How to Recover Deleted Files from a Dash Cam

Dash cams are very handy when it comes to recording road events. That is why it is now very common among many drivers. With the available types and models, you can easily choose suitable dash cams depending on your preferences. 

However, like any other camera, they also require special attention and care to protect them from tear and wear. More importantly, you should protect them against data loss. Imagine getting yourself in an accident and you really need the video footage to defend an insurance claim only to be met with an error message – the video is nowhere to be found!

You don’t want to be part of this nightmare with lost dash cam footage. Although the process can be so complicated, the good news is that in many cases you will be able to recover deleted footage from dash cams. 

We have prepared this guide to walk you through the process of recovering deleted dash cam files. We will make the process very simple and straightforward so that you have only a short time to comprehend and implement. You can also read about formatting SD card without losing your data here. Otherwise, read on to understand how to recover files from a dashcam and secure them.

How Do Dash Cams Store Footage?

Before attempting to recover deleted dash cam footage, it is important to first understand how they store video footage. 

Generally, dash cams store video footage on microSD cards. The camera saves footages in a loop. This means that when the card is full, it overwrites older footage. Note that dash cams do not store footage the same way computers or phones store them. 

Here, the files are split into smaller segments and the cam may store metadata separately from the video itself. This way, it may be very difficult to recover footage when lost due to any reason. This information is very crucial so that you know dash cam footage requires special care to avoid loss by whatever reason.

What Causes Lost Footage?

You might be asking yourself now – what causes lost footage? Ideally, other than accidental deletion, there are several other reasons that may lead to lost footage from dash cam. Some of these include:

  • Faulty microSD card – the card may become corrupted or damaged. In such instances, you may not be able to gain access to the footage. We recommend you use a high-quality microSD card. The card should also be compatible with the dash cam in your car. 
  • Accident or damage – generally, the camera may have been exposed to an accident or damaged in one way or another. 
  • Accidental deletion – when this happens, you will need to stop using the cam and use a data recovery software or other method described below to recover the files. 

Identifying the Type of Loss

Before you can begin any recovery process, it is advisable that you assess and identify the type of loss. It could be a loss caused by accidental deletion or disk corruption or other. 

File corruption majorly occurs when your files are damaged or corrupted. Some of the factors that could contribute to disk corruption include a malfunctioning device or a power outage. Data recovery from such cases becomes very difficult but can still be executed using specialized data recovery software. Gross cases will require the services of a professional data recovery expert.

In this article, we focus on showing you how to recover deleted files. Accidental deletion happens when you unintentionally delete a file. There are higher chances of recovering deleted files but one must act swiftly and not wait for too long.

How to Recover Deleted Files from a Dash Cam

Method 1: Recover with In-Built Dash Cam Tools

Today, many dash cams are built with intuitive tools that support data recovery. You can easily use these tools to recover lost footage. 

Look at the manual that came with your dash cam to find out if this feature is available. In some dash cams, there is an in-built file lock function. It protects important files from file overwrite or deletion making it easier to recover them. Simply unlock the file to recover lost footage. 

Method 2: Recover with Software

Dash cam data recovery is also possible with data recovery software. If your cam did not come with in-built tools, try a good data recovery software. However, although there are many options available on the internet, you can only trust a few to do what they say they can do. Disk Drill is one of the best memory card recovery tool to try. With this tool, you will get quicker results and you can be sure to have the best recovery rate. 

How to use it? Download and install the software on PC. Connect the dash cam or memory card to the PC. Launch the memory card recovery software and run disk scan. You will also get a preview of all your search results and can pause, continue or stop the search process midway as long as you have found what you are looking for. 

Method 3: Recover with Professional Recovery services

There’s no way you are going to use Disk Drill and not get your files back. However, since you may be dealing with very crucial footage and do not want to gamble with lost videos as they can be standing in between you and a court case or even an insurance claim, we may recommend seeking professional services.

While these services can be very expensive, in some cases there is no guarantee of footage recovery either. But they are worth trying.

Whichever method you prefer to use, we recommend that you must act quickly. Do not wait too long after your footage is accidentally deleted. This is the only way you will increase the chances of your recovery.

How to Prevent Future Loss of Dash Cam Files

It is essential to regularly maintain your cam to ensure it always functions properly. You can also keep footage backups in safe storage areas just in case you lose them by accident from the dash cam. Below are some of the additional preventive measures:

  • Check the power source – ensure you always have a reliable power source.
  • Check the memory card – check the memory card regularly to ensure it functions well and that it is not full.
  • Keep the camera lens clean – you need a clean lens to capture clear footage all the time.