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How To Recover Files From a Lexar SD Card on Windows and Mac

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Originally published Jan 03, 24, updated Jul 17, 24
Hi! when i try to transfer the files from my lexar sd card to computer it only shows"card needs to be formated". I'm in desperate need of this pictures for clients and i want to know how I can save them? giving the card to a proffessional data recovery place is not an optiion. I can pay for software as long as its good and will actually work! - Reddit

Have you lost your precious photos from a Lexar memory card? Don't worry - many Lexar recovery tools can restore your data.

We've compiled the best Lexar file recovery solutions to help you recover data from Lexar SD Cards that have been lost due to formatting, malware, or other technical issues.

Table of Content
    1. Use Wondershare Recoverit (for Windows & Mac)
    2. Use Windows File History (for Windows Only)
    3. Use the Mac Time Machine (for Mac Only)
    4. Use the Offical Lexar Recovery Tool (for Windows & Mac)

What Causes Data Loss on Lexar Memory Card

The primary culprits calling for Lexar SD recovery include the following:

Causes Explanation
🗑 Accidental deletion Human error is the most prevalent cause of data loss. However, Lexar data recovery software can restore accidentally deleted files if you don't overwrite them with new data.
🧹 Formatting A Quick Format rewrites the file system directory, but your data isn't lost forever. Like with accidental deletion, you can retrieve data if you don't overwrite it. However, a Full Format wipes everything, making recovery impossible.
🗱 Temporary glitches Your system might act up, making it seem like some files are inaccessible or missing or making your Lexar SD or CF card appear empty. Safely ejecting and reinserting it might resolve the problem.
❗ Corruption Bad sectors, malware, file system errors that may prompt you to format the card before using it, sudden device shutdown while your Lexar SD card is in use (e.g., a power outage during file transfer to your PC using an AC power supply), and forced disconnection can lead to corruption.
💀 Malware Malicious software like viruses, computer worms, and the notorious Trojan horse can hide or delete files.
🔨 Physical damage Improper SD card handling, including exposure to water or extreme temperatures, can cause bad sectors and other problems, including failure. Professional SD card data recovery services are your best bet in those situations.

Regardless of the cause, specialized data recovery software can help you retrieve lost or deleted files. Let's explore the best solutions that are not exclusive to Lexar SD cards. They're also ideal for Lexar microSD cards and Lexar CompactFlash card recovery.

How to Recover Files From a Lexar SD Card on Windows and Mac

The following three Lexar SD card data recovery methods are your go-to solutions for reversing data loss.

Method 1. Use Wondershare Recoverit (for Windows & Mac)

Wondershare Recoverit is an extremely powerful memory card recovery program that can help you recover any data and files from all types of Lexar memory cards easily and effectively. It supports 2,000+ storage media (including Lexar SD, microSD, and CF cards) and 500+ data loss situations. Regardless of how you lost your photos or videos on the Lexar card - be it accidental deletion, formatting, file system corruption, virus attack, sudden power outage, etc. - it can help you retrieve the data.

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Here's how to use Wondershare Recoverit for seamless Lexar recovery:

  1. Connect your Lexar SD card to your PC.
  2. Download, install, and launch Wondershare Recoverit.
  3. Go to Hard Drives and Locations, click Start, and select your Lexar SD card under External Drives.
    select the lexar sd card for recovery
  4. The Lexar recovery tool will start scanning for missing files automatically.
    scan for lost files in lexar sd card
  5. Preview and select the recovered images, videos, audio files, presentations, documents, emails, or other data, click Recover, and save them to another location (preferably not the Lexar SD card).
    recover files from lexar sd card
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Method 2. Use Windows File History (for Windows Only)

Windows File History backs up your documents, downloads, pictures, favorites, contacts, and other default libraries. You can add external storage media like HDDs and SD cards to regular backups, saving multiple versions for seamless data restoration.

