Our personal photos are reminiscent of the beautiful days of the past. They are memories captured in a frame. We don’t want to lose them. However, sometimes we end up deleting them accidentally. Either due to our own careless mistake or our phone getting lost, or damaged, we lose our precious photographs. Well, don’t start panicking just yet, there is still hope. Although there isn’t any in-built system to recover deleted photos, there are other workarounds. Cloud services like Google Photos contain a backup of your photos. Apart from that, there are a couple of apps that can help you retrieve your photos. You see, nothing that you delete is permanently wiped off. The memory space allocated to the photo holds on to the file as long as some new data isn’t overwritten on it. So as long as you are not too late, you can still get back your deleted photos.
Broadly speaking, there are three different ways in which you can recover your deleted photos on your Android device. In this article, we are going to discuss them in detail and also provide you with a step-wise guide for each method or software that will be necessary.
Table of Contents
3 Ways to Recover your Deleted Photos on Android
1. How to Recover Deleted Photos From the Cloud
A number of cloud storage services allow you to back up your data, photos, and videos on the cloud drive. Services like Google Photos, One Drive, and Dropbox are some of the most popular cloud storage services. All Android devices have Google Photos pre-installed in their devices and by default backup your pictures on the cloud. Until and unless you have switched off the automatic backup, your photos can be easily recovered from the cloud. Even if you have deleted photos from the cloud (Google Photos gallery), you can still retrieve them from the trash can where the photos remain intact for a period of 60 days.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photos
If the automatic backup is turned on, then you will find a copy of the deleted image on Google Photos. The image may be removed from the device’s gallery but it still exists on the cloud. All that you need to do is download the image back on to your device. Follow the steps given below to see how:
1. Firstly, open Google Photos on your device.
2. Now, the files on Google Photos are sorted according to date. Hence, you will be easily able to locate the deleted photo. So, scroll through the gallery and locate the photo.
3. Now tap on it.
4. After that, click on the three vertical dots on the top right-hand side of the screen.
5. Now click on the Download button and the photo will get saved to your device.
However, if you have deleted the pictures from Google Photos as well, then you need to follow a different approach. You need to recover these images from the Trash bin where deleted photos reside for 60 days.
1. Open Google Photos on your device.
2. Now tap on the Hamburger icon on the top left-hand side of the screen.
3. From the menu, select the bin option.
4. Now tap and hold on an image and it will get selected. You can also tap on multiple images after that if there’s more than one image that you wish to restore.
5. Once the selections are made, tap on the Restore button.
6. The images will be back on Google Photos gallery and you can download them to your device’s library if you want using the method described above.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is another popular cloud storage option that is widely used. Similar to Google Photos, it allows you to retrieve photos back from the trash. However, deleted photos stay in the trash only for 30 days in OneDrive and so you can’t restore photos that have been deleted for over a month ago.
1. Simply open OneDrive on your device.
2. Now tap on the Me icon on the bottom of your screen.
3. In here, click on the Recycle Bin option.
4. You can find the deleted photo here. Tap on the menu option (three vertical dots) next to it.
5. Now click on the Restore option and the photo will be back to your One Drive.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from Dropbox
Dropbox operates in a slightly different way as compared to Google Photos and One Drive. Although you can upload and download photos to the cloud using your mobile app, you can restore photos from the trash. For that, you need to use a computer.
1. Log in to your Dropbox account on a PC or laptop.
2. Now click on the Files option.
3. In here, select the Deleted Files option.
4. Files that were deleted over the last 30 days can be found here. Select the ones that you want to recover and click on the Restore button.
Take note that if you are using any other cloud storage service apart from the ones mentioned above, the general method still remains the same. Every cloud storage has a recycle bin from where you can restore pictures that were accidentally deleted by you.
Also Read: Restore Missing Google Calendar Events on Android
2. Recover Deleted Photos on Android Using a Third-Party App
A more effective way to recover deleted photos is by using a third-party app. This is because not all photos get automatically saved to the cloud and if you have turned that feature off then this is the only alternative that you have. The best app to do this job is known as DiskDigger. This app is primarily capable of performing two functions, one is the Basic scan and the other is the Complete scan.
