Can I recover deleted photos from iCloud backup?

Quick Answers

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted photos from an iCloud backup in many cases. iCloud automatically backs up photos from iOS devices like iPhones and iPads daily when connected to WiFi and power. As long as the deleted photos were backed up before being deleted, they can potentially be recovered from the iCloud backup.

There are a few ways to try recovering deleted photos from iCloud backup:

– On the iOS device itself through the Photos app Backup section. This allows recovering recently deleted photos that were backed up.

– Using the iCloud website. The iCloud Photos web interface at allows you to browse all photos in your iCloud backup and restore deleted photos.

– With third party software. Some third party tools like iMyFone iBypasser can extract photos from an iCloud backup file and recover deleted photos.

– By restoring the entire iCloud backup to a device. This will overwrite the current device data but restore all content including photos from the backup.

Recovering deleted photos gets harder over time as iCloud backups get updated and older data is removed. So try to recover deleted photos from a recent iCloud backup as soon as possible after deletion.

When are photos backed up to iCloud?

Photos taken on an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad are automatically backed up to iCloud provided:

– The device has iCloud Photo Library enabled in Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos. This is required for iCloud photo backup.

– The device is connected to a WiFi network. iCloud backups only happen over WiFi.

– The device is plugged in and charging. iCloud backups do not occur on battery power alone.

– There is sufficient available iCloud storage space. The backup will fail if your iCloud account storage is full.

With these conditions met, iCloud automatically backs up new photos daily. Any photos taken since the last backup will be included in the new backup.

iCloud will also back up edits or deletions you make to existing photos. For example, if you edit a photo or delete it from your device, that change gets reflected in the iCloud backup on the next backup.

So as long as a photo was backed up to iCloud before you deleted it on your device, it should be recoverable from the iCloud backup for a limited time.

How iCloud storage affects photo backup

The amount of storage available in your iCloud account can affect iCloud photo backups in a few ways:

With limited storage, old backups get removed. iCloud accounts start with 5GB of free space. Once this fills up, your device will start removing older backups and photos to make space for new backups. So deleted photos can be permanently removed from your iCloud backups over time if you have little free storage.

Buy more iCloud storage to keep more backup history. You can purchase upgraded iCloud storage up to 2TB to hold more backup data for longer. This gives you a longer window to recover deleted photos.

Optimize your iCloud Photo Library to save space. This stores full resolution photos on your device and smaller versions in iCloud. So you can still recover lower resolution versions of deleted photos even with limited storage.

Use lower resolution photos. Capture photos on your device in a lower resolution to begin with, so the backups consume less space.

Overall, the more iCloud backup storage available, the more backup history is retained, and the farther back in time you can recover deleted photos from.

How long are deleted photos available in iCloud backup?

When you delete photos on your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device, how long do the deleted photos stay recoverable from your iCloud backup? It depends on a few factors:

iCloud storage space – Less available storage means older backups and deleted photos are removed sooner.

iPhone/iPad backup frequency – The more often your device backs up, the quicker deleted photos will sync from the device to the backup.

Time since photo deletion – Deleted photos remain recoverable for a limited time. Old backups eventually get deleted.

As a general guideline:

Recently deleted photos – If you delete photos then quickly try to recover from iCloud, your chances are good. iCloud often keeps daily backups for the past week.

Deleted in the past month – Still reasonably good chance of recovering from an iCloud backup, if you have adequate backup storage.

Deleted months/years ago – Unlikely to still be recoverable from iCloud backup, unless you have a large 2TB plan.

So try to recover deleted photos from iCloud as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of recovery. Syncing your device and backing up to iCloud right away after deletion helps capture deleted photos in time.

Can I recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud?

If you permanently deleted photos from your iPhone/iPad Camera Roll or Mac Photos app, can you still get them back from iCloud?

Unfortunately, no. Permanently deleting photos from your devices or iCloud Photos web interface also deletes them from iCloud backups. Some examples:

– Deleting photos on your iPhone and then emptying the “Recently Deleted” folder.

– Using the “Delete Photos” option on to permanently erase photos.

– Turning on iCloud Photos, which deletes any photos only stored locally and not in iCloud.

– Erasing your entire iCloud Photo Library.

These types of permanent deletions tell iCloud to also permanently remove the photos from backups. The photos are erased from Apple’s servers and become unrecoverable through iCloud.

Your only option to try recovering permanently deleted photos is through a third party undelete tool designed to extract data from iCloud backups. But there’s no guarantee it will find your deleted photos.

The lesson is to avoid permanently deleting photos you may want later. Use iCloud’s “hide” feature instead to keep photos out of sight but still backed up.

Can I recover deleted photos only stored locally?

If you delete photos that were only stored locally on your iPhone/iPad and not backed up to iCloud, can you still recover them?

Unfortunately, there is no way to retrieve photos stored exclusively on your iOS device if you:

– Delete the photos, then empty the “Recently Deleted” folder so they are permanently erased.

– Perform a factory reset or new device setup, which wipes the device storage.

– Have an iPhone/iPad lost, damaged, or replaced, erasing photos that were never backed up.

Since these photos did not exist in iCloud backups, there is no way to retrieve them through iCloud recovery.

