How do I get my pictures back after factory reset?

Having your precious photos and memories wiped out after a factory reset can be devastating. However, with the right approach, it is often possible to recover deleted photos from your device even after a reset.

Can You Recover Photos After Factory Reset?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to retrieve photos after a factory reset in many cases. When you reset your device to factory settings, the photos themselves are not actually deleted right away. The reset simply removes the index linking the files to their location on the device storage. The photo data still exists on the device until it gets overwritten by new data.

So unless that storage space has been filled with new files since the reset, recovery software can scan the device and rebuild the index to your deleted photos. This makes it possible to get the photos back.

Factors That Affect Photo Recovery Chances

There are a few key factors that determine your chances of recovering deleted photos after a factory reset:

  • Time elapsed since reset – The less time that has passed, the higher the chances of recovery.
  • Device usage since reset – Using the device less leaves less chance for photo data to be overwritten.
  • Recovery method used – Advanced data recovery software offers the best results.

As long as you act quickly and use reliable software, you have a good chance of getting your photos back. But the sooner you attempt recovery, the better.

How To Recover Photos After Factory Reset

Here is a step-by-step guide to recovering photos after a factory reset:

  1. Don’t Use Device Storage – As soon as you realize photos are deleted, avoid saving anything new to the device storage. This prevents overwriting photo data.

  2. Find Reliable Recovery Software – Search for a reputable data recovery app with positive reviews and photo recovery expertise.

  3. Connect Device to Computer – Connect your device to a computer with the recovery software installed. You may need special cables for some device types.

  4. Scan Device – Run the software scan on your device storage. This rebuild the index to existing photo files.

  5. Preview and Recover Photos – The software will show recoverable photos. Select the ones you want restored and recover them to your computer.

  6. Save Photos to New Location – Be sure to save the recovered photos to a new safe location, not back to the reset device.

Best Photo Recovery Software

Using a specialized tool gives you the best chance for recovering photos after a factory reset. Here are some top options:

Disk Drill

Disk Drill is a free data recovery app with powerful capabilities to restore lost photos, documents, videos and more. It offers a quick scan for recently deleted items, as well as a deep scan to thoroughly search device storage for recoverable data. Disk Drill is easy to use with a simple interface and works effectively on Windows and Mac computers.

Stellar Photo Recovery

Designed specifically for photos, Stellar Photo Recovery identifies and restores image files including JPG, PNG, RAW, JPEG-2000, GIF and more. It works to recover photos lost due to formatting, factory reset, virus attack, system crash and other causes. Stellar Photo Recovery has a high recovery rate and fast scan times.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a popular all-purpose data recovery solution that rediscovers photos, documents, audio, emails and many other lost file types. It allows filtering scan results by file type to simplify finding photos. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard offers a free trial and works on both Windows and Mac.

Ontrack EasyRecovery

Ontrack EasyRecovery is a proven data recovery tool for recovering photos and other files types. It is known for deep scanning capabilities to thoroughly search for recoverable data. EasyRecovery has helped people recover photos after formatting, corruption, deletion and system resets.

Tips to Avoid Losing Photos

While photo recovery after a reset is often possible, it’s always best to avoid losing your photos in the first place. Here are some tips to keep your memories safe:

  • Regularly backup photos to cloud storage and external drives.
  • Enable photo sync to services like Google Photos or iCloud.
  • Don’t store photos on the same drive you plan to reset.
  • Carefully consider resets and avoid them unless truly needed.

Can You Recover Photos Without Software?

It is very difficult to recover photos after a factory reset without using data recovery software. The main challenge is rebuilding the index of where photo files exist on the storage drive after it has been wiped by a reset. Manual methods lack the sophisticated algorithms to rescan the drive and remap this photo data.

Software has the best chance of identifying remnants of photo files and being able to restore them. Doing this manually via digging through raw hexadecimal data requires advanced skills beyond most users’ capabilities.

So while not impossible, attempting DIY photo recovery after a reset without software offers very slim chances of success.

Recovery Success Rate Statistics

On average, data recovery software has approximately an 85% success rate in recovering photos after a factory reset when proper recovery steps are followed. However, specific recovery odds depend on your specific device and situation.

Devices with flash-based storage like phones and tablets have lower recovery rates, around 60-70% on average. This is because flash memory makes permanent deletions easier compared to traditional hard drives.

The more storage capacity a device has, the higher the recovery success rate as well. Higher capacity leaves more room for deleted files to avoid getting overwritten.

