How to Recover Canon CR2 Raw Image Files

Have you ever encountered difficulties with your Canon CR2 raw image files? Whether you accidentally deleted them or your memory card became corrupted, it can be frustrating to lose those precious moments captured in raw format. But worry not! In this article, we will guide you through the process of recovering your CR2 files and provide tips on repairing a corrupted memory card. Let’s dive in and retrieve those lost memories!

What You’ll Need

Before we begin, make sure you have the following items ready:

  1. A personal computer (Windows or macOS based).
  2. A card reader that connects your Canon SD card to the computer.
  3. Reliable photo recovery software.
  4. Your Canon memory card contains the CR2 raw files.

CR2 Raw Recovery Software

When it comes to recovering Canon CR2 raw files, not all software solutions are created equal. However, we recommend using Stellar Photo Recovery. This software is renowned for its ability to recover a wide range of image formats, including Canon CR2/CRW raw files. It is compatible with both PC and Mac, making it a versatile choice for users. Additionally, Stellar Photo Recovery offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ensuring a seamless recovery process.

How to Recover CR2 Files (Step-by-Step)

Follow these step-by-step instructions to recover your precious CR2 files:

Step 1: Turn on your personal computer and connect your Canon SD card using either a card reader or the original USB cable that came with your camera.

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Step 2: Download and install Stellar Photo Recovery software on your computer. Ensure that you choose the appropriate version for your operating system.

Step 3: Open the Stellar Photo Recovery software. Click the prominent button located at the center of the interface. Then, highlight the drive corresponding to your Canon memory card. Next, click on the “Advanced” option and select CR2 and CRW formats.

Step 4: Click the “Scan Now” button to initiate the scanning process. The software will comprehensively scan your memory card for any missing RAW (CR2/CRW) images. Once the software identifies the recovered images, you can preview them through the built-in preview windows.

Step 5: Finally, select the recovered CR2 files and save them to a different drive on your computer. Remember to avoid saving the files back to the original memory card to prevent overwriting data and ensure a successful recovery.

Pro tip: It’s always a good practice to create backups of your recovered files to prevent any future data loss. Consider using cloud storage or an external hard drive for added security.

Repairing Corrupted CR2 Images

In some cases, you may encounter corrupted CR2 images that fail to open or display correctly. To address this issue, follow these two steps:

  1. Try different software: Attempt opening the file using alternative software such as Adobe Photoshop instead of the Canon Raw Image Viewer. Different software applications may have varying degrees of compatibility with CR2 files.
  2. Use ExifTool for repair: If the previous step fails, you can download a program called ExifTool, which is designed to repair corrupted images. Visit the official ExifTool page for more information and instructions on how to utilize this tool effectively.
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By following these steps, you can significantly increase the chances of recovering your CR2 files and repairing any corrupted images.


Losing your Canon CR2 raw image files can be disheartening, especially when they capture precious memories. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can recover your lost files and repair any corrupted images. Remember to act quickly and avoid using the memory card once you notice the files are missing. Utilize reliable software like Stellar Photo Recovery and follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this article. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of successful CR2 file recovery. Safeguard your memories and cherish them for years to come!


Q1: Can I recover deleted CR2 files from a formatted memory card?

A1: Yes, you can still recover deleted CR2 files from a formatted memory card using reliable photo recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery. The software employs advanced algorithms to scan the memory card and retrieve lost files, even after formatting.

Q2: Is it possible to recover CR2 files from a physically damaged memory card?

A2: In some cases, it may still be possible to recover CR2 files from a physically damaged memory card. However, the success of the recovery depends on the extent of the damage. It is advisable to consult a professional data recovery service in such situations.

Q3: Can I recover CR2 files from a camera’s internal memory?

A3: Unfortunately, if the CR2 files were saved to the internal memory of the camera and got deleted or lost, the chances of recovery are significantly lower. It is always recommended to use a memory card to store your CR2 files and regularly back them up to avoid such scenarios.

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Q4: Are there any precautions to prevent CR2 file loss in the future?

A4: To minimize the risk of CR2 file loss in the future, it is recommended to regularly back up your files to a separate storage device. Additionally, handle your memory cards with care, avoid abrupt removals, and use reliable software for file transfers and camera operations.

Q5: Can I recover CR2 files from a Canon camera model other than DSLRs?

A5: Yes, the method described in this article can be applied to recover CR2 files from various Canon camera models, including DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and advanced point-and-shoot cameras that support raw image capture.

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