SD Card Keeps Deleting Files by Itself? PC & Android Fixes

How to Fix SD Card Deleting Files by Itself

Do you have an SD card deleting files by itself? Don't smash it. Our detailed guide offers solutions including how to get your files back.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Oct 16, 2020 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

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Nothing can be more annoying than an SD card deleting files by itself. For most people, this is a conundrum wrapped in a mystery. Picture this, you download some videos onto your memory card and when you try to access the content later, it has disappeared! You check and recheck and can't seem to figure it out.

Why Does Your SD Card Keep Deleting Files?

An SD card deleting files by itself is a sign that it has seen better days or has started to malfunction.

It can malfunction due to physical damage or software problems. Physical damage can occur through human error such as storing the SD card in a damp or dusty area or subjecting it to forceful impact.

Software problems can occur as a result of sudden electrical power interruption or ejecting the storage from a PC without following the recommended ejection protocol.

An SD card that has a factory defect can also malfunction and delete files by itself. Also, normal wear and tear can cause an SD card to begin to malfunction.


How to Stop SD Card Deleting Files by Itself on PC

Below, we offer three solutions to stop an SD card deleting files by itself on PC.

Solution 1: Repair SD Card with Bad Sectors

What is a bad sector? Well, in computing terminology, a bad sector refers to a section on the storage media that is defective and doesn't respond to write or read requests. Bad sectors can arise from physical or software damage.

Physical damage is unrepairable and is caused by; dust, water, factory defects, physical impact, or natural wear and tear. Damage caused by software or logical issues is repairable. Software damage can be caused by electrical disturbances when there is a sudden power loss, or by a computer virus.

An SD card deleting files by itself is a sign of bad sectors.

Bad sectors caused by soft are easily repairable using the Windows chkdsk command in the Command Prompt.

Connect the SD card to a PC. Then, type Command Prompt in the Windows search bar and run the application as an administrator.

Once the application is running, identify the drive letter of your SD card in Windows Explorer. Next, type chkdsk h: /f and press Enter.

bad sector repair with chkdsk

This command instructs the PC to check the storage and fix any errors found. Physical bad sectors are marked as unusable while soft bad sectors are repaired.

Solution 2: Reformat SD Card

Formatting is a process that erases the contents of a storage medium and replaces the file system. It can cure an SD card that keeps deleting files by itself.

To reformat a memory stick, insert it into a PC and ensure it is detectable by checking Windows Explorer.

Next, right-click on it and click Format.

format SD card

In the next window, choose your preferred file system. This should be FAT32 or exFAT which are the file systems recommended for memory sticks. Ensure the Quick Format button is checked and Next, name the SD card by entering some content in the Volume Label field. Click Start when ready.

quick format SD card

After a few seconds, a message pops up on the screen notifying you of successful completion.

successful SD card format

Solution 3: Re-Clean Your SD Card

Re-cleaning your SD card refers to a software process that wipes everything on the device.

To clean using a PC, launch the Command Prompt as an administrator. Type diskpart and press Enter.

diskpart command prompt

Next, type list disk to identify your memory stick from the list of storage devices.

diskpart list disk

Type select disk x, where x denotes your SD card number. This selects your memory stick for subsequent commands.

diskpart select disk

Next, type clean and press Enter.

diskpart clean

This re-cleans your SD card.


How to Recover Files Disappearing from SD Card

There are several ways to recover from an SD card deleting files by itself. But before we explain how to fix this problem, let's first examine how to get back the files you may have lost.

Download the Wondershare Recoverit data recovery software and install it on your PC.

After installation, launch the application by double-clicking the shortcut icon on your desktop, or type Wondershare Recoverit in the Windows search bar and click Open.

