There has been some confusion lately around whether Apple still offers a 30 day recovery period for photos stored in the Photos app. In the past, Apple provided a 30 day window to recover deleted photos from the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app. However, changes in recent iOS versions have led some users to believe this recovery period no longer exists.
In this article, we’ll clear up the confusion around the 30 day photo recovery period. We’ll look at whether it still exists, how it works, what’s changed, and tips for recovering deleted photos. Keep reading for the quick answers and full details.
Does the 30 Day Recovery Period Still Exist?
Yes, Apple still provides a 30 day recovery window for photos stored in the Photos app as of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. The Recently Deleted folder continues to store deleted photos for 30 days before permanent removal.
So if you accidentally delete a photo, you have 30 days to recover it through the Recently Deleted album. This recovery period has not gone away.
How Does the 30 Day Recovery Work?
Here’s a quick overview of how the 30 day recovery period works in the Apple Photos app:
– When you delete a photo, it’s moved to the Recently Deleted folder. It’s not immediately erased from your device.
– Deleted photos stay in the Recently Deleted folder for 30 days.
– You can recover photos in Recently Deleted at any point during those 30 days. Just open the folder and hit Recover.
– After 30 days, the photos are permanently deleted and can no longer be recovered through Photos.
So in essence, the Recently Deleted folder acts like a safety net, giving you a month to undo any accidental photo deletions.
What Changed in iOS 16?
In iOS 16, Apple made two key changes related to the Recently Deleted recovery window:
1. Photos are now permanently deleted after 30 days instead of 40 days. The recovery period was reduced by 10 days.
2. The contents of Recently Deleted are removed immediately when you delete the Photos app. Previously, the folder contents remained available even if you deleted the app.
So while the 30 day recovery period still exists, Apple shortened it slightly in the latest iOS update. The folder is also now cleared immediately if you delete the Photos app.
Tips for Recovering Deleted Photos
To ensure you can take advantage of the 30 day recovery period, follow these tips:
– Check Recently Deleted regularly so you don’t miss the window to recover photos.
– If you might want a deleted photo later, recover it right away. Don’t wait until the end of the 30 days.
– Make sure you have enough iCloud storage space for backups. That provides another recovery option.
– For immediate recovery, don’t delete the Photos app. That also removes Recently Deleted.
– If you need to recover photos after 30 days, try using backup software or services. Or contact data recovery professionals.
– Turn on the setting to permanently delete images after recovery. This cleans up your storage over time.
Can You Recover After 30 Days?
Unfortunately, there is no built-in Photos recovery option after 30 days. Apple designed the 30 day window to give users a second chance while clearing storage over time.
However, there are a few potential options for recovering photos deleted longer than 30 days ago:
– **iCloud Backups:** If you have iCloud Photos enabled, check older backups for any photos that may have been permanently deleted from your device.
– **iTunes or Finder Backups:** Connect your iPhone to a computer and restore from an older backup archive that may contain the deleted photos.
– **Third-party Apps:** Some data recovery apps claim to recover lost iOS photos beyond 30 days. But results vary widely.
– **Professional Data Recovery:** Reputable data recovery services can sometimes recover deleted files by examining your device’s storage at a low level. But this can be expensive and isn’t guaranteed.
So while challenging, there are some limited options to recover photos after the 30 day limit. But the best approach is to act quickly within the 30 day window.
Does Deleting an App Delete Recovery Photos?
As mentioned previously, in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, deleting the Photos app now immediately removes all photos stored in the Recently Deleted folder.
So if you delete the Photos app itself from your device, either intentionally or accidentally, you instantly lose access to any photos sitting in Recently Deleted waiting to be permanently erased. The 30 day recovery window no longer applies.
This is a notable change from previous iOS versions where Recently Deleted persisted even without the Photos app installed. So be very careful about removing the Photos app if you have photos waiting to be recovered.
Can You Recover Photos After Factory Reset?
Performing a factory reset or erase all contents and settings on an iPhone or iPad will also delete photos stored in Recently Deleted. So after a factory reset, you can no longer use Recently Deleted to recover photos from the past 30 days.
