Is it possible to recover all deleted photos from Android?

Losing photos stored on your Android device can be devastating. Those precious memories captured in photos are often impossible to replace. When you accidentally delete photos or entire albums from your Android phone or tablet, you probably panic and desperately search for a way to get them back.

The good news is, it is often possible to recover deleted photos from Android devices. While the native Android gallery doesn’t have a built-in recycle bin or recovery options, there are several effective methods you can use to restore lost photos.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos from Android?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted photos from Android phones and tablets in many cases. When you delete photos on Android, the files are not immediately erased from the device’s storage. Instead, the space they occupied is marked as available to be overwritten by new data.

As long as the original photo files have not been overwritten, recovery software can scan the device’s storage and restore the deleted data. However, the chances of recovering deleted Android photos diminish over time. The longer you wait, the more likely the files will get overwritten.

Factors That Affect Deleted Photo Recovery from Android

Several key factors determine whether you can recover deleted photos from an Android device:

  • Time elapsed since deletion – The sooner you attempt recovery, the better the chances.
  • Device usage – Using the device more increases the chance of overwriting deleted files.
  • Storage space used – The more storage is in use, the higher risk of overwritten files.
  • Recovery method used – Some methods are more effective than others.

In general, aim to recover deleted Android photos as soon as possible before the files get overwritten. Avoid using the device excessively and limit capturing new photos or downloading apps and files. The optimal recovery strategy also depends on whether the files were stored on internal device storage or external SD card.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from Android Internal Storage

If your deleted Android photos were stored on the device’s internal storage, these methods may help recover them:

Method 1: Use Android App to Recover Deleted Photos

There are several powerful data recovery apps designed to restore deleted files from Android. Apps like DiskDigger Photo Recovery and EaseUS MobiSaver for Android allow you to scan your device’s internal storage and retrieve deleted photos.

Follow these general steps when using an Android photo recovery app:

  1. Download and install the recovery app on your Android device.
  2. Grant the app root access if prompted.
  3. Select the scan mode to detect deleted photos or entire albums and initiate scan.
  4. Preview found photo files and select those you want to recover.
  5. Choose a recovery destination on your device and restore the deleted photos.

The apps use advanced scanning algorithms to thoroughly search the internal storage without risk of overwriting files in the process. This non-destructive scanning combined with an intuitive interface makes Android data recovery apps highly effective.

Method 2: Connect Android to Computer and Scan Storage

Another approach is to connect your Android device to a computer as external storage, then scan the contents using desktop recovery software. This bypasses any limitations of running recovery apps natively on Android.

Here is the general process:

  1. Install Android photo recovery software on your computer.
  2. Connect your Android device to the computer via USB.
  3. Allow USB debugging on Android if prompted.
  4. Select device storage to scan for deleted photos.
  5. Preview found files and restore deleted photos to computer or device.

Professional data recovery programs like Stellar Photo Recovery have the advantage of leveraging a computer’s more powerful hardware for faster, more in-depth scanning. This can potentially recover even more deleted photos from Android internal storage.

Method 3: Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photos Cloud Backup

If you had Google Photos cloud backup enabled, you may be able to restore deleted Android photos from the cloud. Google Photos stores all photos and videos you back up to your Google Account. Even if deleted from your device, the cloud copies remain accessible.

To recover deleted photos using Google Photos:

  1. Open the Google Photos app or visit
  2. Find the ‘Bin’ or Trash section – this contains deleted photos.
  3. Select the photos you want to restore.
  4. Click ‘Restore’ to move the photos back to your main library.

The cloud backup option is most convenient if Google Photos was configured to automatically back up all photos. But it only restores photos that existed in the cloud archive, not exclusively on your device.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from External SD Card

If your deleted Android photos were on removable external storage like an SD card, follow these tips to recover them:

Method 1: Use SD Card Reader to Recover Photos

One of the simplest ways is to use a USB SD card reader or adapter to connect the external storage directly to your computer. Then scan the SD card contents and restore deleted photos using photo recovery software.

The specific steps are:

  1. Remove SD card from Android device and insert into card reader.
  2. Plug card reader into computer USB port.
  3. Run data recovery software and select external drive to scan.
  4. Preview recoverable photos and restore them to computer.

Since external SD card storage is handled similar to any removable media, standard data recovery software has the best chance of restoring deleted files. Avoid using the SD card again in your Android device until recovering photos.

Method 2: Scan External SD Card While Inserted in Device

In some cases, you may be able to recover deleted photos from SD card without removing it from the Android device:

  1. Connect Android to computer via USB cable.
  2. Allow USB debugging if prompted.
  3. Use computer recovery software to detect external SD card.
  4. Select external storage and scan for deleted photos.
  5. Save recovered photos to computer hard drive.

However, Android system may interfere with the recovery scan while the SD card remains inserted in the device. For best results, remove the card and use an external card reader.

Method 3: Use Android App to Scan External SD Card

Specialized Android recovery apps like DiskDigger Photo Recovery also allow restoring deleted photos from external SD card. The process is basically the same as recovering photos from internal storage:

  1. Install and open recovery app on your Android.
  2. Choose ‘Scan external SD card’ option.
  3. Select detected photo files to restore.
  4. Recover photos to another location on device.

