Top 5 Free SD Card Recovery and Clone Software Tools


Recover an SD Card

If you deleted photos from a SD card mistakenly, or formatted a card inadvertently, or some pictures on the SD card missed for any reasons, you may need to find a SD Card Recovery software to recover the lost files from the SD card.

CardRecovery software from WinRecovery Software is the leading SD Card Recovery software to recover deleted files from SD card, or files lost due to other reasons. Both Windows and Mac versions are available.

Free Evaluation Version (Trial Version) Download



Other SD card recovery software includes Rescue Pro Software, PhotoRec Software …

Flash an SD Card


When you need to save a system to a Raspberry Pi SD card, or similar device, direct copy does not work. You need a tool to flash the operation system image file to an SD card.

balena Etcher is a software tool to flash OS images to SD cards and flash drives.

Etcher is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.


Format an SD Card

To use a new SD card in cameras, phones or other devices, it is better to format it first, otherwise, the SD card may be not supported by the new device, or it does not work in best performance. It is recommended to use the SD Memory Card Formatter to format SD Cards rather than using formatting tools provided with Windows or Mac OS.

SD Memory Card Formatter

Formatting is the process to create a new file system on the disk, memory card, or flash drives.

Common File Systems:

  • NTFS: NTFS is the file system that Windows uses by default.
  • HFS+: The Hierarchical File System is usually the mainfile system used by macOS.
  • APFS: It is an Apple file system developed as a replacement for HFS+, with a focus on flash drives, SSDs, and encryption. It is used in the new iPhone OS.
  • FAT32, exFAT: FAT32 and exFAT are the popular and standard file systems used by digital cameras and portable devices.
  • EXT 2, 3, & 4: The extended file systems (EXT) are usually used by Linux.

Check an SD Card


There are fake SD cards in the market, e.g. you bought a 128 GB SD card but actually, it is a 16 GB Card with faked labels. If you use it in a digital camera, the card of course stores much less photos and videos, it may also cause data loss and your valuable photos may be lost. You may need a tool to test and detect fake or counterfeit SD cards, or perhaps you just want to test an older storage device for errors and problems. H2Testw is a freeware tool designed to test the card capacity, read/write speed of an SD card, or scan and check for errors.

H2Testw can be downloaded from


Clone an SD Card

Sometimes, you may need to make a extra copy of an SD Card for backup or other purpose. Win32 Disk Imager is a Windows tool for reading data from an SD card and writing to a image file, also, it can be used to write a image file to a SD card. You may first use it to create a image file from a “Master” SD card, then write the image back to a different SD card to complete the SD card clone.



Important note: flashing, formatting or some SD card cloning and checking tool will wipe the data on the SD completely. So please use those tools carefully.