How to Recover Data from a Physically Broken Micro SD Card

How to Recover Data from a Physically Broken Micro SD Card

Do you know you can recover data from a damaged SD card? Learn how to do this in short and simple steps.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Dec 21, 2020 • Filed to: Recover & Repair Files • Proven solutions

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broken microSD card

Inherent in our nature as humans are our ability to make mistakes. One common one is breaking stuff. It is however rare to find fixes and solutions to broken stuff. Do you have a physically broken microSD card? Are there some important files on it that you no longer have access to due to the damage? If your answers are “Yes”, then you can get them all back! Yes! Even while it’s broken. Thanks to the steps and instructions in this article, you can and will be able to get your files back.

You’ll see how to ascertain the damage level for the broken microSD card and simple solutions to recover the data on it. Should be fun, yes? Let’s dive in!

How to recognize the SD card if broken or damaged?

inside an SD card

A damaged SD card can be seen to manifest in various ways. It could be seen that it has broken into two separate parts, or as a loss of any of the connecting chips, or even chipping off of any of the sides/edges. The damage can be detected majorly by the loss of the normal function of the card. Another common way is that the host device is unable to read the files on the card or shows signs of ‘corruption’ of the files on the SD card.

If your microSD card shows any of the above signs, there is a high chance that the card has been damaged or is broken.


SD card is physically crushed into pieces including chip and PCB

inside an SD card

If your SD card is crushed into pieces as seen above, the card is damaged beyond repair and there is currently no fix for such. This is because the data is usually stored on those chips. Once the chips are destroyed or crushed, the data cannot be recovered. You would have to restore backups of such data and if absent, you have lost such data for life.


SD card lock switch is broken off

The plastic nature of the SD card and its tiny parts make it easy to break. On the side of most SD cards, you can see a ‘Read-Only’ lock that is used to protect the drive from reading and writing data. This switch is the most implicated when it comes to physical SD card damages. When the SD card lock switch breaks or is damaged in the locked state, it becomes hard to get any data on it.

The good news, however, is that you can recover your data from such SD cards. By following the steps below, you can get the lock switch fixed and gain access to your SD card again.

Step 1: Get a paper clip, straighten it, and put it on the side of the SD card where the lock switch was previously.

align the pin to the side of the card

Step 2: Using a pair of pliers or wire cutters, cut the paperclip to match the size of the broken lock switch

cut the paperclip

Step 3: Apply one drop of crazy glue (super glue) on the side of the clip press firmly on the spot where the lock switch was original. Be careful not to put too much glue so that the card still fits into its space on the host device

glue and hold to stay

Step 4: Allow to stay for a while and dry. Once dried, you can switch to open the SD card and get access to the data on it

fixed SD card


The outer shell of the SD card is physically cracked but the chip inside it is intact

By now you know that if the chip is intact, the data on the SD card can still be recovered. To do this you need to get a casing of a spare SD card. This process will teach you how to install the chip of an SD card with a broken shell, into the casing of a spare SD card.

Step 1: Remove the chip from the damaged SD card.

Step 2: Use a razor to neatly open a seam on the side of the SD card so it leaves the area of insertion.

Step 3: Use your pliers to remove the spare card’s chip from the shell.

Step 4: Pick the chip from the cracked SD card and insert it into the spare case, closing it as firmly as possible.


The connector or the PCB with the circuit is broken

If either of the connector or the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) with the circuit is broken, you can remove the SD card chip and then solder it to another PCB (of the same type) and try to read the data.


The memory chip(s) are broken

If the chip(s) is/are broken your best chance (if there is any) is to visit an [selected] expert. This can be very expensive depending on who does it and how badly the chip is damaged.


How to fix a corrupted SD card when it can be detected but data is lost

We have gone over the fact that not all damages to an SD card can be physical. We also stated that one way to detect damage is when the data on the SD card is inaccessible. When it seems like your data is lost, even when your host device recognizes the SD card, Recoverit is the answer. Recoverit is easy to use, effective, and fast Recovery tool that gets your files back in 5 minutes or even less!

Your files can be regained in these easy steps;

Step 1. Download Recoverit for your Mac or Windows. Install on your PC and open the application

Step 2. Insert your SD Card and select it as the location to start recovering files. Click on Start after selecting your SD card.

select location to be scanned

Step 3. Recoverit scans the SD card for the files as you can see below

Recoverit scans the system for lost files

Step 4. Once the scan is complete, you can see the files and choose the ones you want to recover. Once you finish choosing, click on the “Recover” button on the bottom right corner of the screen and immediately, your files are restored to their original location

select files and recover


Bottom line

No one should lose their data to damaged cards. One way to ensure data safety is to have backups either physically or on the cloud. In cases where data loss occurs, you need to have data recovery software such as Recoverit. It is easy to use, lightweight, accessible, and is fast! Recoverit has been tested and trusted to deliver effective data recovery for free over the years. I recommend that it’s a must-have for every PC owner!

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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