3 Ways to Recover Deleted Photos on Any Android Device
So you’ve deleted a precious picture from your phone. Or worse, you broke or reset your device and lost them all. Now you need to know how to recover deleted photos from an Android phone.
You’ve got a few options. They range from the simple to the more advanced, so hopefully there’s a solution that works for you. Let’s get started.
1. How to Recover Deleted Photos From the Cloud
It’s easy to recover a deleted image from your gallery, as most of these apps now use a Trash or Recycle Bin similar to the one you have on the desktop, so just look for that in whatever gallery app you use.
Most cloud and photo apps (not including Instagram) also offer to back up your photos in the background. If you’ve got this turned on, then chances are your photo isn’t really deleted.
Deleting a photo from your phone’s gallery app won’t delete it from your cloud backup service. To get it back, just log into your cloud app and download it once more. In Google Photos, open the image and select Download from the menu. For Dropbox, this is located at Export > Save to device.
If you deleted the image from your cloud backup, you can recover it from there, too. Most cloud services use a recycle bin that allows you to restore any deleted file within a certain time frame.
How to Recover Deleted Photos on Google Photos
On Google Photos, open the app, select Library, then Trash or Bin. Long-press on each image you want to recover, and hit Restore. They’ll be re-added back in place in your library. Deleted files remain available for 60 days; after that, they’ll be gone forever.
How to Recover Deleted Files From Microsoft OneDrive
For Microsoft’s OneDrive, open the app and go to Me > Recycle bin. Select your files and tap the Restore icon. OneDrive keeps deleted files for up to 30 days, although it may delete them sooner if your recycle bin is larger than 10 percent of your total storage space.
How to Restore Deleted Photos From Dropbox
For Dropbox, you need to log in to the service on your desktop to recover deleted images, as you can’t do it in the mobile app. Go to Files > Deleted files, then select the ones you want to restore. They’re available for 30 days after deletion on the free plan; paid plans can access deleted images for 180 days.
All other cloud apps work in similar ways—nothing is ever fully deleted straight away. Just make sure you check the terms for your account to see how long a particular service keeps your deleted files.
2. How to Recover Deleted Android Photos From Your SD Card
What if you don’t back up your photos to the cloud? If you need to know how to recover deleted photos from your gallery app, your best hope is that you’ve saved them to your phone’s SD card, assuming you’ve got one.
Even then, it isn’t an easy thing to do. You can connect your card to a desktop computer and use special recovery software to attempt to recover the lost pictures, so long as it isn’t encrypted. But there are no guarantees with this.
Deleted files remain on a memory card only until they get overwritten by new data. Thus, as soon as you realize you’ve deleted photos by mistake, you should remove your card from your phone to reduce the risk of them being overwritten.
In case you were wondering, this method won’t work on your phone’s internal storage because Android doesn’t use the old USB Mass Storage protocol anymore. This is the same reason why it’s difficult to recover deleted text messages on Android.
Restore Deleted Images With EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
The best free image recovery software is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. You can download it for both Windows and Mac, and it allows you to recover up to 2GB of data before you have to pay. Here’s how to get started.
- First, connect your memory card to your computer, either through a card reader or via your laptop’s SD card slot.
- Install and run Data Recovery Wizard.
- Once it launches, it will show you all available drives from which you can recover data. This should include your hard drive and the memory card.
- Select the memory card and hit Scan. The app will now start scanning for any files it can recover. You can restore up to 2GB of data at a time with the free version. Scanning can take up to 20 minutes or more, depending on the size of the card and how much data is on it. But you don’t have to wait for it to finish.
- Select Type in the left-hand panel. Click the dropdown arrow next to Graphics and select JPG (or whatever file format your phone saves images in). All the images you can recover are shown in the main window. Select the ones that you want.
- Click Recover Now and choose a location on your hard drive to save your images. They’ll export and save in their own folder. You can now copy them back to your phone.
3. How to Restore Deleted Photos on a Rooted Phone
If you aren’t using either a cloud backup service or a memory card, it becomes a lot harder to recover deleted photos from your Android phone. Despite claims from certain apps online, there’s no way to scan your phone’s internal storage to recover lost files—unless the phone is rooted.
If you’re desperate, you can try rooting your phone. But this may require you to wipe your device, and that significantly increases the likelihood that your deleted pictures will be overwritten and lost forever. Fortunately, if your phone is already rooted, the process is simple. See our in-depth guide on how to root an Android phone for more.
How to Undelete Photos With DiskDigger
Install the app DiskDigger Photo Recovery from the Play Store. This is free for photo and video recovery; you only have to pay if you want to recover other types of files.
- Launch the app and grant root permissions when prompted.
- You’ll see the Basic Scan and Full Scan options. Ignore the first one, as it can only find low-res thumbnails of your images. Instead, you’ll want to use the Full Scan option.
- Find your phone’s internal storage. This is normally the /data partition. Tap it, then choose the type of file you want to search for (likely JPG and/or PNG).
- Tap OK to begin.
The app starts scanning immediately and shows you a thumbnail grid of everything it finds. It doesn’t just show your deleted photos—it shows every image in your phone’s internal storage. The process thus takes a while to complete.
To filter out some of the findings, tap the Settings icon. You should set a larger Minimum File Size—by choosing 1,000,000, for example, you’ll limit your results to images larger than a megabyte. You can also limit the date to a time near when the photos were taken.
DiskDigger can’t find every deleted photo, and some that it does find might be corrupted. When it finds the ones you want, select them and tap Recover.
Choose where you want to save the files. You can save them to a specific app, or put them straight back into your camera folder. Choose the DCIM folder to do this. Click OK to save your photos, and you’re done.
How to Avoid Losing Your Android Photos Next Time
It isn’t all that easy to recover deleted photos, so the best way to avoid losing them in the first place is to keep them backed up somewhere.
The easiest way is to use apps that back up your Android photos to the cloud. These apps run quietly in the background and you can control when they upload your photos. Set them to only work when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and your phone is charging and you won’t hurt your data plan or battery life.
Photos aren’t the only important kind of data on your device; you should know the best ways to back up everything on your Android phone. With a regular backup plan, you’ll always have a copy of your information and never risk losing anything again.
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August 5, 2022 at 11:49AM