Now, the Basic scan works on non-rooted devices and it has limited functionality. It can only retrieve low-quality thumbnail-sized copies of deleted images from the cache files. A complete scan on the other hand will allow you to retrieve the original photos. However, in order to use a Complete scan, you need to have a rooted device. Using DiskDigger you can retrieve recently deleted photos and bring them back to your device or upload them to cloud storage.
As mentioned above, the deleted images remain in their allocated memory space as long as something else is overwritten on them. So, the sooner you use the app, the more chances you have of saving the images. Also, you need to get rid of all the Cleaner apps at once because they might delete these images permanently. Once you have downloaded the app, you should also turn off your Wi-Fi or mobile data to make sure no new data is downloaded on your phone. Follow the steps given below to learn how to use the app:
1. When you open the app for the first time, it will ask you permission to access photos, videos, media, and other files. Give the requisite permissions to the app by clicking on the allow button.
2. As mentioned earlier, there are two basic operations basic scan and complete scan. Click on the Full Scan option.
3. Now all your photos and media files are stored under the /data partition so tap on it.
4. After that, choose the type of files that you wish to search for. Select JPEG from the list of various file formats and then click on the Ok button.
5. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that DiskDigger scans for all the media files present on the device and not just the ones that were deleted. Due to this reason, setting some Filters will speed up the process and save time. To add filters, tap on the Settings option.
6. Here, set the size of the image to at least 10,00,000 bytes so as to search for images that are at least 1MB in size.
7. You can also set date as a search parameter which will allow you to narrow done the search to pictures taken before or after a particular date.
8. The scanning process will take some time and once it is done, all the photos that were discovered on your device will be listed. You need to look for the ones that were accidentally deleted and tap on the checkbox on these images to select them.
9. Once the selection is complete, tap on the Recover button.
10. You can choose to save the restored photos on a cloud server or on some other folder on the device itself. Choose the DCIM option which contains all the pictures taken by your device’s camera.
11. Now click on the OK option and your photos will be restored back on your device.
3. Recover Deleted Android Photos From Your SD Card
It is a fact that most of the new Android smartphones have a pretty massive internal storage and the use of SD cards is kind of becoming obsolete. However, if you are one of those few people who still prefer to store their data on an SD card then there’s good news for you. If your photos were saved on an external SD card, then they can be recovered even after deletion. This is because the data is still present on the memory card and will remain there as long as something else is overwritten in that space. In order to recover these photos, you need to connect it to your computer. There is a couple of software that allows you to recover deleted data from the SD card. We will be discussing one such software in the next section. However, one thing that you need to take care of is to remove the SD card from the phone as soon as possible to prevent anything from being overwritten in place of the photos.
You can download Recuva for Windows and PhotoRec for Mac. Once the software is downloaded and installed, follow the steps given below to recover your photos from the memory card:
- Firstly, connect your SD card to your computer using a card reader or in case of a laptop, the SD card reader slot.
- Next up, start the software. Once the software starts it will automatically detect and show all the available drives, including that of the computer.
- Now tap on the memory card and click on the Scan button.
- The software will now start scanning the entire memory card and this may take some time.
- You can apply specific filters to narrow down the search. Click on the Type option and select Graphics.
- In here, select the JPEG option.
- All the scanned images will now be displayed on the screen. Simply click on these images to select the ones that you wish to recover.
- Once the selection is completed, click on the Recover Now button.
- These images will be saved on a Folder specified by you on your computer. You will then have to copy them back to your device.
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With this, we come to the end of the list of various methods that you can employ to recover your deleted photos on Android. However, the best way to avoid problems like this in the future is to back up your photos on the cloud. You can use any of the popular cloud storage services like Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. If you develop a habit to maintain a backup, then you will never lose your memories. Even if your phone gets stolen or damaged, your data is safe on the cloud.