It’s happened to most of us – you delete a photo, video, note or other file from your iPhone that you wish you hadn’t. Perhaps it was deleted by accident, or you changed your mind shortly after deleting it.
The good news is that with iPhones running iOS 8 or later, there’s a way to potentially recover these deleted files for up to 30 days after they are deleted. The iPhone keeps deleted files in a special ‘recently deleted’ folder before removing them permanently.
So can you recover deleted files from the iPhone’s recently deleted folder? Let’s take a closer look at how the recently deleted folder works and the various methods you can use to try to restore deleted iPhone files.
Understanding the Recently Deleted Folder
When you delete a file from your iPhone, it isn’t immediately gone forever. Instead, the deleted file gets stored in a special folder called ‘Recently Deleted’. It will remain in this folder for up to 30 days.
After 30 days, the deleted files in the Recently Deleted folder are permanently removed to free up storage space on your device. During those 30 days, you have a chance to recover deleted files that you want to keep.
The Recently Deleted folder was introduced by Apple in iOS 8. It provides a safety net so you can restore files if you accidentally delete them or change your mind soon after deleting.
What gets stored in Recently Deleted?
The Recently Deleted folder stores deleted photos, videos, audio messages, documents, notes, voice memos, app data and more. Basically, it stores nearly every type of file that you can delete from the iPhone’s storage.
There are just a few exceptions:
– Music, movies, TV shows or books deleted from the Media apps aren’t stored in Recently Deleted. This media has to be redownloaded if deleted.
– Deleted apps aren’t stored in Recently Deleted. You have to reinstall deleted apps from the App Store.
– iCloud deleted files may or may not appear in Recently Deleted. If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, deleted photos won’t appear in Recently Deleted.
So in most cases, Recently Deleted will store your deleted iPhone files for up to 30 days, allowing you a second chance to recover them during this time.
Finding and viewing Recently Deleted files
To access the Recently Deleted folder and view files stored there:
1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
2. In the bottom right, tap on the Albums tab.
3. Scroll down and tap on ‘Recently Deleted’.
4. This will open the Recently Deleted folder so you can view all deleted photos and videos from the past 30 days.
You can preview the deleted files and see details like when they were originally deleted.
For other file types like notes, voice memos or documents, there is no centralized ‘Recently Deleted’ location. But when you browse the app where the file was originally deleted, there will typically be an option to view deleted items from Recently Deleted.
So for example, in the Notes app, you can tap the Recently Deleted folder at the bottom to see deleted notes. In Voice Memos, tap Recently Deleted to see deleted recordings. This allows you to find and preview files of various types from Recently Deleted.
Recovering Deleted Files from Recently Deleted
If you find a file in Recently Deleted that you want to recover, what should you do? Here are the steps to restore deleted files from the iPhone’s Recently Deleted folder:
Recover photos or videos
1. Open the Photos app and view Recently Deleted.
2. Tap ‘Select’ at the top.
3. Select the photos/videos you want to recover.
4. Tap ‘Recover’ at the bottom.
The selected photos/videos will be restored back to the Camera Roll or other albums on your device.
Recover notes or voice memos
1. Open the Notes or Voice Memos app.
2. Tap on ‘Recently Deleted’ folder
3. Swipe left on the note/memo you want to recover.
4. Tap ‘Recover’ to restore the item.
Recover other document types
If trying to recover other document types like PDFs, contacts, calendar events, follow a similar process of viewing the Recently Deleted folder in the respective app, selecting the item, and choosing a recover or restore option.
In some cases, you may need to tap and hold the file briefly before a recover option appears. The steps vary slightly across different apps.
Recover an entire folder
If you want to recover multiple files or an entire folder:
1. View Recently Deleted and tap ‘Select’.
2. Tap the circle beside ‘Recover All’ at the bottom.
3. Tap ‘Recover’ to restore all items.
This will recover all files inside the Recently Deleted folder in that app. You can repeat this in multiple apps to recover even more deleted content simultaneously.
