I recently bought a 32GB SD card for my 60D. I have it set to raw + jpg and when I inserted it for the first time it showed 898 shots available, which looked right because my 16GB cards hold approx. 450 shots on a new card with the same settings.

I've taken 114 shots so far and noticed that the available shots were 234.

When I examine the card on a computer the image files add up to 3.3GB but the properties window shows that the used space is 22.4GB, and I can't see any other files on the card, unless they're hidden

Should I just reformat the card?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What brand card did you get? Popular brands like SanDisk are often copied and these cheap fakes have all sorts of problems (similar to what you describe). \$\endgroup\$
    – crunch
    Jun 14, 2014 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Integral. Always used them and never had problem before. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon Palmer
    Jun 14, 2014 at 15:15
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Just in case: IF you used a MAC computer for reading and deleted some of the pics, they actually are still in the card but as hidden files. (A Windows system configured to show hidden files will help. An Android system will show the files and allow you to delete them). If I recall correctly, MAC puts deleted files in a .trashes folder. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jahaziel
    Jun 14, 2014 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jahaziel Your comment would make an excellent answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 14, 2014 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jahaziel, this was a brand new card, put straight into the camera and never used on my computer until I wanted to see why my 114 images were taking up so much space. I cannot account for the approx 22GB of space Windows was telling me had been used when the image files amounted to approx 3GB. Have reformatted the card. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon Palmer
    Jun 14, 2014 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


I had the same issue. It is a possibility that you have indeed some hidden files. To delete them you should format your storage card.

On a canon you can do that in the menu.

  • Click on the menu button
  • Go to the wrench icon which is displayed on an orange background.
  • Go to format
  • Enter it by clicking on the set on your camera
  • You can choose to do a low level format over there too
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reformatted. Will keep my eye on this card as it starts to fill up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon Palmer
    Jun 14, 2014 at 15:17

Apart from hidden files, it's possible that the filesystem on the SD card has become corrupted. A filesystem keeps a record of all files and what space they occupy on the medium, as well as a record of free space. It's possible to have space unaccounted for (i.e. neither used by a file nor on record as free) and thus "missing". This can happen e.g. when power is cut during a write operation.

To repair this on Windows, you can use the error checking operation in the disk properties dialog:

enter image description here


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