Kim Barloso

Best free memory card recovery software


Since the advent of memory cards and usb sticks, there has been a problem with data loss on portable devices.

Many sd card recovery programs can be listed. Many of them are paid, but there are also free ones. We have chosen recovery-tools that are really effective in a free version.

In the review we will point out whether there are limitations on file size or functionality in general, what are the features and what are the strengths of each of these applications.

Recover programs:

  1. DiskDigger for PC
  2. Recuva Free
  3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  4. Disk Drill Personal
  5. 7 Data Recovery

DiskDigger - recovery without restrictions, useful filter

DiskDigger is a small program for recovery from memory cards. The PRO version costs around $15 and has a trial period.

Works only with FAT and NTFS file systems, so if your flash drive or sd card used this file system, DiskDigger may benefit from searching.

DiskDigger includes all basic recovery features. The paid version of the program has some nice additions, including Dig Deeper. This is a key option without which the functionality of such utilities is often meaningless.

The program has a filter by file name, size, date. This is convenient to use after scanning a memory card because the program often recovers a huge number of /files. The filter allows you to select only the /files you want to recover.

DiskDigger can be compared in its functionality with other programs in the review, for example, with PhotoRec. Unlike the latter, you can preview /files just before you save them, there's no need to manually open each file in the results folder.

Benefits of DiskDigger:

  • Limited sd card file recovery
  • Filtering search results and previews
  • Labeling the status of recoverable information

Download application

Recuva - minimum limits, deep scan function

Recuva not only a universal card recovery program but also a 100% free tool. And when compared to other programs, Recuva is comparable in functionality to paid-for counterparts like Ontrack Easyrecovery Pro.

It does not matter where you lost the /files: your flash drive, HDD or memory card. It could be a phone or camera microsd card - Recuva has no problem finding corrupted photos and clips.

In order to restore the contents of a memory card, specify the file types that were deleted, run the search, and take a look at the preview. Then save the result to any media.

The full version of Recuva costs $19.95. The free version of Recuva does not include tech support. However, there is a detailed documentation and questions can be posed on the program forum where you will get an answer promptly.

Recuva Free installs on Windows 10, 7 and earlier versions; there are 32 and 64 bit versions in Russian. For stand-alone installation the portable version is suitable (do not copy it to the memory card!).

Weaknesses of Recuva Free:

  • The Deep Scan feature will help to recover corrupted photos from the memory card, partially erased information; data not detected by other recovery tools
  • A user-friendly interface, designed both for experienced users (Advanced Mode), as well as for beginners (Recuva Wizard)
  • The free version allows to create a virtual image of the SD-card to connect as a disk partition
  • Color-coded strings indicating the degree of marking the degree of corruption of deleted /files

Download Recuva Software

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard - will recover 2 GB free on sd card

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is also a well known product in the mobile and PC recovery market. The program is suitable for recovering /files on the memory card, and it can be your selected file types or all /files. Works on Windows Server and Windows 7, 10 and other OS versions.

The recovery cases include damaged memory cards formatted in raw and with read errors. They may also be problematic SSD/HDDs with bad blocks. If needed, it's easy to write a VHD disk image and recover from it without fear of overwriting /files.

The program is simple and similar to Explorer. The search parameters allow the user to specify any file type and storage device.

The comparison table on the developer's website explains that the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery will recover up to 2 GB of /files. This volume is quite enough for recovery of a small photo archive or a video clip.

If the possibilities of the Free version will not be enough, it is possible to have a look at the full version of the Data Recovery Wizard Pro ($69.95). It is fully functional for 30 days.

Highlights EaseUS Data Recovery:

  • Big free recovery limit of 2GB
  • Universal: apart from memory cards, it supports SSD/HDD/USB Flash drives
  • Creation of virtual ISO image

Disk Drill - Simple interface, 500 MB file recovery for free

Disk Drill - very simple and user friendly application for Mac OS and Windows. Works with camera and phone memory cards in mass storage mode. It supports recovery on MMC, SDHC/X, MicroSD, CF, XD, Sony Memory Sticks.

For HFS+, FAT or NTFS file systems Quick Scan can be applied. For raw or unknown /filesystems it takes the Deep Scan only - search using the signatures stored in the file table on the flash memory stick.

The free (Personal) version has a 500MB limit for recoverable /files. If the limit is exceeded, you may purchase the Pro version for $89.

The Disk Drill Free includes various extras such as a backup and a preview before recovery.

Weaknesses Disk Drill:

  • Disks drives with unallocated space in the device list
  • Filters recovered /files conveniently by type and other criteria
  • Ability to pause the scan
  • Search data on the memory card by signature (Deep Scan)

7 Data Recovery - special module for memory card recovery

In 7 Data Recovery you can recover fewer /files than in EaseUS Data Recovery - 1 GB of information. This may be enough not only for reference but also for a full-fledged recovery.

It makes sense to use 7 Data Recovery if you have lost /files on the memory card of your digital camera or phone. Most frequently the loss of /files is caused by reading errors, formatting. However, this can be any device which Windows defines as a file volume with NTFS/FAT.

The results are displayed as a file tree. The columns show information of the form Name, Size, Data type, Modification date. You can also enable previews.

Settings are not much. You can configure RAW /files recovery and specify specific file types to search for (Photos/Documents/Media, etc)

Besides the main program, you can also find the 7-Data Card Recovery software at the developers' site. It supports all major types of memory cards and USB flash drives.

Benefits of 7-Data Recovery :

  • Support for different types of memory cards and flash drives
  • Simple interface
  • Easy scanner setup and filtering recovery results

7 data data recovery - download

Glary Undelete - unlimited recovery, easy filter

Glary Undelete (aka File Undelete) is a small free utility for recovery from memory cards. It works only with FAT and NTFS file systems, so if your flash drive or sd card has been using this file system, Glary Undelete may be useful for searching.

Glary Undelete has some basic recovery features inside. The paid version of the program has some nice add-ons, including deep scan. This is a key option without which the functionality of such utilities is often meaningless.

The program has a filter by file name, size, date and state. This is convenient to use after scanning a memory card because the program often recovers a huge number of /files. The filter allows you to select the /files to be recovered.

File status can be set in several positions, from "Very Good" to "Poor". The Recuva program has a similar marking for recovery quality.

Of course Glary Undelete cannot compete with the other programs in the review in its toolbox, but it has the advantage that the size of the /files to be saved is unlimited.

Glary Undelete strong points:

  • Limited sd card file recovery
  • Filtering search results and preview
  • Labeling the status of recoverable information

* * *

There are actually more free sd card recovery programs, but during the review it turned out that many of them are no longer developed.

It also happens that the description of the program says it is free, but in fact, after the results are displayed and you click on "Recover", you are suggested to buy the product. Often the free version is supposed to be a demo version with limited features.

Please write in the comments if the program has helped you or recommend other tools you have used.

Thank you!

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso