And worse yet, you don’t have a backup. It can be very scary when you can’t find those videos you just take, and now you need them badly.
Fortunately, it is possible to recover deleted videos from a camcorder provided that the data are not fully written over. We’ll explain the reason why later on.
The solution? Use a third-party camcorder recovery software, and we’ll show you how to do that step by step.
But First — Stop Using Your Camcorder!
No matter your video files are lost because you pressed the delete button on the device, or you formatted the storage media (e.g. memory cards, hard drives, etc.) to free up space; chances are the data contained in the videos are not removed.
Instead, what happens is that only the file system marks the space your files originally took as available to be occupied by newly saved data.
That means if you continue using your camcorder to shoot more videos it’s possible the data could be written over. When that happens, your videos are gone for good.
Meanwhile, it’s best that you remove the SD card from your camcorder and put it in a safe place before you start the recovery process below.
Camcorder Data Recovery Software
As I said, you’ll need to use a recovery program if you don’t have a backup. There are lots of programs in the market claiming they are capable of recovering data from any device.
But only a handful actually work as they promise and support video file formats in a camcorder.
Stellar Photo Recovery is our top recommendation. Don’t be fooled by its name though, the software is also able to retrieve videos and audio files and supports a range of video formats.
Another thing we like about the program is that it offers both a PC and a Mac version. A trial version is provided for free so you can evaluate the program, to save your files you’ll need to buy the program for $49.99.
We also reviewed a list of the best video recovery software, several options we listed support video recovery too in case Stellar doesn’t work.
How to Recover Deleted Videos from Your Camcorder?
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use the recovery software to retrieve deleted files from your video camera.
- Get Stellar Photo Recovery and install the program on your PC or Mac.
- Connect the camcorder storage media (e.g. an SD card) to your computer via a card reader or USB cable.
- Open the software you’ve just installed, run a full scan of the storage media.
- Preview and recover your videos.
It’s not 100% guaranteed that camcorder recovery software will recover all your videos due to the reason already explained above.
Before your deleted items are retrieved, do not write any new data to your camera or camcorder.
When it comes to the last step (step 4 in this tutorial) to recover and save the found videos, do not select the same source drive. This helps avoid partial data overwriting.