Once you have launched the application, the recovery process is a mere three steps as follows:

Step 1: Select the Memory Card

Connect the SD card to the computer and select it from the sections available within the Recoverit interface.

computer data recovery

Step 2: Scan the Storage

Click Start to begin scanning the memory stick. Wondershare Recoverit performs a deep scan using advanced algorithms to find deleted files. The progress bar at the top shows you the number of files recovered. You can pause this process and restart it at any time.

scanning lost files

Step 3: Recover the Data

Once the scanning process is complete, you will be given an option to preview the recovered files. Select the files you want to retrieve and click Recover. An on-screen message will ask you to choose a location on your computer.

preview recovered photos

Wondershare Recoverit software is the ultimate data recovery tool. It is safe, virus-free, and comes with free around the clock support. There is also a bonus feature, you can repair any videos recovered. It doesn't get better than that.


How to Fix SD Card That Keeps Deleting Files on Android

In the above section, we dealt with solutions that fix an SD card deleting files by itself. But you can also fix the memory card on an Android phone if you don't have a PC nearby.

Try the following solutions.

Solution 1: Re-mount Your SD Card

Re-mounting an SD card simply means ejecting it and mounting it again. This process can fix a minor problem. To remount a memory stick, you need to reject it first.

On your Android phone, navigate to Settings -> Storage -> SD card and tap eject, or look for a button to eject depending on your Android version. Next, remount the memory card as shown below.

remount SD card

Solution 2: Reduce the Transfer Work Load

Saving files on an SD card, as opposed to the internal storage of a device, is always slower. If you use the wrong type of SD card heavily with lots of photography or videography, then the memory stick may be too slow saving the files and this may manifest as an SD card deleting files by itself.

You should purchase an SD card that is suited to your needs and purposes. This ensures you don't overburden the storage with a huge transfer workload. Memory sticks come with various specifications from the manufacturer as follows:

The image below summarizes the writing speeds and applications.

SD card writing speeds

If you notice a memory stick becoming too slow, replace it with a faster one.

Solution 3: Remove the .Nomedia File

.nomedia is a file extension in Android. Files ending with this extension usually have no prefix. The purpose of this file is to hide the multimedia contents of a folder from view. Once a folder is designated as .nomedia, scanning, and indexing by multimedia players is blocked. This is a useful method to make some folders temporarily invisible on an SD card. But if you forget to remove the file, then you may think that the SD card keeps deleting files itself because you can't view them.

To remove the .nomedia file, you need a file explorer. The Google Play Store offers several free file explorers.

Tap the File Explorer and navigate to Local, then click the three vertical buttons to reveal the Settings. Tap settings and make sure the option Show Media Files is selected.

android show hidden files

Next, select the SD card and navigate to the folder you suspect contains the files you are unable to view using a standard app such as Google Photos or the native Android Video app. Here, you will see the .nomedia file. Tap and hold the file to select it then tap Delete.

android delete nomedia file

Your files are now visible.

Solution 4: Remove Bad Applications

The Android operating system is not immune to malicious applications. Despite the vigilance by Google, nefarious apps somehow keep finding their way to the Play Store. These apps cause all manner of problems including instances where an SD card keeps deleting files by itself.

The best advice is to avoid installing apps just for the sake of it. Always read the reviews and avoid anything with a less than a 4-star rating.

You can also navigate to Settings>Apps & Notifications>App info.

This shows you a list of all your apps. Malicious apps normally use generic names such as Backup, Send, Time Zone Service, and so forth. They also tend to use the default Android icon. Go through the list and see if there is an app that looks suspicious. To stop such an app, tap it and then tap Force Stop followed by Uninstall and Disable App.

android remove bad app

Solution 5: Replace the Corrupted Card

Finally, if all else doesn't work, the memory stick may need to be replaced. The theoretical life span is 10 years. But shorter life spans are typical due to human error and poor care. If a card has too many bad sectors, replace it.

replace corrupted SD card

Also, an older storage medium may not be able to keep pace with the device speeds.


How to Protect SD Card from Bad Sectors or Corruption

Protecting an SD card from bad sectors or corruption comes down to taking good care of it. As mentioned, corruption and bad sectors are caused by physical causes and internal software issues. The following are a few tips that should extend the life of your memory card:

At the end of the day, protecting any type of storage comes down to good use.


Closing Words

SD cards are versatile storage units. Modern devices are designed to operate smoothly without any hiccups. But this isn't to say that something can't go wrong. If you find your SD card deleting files by itself, follow these instructions to get your data back.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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