Mac SD card recovery

How to recover files from an SD card on a Mac

  1. 1. Go to Finder and find the folder where you lost files on your SD card.  
  2. 2. Press Command + Shift + . (period) to unhide files.  And the Trashes folder shows up.
  3. 3. Open the Trashes folder, find your deleted file, and recover it to the SD card.

User Case: Recover Deleted Files on an SD Card

Hi all - I accidentally deleted all my video files on an SD card on my Canon DSLR. I immediately removed the card and haven't touched it since. What's the best (safest) software to recover these files? I'm using OS X Yosemite. Thanks! A user from

SD cards are widely used in cameras, dash-recorders, drones, and mainly store pictures and videos. However, the problem of SD card data deletion is very frequent, whether accidental or intentional. If you don't want to completely lose your hundreds or thousands of pictures and raw footage, you need to take the following steps immediately after this problem occurs. 

🚫Stop using the SD card instantly. If you accidentally delete your SD card while using your digital camera, stop taking photos and videos as soon as possible. This is because the newly written data will overwrite the original deleted files, resulting in data not being recovered.
💽Remove the SD card from the device. Remove the SD card from your camera or other device so that no new data can be written. Keep in mind the less you use the memory card, the higher the chance you get data back from the SD card. 
✅Recover deleted files from the SD card properly. First, connect the SD card to your Mac with a legitimate card reader. Then, follow the methods in this tutorial to restore lost files. If the data is permanently lost, you should use a specialized Mac data recovery software to recover the SD card. 

Is it possible to recover deleted files from the SD card after data loss? Shorty yes. This tutorial explains step-by-step guides and other useful information on how to recover deleted files from an SD card on a Mac

How to Perform SD Card Recovery on Mac with Software

Generally speaking, when you are searching for how to recover data deleted from an SD card on a Mac, you have lost your data permanently. In this case, you need a professional Mac file recovery program like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to help you out.

This software provides a high recovery rate and user-friendly graphical user interface. With advanced recovery algorithms, you can use this tool to find lost data due to accidental deletion, device formatting, or corruption.

  • Recover deleted files on Mac in simple three steps. 
  • Restore files from SD cards, USB flash drives, pen drives, external hard drives, cameras, etc.
  • Recover lost data from broken, inaccessible, formatted, and RAW SD cards.

How can you recover SD cards on your Mac?

  1. Step 1. Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  2. Step 2. Connect the SD card to your Mac with a card reader.
  3. Step 3. Run the EaseUS Mac data recovery app and select "SD card".
  4. Step 4. Scan your SD card for deleted data and preview the found files.
  5. Step 5. Recover the deleted photos or videos to a safe location. 
choose SD card to san

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In addition to our software, if you also want to learn about other best SD card data recovery software, here is the full explanation.

Mac SD card recovery software

Top 8 Best SD Card Recovery Software for Mac

This passage lists eight popular SD card recovery programs for Mac, including EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, PhotoRec, R-Studio for Mac, and Data Rescue 6. Read more >>

Recover Deleted Files from SD Card on Mac for Free (3 Ways)

Are you looking for free ways to recover the deleted SD card files on the Mac? Try these three solutions.

Use Free Mac SD Card Recovery Tools

EaseUS Mac file recovery software provides a free version allowing users to recover 2GB of data without cost. If your missing files are small, just a few pictures, a small video, or some documents, you can use the free data recovery software for Mac. The method of operation is the same as the paid version:

  1. Step 1. Download and install the Mac data recovery software.
  2. Step 2. Choose your SD card for lost photos and videos.
  3. Step 3. Preview and recover the items you need. 

Other open-source programs like PhotoRec and Testdisk also offer free solutions to restore lost data on hard disks or storage devices on Mac. But you need to note that these two software are command-line running class tools. You need a certain computer foundation. For the average user, we still recommend that you use an app with a graphical interface.

use photorece to recover sd

Restore from SD Card's Trash Folder

The SD card has a hidden Trash folder to keep the temporarily deleted files. You can connect the SD card to the Mac and then restore data from the Trash folder.

Here are the steps:

  1. Step 1. Open Finder on the Mac and go to the SD card's root folder.
  2. Step 2. Press the CMD + Shift + > keys to show the hidden .Trashes folder.
  3. Step 3. Open the folder and find your deleted files.
  4. Step 4. Right-click the files you want and choose Put Back to restore them.

restore from trash folder on an SD card

Recover SD Card Files from Time Machine Backups 

Another useful way to get back your deleted files from an SD card is using Time machine backup files. Time Machine is a backup application that works with all the latest versions of macOS. When you start it, it automatically creates backups of all your files, including apps, music, and photos, just to name a few, so you can easily restore them if you need them in the future.

To restore deleted files with Time Machine:

  1. Step 1. Launch Time Machine on your Mac. 
  2. Step 2. Select the backup version that contains your lost files. 
  3. Step 3. Find the files you want to recover and click the "Restore" button.

use time machine to restore files from an sd card

Top 5 Best SD Card Recovery Software for Mac Users 

When your files are lost from an SD card, they are not gone forever; only file names and file properties are deleted, and your photos, videos, and music data remain on the memory card until they are overwritten. If you want to restore them, only a professional SD card data recovery program can help you. Fortunately, there is a wealth of tools available to easily recover SD card files on Mac.

  1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  2. Disk Drill
  3. Data Rescue 5
  4. PhotoRec
  5. TestDisk

The good news is that Mac users can choose from many different SD card recovery tools, and we've created this list of the top 5 best SD data recovery software for Mac to help you recover your lost files as quickly and painlessly as possible. Here is a glance at the testing statistics.

