How to get back deleted photos?

What happens when you delete a photo?

When you delete a photo from your phone or computer, the photo file is not immediately erased from your device’s storage. Instead, the link between the photo’s file location and the file system catalog is removed. The storage space for the photo is marked as free and available for new data to overwrite it. Until that overwritten occurs, the deleted photo data still physically exists on the device. This means deleted photos can often be recovered, as long as you act quickly before they are overwritten.

How long are deleted photos recoverable?

For recently deleted photos, the likelihood of full recovery depends on how much activity has occurred on the device since the deletion. The more applications you use and files you create, the higher the chance portions of the deleted photos will get overwritten with new data.

Generally, if you attempt to recover deleted photos within a day or two, there is a good chance much of the data can be retrieved. After a week, unrecoverable overwriting of the data becomes more likely. The recovery success rate drops over time.

On less active devices with plenty of free storage space, deleted photos may remain intact and recoverable for weeks before getting overwritten. But it’s always best to attempt recovery as soon as possible.

Can you recover photos after factory reset?

If you have performed a factory reset or erased all content and settings from your device, this greatly reduces the chance of photo recovery. A factory reset intentionally overwrites all user data on the storage with zeros or random data to make it irrecoverable.

However, there is still a slim possibility of forensic data recovery after a factory reset. With advanced recovery techniques, bits and pieces of lost data can sometimes be extracted from the storage chip. But this requires costly professional assistance with no guarantee of success.

So while not impossible, attempting photo recovery after factory reset is very challenging. Prevention by regularly backing up photos is a much more reliable strategy.

How to recover deleted photos from the Recycle Bin?

If you use a Windows computer, one of the easiest ways to retrieve deleted photos is from the Recycle Bin. When you delete files in Windows, they get placed in the Recycle Bin instead of being immediately erased.

To recover deleted photos from the Recycle Bin:

  1. Open the Recycle Bin – Double click the Recycle Bin icon on your Windows desktop or open it within File Explorer.
  2. Find your photos – Scan the contents of the Recycle Bin to see if your photos are still there.
  3. Restore the photos – Right click on the photos and select Restore to move them back to the original folder.

As long as the Recycle Bin has not been emptied, you should be able to fully recover any photos deleted from Windows folders this way.

Can you recover permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin?

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin, those files are no longer easily accessible through the Recycle Bin. However, emptied files are not immediately overwritten. File recovery software can often still restore them until the storage space is reused.

So it is possible to recover permanently deleted files from the Recycle Bin, provided they have not already been overwritten by new data. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and install a deleted file recovery app on your computer.
  2. Scan the hard drive partitions where your photos were originally saved.
  3. The software will detect deleted files not yet overwritten.
  4. Preview found photos and select those you want to recover.
  5. Specify a folder to save the restored photos.

Free recovery software like Recuva makes it easy to recover erased Recycle Bin files. But act fast, before those discarded sectors get reused.

What is the best free photo recovery software?

Here are some of the top free data recovery programs capable of restoring deleted photos:

  • Recuva – Works very well for recovering erased files and images. Easy to use.
  • PhotoRec – Powerful tool specialized in photo recovery.
  • Disk Drill – Recovers up to 500MB data free. Extra features available.
  • Pandora Recovery – Retrieves deleted files easily. Allows previewing images.
  • Glary Undelete – Restores deleted files and repairs corrupted photos.

These free options provide an easy way to recover deleted pictures from hard drives, memory cards, and other storage devices.

What is the best paid photo recovery software?

Top paid recovery software with advanced capabilities:

  • Stellar Photo Recovery – Best overall for repairing damaged photos.
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard – Great results for both photos and other file types.
  • Ontrack EasyRecovery – Most extensive features for recovering lost images.
  • R-Studio – Powerful advanced options for tech experts.
  • Recoverit Photo Recovery – Very user friendly interface to recover JPG, PNG, other images.

While costing $40-$100, these paid applications provide the most sophisticated recovery algorithms, customizable scan settings, previewing, and top data salvage rates. The investment can pay off when attempting to rescue important photos.

Can you recover permanently deleted photos from Android without root?

It is possible to recover deleted photos from an Android device without root access. While a rooted device provides fuller data access that improves results, rooting is not strictly required.

Many data recovery apps like DiskDigger Photo Recovery work to restore lost images without root by utilizing Android’s built-in backup features. The process involves:

  1. Installing the recovery app on your Android device.
  2. Allowing the app to scan storage directories where photos were stored.
  3. Letting the app reconstruct discarded image data not yet overwritten.
  4. Browsing the found photos and restoring those you want to keep.

