Recover Data from Corrupted Memory Card without Formatting

When a memory card gets corrupted, your data usually becomes inaccessible. The only way to fix that is to format the card which erases data. Fortunately, you can recover data from a corrupted memory card without formatting.

Before we talk about the solutions, it's necessary to learn the symptoms before it gets corrupted.

Symptoms of a Corrupted Memory Card

There are a number of symptoms of a corrupted memory card. Some are pretty obvious while others don't directly tell you that the card is corrupted.

  • Your media files such as photos, videos, etc. open incorrectly or they don't play properly.

  • Your phone or PC cannot read or recognize the SD card.

  • Your phone notifies you that you cannot save files on your SD card.

  • SD card requires formatting and shows a message that it is not formatted.

  • There are some reading errors here and there and your SD card doesn't respond when you connect it with your computer.

How to Recover Data from a Corrupted Memory Card without Formatting?

Following are 2 verified methods to recover data from a corrupted memory card without losing data:

1Recover Data Using AnyRecover

Recovering data from a corrupted memory card is possible with some data recovery tools. iMyFone AnyRecover is one of them. It has all the features and modes you will ever need to recover any kind of data from your memory card or any other storage medium. It has a high recovery rate and a user-friendly interface so recovering files with this tool is a breeze.


1,000,000 + Downloads


  • Recover deleted data from corrupted memory cards, damaged external hard drives, RAW file system, and more.

  • Recovering deleted files via this software is 100% safe as AnyRecover won't overwrite any data (most recovery software will overwrite your data).

  • AnyRecover is capable of recovering 1000+ file formats. No matter what you lost, AnyRecover can help you find it back.

  • Recovering files via AnyRecover is easy as 1-2-3 thanks to its user-friendly and intuitive interface.

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Steps to Recover Data from Corrupted Memory Card

1. For memory card recovery, select External Device Recovery mode.

anyrecover screenshot

2. Connect your SD card via card reader and select the SD Card option on AnyRecover. Then click the Next button.

anyrecover screenshot

3. After selecting the SD card, choose the file types among Photo, Audio, Video, Document, Archive, Others for scanning.

anyrecover screenshot

4. Once the scanning is complete, list of recoverable files will be shown. Choose the files or folders and start to recover.

anyrecover screenshot

2Try chkdsk Command

There is another method to recover files from a corrupted memory card and it doesn't require you to install any third-party tool on your computer. In this method, you will be using the Command Prompt program of Windows.

The chkdsk command scans and fixes certain errors of the selected storage medium which often recovers the deleted files. Note that there is no guarantee that you could recover all your deleted files via this method.

1. Make sure your memory card has been connected to your computer.

2. Press Win + X and select Command Prompt (Admin) to run CMD as administrator.

3. Once the CMD window appears, type "chkdsk d /f /r" (d here is the drive letter of your connected memory card) and hit the Enter key to execute the command.


Once the Windows detects and fixes the errors on your SD card, you will be able to alccess your deleted files via My Computer/This PC.

Bonus: How to Prevent Similar Errors from Occurring in the Future?

There are some precautionary measures you can take to prevent your memory card from getting corrupted and make sure that other similar errors don't occur in the future.

  • Always use the Eject option of Windows before physically removing your card reader from your computer.

  • Make sure to protect your SD card from physical damage, having any water around it, falling, etc.

  • Format your SD card once every couple of months.

  • Make sure your apps on your computer/phone don't interact with SD card frequently because it speeds up the process that leads to SD card wear.


Memory card corruption is common. You should take certain precautionary measures to make sure that your card doesn't get corrupted. And if it already did, then you should use iMyFone AnyRecover to recover deleted/inaccessible data from it before formatting so that your important files are safe.

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By  Simon Marcus , to External Device Recovery

Posted on Dec 18, 2018  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

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