A full factory reset wipes the device and returns it to factory conditions. All user data, including photos marked for deletion, will be permanently removed by a factory reset.
For the best chance of recovering photos after a factory reset, you’ll need a backup from before the reset. Otherwise, your options are limited for retrieving photos from the 30 day period prior to the reset.
Does Turning Off iCloud Photos Affect Recovery?
Disabling iCloud Photos on your iPhone does not affect the Recently Deleted recovery window. Turning off iCloud Photos stops syncing your camera roll across devices via iCloud. But it does not modify the local 30 day recovery period on your iPhone.
So even with iCloud Photos turned off, any photos you directly delete on your iPhone will continue to be stored in Recently Deleted for 30 days. The normal recovery window still applies.
Just be aware that disabling iCloud Photos means your local device backups will be more important. iCloud will no longer have all your photos, so you’ll rely on iTunes/Finder backups for any photos you delete and need to restore.
What About Other Apple Devices?
The 30 day Recently Deleted photo recovery period also generally applies to other Apple devices running iOS/iPadOS or macOS:
– **iPad:** Has the same 30 day recovery window for the Photos app. Deleting the app or factory reset removes Recently Deleted.
– **Mac with Photos app:** Stores deleted photos for 30 days in Recently Deleted. But deleting Photos on a Mac doesn’t affect recoverability.
– **iCloud.com:** Online iCloud Photos similarly retains deleted photos for 30 days before permanent removal.
So even if you delete photos across Apple devices, the same 30 day recovery rule typically applies. Act fast once you realize a photo is gone.
To summarize, here are the key points about recovering deleted photos on Apple devices:
– Apple still provides a 30 day recovery window for photos in iOS/iPadOS and macOS.
– Deleted photos move to the Recently Deleted folder where they remain recoverable for 30 days.
– In iOS 16, the recovery window shortened from 40 days to 30 days.
– Deleting the Photos app instantly removes Recently Deleted contents, eliminating the recovery period.
– After 30 days, photos are permanently deleted with no built-in recovery options.
– For recovery beyond 30 days, users need backups or third-party software and services.
So make sure you check Recently Deleted and recover valued photos quickly. Don’t delete the Photos app if you still have photos to recover. And maintain good backups for any photos you might need again in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the 30 day rule apply to videos too?
Yes, the 30 day recovery window also applies to deleted videos. Any photos or videos deleted from the Photos app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac will be stored in Recently Deleted for 30 days before permanent removal.
What about photos deleted from iCloud.com?
Photos deleted from iCloud.com via a web browser are also retained for 30 days in the Recently Deleted folder online. You can recover them by signing into iCloud.com and checking Recently Deleted.
Can you recover photos without backups or Recently Deleted?
It becomes very difficult to recover photos without a backup or access to Recently Deleted. Some third-party software or professional data recovery services may help. But there are no guaranteed options once photos are permanently deleted by iOS after 30 days. Maintaining good backups is critical.
What happens if you delete a photo from Recently Deleted?
When you manually delete a photo from Recently Deleted, it’s permanently erased at that point. It will not sit in Recently Deleted for an additional 30 days. So be cautious when manually deleting photos from Recently Deleted before the 30 day period ends.
How do you access Recently Deleted on iPhone and iPad?
To access Recently Deleted on an iOS device, open the Photos app and select the Albums tab at the bottom. Scroll down and tap on Recently Deleted to see your deleted photos.
Can you recover photos after a restore from backup?
If you restore your iPhone or iPad from a backup, you may be able to retrieve photos that had been permanently deleted before the restore point. But photos deleted after the backup will not be recoverable, as they were not included in the backup.
The Bottom Line
While the details have shifted slightly, Apple still provides a 30 day safety net to recover accidentally deleted photos using the Recently Deleted folder in Photos on iOS and macOS devices. Make sure to act within 30 days, maintain good backups, and avoid deleting the Photos app with photos still needing recovery. With some care, you should be able to resurrect mistakenly deleted photos.