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Position: How Tos - Data Recovery - How to Recover Lost Canon CR3 RAW Files From Memory Card?

Answers from Canon. Dear Mr ten Kate, Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately, we have to confirm that Canon indeed no longer makes codecs available to view a thumbnail of the RAW images in the Windows Explorer. Re: Amazon Photo/Drive Backup w/CR3 Files Appears Workable In reply to Kumsa. 6 months ago Does anyone know when cr3 files will be added to the unlimited amazon photos situation? For both Windows and Mac operating systems, use Lightroom or Canon Digital Photo Professional. Are CR3 and Raw the Same? A CR3 file is an extension for Raw files for Canon Digic 8 processor digital cameras. It is similar to the lossless format of TIFF. However, these follow the CIFF version. These files are large, which they need to be to allow.

This page talks about Canon CR3 RAW file loss issues and shares a step-by-step guide to recover lost or deleted CR3 photos quickly. Just like any other types of files, CR3 image files can get lost due to various of factors, and every one of us may experience data loss issue at some point in our life. If you get into a similar situation, fret not, follow steps below to get back deleted CR3 photos from memory card in Windows 10/8/7.

DiskGenius - Top photo recovery software enables you to get back deleted or lost photos from SD card.

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Table of Contents

About recovering lost CR3 files

CR3 files get lost

What is a CR3 file? A CR3 file is a RAW format created by Canon digital camera which uses file extensions to separate its digital files from other brands of cameras. The CR3 file format is relatively new and your Windows 10 system may not be able to view it without installing RAW Image Extension. Since the CR3 file keeps the best quality reproduction of the scene you shot, it is accepted by more and more users. While taking pictures, do you know what to do when data loss issue suddenly happens? For example:

'I made a huge mistake! I accidentally formatted the memory card used on Canon digital camera, and the memory card was almost full. I immediately took the memory card out. Lost files were photos (.cr3) and videos (maybe .mov format). Photos are the most important materials to my work, but I have no idea what kind of software supports to recover CR3 photos. Does anyone here have similar experience? Thank you! Any suggestion will be appreciated.'

Causes of CR3 file loss issue

As with other file formats, CR3 files can get disappeared due to a variety of causes. Here are the common reasons of lost CR3 photos:

  • Accidentally delete of CR3 photos from memory card during viewing files on Canon camera or computer. Note: files deleted from SSD are not recoverable.
  • Unintentionally format the partition where CR3 files are stored. A quick formatting does not erase data completely, and yet a full formatting wipes data permanently.
  • Storage device becomes RAW due to file system corruption, virus, improper actions, bad sectors, etc.
  • Physical damages to the device where you store CR3 files. In this case, lost files cannot be recovered by the method in this article.

Is it possible to recover lost CR3 files? How can I recover lost CR3 files?

There is no need to be despaired when you come across the problem that CR3 or other formats of photos get lost. In most cases, deleted or formatted files are not completely erased from storage device, and they remain on the device until they get overwritten. It is strongly suggested not to store data or make any changes to the device. If you write any data to the device, you are likely to destroy and overwrite lost files. Photo recovery software makes it possible to restore lost CR3 photos and other files when you do not have a recent backup.

How to recover lost or deleted Canon CR3 RAW files from memory card?

DiskGenius photo recovery software, free download free trial edition

When backups are not available, the only solutions to get back deleted or lost photos is using effective photo recovery software. DiskGenius is one of the best recovery software for lost Canon CR3 RAW files. It supports to recover various image file formats such as JPG, PNG, TIF, CR2, CR3, HEIC, NEF, DNG, ARW, ORF, SR2, RAW, REF, MEF, CRW, X3F, PSD, etc. You can use this recovery software to get back deleted or lost files from computer Recycle Bin, internal hard drive, external hard drive, memory card, USB flash drive, memory stick, SD card, virtual disk and so on.

Apart from recovering deleted files, DiskGenius also supports to recover formatted partitions, restore lost partitions on same disk, recover lost or deleted BitLocker encrypted drives, create a sector-by-sector image of corrupt drive, analyze hex data, construct virtual RAID, etc.

The free trial edition enables you to search for lost data and preview lost photos, videos, audios, documents and text files before buying a license. Thus, you can make sure whether your CR3 photos can be restored correctly prior to purchasing a license code for the software.

The step-by-step guide to recover lost or deleted Canon CR3 RAW files from memory card

DiskGenius is the recommended software for CR3 photo recovery, and the following guide explains how to recover deleted or lost CR3 photos from SD card. This guide also works on recover other types of photos from any storage devices.

Step 1 Connect your memory card or flash drive where you lost CR3 files to a Windows computer.