However, you can recover files from a Lexar SD card with Windows File History only if you've previously backed them up. Here's how:

  1. Connect your Lexar SD card to your PC.
  2. Go to Settings > Update & security > Backup > More options.
  3. Click Restore files from a current backup.
    windows file history backups
  4. Choose the desired items, navigate to Settings (the gear icon) > Restore to, and select the destination. You can also click the green Restore button to return the files to their original location on the Lexar SD card.
    restore files from lexar memory card

Method 3. Use the Mac Time Machine (for Mac Only)

Time Machine is a built-in macOS backup manager for backing up storage units, including internal and external drives. The best part? It keeps multiple file versions for seamless recovery.

Here's how to recover files from a Lexar SD or CF card if you've previously backed them up with Time Machine:

  1. Connect your Lexar SD card to your Mac.
  2. Go to the Apple menu > System Settings (macOS Ventura or newer) or System Preferences > Time Machine and tick the checkbox stating Show Time Machine in the menu bar.
    a time machine backup drive
  3. Click the Time Machine icon (a clock with a counterclockwise arrow) in the menu bar and click Enter Time Machine.
    time machine in the menu bar
  4. Open the folder with lost files on your Lexar SD card and use the right-hand timeline arrows to browse previous backups. Select the desired items and click Restore.
    lexar file recovery with time machine

Method 4. Use the Offical Lexar Recovery Tool (for Windows & Mac)

Try the official Lexar recovery software if you haven't backed up your Lexar SD card using Windows File History or Mac Time Machine. Besides SD cards, it supports Lexar USB flash drives and SSDs (with enabled trim commands) for cameras, CCTV, drones, and dashcams.

Here's how to download the free Lexar Recovery Tool and retrieve lost files:

  1. Visit the official Lexar Recovery Tool download page, expand the Lexar Recovery Tool list, and click Lexar Recovery Tool for Windows or Lexar Recovery Tool for Mac according to your device OS.
    lexar recovery tool free download
  2. Unzip the downloaded file and install the program.
  3. Connect your Lexar SD card to your PC.
  4. Launch the software, click Recover Data, and select your Lexar SD card.
    choose a recovery source
  5. Click the Folder icon to browse your PC for the desired location to save data, and click Next.
    browse for a destination folder
  6. Choose specific file types (e.g., Image for Lexar image recovery). If your SD card has multiple file types, click All Types and hit Next.
    specify lexar sd file types
  7. Let the tool scan your SD card. Once it finishes scanning, select what to retrieve and click Recover.
    lexar photo recovery
Try Wondershare Recoverit to Perform Lexar Memory Card Recovery

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How To Prevent Losing Data on Lexar Memory Cards

The following tips are essential for preventing data loss on Lexar and other SD cards:

  • Purchase Lexar SD cards from the official source to avoid manufacturing defects;
  • Don't disconnect a Lexar SD card while in use because you might cause corruption;
  • Safely eject every SD card after use;
  • Leverage the Lexar SD card lock (the physical write-protect switch) when not in use to activate the read-only state and prevent data modification or deletion;
  • Gently handle all SD cards to avoid physical damage;
  • Store them in a protective case;
  • Don't expose them to liquids and extreme temperatures;
  • Have one SD card per device because switching between models requires formatting for compatibility and might cause data loss;
  • Don't connect SD cards to malware-infected devices because they might suffer the same fate;
  • Create regular backups for seamless data retrieval in case of accidental deletion, formatting, malware, and other unexpected problems.

We recommend printing out these tips to ensure you tick all the boxes when using SD cards. They'll become second nature before you know it.


Lexar memory card recovery is a breeze with reliable solutions in your toolbox. Windows File History for Windows users and Time Machine for Mac users are excellent built-in tools, but you must have previous backups to retrieve lost data.

That's not the case with the official Lexar Recovery Tool or Wondershare Recoverit. However, the latter offers many more features, including recovering data from crashed computers, BitLocker-encrypted drives, NAS devices, and Linux systems and repairing corrupted videos. Its patented Enhanced Recovery technology can even patch fragmented photos and videos.

Wondershare Recoverit is your all-in-one data recovery software, so download it for free to see how it fits your needs.

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Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Jul 17, 24
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