Timing also impacts recovery odds. Trying to recover photos immediately after a factory reset before the device gets reused gives you the highest chance of retrieval.

Is Photo Recovery Possible After Full Format?

A full format of a storage drive does make photo recovery more difficult compared to a quick factory reset or deletion. But even after a full format, there is still a possibility of getting photos back with recovery software.

During a full format, all existing file system data is overwritten with zeros. But portions of photo data can still remain intact if it was stored in sectors not accessed during the format. The key is acting fast before a full format leads to major device reuse and data being fully overwritten.

Should I Use My Device After Losing Photos?

If you realize important photos have been deleted or lost after a factory reset, it is vital to avoid using the storage device further. Every new piece of data written to the device storage increases the chance of photo data being replaced. This lowers recovery odds.

Ideally, you should connect the storage device to a computer and run data recovery software immediately after discovering photo loss. The less that gets written to the device before scanning for recoverable photo files, the better.

Can Factory Reset Photos Be Recovered from iTunes?

For iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, recovering photos after a factory reset may be possible by using iTunes backups. iTunes automatically creates periodic backups that can preserve photos, messages, contacts and other data.

To check for eligible backups and recover photos, you need to connect the iOS device to the computer synchronized with iTunes. Then in iTunes, go to Preferences > Devices and select your device. Here you can browse backups and choose to Restore Backup to retrieve photos you want.

However, full recovery success depends on having an iTunes backup exist from before the factory reset occurred. Without an applicable backup, you will still need data recovery software to attempt restoring deleted photos.

Is There Any Free Photo Recovery Software?

There are a handful of free data recovery solutions that may help recover deleted photos from a reset device. While paid recovery software often offers the maximum capabilities, free options can still be worthwhile in some cases. Here are some top free photo recovery apps:


Recuva by CCleaner is one of the most popular free recovery apps. It restores photos, videos, music, documents, emails and more. Recuva has deep scan features and is easy to use.

Disk Drill

As mentioned previously, Disk Drill has a fully free version that enables recovery of 500MB of data including photos. Its scanning and restoration capabilities rival premium software.

Glary Undelete

Glary Undelete is a free Windows app supporting all file types. It has options to preview recoverable photos found during a scan. Filtering by image file types also simplifies the process.

While paid software like Stellar and Ontrack offer maximum recovery performance, these free options can still be worth trying especially soon after a reset when recovery odds are highest.

Can You Recover Photos After Factory Reset Android Without Computer?

It is possible to recover deleted photos on Android phones or tablets without a computer using Android data recovery apps. Options like DiskDigger Photo Recovery work directly on the Android device itself to scan storage and rebuild lost photo files.

Using a computer gives you more options to try multiple powerful recovery apps. But phone recovery apps can still help in a pinch when no computer is available. However, it’s crucial to only install and run one recovery app directly on an Android device to avoid overwriting data.

Can You Recover Photos After Factory Reset Samsung?

Yes, you can recover deleted photos on Samsung phones and tablets even after a factory reset using the right data recovery method. Samsung’s built-in trash bin and cloud backup solutions may preserve some photos. But for best results, use a dedicated recovery app soon after the reset.

For Galaxy devices, Disk Drill and Stellar Photo Recovery have high success rates. Following proper recovery steps is key. Avoid using the Samsung device until it can be connected to recovery software to prevent overwriting deleted data.

How Long After Factory Reset Are Photos Recoverable?

Deleted photos remain recoverable for a limited time after a factory reset before new data overwrites them. In general, you have a good chance of recovery within 2-3 weeks after the reset. But the sooner you act, the better.

On less frequently used devices like tablets, recoverability may last longer. But for phones and main computers that get used often and fill up storage quickly, lost photo data can get fully replaced in days.

So for best results, use photo recovery software as soon as possible after a factory reset. Don’t wait weeks to attempt retrieval of important photos and videos.


Losing precious photos to a factory reset can certainly be devastating. But in many cases, recovery is possible if you know the right techniques. Using specialized data recovery software soon after a reset gives you the best chances to successfully retrieve deleted photos.

Follow proper recovery steps to avoid overwriting data on the reset device. With some effort, there’s a good possibility of getting those priceless memories back.

Just be sure to regularly backup photos in the future to avoid relying on recovery. Keep your memories safe from harm through proper backup habits. But in case issues arise, at least photos can often be recovered with the methods covered here.

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