After connecting it to PC, open Disk Management to make sure it can be detected properly. It does not matter if partition on the memory card is RAW, unformatted or even lost.

Step 2 Free download, install and launch CR3 photo recovery software DiskGenius on computer hard drive.

During installation, you can specify where it it should be installed on your own, just make sure it is not installed it to your memory card in case of data overwrite.

Step 3 Select the partition from your memory card and click Recover Lost Files under Tools menu.

On the primary screen of DiskGenius, you can easily find the memory card and detailed information of it. Select the correct partition is the vital step of the recovery.

Step 4 Click Start button to scan the partition.

Tip: Before entering scanning process, you can click 'Select File Types' button to specify file types for deep scanning progress. On the pop-up window, you can specify nearly 200 file types, including CR3 files. By selecting file types here, the software will perform an extra deep scanning to find out lost files as many as possible. Files found by deep scanning will be listed under 'Recovered Types' in scanning result, and they are listed by file types without original file names. However, you can get more valuable files here, especially when file system gets badly corrupted.

Step 5 Wait for the scanning to complete.

Scanning won't take very long, as a memory card usually has smaller capacity than hard drive. you can simply let the scanning to finish on its own.

Step 6 Preview files to check recovery quality.

File preview is provided by both DiskGenius trial edition and registered edition, by which you can easily find out wanted files and check if they are corrupted before final recovery. The correct way of previewing a file is to open it by double clicking, see the screenshot below. The preview window shows the CR3 file correctly without errors, which means the file is not corrupted and you can open it after recovery.

Since many actions can cause data overwrite and damage lost data, there is possibility that your files might be damaged. Hence it is necessary to preview files before purchasing a license code.

Step 7 Preview files to check recovery quality.

Choose files you want to restore, right-click selected data and click Copy To option. Then you can set a location anywhere except the memory card and save recovered data.

Questions & answers on CR3 photo recovery

1. How do I open CR3 files on Windows 10?

Three methods you can try:

Method 1: Install RAW Images Extension: go to the Microsoft Store > search for 'RAW Image Extension' > click 'Get' button > click 'Install' button to install it.

Method 2: Use third-party software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, DiskGenius, etc.

Method 3: Convert CR3 files to other file formats, such as JPG.

2.. Can RAW files be recovered?

It depends. Lost RAW files can be recovered when they are not overwritten, and the best way to recover lost RAW files is using data recovery software. Hence, your actions after data loss decides the final recovery, and you should try best to avoid data overwrite.

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3. How do I recover pictures from RAW SD card?

The easiest way of recovering pictures from RAW SD card is retrieve data from backups. However, not all of us keep backups. The rest method you can try is using SD card photo recovery software for example DiskGenius. This tool supports to recover data from RAW partition, and recover photos from SD card. Run a deep and full scanning for the SD card and you can get back lost pictures.

4. How to repair corrupt CR3 files from Canon?

First, make sure the issue is not caused by compatibility issue or outdated image viewer. Thus, you can try updating the software you used to view CR3 file or simply convert it to another format like jpg. If the CR3 file is still shows as corrupted, you can try some third-party repair tools such as CRW repair.

5. How to recover CR3 files from formatted SD card?

Do not reformat the SD card again, nor store files to the SD card. Then following these steps to recover CR3 files from formatted SD card:

Step 1: Connect the SD card to computer via a card reader.

Step 2: Launch DiskGenius and scan the SD card with File Recovery function.

Step 3: Preview lost CR3 to locate what you want.

Step 4: Copy desired files to computer and finish SD card CR3 file recovery.


DiskGenius makes photo recovery, file recovery and RAW partition recovery easy and simple, and hope you have a complete idea regarding CR3 photo recovery. The key of successfully recovering deleted or lost photos is avoiding data overwrite, and the best way to prevent data loss is performing backup time-to-time. If you find difficulty in recovering CR3 or other formats of photos, feel free to contact DiskGenius support team to get free technical support.

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Photography, like any tool-centric profession, can be rather expensive. When starting out a photography business, you generally need to be on top of the cost of everything, so that you can be as sure as possible that your investments will pay off.

Thankfully, the internet and digital age have brought upon us a wave of free information, tools, and services that can make many parts of your photography business significantly less expensive. Being thrifty is vital to the success of many new business ventures, and it is especially so when so much photographic equipment is both expensive and necessary.

Let’s take a look at some of the best free tools for your photography business.

Website creation and Development

The fees and costs of running a website and online portfolio surely add up. Some of these costs are necessary; the allocation of server space and the cost for a domain, for instance. Some paid plugins and templates for your website might be worth the professional look they afford you, but that’s your choice to make. On the other hand, let’s take a look at some of the best free resources for someone starting out their website.


