How to Recover Deleted Files from CCTV Footage?

Home and office security has become a key concern these days, and most of us now install CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) and DVRs (short for Digital Video Recorder) to monitor home, office, and surroundings. When crimes such as theft or burglary occur, these surveillance videos will prove critical in investigating and verifying the theft or burglary. 

What if important evidence like CCTV footage is lost? Is it possible to recover these crucial videos from CCTV if they are lost or deleted by mistake? If yes, How can I recover my videos from CCTV?

Yes, video footage from CCTV can be recovered, but not in every case. Usually, surveillance videos are stored on the hard drive or SD card of CCTV systems. As soon as they are deleted from the drive, their original space is marked as empty, and new videos can replace it. 

In this article, we will walk you through the various methods to recover deleted videos from CCTV.

How Long The CCTV Footage is Stored Generally?

All you need is a good internet connection to access the footage from anywhere in the world. You can keep the footage for as long as you wish and also have it scheduled to be deleted automatically after a few days – preferably between 14 and 31 days.

Note: Usually in most places CCTV footage is stored for 30 days only.

Why is CCTV Footage Deleted from the Hard Drive?

Some of the reasons why CCTV systems may malfunction or recorded videos that become damaged or lost are discussed here.

  • Accidental deletion of CCTV videos
  • Corruption storage devices such as hard disk or SSD
  • Virus on CCTV hard drive
  • Bad sector in hard disk

How Can I View Old CCTV Recordings?

Step 1: Double click the camera device you want to view into full screen. 

Step 2: Click the playback button to enter the menu. 

Step 3: Select the “Channel“< “Video Type” and “Start/End Time” you want to playback. 

Step 4: Click the “Play” button and then you can watch the CCTV footage on your TV & monitor.

Methods to recover deleted footage from CCTV

Here are a few effective methods by which you can try to recover the lost videos from a surveillance camera.

Recover deleted/lost CCTV footage using backup

  If you have backed up the CCTV videos to another hard drive or SD card, you can restore them easily from backup by following the below-mentioned steps

  • Find and open the video backup folder
  • Locate the exact video that you’ve deleted from the CCTV 
  • Copy and store the found video back to the SD card 

If in case you don’t have a backup, you can use the next method to recover your CCTV videos.

Also Read: How to Repair CCTV Video Footage?

Recover deleted footage from CCTV using CMD


You can use cmd to recover deleted CCTV footage. Follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Open Cmd and Right-click on the Start key

Step 2: Select Run to open the run prompt

Step 3: Enter Cmd and click enter

Step 4: Now, type chkdsk space /f

Step 5: Wait until the command completes its actions. 

 If you are still not able to recover deleted videos from CCTV then you need to make use of data recovery software to recover the video.

Restore Deleted CCTV Footage Using YODOT Data Recovery Software.

Yodot File Recovery software can quickly recover deleted CCTV footage from any hard drive. It is the most reliable data recovery toolkit, dealing with deep scanning, recovering permanently deleted data from a hard drive, retrieval of data from damaged drives, extracting files from removable devices, and much more. Download and install the tool to recover deleted CCTV video with ease.

Step 1: Launch the software and choose Lost Photo Recovery or Deleted Photo Recovery option (to recover lost/deleted photos respectively).

Step 2: Select the drive from where you want to recover your photo, audio and video files.

Select Deleted File Recovery option

Step 3: After a quick scan, the software shows recovered images, videos and more.

Step 4: Preview the restored files and select the one, which you want to retrieve and select the destination drive to save the recovered files.

View recovered videos from SD card

Note: Save the recovered video to a different drive to be on a safer side.

Suggested Tips:

  • The surveillance videos should be backed up to another hard drive or SD card so that they can be easily restored from the backup.