How to recover photos deleted from recently deleted on Samsung?

Photos hold sentimental value and losing them can be heartbreaking. With Samsung devices, when you delete photos, they go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder where they are stored for up to 30 days before being permanently deleted. This gives you a chance to recover deleted photos if you change your mind or delete them by accident.

If you act quickly, you can recover deleted photos from the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder on your Samsung device. However, if 30 days have passed, the photos will be permanently gone. In this case, you would need specialized data recovery software to attempt to retrieve them.

How the Recently Deleted Folder Works on Samsung

When you delete photos on a Samsung device, they are not immediately erased. Instead, they go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder in the Gallery app. This folder stores deleted photos for up to 30 days.

The number of days remaining before deletion is shown on each photo thumbnail in the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder. During this period, you can recover the deleted photos back to your camera roll or permanently erase them ahead of schedule.

After 30 days, the photos are permanently deleted and cannot be retrieved from the device storage. At this point, data recovery would be necessary to attempt to get them back.

Quick Guide: How to Recover Deleted Photos from Recently Deleted on Samsung

Here is a quick overview of how to recover recently deleted photos on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets:

  1. Open the Gallery app
  2. Tap on the three horizontal lines icon in the top left corner
  3. Select ‘Recently Deleted’
  4. Tap and hold on a deleted photo to select it
  5. Tap ‘Restore’ to move the photo back to the camera roll

This will restore the deleted photo to your camera roll. Repeat for other photos you want to recover.

Step-by-Step Guide to Recover Deleted Photos from Recently Deleted on Samsung

Here are the detailed steps to recover deleted photos from the Recently Deleted folder on your Samsung device:

1. Open the Gallery App

The first step is to launch the Gallery app on your Samsung device. This houses all your photos and albums.

To open the Gallery app:

  • On your Samsung home screen, locate and tap on the ‘Gallery’ app icon. This will launch the app.
  • Alternatively, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the app drawer. Locate and tap on ‘Gallery’ to open it.

2. Access the ‘Recently Deleted’ Folder

Next, you need to access the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder within the Gallery app. This is where your recently deleted photos are stored.

To get to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder:

  • In the top left corner of the Gallery app, tap on the three horizontal line icon.
  • This will open the side menu.
  • Under the ‘Albums’ section, tap on ‘Recently Deleted’.

You will now see thumbnails of your deleted photos with the number of days left until deletion shown on them.

3. Select the Deleted Photos You Want to Recover

Now you can view your deleted photos and select the ones you want to restore.

To select and recover deleted photos:

  • Browse through your deleted photos and locate the ones you want to recover.
  • Tap and hold your finger on a photo to select it. A checkmark will appear on it.
  • Tap on other photos to select multiple photos.
  • Once you’ve selected the photos to recover, proceed to the next step.

4. Tap ‘Restore’ to Recover the Photos

With your deleted photos selected, the last step is to restore them back to your camera roll.

To restore the deleted photos:

  • At the bottom of the screen, tap on ‘Restore’.
  • The photos will be moved back to your camera roll.

You can now find the recovered photos again in the camera roll or albums view in the Gallery app. Repeat these steps to restore any other deleted photos within the 30-day window.

Additional Tips for Recovering Deleted Photos from Samsung Devices

Here are some additional tips when recovering deleted photos on your Samsung device:

  • Act quickly – The sooner you restore the deleted photos, the better chance you have of getting them back. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Create backups – Consider backing up your photos regularly to cloud storage or an external hard drive to avoid relying on the limited Recently Deleted timeframe.
  • Check the trash frequently – Get in the habit of periodically checking the Recently Deleted folder so you can notice and recover deleted photos before the 30-day window ends.
  • Free up storage space – Your device may permanently delete photos in the Recently Deleted folder before 30 days if you are low on storage space. Free up space to avoid this.

What to Do If You Can’t Find the Deleted Photos in Recently Deleted

If you can’t locate your deleted photos in the Recently Deleted folder, it could be for several reasons:

  • The 30-day window has passed and they were permanently deleted.
  • You manually deleted the photos permanently from Recently Deleted.
  • Your phone deleted them early to free up storage space.

