How do I retrieve photos from Trash on Iphone?

Retrieving deleted photos from the Trash on an iPhone is a common task that many users need to do. Whether you accidentally deleted an important photo or just want to recover something you got rid of, it is possible to rescue those images as long as you act quickly and don’t let the Trash clear itself.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone Trash?

Yes, it is possible to recover recently deleted photos from the Trash album on your iPhone. When you delete photos on an iPhone, they are not immediately erased from the device. Instead, they get moved to the Trash album where they will stay for 30 days before being permanently deleted.

As long as the photo is still in the Trash, you have the ability to recover and restore it back to the Photos app or cloud storage. This gives you a 30 day window to salvage any images you did not mean to delete.

How Does the Trash Feature Work on iPhone?

The Trash album on the iPhone works similarly to the Recycle Bin or Trash Can on a computer. When you delete a photo, rather than erasing it right away, the iPhone moves the file to the Trash folder. It will stay there for 30 days before being removed from the device forever.

This is beneficial because it gives you an opportunity during that 30 day period to retrieve any photos that were deleted accidentally. If you realize immediately that you made a mistake, you can rescue the image before the automatic deletion occurs a month later.

Trash Album Basics

  • Located in the Photos app on your iPhone
  • Stores deleted photos for 30 days
  • Empties itself automatically after 30 days
  • Lets you recover and restore recently deleted photos

How to Recover Deleted Photos from Trash on iPhone

If you need to salvage a deleted picture that is still within its 30 day Trash window, use these steps to retrieve it:

1. Open the Photos App

The first step is to launch the Photos app on your iPhone. This is where the Trash folder containing your deleted photos is located.

2. Navigate to the Albums Tab

At the bottom of the Photos app, tap on the Albums tab. This will display all your albums including the Trash folder.

3. Open the Trash Album

Scroll through your albums and tap on the Trash folder. This will open up the album so you can see all recently deleted pictures.

4. Select the Photo to Restore

Browse the photos in Trash and tap on the image you want to retrieve to restore it. You can select multiple photos to recover at the same time.

5. Tap Recover

With your photo selected, tap on the Recover button at the bottom of the screen. This will move the picture out of the Trash folder and back into the Photos app.

6. Choose Destination Album

A menu will appear prompting you to choose which album to restore the photo to. Select the album you want it saved in.

That’s all there is to it! Following those quick steps will allow you to recover any photos from the Trash that you accidentally deleted and need to get back.

What Happens When Trash Empties?

The Trash album will automatically empty itself every 30 days. This permanently erases all photos stored there at that time. Once the Trash has cleared itself out, those photos are no longer recoverable.

Therefore, it’s important to restore any images you want to save within 30 days of deletion. Otherwise, you will lose the ability to salvage them once the Trash clears.


  • Trash deletes permanently after 30 days
  • Rescue important photos before 30 day window ends
  • Empty Trash cannot be reversed

What Types of Photos Can Be Recovered?

The Trash feature works for all photos that have been recently deleted from the Photos app itself or cloud storage like iCloud. This includes:

  • Camera photos
  • Screenshots
  • Saved images from apps/web
  • Synced photos from iCloud
  • Portrait mode photos
  • Live Photos

As long as the photo was originally saved and then deleted from the Photos app or iCloud storage within the last 30 days, it can be retrieved from the Trash during that time period.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos without Trash?

If you need to restore photos that have already been permanently erased from Trash, there are still options available. However, these deleted photos will be more difficult and sometimes impossible to get back.

Restore from iCloud Backup

If you have iCloud Photos enabled, you may be able to recover deleted photos from a previous iCloud backup. This would allow you to restore photos even if they are no longer in the Trash album.

Use iPhone Data Recovery Software

Specialized data recovery software for iOS devices can scan your iPhone and find photo files that were marked as deleted. This can rescue photos even after they are gone from Trash, although success varies.

Retrieve from iTunes or Finder Backup

If you sync your iPhone to iTunes on a computer, restoring from a previous backup may retrieve some deleted photos. But results are mixed and depend on backup settings.

As you can see, there are ways to get deleted photos back even if they are not in the Trash anymore. However, Trash provides the simplest and most reliable method of photo recovery on iPhone.

Tips for Using Trash to Restore Photos

Follow these tips to make sure you can always use the Trash to recover deleted photos when needed:

  • Act quickly – Restore photos soon as possible after deletion.
  • Double check Trash regularly – Look for mistakenly deleted photos.
  • Remember the 30 day limit – Rescue photos before automatic empty.
  • Free up space if full – Trash cannot save new deletions if iPhone storage is full.

Using the Trash album cautiously and regularly monitoring it for unintended deletions can provide some peace of mind. You’ll minimize cases where you lose photos permanently without the ability to recover them.

Why Photos Disappear from Trash Album

In some cases, users notice that photos seem to disappear from the Trash album before the 30 day period is up. There are a few reasons this can happen:

  • Trash exceeded storage limit – If your iPhone has no free space left, Trash cannot save new items.
  • Trash album was manually emptied – The album can be cleared manually at any time.
  • Photo was synced from iCloud – Deleting an already synced photo removes it fully from all devices.
  • Device was synced or restored – This can wipe contents of Trash.

Being aware of these scenarios allows you to understand why some photos may be missing from the Trash unexpectedly. Clearing space, avoiding unnecessary Trash emptying, and checking iCloud settings can help avoid issues.

Does Trash Work on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch?

The Trash feature works the same way on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch model running iOS 8 or later. As long as your device meets this requirements, the steps to recover deleted photos from the Trash album will be the same.

Some key facts about Trash on these devices:

  • Available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
  • Works on iOS 8 and all later iOS versions
  • Functions identically across models and generations
  • Restores deleted photos for up to 30 days

So whether you have an older iPhone 6 or shiny new iPhone 14, the Trash album will store your deleted photos for a month before permanent removal.

Is the Trash Album in iCloud or on My Device?

The Trash album itself is located directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It is not part of iCloud. However, the photos it contains may be synced from or stored in iCloud as well.

Think of it this way:

  • Trash album = stored locally on device
  • Deleted photos = may be mirrored in iCloud if you have iCloud Photos turned on

So the Trash is a feature of your device’s Photos app. But deleted pictures can reside both in Trash and iCloud at the same time if you use iCloud syncing.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos from Trash on Mac?

Unfortunately the Trash album is not available in the Photos app on Mac. The Mac has its own separate system for storing deleted items in the Trash folder.

However, you may still be able to recover recently deleted photos using these methods on a Mac:

  • Restore from Photos app Time Machine backup
  • Use data recovery software to scan internal drive or external backup drives
  • Retrieve from iCloud website if photos were synced

While the iOS Trash album itself does not exist on Mac, you can still get back deleted photos using backup and recovery tools if needed.


The Trash album provides a valuable safety net against accidental photo deletion on iPhone. By storing removed photos for 30 days before permanent erasure, it allows you time to notice and rescue images you did not mean to delete.

Make sure to check Trash regularly for unintended deletions. And remember to act within that 30 day window if you need to salvage any photos. With proper use of the Trash system, you should able to easily recover deleted photos on your iPhone.