Permanently Deleting Files from Recently Deleted
While the Recently Deleted folder allows you to recover files, you can also permanently delete items from it before the 30-day period if you want. Here’s how to manually delete files from Recently Deleted:
1. View the Recently Deleted folder in the respective app.
2. Swipe left on the item you want to delete.
3. Tap on ‘Delete’ to remove the selected item permanently.
This will free up storage space on your device right away instead of waiting 30 days. Photos and videos deleted this way won’t ever be recoverable from Recently Deleted.
Recently Deleted File Recovery: Pros and Cons
– Gives you 30 days to recover deleted files from iPhone storage
– Lets you correct mistakes or change your mind about deleting something important
– File recovery is quick and easy in most cases
– Prevents permanent data loss from accidental deletion
– Deleted iCloud files may not appear in Recently Deleted
– Can only recover files deleted within the last 30 days
– You may forget to check Recently Deleted before the 30-day window closes
– Need enough available storage space to recover deleted files
– Some apps don’t support Recently Deleted recovery
Alternate Ways to Recover Deleted iPhone Files
Beyond Recently Deleted, there are some other options to try recovering deleted files from your iPhone:
Restore from iCloud backup
If you have an iCloud backup from before a file was deleted, you may be able to restore the deleted item from the backup. This works best forrecovering multiple deleted files or entire folders.
Use iPhone data recovery software
Specialized third-party software like Fonelab, iMyFone or EaseUS can scan your iPhone and may be able to recover deleted files from its storage, even bypassing Recently Deleted.
Restore from iTunes or Finder backup
If you sync your iPhone with iTunes on a PC or Finder on a Mac, restoring from a saved backup is another option. But backups must be recent in order to contain the deleted file.
Preventing Accidental Data Loss on iPhone
To reduce the risk of losing important files and needing to rely on Recently Deleted recovery, consider these tips:
– Enable iCloud backups to store copies of your iPhone data in the cloud automatically.
– Manually back up your device regularly via iTunes or Finder.
– Use the Locked Album feature in Photos to protect your most important photos/videos.
– Avoid deleting files when you’re distracted or in a rush.
– Double-check before deleting anything that you might want later.
– Archive unused apps rather than deleting them in case you need them again.
Following precautions like these will minimize the chances of losing data permanently. But if something important does get deleted, at least you can turn to Recently Deleted and other recovery options.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days are deleted files stored on iPhone?
Deleted files stay in the Recently Deleted folder for up to 30 days before being permanently removed from iPhone storage.
What happens if I delete a file from Recently Deleted?
If you manually delete a file from Recently Deleted, that file will be permanently erased from your iPhone right away instead of waiting 30 days. It will no longer be recoverable.
Can I recover permanently deleted iPhone files?
If a file has been deleted from Recently Deleted more than 30 days ago, unfortunately there is no way to recover it directly from iPhone storage. You’d need to restore from an iCloud or iTunes/Finder backup that contained the file before it was deleted.
Why are some deleted files not showing up in Recently Deleted?
In some cases like deleting photos stored in iCloud, the deleted content won’t appear in your device’s Recently Deleted folder. This is because it doesn’t take up local storage space on your device. You can view deleted iCloud files at iCloud.com.
Do deleted apps go into Recently Deleted?
No, when you delete an iPhone app, it does not get stored in Recently Deleted. To restore a deleted app, you will need to redownload it from the App Store. Your app data may be recoverable from an iCloud backup.
The Recently Deleted folder on iPhone provides a valuable safety net against accidental data loss. By holding onto deleted files for up to 30 days before permanent removal, it enables you to recover photos, documents, messages and other content that may have been deleted by mistake.
Learning how Recently Deleted works, how to access it across different apps, and the proper steps for recovering files can give you crucial help restoring lost iPhone data. Just remember to act within 30 days, as after that point, no iPhone recovery options will bring the files back.
Backing up your data regularly via iCloud or local device backups remains the ultimate protection. But with robust deleted file recovery in the form of Recently Deleted, you have a second line of defense against losing your important or sentimental iPhone content forever.