas with accidentally deleted files and reduce your chances of a successful recovery.

If your MicroSD card is damaged or appears broken, you should not reformat it if you still want to recover data. Even if the card is ready to be used again after formatting it, it becomes harder for the tools below to recover existing data.

Fix microSD card in Windows

First, turn off your smartphone, remove the microSD card, and insert it into any PC running Windows (remember to have a smaller card adapter). If the computer recognizes the card, right-click it in Explorer and select properties. After that, go to the tab Tools and click on Check Now in the area Error Checking.

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Use the "Error Checking" option to let Windows check for errors / AndroidPIT

After an initial check the microSD will be fixed. If all goes well, you will have access to your data, photos and videos again.

If the microSD card is not recognized by Windows, do the following:

If Windows does not recognize your microSD card, open System Manager and click Disk management in the left list. If you see your microSD card in the right area, right-click it and then Change drive letter and paths.

This will open a new window where you will have to click Add and then assign a drive letter to the MicroSD card. When done, it should be visible in Windows Explorer and the microSD card will be repaired as described above.

windows disk management
Use Disk Manager to find your SD card / AndroidPIT

I back up my data at least once a month

Data saving software comparison

    EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
    R-Tools R-Studio
License $ 14.99, free for Linux $ 107.04 (Mac), $ 83.24 (Windows) $ 79.99 Free (FOSS)
Operational systems Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android Windows, Mac OS; Apps available for Android and iOS Linux, Windows, Mac OS Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Works with damaged file systems Yes (Dig Deeper) Yes (deep scan) Yes Yes (TestDisk)
Root (Android) Optional Yes n / a, does not work with Android n / a, does not work with Android

Fix microSD card and save data with DiskDigger

If none of these tips worked, don't despair as there are many other tools and programs available that can help you repair your microSD card. One of them is DiskDigger. This program can be used free of charge during the trial period, and a single user license for a PC costs $ 14.99.

Once you have downloaded and installed DiskDigger, start the program and select your microSD card. Click on tab Next three times and DiskDigger will scan your microSD card. This may take some time, but this is normal. After that, all files recovered during the scan will be displayed.

microsd reparieren diskdigger
Recover your data with DiskDigger / AndroidPIT (screenshot)

Repair your microSD card on a rooted Android

If your smartphone is rooted and you want to repair the microSD card directly from your phone, there is also a version of DiskDigger for Android available on the Google Play Store. The free version allows you to restore images (JPG and PNG) and videos (MP4 and 3GP). The Pro version offers the possibility to repair other files on the microSD card as well.

diskdigger androidRootDigger for rooted smartphones / AndroidPIT (screenshot)

The Android process runs in much the same way as described above. However, you should keep in mind that the Android version of DiskDigger is not as efficient as the Windows version to repair your microSD cards. In addition, the smartphone must be rooted, because without extended system access, the application cannot function effectively.

DiskDigger Pro file recovery
Install on Google Play

DiskDigger Recovery Photos
Install on Google Play

Recover Deleted Files Using MacOS

You can also use your Mac to restore data to microSD cards. Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a free program that can perform this task and is available for download from the developer's website.

After completing the program download, insert the memory card into the Mac and start the program. You do not have to worry about any options or menus in this software, but the Data Recovery Wizard guides you step by step through the process. Then select the memory card and data types you want to restore.

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Data Recovery Wizard: Choose your microSD / ANDROIDPIT

After a brief search, the app will show you which files can be recovered. For example, any files you have accidentally deleted will be displayed here. Another optional solution is a detailed analysis of the memory card. In the window that opens you can select the files that have been lost.

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Data Recovery Wizard: Choose Document Type / ANDROIDPIT

The last step is to choose a new location for your file. Restoring the file to its original location is not advisable, especially if the SD card is defective.

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Data Recovery Wizard: Choose the files you want to recover / ANDROIDPIT

Data Recovery Wizard is also available in a version for Windows. The free version only restores 2 GB of data. If you need more, you have to choose the most expensive and complete option, which costs $ 89.95.


Similar to DiskDigger, R-Tools software uses a graphical wizard, which is a step-by-step recovery wizard. The free version limited to Windows file systems and the paid version only recognizes the relevant ext3 on Android.


PhotoRec is an add-on to the free TestDisk file system recovery tool. It's free and open source (FOSS), but only comes as a command line tool. Here are the complete step by step instructions.

Hire a data recovery service provider

If you cannot manage recovery alone, a service provider can save you time and frustration. One of the options is Recoverfab. You send your damaged microSD card and then download the recovered data from your FTP server. Prices for a 32 GB recovery, for example, are between $ 300 and $ 500.

Decrypt encrypted microSD cards

If your microSD card has been encrypted as internal memory and suddenly becomes unreadable, do not reset your smartphone because your MicroSD card key will be lost and the data contained on it cannot be recovered in a reasonable amount of time.

A guide to decrypting microSD cards formatted as internal memory on Android can be found on the blog of Android expert Nikolay Elenkov (in English).


Ideally, you always have a backup that can be accessed in an emergency so you never have to recover your data. Otherwise, you should first try to repair your microSD card with Windows tools.

As a second step, we recommend searching with PhotoRec as the software is completely free. There are step by step instructions that should help you quickly. If that helps you, use a program like DiskDigger or the Data Recovery Wizard.

Of course, you probably already know that, but just in case, here's an important piece of advice: Back up your files at regular intervals. If something breaks, you will still have a backup and need not worry about rescue operations to save your data. The most correct way to back up your Android is in the following article:

Have you had the unfortunate experience of losing important data? Do you use any of these methods to see what you can get back? Tell us!

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