I have a couple of files on the Raspberry Pi's file system that I need to get. I have the Pi's SD card and an SD card reader.

How can I read files off my Raspberry Pi's SD Card on a Windows PC?


8 Answers 8


Try Ext2Read or Paragon ExtFS for Windows.

  • Neither work with Win7 x64 attempting to correct my network settings. They don't even notice the drive
    – akaltar
    Feb 8, 2016 at 18:38

Just to note that the paragon tool appears to work. It allows ext4 or whatever partitions to be seen on Window explorer. And edited.
We used Notepad++ as an editor to avoid upsetting the CRLF double linefeed issue.

  • 1
    Looks like their software is no longer available. All they have is a "Contact Us" form on their website. That means they're harvesting emails and probably charing an arm and a leg, if it even exists. Aug 22, 2018 at 23:43
  • @YetAnotherRandomUser It looks to me like they are up and running as of January 2021: paragon-software.com/us/home/linuxfs-windows
    – Keyslinger
    Jan 7, 2021 at 21:31

Easiest way would be to boot a PC into linux and mount the SD card. Any 'live' CD or USB stick disto would do. As you are used to raspian a Debian based distro like Ubuntu or Mint might be best. If you download unetbootin it will give you a menu of distros, download your choice, write it to a USB stick and make the stick bootable. Then just reboot and you have a machine that can read your SD card. Copy the stuff onto your hard disc, or another USB stick (or even the boot one - it won't be full and will be FAT32). Reboot back into Windows and you are done.


I use Diskinternals Linux Reader.


If you have an USB Key, you could boot your Pi and simply copy the files onto the key. Another solution would be to install a Linux Live System onto the stick, boot your PC from there and copy the files from the SD to your hard drive. If you don't have an USB key, you can boot your Pi, connect from your PC via SSH and copy the files via scp. Or via FTP, SMB ...

  • Any way to do this w/o the raspberry pi? (Don't have it here)
    – Dvidunis
    Jan 7, 2014 at 16:27

If you can ssh into your Pi, then you can also sftp into it. [sftp username@IPaddress] Navigate to the directory using change directory. [cd] If along the way you need to look at the directory contents, you can list them. [dir] Then use the get command to retrieve the file. [get filename] If you know the exact path, you can get it without the navigation. [get /path/to/filename]

  • Any way to do this w/o the raspberry pi? (Don't have it here)
    – Dvidunis
    Jan 7, 2014 at 16:37
  • I'm a OSX user so this answer is biased toward that and this is conjecture, I have not tried it. 1) connect your SD card to your Mac, 2) open "Disk Utility", 3) select the SD car in the left column, 4) click the non-boot partition (can't remember what it is called), and 4) mount it.
    – dacracot
    Jan 8, 2014 at 16:36

U can access only via Linux machine... u would see 3 partition... one will be "root" partition and that would corresponds to OS file system.

  • 2
    I think I understand what you mean, but you are being a little vague. Some explicit detail would be great, and also include other options that might solve the problem.
    – Darth Vader
    Jun 2, 2016 at 10:39

Try using FileZilla and connect to the host with port 22 (ssh default) and don't forget the account credentials because you'll need them, Find the file, then drag+drop anywhere, May take a bit to download depending on the connection

  • 1
    the OP clearly states he only has access to the SD Card not to the Pi. Oct 11, 2015 at 23:13
  • Didnt notice that, sorry..
    – Joyesh
    Nov 6, 2015 at 18:42
  • Also please be more clear in your answers. "account credentials" - what account credentials? etc... May 7, 2018 at 19:41

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