Photo Recovery

Photo recovery tutorial

Written by Gail Bjork

Accidentally erase or format a memory card? It may be possible to recover lost photos and other digital image files.

All image recovery programs work basically the same, though some work more effectively than others. This tutorial is illustrated using PhotoRescue, one of many programs available to help recover lost images from media such as memory cards.

PhotoRescue to the rescue

  1. Insert the card into memory card reader.
  2. Create a folder on your desktop (or wherever) and give it a name. I named mine “Recovered Images.
  3. Open PhotoRescue. It automatically finds the card.
  4. Click “OK.” PhotoRescue reads and recovers files. You’re given an “expert” mode if you’re not satisfied with the results.
  5. When the process is complete, click “Continue.” A window opens, which contains a folder called “FOUND.” Double-click on the folder to view it’s contents.
  6. Content in the Found folder needs to be copied to the folder you created. Select “File” from the menu > “Save all” > Browse to your folder then click “OK.”

Click on images for larger view

1. PhotoRescue

1. PhotoRescue

2. The found folder

2. The found folder

3. Select all the images you wish to recover

3. Select all the images you wish to recover

4. Save images to your rescue folder.

4. Save images to your rescue folder.

That’s it!

Now it’s time to take a sigh of relief.

Whatever photo recovery program used, carefully follow the developers instructions.

Results of the process used to illustrate this tutorial: 143 photos were recovered from a 256 MB CompactFlash card. There was no loss of EXIF data.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

2 Comments

  • Bluey, it can take considerable time for the program to attempt to recover photos, especially if you have a large memory card. Hope you get all your photos back.

  • Hello. I uused this program, and so far it’s still on step 2. How long does it take for any files to be recovered?