How do I retrieve photos from Trash on Iphone?

If you have accidentally deleted photos from your iPhone and want to recover them, don’t worry – the photos aren’t gone forever. The photos are moved to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder inside the Photos app when they are deleted. This acts as a trash bin, giving you 30 days to recover deleted photos before they are permanently erased. Here are the steps to retrieve photos from the Recently Deleted folder on your iPhone:

Check if the Photos are in Recently Deleted

Open the Photos app on your iPhone and select the Albums tab at the bottom. Scroll down and look for the ‘Recently Deleted’ album. If you don’t see it, tap on ‘Other Albums’ which will display all the hidden albums including ‘Recently Deleted’. If the photos are less than 30 days old, they will be present in this folder.

Recover the Photos

Once you have located the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder, tap to open it. You will see thumbnail previews of all your recently deleted photos and videos. Tap ‘Select’ at the top right. This will display a blue circle with a tick mark on each thumbnail. Tap the circle on top of the photos you want to recover so they are selected. After selecting the photos, tap on ‘Recover’ at the bottom. The photos will now be restored to the Camera Roll or the album where they were originally located.

Restore All Deleted Photos

If you want to restore all the photos that are present in the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder, tap on ‘Select’ and then tap ‘Recover All’ at the bottom. This will restore every single photo that has been deleted in the past 30 days.

Permanently Delete Photos

If there are some photos in the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder that you want to permanently erase, you can manually delete them:

  • Open the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder
  • Tap ‘Select’ and choose the photos you want to delete
  • Tap on the ‘Delete’ option at the bottom
  • Confirm deletion on the popup

The selected photos will now be permanently erased from your iPhone.


Here are some precautions to take to avoid losing your photos:

  • Backup your photos regularly to iCloud or iTunes.
  • Double check before permanently deleting any photos.
  • If you have lost photos, stop taking new photos as they could overwrite the deleted data.
  • Act quickly if you need to restore photos as they get permanently deleted after 30 days.

Why Photos are Stored in Recently Deleted

iOS has the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder to prevent accidental permanent data loss. When you delete photos, they are not immediately erased. Instead, the space they occupied is marked as available to be overwritten in the future. The actual photo data still exists in the storage until:

  • You restore the photos from Recently Deleted
  • 30 days pass after which they are permanently deleted
  • The storage space is required for new data so the space is overwritten

This gives users a grace period of one month to recover any unintentionally deleted photos.

Find My iPhone Photo Recovery

If you have erased your iPhone completely after losing it, you might be able to use Find My iPhone to recover photos. This feature allows you to remotely erase your iPhone in case it is stolen or misplaced. When enabled, Find My iPhone stores the last 30 days of data in iCloud before erasing. So you can sign into iCloud and restore this data to retrieve recently deleted photos.

iCloud Photo Recovery

If you had iCloud Photos enabled, your photos are also backed up automatically to iCloud storage. Even if you delete photos from your iPhone, the backup remains stored in iCloud for up to 30 days. To restore these photos:

  1. Go to settings > Your Name > iCloud
  2. Tap on Manage Storage > Backups
  3. Select your device backup > Restore from this backup

This will retrieve photos and other data that were backed up to iCloud within the last 30 days.

Retrieve from iTunes Backup

Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes. If you have an iTunes backup saved on your computer that contains the deleted photos, you can restore this backup to get the photos back. Go to iTunes Preferences > Devices and select the backup you want to restore from.

Photo Recovery Software

If you exhausted all the above options, third party iOS data recovery software offer one last chance to get back deleted iPhone photos. They perform a deep scan of the iPhone storage to find traces of lost and deleted data. Some examples of photo recovery apps include:

  • iMyFone D-Back
  • Fonelab iPhone Data Recovery
  • EaseUS MobiSaver

However, this should be used as a last resort option as the results can vary.

How to Avoid Losing Photos

Follow these tips to prevent losing your photos in the future:

  • Turn on iCloud Photo Library to auto backup all photos.
  • Manually back up to iCloud or iTunes regularly.
  • Use third party cloud storage like Google Photos to backup the photos.
  • Avoid taking photos when phone storage is full as it increases risk of data overwrite.
  • Delete unwanted photos regularly to free up storage space.
  • Be careful while deleting photos and double check they are backed up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are deleted photos kept in Recently Deleted?

Deleted photos are stored in the Recently Deleted folder for 30 days before being permanently erased from your iPhone.

Can I recover photos after emptying Recently Deleted?

No, once you manually delete photos from Recently Deleted, they cannot be recovered as that data is permanently erased.

What happens if I take new photos after deletion?

If you take new photos, they could potentially overwrite the storage space where the deleted photos existed. This makes photo recovery difficult.

Is there a limit to how many photos I can recover?

No, you can recover as many photos as you want from Recently Deleted as long as they are less than 30 days old.

Will my deleted photos still upload to iCloud?

No, once photos are deleted from your iPhone, even if they still exist in Recently Deleted, they will stop syncing to iCloud.

Can I recover photos without a backup?

It becomes very difficult to recover photos without a backup. Some third party software may be able to rescue traces of lost data but results vary widely.


Here are some key points to keep in mind when restoring deleted photos on your iPhone:

  • Deleted photos sit in Recently Deleted for 30 days before being permanently erased.
  • You can restore photos from Recently Deleted within 30 days of deletion.
  • Backups on iCloud and iTunes can preserve deleted photos for recovery.
  • Avoid taking new photos to increase chances of recovery from Recently Deleted.
  • Enable iCloud Photo Library to auto backup photos as you take them.
  • Be careful while permanently deleting photos from Recently Deleted.

Following these tips will help ensure you never lose your precious photos on your iPhone permanently.


Accidentally deleting photos is a common issue faced by many iPhone users. Fortunately, the Recently Deleted folder inside the Photos app provides a temporary holding area for deleted pictures for up to 30 days. Within this time, you can quickly restore your photos from Recently Deleted. You can also rely on iCloud and iTunes backups to recover recently deleted photos. Using preventive measures like auto backup and freeing up storage space can also help avoid losing photos.

So don’t panic if you have deleted important photos from your iPhone. With the right techniques, you can easily get them back and avoid permanent data loss.

Photo Recovery Method Timeframe Reliability
Restore from Recently Deleted Up to 30 days after deletion High
iCloud Photo Library Backup Up to 30 days if backup enabled High
iTunes Backup Depends on backup age Medium
iPhone Data Recovery Software No time limit Low-Medium

This table summarizes the different options to recover deleted photos from iPhone and their effectiveness.

Deleted photos are first moved to Recently Deleted folder where they stay for 30 days. This provides a fast and reliable way to recover photos using the Photos app. iCloud Photo Library automatically backs up photos online as you take them. So it serves as a great recovery option for up to 30 days after deletion. iTunes backups are manual and reliability depends on when the last backup was taken. Lastly, data recovery software tries to find residual data traces but has mixed results.

In conclusion, the sooner you act after photo deletion and the more backups available, the higher are the chances of successful recovery. Activating iCloud photo backup is highly recommended to avoid permanently losing your precious iPhone photos.