🔢 Number of tested tools 10
⏳ How long have we tested 3 weeks
💻 Our macOS version macOS Ventura
💰 Average cost $80 – $100
💵 Minimum cost Free

Top 1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac (Recommended)

Here, we highly recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. It is reliable and capable of restoring lost data from a Mac hard drive, external hard drive, memory stick, memory card, USB flash drive, and SD card due to deletion, formatting, partition loss, virus attack, system crash, unmounted drive, and more. EaseUS Mac data recovery software still offers you the free version with a 2GB data recovery capacity to recover files from SD cards for free. 

You can gain more information about SD card recovery on Mac from the following video. We'll introduce the five reliable recovery tools in this video, and you'll find a detailed tutorial on downloading and installing the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Here are the timestamps. You can jump to the key part to download the EaseUS recovery tool directly.

  • 00:11 What causes data loss on an SD card
  • 00:50 Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  • 00:58 Select the SD card and scan it
  • 01:12 Filter the results
  • 01:20 Preview the data


  • It is compatible with the latest macOS 10.15(Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave), and all the former versions
  • No quality-loss recovery brings your lost photos, videos perfectly back to its best performance
  • It can recover data from the Fusion Drive
  • Supports T2 chip - first and only

Here is a table that shows what EaseUS Mac data recovery software supports and what it can do. 

Classifications Tech Specification
Supported OS macOS 10.15(Catalina) - 10.12, Mac OS X 10.11 ~ 10.9
Supported devices MacBook/iMac, hard drive, memory card, USB drive, camera, SD card, CF/XD/MMC card
Supported file system APFS, HFS X, HFS+, FAT (FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, NTFS
Supported files Document (DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF, etc.), photos (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, GIF), video, music, emails, archives, DMG

Top 2. Disk Drill - SD Card Recovery Mac

Disk Drill is an effective and reliable utility to recover files from an SD card on Mac OS X 10.5+. It can recover deleted files on all types of SD cards from Mac OS X, including SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD, CompactFlash Cards, XD Cards, and virtually any other card your Mac can read. But the free version only allows you to restore up to 500MB data.

top 2 sd card recovery mac - disk drill


  • Provides extra free disk tools that can be used for disk monitoring, space cleaning, duplicate files removal, and more
  • Supports the data recovery of iOS devices and Andriod

Top 3. Data Rescue 5 for SD Card Recovery

Data Rescue 5 is an attractive SD card file recovery application with an intuitive recovery process and two powerful scanning modes. 

 top 3 free sd card recovery mac - data rescue 5


  • Excluding duplicate files from the recovery result
  • Supports the preview of the scanning result
  • You can find specific items based on the name, size, date modified

Top 4. PhotoRec

PhotoRec is a free digital photo recovery tool. It specializes in recovering lost images from hard drives, memory cards, USB flash drives, CD-ROMs, and other storage devices.

top 4- sd card recovery mac - photorec


  • Runs on many different operating systems - Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, etc.
  • 100% open-source program, not only the software but also the source code.

Top 5. TestDisk

TestDisk is a free and open-source file recovery software application created by Christophe Grenier. Its main purpose is to recover lost partitions and fix boot issues. But it can be used to recover deleted files. 

top 5 sd card recovery mac software - testdisk


  • Runs on several operating systems, including macOS and Mac OS X versions.
  • Recovers lost partitions and rebuilds the partition table.

Effective Tips to Avoid Data Loss on an SD Card

You can also follow the tips below to avoid SD card data loss.

  • Make your data files backup regularly
  • Remove the SD card from the Mac in a safe way
  • Don't remove the SD card during the data transfer
  • Don't eject the SD memory card when your Mac is in sleeping mode
  • Know about the symptoms of a damaged or corrupted SD card to avoid data loss
  • Data Protection in advance is the best recovery solution

Use the unique SD card data protection of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to keep your files safe and intact. It keeps your valuable data protected from accidental deletion. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac keeps a detailed record of protected files when they are deleted for later recovery. If you want to get the data back, simply check the protected files section in the interface, choose from the list, and recover.

protect data with easeus data recovery wizard for mac

Recover SD Cards on a Mac FAQs

If you still have questions about Mac SD card data recovery, you can read the questions and answers below.

1. How do I fix an unreadable SD card on my Mac?

To fix Mac not recognizing SD card error

  1. 1. Check Mac System
  2. 2. Check File System
  3. 3. Repair with Disk Utility
  4. 4. Initialize Disk

2. How do I recover photos from a corrupted SD card on a Mac?

To recover deleted photos from an SD card on Mac:

  • Download and install EaseUS SD card recovery software.
  • Connect the SD card to your Mac.
  • Launch the program and select the SD card.
  • Hit the Scan button to start scanning for deleted pictures.
  • Select the photos from the list of recoverable files and click Recover Now.

3. Is there a way to recover trashed items on a Mac?

There are a few practical ways to recover deleted files on Mac. For example, restore lost files from the Trash Bin, Undo option, Terminal, Time Machine backup, or recover permanently deleted files using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

4. How can I recover my SD card for free?

You can use the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to recover SD files up to 1 GB. This is a great solution to recover a few lost photos.

5. What's the best data recovery software for Mac?

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is one of the best data recovery software for Mac users. It is a full-featured and competent data recovery tool that helps you recover lost data from an emptied Trash Bin, accidental deletion, or other causes. It can restore unlimited data in three simple steps - choose a hard drive, scan to find deleted files, and preview and recover all recoverable files.

6. How do I access my SD card on my Macbook Pro?

To access the SD card on your Macbook Pro, you can choose the Apple menu > About This Mac. Click System Report. In the Hardware section of System Information, select USB. Then, in the list of USB devices, select Internal Memory Card Reader to access information about the interface hardware and the media inserted into the SD card slot. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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