It’s easy to delete files accidentally
If you have been a photographer for some time you have more then likely deleted files that you should not have. If your a pro doing several little jobs a day, this becomes quite easy to accomplish. Though accomplish is not the correct word. The real words that I have used when this has happened are not suitable for this blog.
Do not use the card with the deleted files on it again until you recover them.
If you discover you have deleted files by mistake, stop using that card. The data you deleted still remains on the memory card. Even though you hit delete, the computer has told the card that the space that was being taken up by those files can be used again. If, however, you have taken more photos on the card, that can mean you will not be able to recover the files. It will all depend on how many images you have taken and where the camera put them on the card.
Recover the deleted files with Recuva
To recover the data, we use a program called Recuva from a company called Ccleaner. You’ll need a laptop or desktop computer and a card reader. The reader can be your camera or a separate card reader, or some printers have an SD card slot.
Recuva has a paid version available but we have found that their free version, available for both Mac and Windows, works for our occasional needs. Once you download and install the program and run it, you’ll see a dialog box asking you if you want to make changes to your system, you select yes. Another dialog box will appear, and you answer the questions on the screen. Select pictures as the file type and then select the drive letter for your SD card.
There is a default quick scan mode but from our experience, we have almost always found that we need the deep scan mode, available by clicking a checkbox.
Once it has finished finding the files, you will see thumbnails of the images that it can recover. You will more then likely see photos from months, if not years before, showing up. Once you find the ones you are looking for you check the boxes next to the files and select a location to put the recovered images. They do not recommend saving them on the same card that they came from, so create another folder on a hard drive and keep them there.
Once you have finished recovering all your files, you can use that memory card again. But be careful in the future, which is easier said than done.
By the way, I am not an affiliate of Ccleaner and am not getting any reimbursement by recommending them, and I am a little bummed by that.