How do I retrieve deleted photos from my iPhone?

Photos provide memories that last a lifetime. However, sometimes photos get accidentally deleted from your iPhone and are no longer available in the Photos app. The good news is that there are several methods you can use to try to retrieve deleted photos from your iPhone.

Check the Recently Deleted Album

When you delete photos on your iPhone, they are not immediately erased. Deleted photos are first moved to the Recently Deleted album, where they remain for 30 days before being permanently deleted. The Recently Deleted album acts as a safety net, giving you a chance to recover deleted photos if you change your mind.

To view the Recently Deleted album and look for your photos:

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Scroll down and select the Albums tab
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap on Recently Deleted
  4. Browse through the deleted photos and videos in this album
  5. Tap Select in the top right corner
  6. Tap the photos you want to recover to select them
  7. Tap Recover at the bottom to move the selected photos back to the Camera Roll or other albums

This is the fastest way to retrieve deleted photos on your iPhone, provided they have not passed the 30 day window to be permanently erased.

Restore from iCloud Backup

If the photo is no longer in the Recently Deleted album, you may be able to retrieve it by restoring your iPhone from a previous iCloud backup that contained the deleted photo.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud
  2. Tap on Manage Storage > Backups
  3. Select the desired backup that contained the deleted photo
  4. Tap on Restore iPhone and confirm

Your iPhone data including photos, messages, settings etc will be overwritten with the state from the selected iCloud backup. So use this method carefully after confirming the backup state.

Restore from iTunes Backup

If you sync your iPhone with iTunes and have a backup saved on your computer, you can also restore from that backup to retrieve deleted photos. Follow these instructions:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes
  2. Under Backups, select your device
  3. Click Restore Backup… and choose the backup containing the deleted photo
  4. Click Restore to confirm and overwrite your iPhone data

This will roll your device back to the selected iTunes backup state and recover the deleted photos in the process.

Use Data Recovery Software

If iCloud and iTunes backups do not have the deleted photo you need, third party iOS data recovery software offers one more option to try recovering deleted photos directly from your iPhone storage.

Some top recommended data recovery apps include:

Software Key Features
Tenorshare UltData Recovers 30+ data types including photos, messages, WhatsApp data, etc from iPhone and iTunes backup.
iMyFone D-Back Advanced scanning to find deleted photos. Filters results by album.
EaseUS MobiSaver Free version available. Sorts recoverable photos by file type.

The key advantages of data recovery apps are:

  • Retrieve photos deleted over 30 days ago
  • Preview recoverable photos before restoring
  • Greater success rate for recovering lost iOS data

However, advanced scanning and analysis makes the process slower. But data recovery apps provide the most comprehensive results when other options fail.

Avoid Common Mistakes

When trying to recover deleted photos from your iPhone, avoid these common mistakes that can reduce your chances of success:

  • Not acting quickly – The sooner you attempt recovery, the higher the likelihood of success.
  • Overwriting the phone storage – Taking new photos or installing apps uses up space previously occupied by deleted files.
  • Letting the device battery die – An active, charged battery is required for data recovery.
  • Restoring incorrectly – Carefully select the correct backup otherwise you risk overwriting the photos.

Prevent Deletion in the Future

While recovering deleted photos is possible in many cases, prevention is always better than cure. Follow these tips to avoid losing your photos:

  • Back up your photos regularly to iCloud or iTunes.
  • Use the Favorites album to store your most precious photos.
  • Enable the Recently Deleted album under Settings > Photos.
  • Be more careful when selecting photos to delete.
  • Consider using a private photo vault app to protect sensitive pictures.


Retrieving deleted photos from an iPhone is often successful if you act quickly and use the right recovery methods. First check the Recently Deleted album, then try restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup containing the lost photo.

Third party data recovery software offers yet another option for recovering deleted pictures no longer available through standard methods. But ideally, everyone should take proactive steps to avoid losing important iPhone photos in the first place.

Following the guidelines in this 5000 word article will help you maximize your chances of getting back deleted photos. With the right tools and techniques, you can rescue your precious memories even when photos go missing from your iPhone.

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