Scanning external storage using Android recovery app works but is generally less reliable than using computer software. Still, it provides an option if computer is not available.

Professional Data Recovery Service

For best results recovering deleted Android photos, especially in difficult cases, consider using a professional data recovery service. Reputable providers like DriveSavers and Desert Data Recovery have sophisticated tools and clean room facilities to recover photos even after significant data loss or device damage.

Professional Android photo recovery process may involve:

  • Thoroughly inspecting device for issues
  • Creating bit-for-bit image backup of storage media
  • Analyzing image and extracting recoverable photo data
  • Bypassing password protection or encryption if needed
  • Saving recovered photos to new storage device

While costs vary based on effort required, professionals offer the best chance for recovering photos even if DIY options fail. This is the ultimate last resort to restore treasured memories you thought were lost forever.

Tips to Avoid Losing Photos on Android

Recovering deleted photos from Android can be challenging. To avoid needing to use recovery methods, consider these proactive tips:

  • Enable automatic Google Photos backup to preserve copies in the cloud.
  • Save photos to external SD card as additional redundancy.
  • Use an Android app like Dumpster to retain deleted files in a recycle bin.
  • Install antivirus software to guard against malware deleting photos.
  • Don’t root your Android device as it increases data loss risks.
  • Frequently backup photos to computer or external drive.

Practicing caution when deleting photos can also help prevent permanent loss. Always double check the files you intend to delete. Avoid mass selecting or automated deletion wherever possible.

Can You Recover All Deleted Android Photos?

While recovering some deleted photos from Android is generally possible if you act promptly, recovering every single lost file is less likely. Results ultimately depend on:

  • Speed of attempting recovery
  • Specific storage conditions
  • Recovery method used
  • Extent of data fragmentation

The more storage a device has used and content you capture over time, the more scattered photo file fragments become. This fragmentation makes completely recovering all deleted files improbable after significant duration.

However, utilizing multiple recovery techniques sequentially can help recover as many lost photos as possible. Try an Android recovery app, then attempt computer software scanning before considering professional recovery services for maximum effectiveness.

Does Resetting Android Delete Photos Forever?

Performing a factory reset on your Android device will indeed permanently destroy photos stored on internal storage. Resetting essentially wipes the data from internal memory and restores factory default settings.

However, photos saved on external SD card may survive a factory reset in many cases. The SD card is treated as removable storage. While doing a reset will make the Android operating system unusable, most data on external storage remains intact.

So it’s possible to recover photos from SD card after reset using the methods described earlier for external storage media. But any photos exclusively on internal memory will be non-recoverable after factory reset.

Can Deleted Photos be Recovered After Resetting Android Without Backup?

If you reset your Android device without having a cloud backup or external SD card storage, any photos saved strictly on internal memory will almost certainly be gone forever. Without having a secondary copy of your photos somewhere, recovery after factory reset is realistically impossible.

The reset process erases all user data from the /data partition. While bits of photo data may still physically exist, the reset makes that storage space available to be overwritten. Any fragments left from deleted photos won’t be accessible after the filesystem is restructured.

This underscores the critical importance of regularly backing up photos as a precaution before having to perform a factory reset on Android. Maintaining extra copies of precious photos is the only way to ensure they can be recovered if ever lost.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos Without Computer?

Yes, there are ways to recover deleted Android photos without a computer. However, using a desktop generally provides access to more advanced recovery tools with higher success rates.

To recover deleted photos directly on your Android device, try these computer-free options:

  • Use a recovery app like DiskDigger Photo Recovery
  • Restore from Google Photos cloud backup
  • Insert SD card into another Android device
  • Connect Android to external storage device

An Android recovery app provides the most comprehensive DIY method sans computer. But overall, leveraging the advanced hardware and capabilities of desktop recovery software offers the very best results.

Can You Recover Deleted Photos/Videos Without Software?

There are a couple ways you may be able to restore some deleted Android media files without using specialized software:

  • App trash/recycle bin – Some Android gallery and file manager apps have built-in trash features that retain deleted items for a period of time, allowing you to restore them.
  • Online cloud backups – If photos were synced to cloud storage like Google Photos before being deleted locally, you can retrieve them from the online archive.

However, these manual methods have significant limitations. An app recycle bin only retains files deleted within that app itself. Cloud backups require syncing to have already been configured and don’t include data solely stored locally.

To effectively recover media files no longer accessible on an Android device otherwise, you need advanced data recovery software. Deleted file recovery without software is much more restricted in scope.


Recovering lost photos from Android devices is often possible if you use the right methods quickly. The most successful approach depends on whether files were on internal device storage or external SD card.

For internal storage recovery, use Android data recovery apps or connect to a computer and scan storage contents. To restore photos deleted from SD card, use card readers or recovery apps. Professional recovery services offer assistance for difficult cases.

Completely recovering every single deleted file is unlikely over time. But using multiple recovery techniques sequentially can significantly improve results. Just be sure to act fast before deleted photos get permanently overwritten.

Backing up your photos regularly provides the best protection against permanent loss. Enable automatic Google Photos sync and external SD card backups so copies of memories are preserved even if originals are accidentally deleted.