Best Methods for SD Card Recovery on Mac [2024]

The most practical storage drives on the market right now are SD cards. They are incredibly quick, small, and, most importantly, nearly universally compatible.

Conversely, SD cards frequently experience incorrect formatting, corruption, or unintentional erasure. As a result, SD cards frequently experience data loss. Fortunately, this article will explain how to recover data from an SD card on a Mac.

Causes of Data Loss on SD Cards

Sometimes, users delete it artificially, and some do not. Come and see the cause of SD card file loss.

1️⃣ Suddenly Removing the SD Card

Users risk losing their data if they abruptly remove the memory card while attempting to access the media device. Additionally, if the memory card is accidentally ejected while transferring files, the card may get destroyed, in which case all the data on the memory card may be lost.

2️⃣ Formatting Wrongly the Memory Card

The memory card may show error messages like Memory card not working or Formatting failure when accessing photographs. Although formatting removes the media from the memory card, these error messages indicate that the memory card is significantly damaged.

3️⃣ Unexpected Power Outage While Copying

Data loss or corruption might occur during the synchronization or file transfer process if an unexpected power outage occurs. Additionally, this can result in data being unavailable.

How to Recover SD Card from Mac Trash

The Mac’s Trash does not receive deleted files from the SD card. The Mac, however, can create a hidden Trash folder for external storage devices. We can use the Trash on the MAC computer to retrieve the deleted files from the SD card because we can access that folder when deleting files as long as the SD card is connected to the Mac.

Step 1. Connect the SD card to the Mac computer.

Step 2. Go to Finder >  SD card’s root folder.

Step 3. Press Command+Shift +>to unhidden files.

Step 4. Open Trash folder > find your deleted files and restore to a new location.

recover sd card from mac trash

How to Restore SD Card on Mac with iCloud

If your Apple computer has iCloud enabled, we can use this feature to recover files from an SD card.

Step 1. Open > sign up

Step 2. Click data recovery

Step 3. Choose your files to restore.

recover sd card icloud

How to Use PhotoRec to Recover SD Card on Mac

Mac Trash can only allow us to recover permanently deleted files using Terminal. Luckily, PhotoRec is available for download, and using PhotoRec, we may retrieve lost files from SD cards on Mac.

With an interface resembling CMD on Windows, PhotoRec is an open-source data recovery tool that uses the command line to recover over 400 file types, including photographs, movies, archives, and documents.

Although using the command line is difficult, you don’t need to be an expert. You must be careful when inputting and moving the command because any mistakes could prevent the recovery from succeeding.

Step 1. Download and launch PhotoRec.

Step 2. Connect your SD card to your Mac computer.

Step 3. Open Terminal > Enter your computer password.

recover sd card photorec

Step 4. Select your SD card to recover > press Enter.

Step 5. Press Enter after selecting the Partition type > Press Enter after selecting File System.

Step 6. Press C to begin the process after selecting the output folder to save the SD card’s restored files.

photorec recover sd card mac

How to Recover SD Card Files on Mac via ONERECOVERY

If the data on the SD card has been lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, or corruption, then a quicker way is to use data recovery software such as ONERECOVERY.

It is far more practical than PhotoRec regarding usage and interface simplicity. This tool is superior for people seeking a high recovery rate and ease of usage. You may recover deleted files from your SD card by simply downloading, running, scanning, retrieving, and saving.

the interface of ONERECOVERY

There is a tutorial for macOS SD card recovery with ONERECOVERY:

Step 1. Insert the SD card into your Mac, and then launch this SD card file recovery software.

Step 2. Select the folder on your SD card and then ONERECOVERY will scan the deleted files that are stored in it. Two scan modes are available: Quick Scan and Deep Scan.

Step 3. After a while, you can preview the files in the scan result and decide the ones you need to retrieve.

Step 4. Click on the “Recover” button to start the SD card file recovery process.


When you suddenly realize that you accidentally deleted important files from your SD card, you should immediately go to the trash folder to see if you can recover them. If it fails, you can also use the open-source program PhotoRec for MAC users Or file recovery software like ONERECOVERY, which can restore photos and videos, documents, audio, and many other file formats.

FAQs About Mac SD Memory Card Recovery

Besides the methods mentioned above, you may still want to know more about SD card recovery on Mac, such as the way to check whether the memory card is corrupted and the way to repair it. This part will offer you the answers to all those questions.

How do I recover deleted pictures from my SD card on Mac?

The easiest to solve this problem is to use a powerful SD recovery software to get back all the lost pictures. You can follow these steps:

Step 1. Download the photo recovery software ONERECOVERY and launch it.

Step 2. Connect the SD card to your Mac computer.

Step 3. Choose your SD drive to scan using the software.

Step 4. Choose the pictures you want to recover in the scan result and click on the “Recover” button to retrieve them.

What are the symptoms of memory card corruption?

A memory card generally exhibits warning signals of impending deterioration before it completely fails:

  • When using it, unusual error messages frequently appear.
  • File loss that happens at random.
  • Corrupted files exist.
  • Although not locked, SD cards are write-protected.
  • The card doesn’t show any files.
  • Mac does not recognize the SD card.

How to format the SD card on a Mac?

When you need to make your SD card compatible with a new file system or partition format, it’s necessary to format the SD card. Follow these steps to format the memory card on Mac:

Step 1. Utilize an SD memory card reader to attach your SD card to your Mac.

Step 2. Start the Disk Utility program.

Step 3. Choose an SD card.

Step 4. Select the Erase option.

Step 5. Select the optional SD card name.

Step 6. Make a filesystem format selection. Pick exFAT if the storage is 64 GB or more. Select FAT32 if the memory is 32 GB or less.

How do I fix a corrupted SD card on my Mac?

For Mac users, it’s not a complex task to deal with a corrupted SD card as there is a built-in tool that can fix it on their device. The following tutorial will teach you the easiest way to use this tool:

Step 1. First, insert the corrupted SD card into your Mac’s SD card slot. Or you can use an SD card reader to connect it to your Mac.

Step 2. Go to “Applications” > “Utilities” > “Disk Utility” to launch this built-in tool that can help you fix disk errors.

Step 3. The corrupted SD card will be listed in the sidebar. Choose it and run the “First Aid” function.

Step 4. Wait for the repair process to finish. Then, your SD card will be fixed.

What should we do after the deletion of the file on the SD card?

Stop using the SD card as soon as possible: Stop using the SD card as quickly as possible if you mistakenly format or have mistakenly deleted files on your SD card while tinkering with your digital camera or other device. Otherwise, you risk overwriting the deleted files’ storage space, rendering data recovery impossible.

Take the device’s SD card out: The SD card should ideally be removed from your device if you aren’t using it, or if it is corrupted. This way, we could better utilize it to try fixing or retrieving files from it.

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