At this point, the photos are likely unrecoverable from the device storage itself. However, there are a few things you could try:

  • Look in other folders – Occasionally photos may end up in other Gallery folders like ‘Screenshots’ or ‘Downloads’ instead of Recently Deleted.
  • Use data recovery software – Specialized software like Fonelab can dig deep into your phone’s memory to find deleted files that aren’t accessible through device folders.
  • Retrieve from cloud backup – If you had the photos backed up to the cloud, you may be able to restore them from there.
  • Consult a data recovery service – For an expensive deep recovery, a specialized data recovery service can dismantle the phone and attempt to retrieve deleted data from its memory chips.

How to Permanently Delete Photos from the Recently Deleted Folder

If you have photos in Recently Deleted that you want to permanently erase before the 30-day window is up, you can manually delete them from that folder.

Here is how to permanently delete photos from Recently Deleted on a Samsung device:

  1. Open the Gallery app and tap on ‘Recently Deleted’ in the side menu.
  2. Tap and hold to select the photos you want to permanently erase.
  3. Tap on the trash icon at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Confirm that you want to permanently delete the selected photos when prompted.

The photos will now be permanently deleted and unrecoverable through the Gallery app. You would need specialized data recovery software to attempt recovering them at this point.

Enable Auto-Delete in Recently Deleted to Free Up Space

If you don’t need the Recently Deleted safety net and want to free up more storage space on your device, you can enable auto-delete for that folder.

Here is how to enable auto-delete for Recently Deleted on Samsung devices:

  1. Go to your phone Settings.
  2. Tap on ‘Device care’ or ‘Battery and device care’.
  3. Tap on ‘Storage’.
  4. Tap on ‘Advanced’.
  5. Toggle on ‘Auto delete deleted files’.

With auto-delete enabled, your device will automatically clear out the Recently Deleted folder as needed without keeping photos there for 30 days. Enabling this setting can free up more storage space.

Use a File Manager App to Attempt Data Recovery

Instead of using the Gallery app, you can also use a third-party file manager app in an attempt to recover deleted photos.

File manager apps provide access to your raw device storage and may allow you to locate photos deleted from Recently Deleted. However, this method is less reliable than specialized data recovery software.

To try recovering deleted files with a file manager app:

  • Download a file manager app like My Files, Solid Explorer, FX File Explorer, etc.
  • Open the app and navigate to the device storage.
  • Go to the DCIM/Camera folder. This is where photos are normally stored.
  • Sort files by date deleted and check if any match your missing photos.
  • Tap and hold to select any recoverable photo files and restore them to another folder.

Again, this method isn’t guaranteed to find photos no longer showing in Recently Deleted. But it may be worth an attempt before resorting to paid recovery software or services.

Best Data Recovery Software for Samsung Phones

If your deleted photos are no longer showing in Recently Deleted or accessible through file manager apps, your last resort is to use data recovery software.

Data recovery apps dig much deeper into your phone’s storage to locate photo files that may not be visible through conventional means. Here are some top options:

Fonelab – Best Overall for Recovering Photos

Fonelab is an excellent data recovery app specialized for recovering photos, videos, and other media files from Android and iOS devices. It has an intuitive interface and advanced scanning algorithms that can dig deep to retrieve deleted, lost, or corrupted files.

Key Features:

  • Recovers photos, videos, audio, documents, and more
  • Allows previewing recoverable files
  • Retrieves data lost due to deletion, OS issues, rooting, virus attack, etc.
  • Supports thousands of Android device models

DiskDigger – Best Free Option for Photos

DiskDigger offers excellent free photo recovery capabilities through a simple interface. The free version allows recovering up to 500 MB of data.

Key Features:

  • Free version recovers up to 500 MB
  • Sorts recoverable images and lets you preview them
  • Additional filters and tools available in paid upgrade
  • Supports all popular Android devices

EaseUS MobiSaver – Best for Multiple File Types

MobiSaver offers robust scanning and data recovery beyond just photos. It can recover documents, archives, videos, audio, messages, and more from Android and iOS.

Key Features:

  • Recovers photos, videos, audio, docs, archives, messages, etc.
  • Allows previewing files before recovery
  • Retrieves data lost due to device damage, OS issues, accidental deletion, etc.
  • Also available for iOS devices


Being able to recover deleted photos from Samsung devices provides some peace of mind against accidental data loss. Make sure to act quickly while the photos are still in the Recently Deleted folder.

Enable backups, check Recently Deleted often, and free up storage space to maximize your chances of successful recovery. If too much time has passed, rely on data recovery software to extract deleted files from your device’s memory and get those photos back.