This underscores the importance of making sure iCloud photos backup is enabled. Any photos you want to preserve must be backed up either to iCloud or manually through iTunes or a Mac/PC connection.

Enabling iCloud photo backup provides protection against local photo loss. iCloud will store copies of your photos so they can be recovered if lost or deleted locally.

Recovering recently deleted photos from iCloud

If you just deleted photos on your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device within the past 30 days, you may be able to easily recover them from iCloud through the device itself:

1. Go to the Photos app on your iOS device.

2. Open the Albums tab at the bottom.

3. Scroll down and tap the “Recently Deleted” album.

4. Find the deleted photos you want to recover.

5. Tap each photo to select it, then tap “Recover” to restore the photo.

This recovery method works for photos that were deleted within the last 30 days and were already backed up to iCloud before deletion.

After 30 days, deleted photos are permanently removed from the iOS device storage and can only be recovered from the iCloud website or a backup file extraction tool.

Recovering older deleted photos from

To recover deleted photos older than 30 days:

1. Go to and login to your account.

2. Click on Photos to open your iCloud Photos library.

3. Look through your photos for the deleted pictures you want to recover.

4. Select each deleted photo you want to restore.

5. Click the “Recover” button to restore the photo.

6. The restored photo will be downloaded back to any iOS devices using iCloud Photos.

This web recovery lets you restore photos deleted longer than 30 days ago, as long as the backup containing the photo still exists in your iCloud account storage.

Using third party software to recover deleted photos

Beyond Apple’s own provided recovery tools, there are third party iOS data recovery software options for retrieving deleted photos from an iCloud backup:

iMyFone iBypasser – Extracts photos, messages, notes, and other data from iCloud backups.

Fonelab iPhone Data Recovery – Claims up to 96% success rate in recovering lost iOS data.

EaseUS MobiSaver – Reccovers data directly from iOS devices or iCloud backups.

Tenorshare UltData – Recovers 30+ data types from iCloud backups.

These tools access your iCloud account and scan your iCloud backup data to find recoverable deleted photos. This can restore photos that you can no longer access through the official Apple recovery methods.

Using advanced third party software often costs money but provides the most flexible iCloud backup data recovery options in many cases. The more backups and time range they can scan, the better chance of retrieving your lost deleted photos.

Restoring entire iCloud backup

One brute force method to restore deleted photos from iCloud is to restore your entire iCloud backup to an iPhone or iPad.

This completely overwrites your current device contents and settings with the full iCloud backup data. So all photos that existed in the backup will return, including any you deleted.

To restore an entire iCloud backup:

1. Reset your iPhone or iPad to factory settings to wipe it.

2. On setup, choose “Restore from iCloud backup” during initial setup.

3. Select the iCloud backup you want to restore from.

4. Wait for full restore to complete. All data including photos from the backup will be restored.

5. Once finished, any deleted photos accessible in the backup will now be restored onto your device’s photo library.

The downside to this method is completely overwriting your current iOS device data. So only use it if you need to get back deleted photos worth erasing everything else.

Can I recover deleted photos if I don’t have a backup?

If you don’t have an iCloud backup or other full device backup containing the deleted photos, recovery becomes very difficult.

Without an iCloud backup to restore deleted photos from, your options are limited to:

Device data extraction software. Advanced tools like Tenorshare 4uKey can scan your iOS device storage for deleted photo remnants and try reconstructing them. Success depends on fragmentation and overwritten data.

Specialized photorecovery services. Some companies like iBeSafer offer advanced deletion recovery from device memory, but this can cost hundreds of dollars.

Phone data recovery center. In some cases, labs can physically access device memory chips and read low-level residual data. But doing this costs thousands of dollars in most cases.

Look for copies elsewhere. If the deleted photos existed anywhere else, like emailed, texted, uploaded online or synced to a computer, you may be able to recover copies. But without a backup, the originals are likely gone.

Having a backup like iCloud, iTunes, or periodic exports to a computer or external storage is essential. This gives you the ability to recover any photos you accidentally delete on your device.

Tips for minimizing photo loss

To reduce the chance of losing photos irrecoverably:

Enable iCloud Photos – Automatically backs up iOS photos when charging and on WiFi.

Use higher iCloud storage tiers – Keeps more historical backups with deleted photos recoverable.

Also backup locally – Sync photos to a computer or external drive periodically.

Export important originals – Manually export full resolution originals of your most important photos for redundancy.

Don’t permanently delete! – Use the “hide” feature instead to keep photos out of sight but still backed up.

Download photos from cloud services – Don’t rely solely on cloud access. Download and backup photos.

Losing photos to accidental deletion or device loss happens. But following precautions ensures you have backup methods to maximize recoverability of missing photos.


In summary, recovering deleted photos from iCloud backup is possible in many cases if:

– The photos were already backed up to iCloud before deletion.

– You have enough iCloud storage to retain backups long enough.

– You attempt recovery soon after deletion, before old backups with the photos expire.

– You use the official Apple recovery tools or advanced third party software.

But permanent deletion from iOS devices or results in irrecoverable loss of photos, underscoring the critical importance of maintaining both local and cloud backups of photos you care about preserving.