Domainr is a simple tool; it lets you check if your prospective website domain names (the actual name of the website such as are available. When coming up with your website name, it’s important to see the options and see if you can actually use it. This is especially true before you start creating marketing materials!


WordPress is a great open-source website design tool that, due to its longevity and commercial success, is accompanied by easily searchable information that will surely cover all and any questions you may have. You can use WordPress for both a traditional website and a blog, and the amount of pre-built free templates, plugins, and options you have at your disposal is incredible. Additionally, WordPress bridges the gap between all-in-one website design businesses and starting from scratch – you aren’t getting the instant cookie-cutter look from a boutique website design that you would pay for, but you also aren’t tasked with immediately having to learn all the intricacies of website design. Lastly, WordPress is used by so many photographers and photograph centric businesses that any questions you have will probably have been asked and answered several times over.

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Pick up the Photocrati theme and take advantage of beautiful designs, and NextGEN Pro’s incredible ecommerce features and automated print fulfillment.

Backing up your photos

Photographs take up lots of space. Currently, my Canon CR3 RAW files are at least 30MB, each, and there are days where I shoot several thousand images. That means I have days where I literally shoot over 100 gigabytes of images. This means two things – firstly that I need to be good about managing my Lightroom backlog, and secondly that I need a lot of storage and backups. I definitely don’t keep every photo or even 10% of them, but I still have filled many, many hard drives, not to mention offsite storage. Thankfully, there are some great offsite storage solutions that are either free or relatively low in cost if needed.

Amazon Photos

If you are already paying for Amazon Prime, Amazon photos are bundled in your membership and allow you unlimited RAW storage. Sadly, for those of us using a file format such as the aforementioned CR3, it isn’t currently supported. Make sure to check if the file type that you shoot in is, or else you will have to painfully convert each image to one that is supported to upload it. I use Amazon Photos to backup all deliverable images and edits that I want easy access to from my phone. You can even set Amazon photos to auto-sync from your image library, such as where I import Lightroom photos to, but I prefer manually doing it as one of my final steps when working on files.

Google Photos

As someone that does not currently own a Google Pixel device, Google Photos makes me envious of those that do. Sadly no longer free for all users, Google Photos provides unlimited photo backup, albeit it will compress RAW files. This is still a great option for those wanting to save those finalized JPEGs.


Although a recent change has made the free upload amount rather slim, using Flickr as a backup tool and somewhere to share some of your best work is definitely an option. I recommend using Flickr as somewhere to keep your ‘mega-portfolio’, or every photo that you would consider using in a future online portfolio. That makes it possible to even reach out to mentors or other photographers for fast critiques, editing or compositional suggestions, or any other advice you might want to receive.


Lastly, Dropbox offers 3GB of free storage, with the possibility to increase that storage later on on a paid plan. Sadly, there isn’t currently any website that just offers free unlimited storage, and if that were the case, it would be hard to trust them to retain your files and have actual server uptime. These storage solutions might not let you save every single photo you have ever taken, but even as they stand, they are a better alternative than not having a single online backup.

Finance and Business Tools

This is the boring part of the guide, but also the important part. A lot of finance and business based tools are expensive, often having high fees meant for large corporations to pay out. Let’s take a look at some of the better options for photographers that want to keep that overhead as low as possible.

Flolu Photographer CRM

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management Software, makes it easy to organize, price, and bill for your clients. Flolu isn’t really anything special – it’s marketed towards photographers, but isn’t any different from a basic CRM software, other than some slight difference in interface nomenclature. Despite this, what makes Flolu great is the price – it’s free, and a great step up from the use of unorganized spreadsheets.


I used to invoice only through Paypal, which meant that on each transaction I was losing out on money to pay for Paypal’s service and support. That isn’t a bad thing if you need the payment protection, but it really wasn’t something I needed. InvoiceToMe is a great place to throw together invoices for free, and it doesn’t require any hassle. Just open the link and type out what you need paid for!

What Is A Cr3 File


Amazon Prime Photos Review

Docract is a fantastic website that allows you access to millions of legal documents that you don’t have to pay for. Contracts are just the starting point; you can find everything you will need here. Make sure to read them through yourself, however, as it’s just the best practice when using any open source legal literature. Down the road, if you find yourself reusing the same contracts over and over, it might be time to get a lawyer to draft a contract template for you!

With these three business side tools, you will be able to cut out the majority of the cost for your photography business. I hope that these resources, along with the others listed above, were helpful to you!