Using CCTV cameras around your home or business is an essential preventative measure that can help keep you safe. They can help prevent burglaries, package theft, stalking, etc.
The only problem is that CCTV cameras don’t come with unlimited storage. Most will store all your videos until they run out of space. Then, as new videos are recorded and saved, the older ones get overwritten and deleted.
While this can be a convenient solution as you don’t have to worry about expanding your local storage every few weeks, it can lead to you losing important files.
So the big question is – can deleted or overwritten CCTV footage be recovered? Is it possible, and if so, how can you do it? Take a look to find out.
Can Overwritten CCTV Footage Be Recovered?
Yes, you can. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like there’s much you can do to retrieve CCTV footage.
Most cameras have limited built-in storage, so you’ll usually need to invest in an SD card or a USB local storage solution to expand the available memory. Still, even an SD card with the best possible capacity will eventually lose its available space.
In this instance, your CCTV camera will either stop recording new videos as there’s no more room or start overwriting old videos. Most commonly, the latter option will be enabled by default.
So, if you need to retrieve an old video, you might find it missing when you connect your SD card/USB device to your computer.
However, just because it’s missing doesn’t mean that it’s permanently gone.
With the right tools and software, you can recover CCTV footage that’s been deleted/overwritten.
Is It Possible To Recover Deleted CCTV Footage?
Whether it’s possible to recover deleted CCTV footage depends on an array of factors – the storage options you’re using, whether there’s physical damage to the device, whether there’s any file corruption, and more.
However, in general, it should be possible to perform CCTV video recovery.
Every video file your CCTV records and saves contains metadata, fragments of information that remain even when a file gets deleted. As long as the metadata isn’t corrupted or gone, CCTV recovery software can find that metadata, piece it together, and then reconstruct the original file.
Two Methods to Recover Deleted or Overwritten CCTV Footage
When attempting to retrieve deleted CCTV footage, you’ll find that you have only two available options. You can either use reliable third-party recovery software or send your local storage to a data recovery service.
The former is generally quicker and more affordable, while the latter can help you when all seems lost.
Method 1. Using a Robust CCTV Recovery Software
Most CCTV hard disk recovery tools work by performing a thorough metadata analysis and piecing the information together to restore your old files. However, some are better at piecing the information together than others.
Tools like Wondershare Recoverit have a high success rate, helping to retrieve deleted CCTV footage without much fuss. They’re convenient, affordable, easy to use, and, most importantly, powerful.
Recover all of your videos from storage devices empty due to various reasons like malware attacks, corruption, accidental deletes, damage, etc.
Restore data from all kinds of storage drives like digital cameras, security cameras, drones, USB drives, SD cards, SSDs, HDDs, etc.
Recover Full HD, Ultra HD, 4K, and 8K videos without corruption.
Preview the files before recovery. No payment is required if the files are unrecoverable.
To use Recoverit CCTV data recovery software, you just need to follow a few simple steps:
- Step 1: Remove local storage where your deleted CCTV footage was and connect it to your PC;
- Step 2: Install and launch Recoverit on your PC;
- Step 3: Select Enhanced Recovery from the menu on your left-hand side; You’ll see all available internal and external drives. Select the one from which you want to retrieve your CCTV footage.
- Step 4: Select the video file format (or several formats) of your CCTV footage for deep scan and click Start. The CCTV recovery software will automatically start performing Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
- Step 5: The deleted or overwritten CCTV footages will be displayed on the screen during the scanning. You can select Preview to see the files that are ready for recovery;
- Step 6: Finally, choose the file you wish to recover and click Recover;
Wait for the CCTV recovery process to finish, and inspect your files once it’s complete. You’ll find the files in the location path you’ve chosen in the last step.
Method 2. Shipping to a CCTV Data Recovery Service
If your deleted CCTV footage cannot be recovered using third-party software such as Recoverit, you might want to try shipping your USB/SSD to data recovery services such as DriveSavers Data Recovery.
While this approach is significantly more expensive, it could be effective if there is no other solution to retrieve deleted footage works.
With Drive Savers, sending your local storage for restoration works in a few steps:
- Step 1: Call DriveSavers at +1.800.440.1904 to get a quote estimate and receive shipping instructions;
- Step 2: You will receive an email with your prepaid overnight shipping label;
- Step 3: Print out the label and prepare your device for shipping;
- Step 4: Place your device in a ziplock or antistatic bag and seal it;
- Step 5: Wrap the bag in bubble wrap;
- Step 6: Use strong tape to seal the bubble wrap;
- Step 7: Put the bubble-wrapped device into a tight cardboard box;
- Step 8: Seal the box with tape and place the shipping label on it;
- Step 9: Ship to Drive Savers.
It might take Drive Savers a few days to restore files from your device and ship it back to you. If they cannot restore your deleted CCTV videos, you won’t get charged for the service.
CCTV Recovery Software vs. Data Recovery Service: Which One Should You Choose?
CCTV recovery software and data recovery services could effectively restore your deleted, lost, or overwritten CCTV videos. Which option you should go for depends entirely on your needs and preferences. Both have their pros and cons that could influence your decision.
Pros and Cons of CCTV Recovery software:
Unlimited data recovery
Cannot restore files from devices with severe physical damage;
Can be risky if you choose low-quality software.
Pros and Cons of Data recovery service:
Can recover data from devices with physical damage;
Higher chances of successfully recovering files;
No charge if files cannot be recovered.
One-time data recovery service;
Could be time-consuming.
It’s usually in your best interest to use recovery software to retrieve videos that aren’t of the utmost importance to you, such as in case of package theft. If video recovery is a more urgent, critical matter, such as in case of burglary, you might be better off shipping your device to data recovery services.
Data recovery services offer expert overwritten CCTV file recovery, even if the device has physical damage.
Bonus-Advice: Back Up Your CCTV Footage
While you can usually perform deleted or overwritten CCTV file recovery, it’s always in your best interest to back up your footage. After all, depending on your device and your local storage solution, you might be unable to retrieve your critical files when you most need them.
Backing everything up will add another layer of protection and ensure you have access to all the CCTV videos recorded by your cameras, even when the original files have been permanently lost.
CCTV overwritten data recovery can be difficult, but it’s usually possible to restore your files if you act quickly and use reliable services. Whether you decide to go with CCTV data recovery software or a data recovery service, in most instances, you can get your deleted videos back in no time.
However, just in case, remember to back up your footage to reduce the risk of losing it forever.