This undelete process works because Android does not immediately overwrite all deleted files. Unrooted recovery has limitations compared to rooted access. But it can still rescue photos before they are permanently lost by getting overwritten.

How can I recover deleted photos without software?

It is possible to restore deleted photos without using data recovery software in certain situations:

  • Restore from cloud backups – If photos were synced to cloud storage like Google Photos or iCloud, you can retrieve them from there.
  • Recover from phone backups – Deleted images may exist in local backups from iTunes or Android’s Smart Switch.
  • Extract from app caches – Some photos exist in app caches and temporary folders.
  • Find via file browsing – Carefully browse disk folders to uncover photos possibly still intact.
  • Retrieve from trash folders – Mac and Linux often have Trash folders containing deleted files.

While software is usually required for more complex recoveries, these alternative methods can restore accidentally deleted photos in simpler cases. The key is accessing backups or locations where discarded files still reside intact.

How can I recover permanently deleted photos on Android?

Here are some ways to recover permanently deleted photos – images erased from the Android gallery so they no longer appear:

  • Use data recovery software to extract photos discarded from the storage memory, provided they have not yet been overwritten.
  • Root the Android device which provides fuller access for recovery apps to salvage lost data.
  • Connect the Android device to a computer and scan image storage directories from there using powerful recovery programs.
  • On some phones, restore photos from built-in backups like LG and Samsung phones allowing photo restore through Smart Switch.
  • Use Google Takeout to export any images synced to cloud album backups like Google Photos before deletion.

As long as the deleted photos still exist intact on the device and cloud storage, specialized utilities can often retrieve them fully intact. Acting quickly before overwriting is key.

Can deleted photos be recovered from Google Photos trash?

When photos are deleted from Google Photos, they get moved to the Google Photos trash folder where they stay for 60 days. During this time, it is possible to fully recover photos from Google Photos trash:

  1. Open the Google Photos app and view the trash folder.
  2. Find the deleted photos you want to restore.
  3. Select the photos.
  4. Choose Restore to move them back to cloud storage and synced devices.

This trash feature provides two months to recover deleted images unless the user empties the trash folder. After 60 days, the photos get permanently deleted from cloud storage and connected services.

How do I recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud?

If photos were stored in iCloud but then deleted, here are some recovery options:

  • Restore from Recently Deleted – Recover photos up to 40 days after deletion.
  • Use iPhone/iPad backups – Retrieve images from your synced device backups.
  • Extract from iCloud website data – Download archived photos before permanent removal.
  • Retrieve from another synced device – If photos exist on a synced Mac or iOS device, transfer from there.

So by utilizing iPhone backups, the iCloud Recently Deleted folder, and downloaded cloud data, accidentally deleted images can often still be retrieved.

Can you recover deleted photos from Snapchat?

Snapchat deletes photos once they have been viewed. But here are some ways you may be able to recover deleted Snapchat images:

  • Android file recovery apps – Scan the storage memory for discarded Snapchat files.
  • iPhone app caches – Browse app data stored in the iOS Files app.
  • Jailbroken iPhone data – File browser tools can access cached Snapchats.
  • Snapchat Memories – If you saved the photo to Memories, it still exists there.
  • Recipient screenshot – Ask the recipient if they took a screenshot and saved it.

Since Snapchats get automatically deleted so quickly, full recovery is difficult. But portions of images may be able to be salvaged using hidden storage files and backups.

What happens when you permanently delete photos on iPhone?

Permanently deleting photos on an iPhone involves removing images from the Recently Deleted album inside Photos. When photos are permanently deleted:

  • They are no longer accessible in the Photos app or synced cloud services.
  • The pointers linking them in the catalog are removed.
  • The data still exists on the device until the storage is overwritten.
  • They cannot be recovered through the Photos app anymore.
  • Only data recovery software can attempt to restore them now.

So while permanently deleted, the photo data remains intact for some period until the sectors are reused. Quick action with recovery tools is essential to restore permanently erased photos before the information is overwritten by new data.


While accidentally deleted photos often seem permanently gone, in many cases it is possible to salvage them. By utilizing data recovery software, built-in backups, cloud storage, app caches, or file browsing, deleted pictures can frequently be retrieved – provided they have not already been overwritten. Acting quickly as soon as photos are missing can greatly improve the chances of recovering them intact. Regular backups provide an added layer of protection against ever losing important photos.