How to find deleted photos on your phone

How to recover deleted files on Android (photos, pictures, messages, videos)

Have a nice day!

First of all, let me tell you right away that it is possible to recover deleted information (but no one will give you a 100% guarantee, including me).

Today’s issue raised in the article is quite multifaceted. The point is that the recovery can be quite different situations:

  • one had the data stored on the SD card;
  • from another. on the internal memory of the phone (tablet);
  • Some have Android version 5, and some have version 9;
  • Someone came to his senses immediately and began to recover, and someone only after six months.

I would also like to point out that the best recoverable photos are different. screenshots. text data (but the archives have. for example, there’s a much smaller chance).

Anyway in this article I will try to describe the different options and recovery methods for. I hope everyone can learn something useful for themselves.

Recover deleted Android photos from your device

Android Data Recovery will be your best option for recovering lost or deleted photos. In fact, you do not have many options. This can help you recover deleted or lost data (including photos) from your Android phones by scanning the storage hardware. Meanwhile, it offers high speed analysis and search with the ability to scan over 1,000 photos on your phone in seconds.

In addition to photos, you can also recover lost WhatsApp messages, contacts, videos, audio and documents from your Android devices. over, it supports most Android versions including Android 11 and most Android phone models.

Steps to recover deleted photos with Android Data Recovery:

find, deleted, photos, your, phone

Step 1: Download and install Android Data Recovery.

Step 2: Open the program and select Recover lost data.

Step 3: Connect your Android phone to your computer with the cable. If the USB debugging icon is displayed on your phone, tap Allow.

Assuming you don’t find the prompt, then you need to manually enable USB debugging:

1. Make developer settings available on your Android 2 phone. Enable USB debugging
Android 9 or later Go to Settings ⟶ About iPhone ⟶ Build Number. Press Build Number 7 times Keep hitting Develop options ⟶ USB Debugging
Android 8.0.0 and Android Go to Settings ⟶ System ⟶ About phones ⟶ Build number. Press Build Number 7 times
Android 4.2 to Android 7.1 Go to Settings ⟶ About phones ⟶ Build number. Press Build Number 7 times
Android 4.1 Go to Settings and initially see

Step 4: Then select Photos as the type of data you want to restore, select Start button.

Step 5: It will scan all the photos on your Android phone, including deleted photos.

Step 6: Select the ones you want and press the Recover button. A window prompt will appear, select a location for it and press the OK button.

Step 7: After that select Recover button, the deleted photos will be saved on your PC, then you can transfer them to your Android phones.

Once this is done, you will be able to view deleted photos on your Android phone.

How to recover photos using the application

If the laptop does not recognize the mobile device, special mobile utilities will help to recover photos from the internal memory of the phone. One of the most famous tools is DiskDigger. Its desktop agent allows you to recover files from a flash drive, hard drive and other media, but only the mobile version can find deleted photos on Android. You can download the tool from Google Play.

Find photos with DiskDigger

The work in the application is intuitive and simple, so that even the inexperienced user will not have any difficulties. Nevertheless, let’s consider a step-by-step instruction on how you can use it to recover lost media files.

  • First, open Play Market and install DiskDigger photo recovery.
  • Click the “Start simple image search” button and allow access to the data.
  • DiskDigger will scan the device memory and give you all the findings.
  • Tick the checkboxes and click “Restore”.
  • Choose where to send the recovered objects.

Please note that DiskDigger cannot search for photos on your Android device if you do not have root access. If you don’t know how to get administrator privileges, it’s better to restore through your computer.

Do-it-yourself restore

If you don’t want to pay for the recovery of data erased from the internal memory of the smartphone, you will need to do some manual operations, and then apply one of the programs for recovery from “normal” drives like hard drives. The idea of the procedure is that the device will connect to a PC in the mass storage mode, i.e. as a usual external drive.

We need adb (Android Debug Bridge), a utility for communicating with an Android device. It can be downloaded as part of the Platform Tools package from the official Android website. The following instruction assumes that you are using Windows, the same tips work for macOS or Linux.

Additionally, you have to prepare your smartphone by installing BusyBox, which is needed to execute some specific commands. After installing the program, run it, confirm root access permission and click Install.

find, deleted, photos, your, phone

You also can’t do without third-party recovery, TWRP or ClockworkMod. To learn how to install it on your gadget, visit the topic dedicated to the discussion or the firmware of a specific device.

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Once you have done all that, you can proceed to file recovery.

Preparing adb. Unzip Platform Tools to any folder on your computer, then open the Windows command line. The corresponding item is available in the “File” menu on Windows 10 or in the context menu. It opens by right-clicking on an empty space in the Explorer window with the Shift key held. To run a console program (like adb) from the Windows command line, just type its name (adb). If you use PowerShell, you must specify the relative path to start the application, e.g.\adb (don’t forget about it when executing the instruction).

Boot your smartphone in recovery mode. Reboot your smartphone or tablet to recovery mode. To do this, either use a combination of buttons (you can find it in the forum topic header dedicated to the device), or type the following command in the console:

Once you see the recovery menu on your gadget’s screen, type the following command in the console

Search for the desired partition. The first thing to do is to find out which block of the internal drive is mounted to the /data partition. To do this enter the following command into the console

/dev/block/mmcblk0p22 on /data type ext4 (rw,seclabel,relatime,resuid=10010,data=ordered)

From here you can see that the desired partition, where the data was deleted, is located at /dev/block/mmcblk0p22. You need to copy it into notepad.

Changing the configuration file. To be able to mount the internal memory of the smartphone to the PC in mass storage mode you need to make some changes to the configuration file of the smartphone.

Since the path to this file can be different in different gadgets, its location must first be found. This is done with the command

In our case the output of the command is as follows:

We are interested in the path where the f_mass_storage directory is located.

Now you have to run the following command in the console:

Echo partition_path_location_configuration_file/file

Please note that the path to the partition is added to the file with the name file located at the address you received with the previous command. We had to type the command

Echo /dev/block/mmcblk0p22 /sys/devices/virtual/android_usb/android0/f_mass_storage/lun/file

Remounting the partition. Unmount the partition containing user data with the command

To make the next step easier, go to the partition containing the configuration files you want. Our path will look like this:

Now you need to switch the USB off, switch the device from MTP to mass storage mode and switch the USB back on. Since the first action will break an adb connection, you need to do all of the above in one command:

Echo 0 enable Echo “mass_storage,adb” functions Echo 1 enable

Immediately after you press the enter key the adb-connection will be broken and in Explorer on the PC you will see the unformatted disk. This is because Windows does not support the ext-file systems used by Linux. However, this will not prevent the data recovery software from working.

If something goes wrong, just reboot your smartphone. All the changes you made under this instruction in the recovery mode are temporary and will be erased at the first reboot of the gadget.

File recovery. The instructions that follow are no different from those for recovering files from a normal disk. For this purpose you can try one or several free programs. When testing, we went through many applications, and the most files managed to find R.Saver, Pandora Recovery and Recuva. Not only did they cope with data recovery, but they were also as easy to use as possible. Nevertheless, we got the best results only with the paid program R-Studio, so it is up to you to choose the final tool.

Selecting a partition to recover in Pandora Recovery

The tree of deleted files obtained in Pandora Recovery

If the tool you have chosen, like Pandora Recovery, presents deleted files in a tree view, you will most likely find them at the path /media/0/. Also remember that the probability of successful data recovery depends on many factors, first of all. on the degree of fragmentation of the deleted files and whether they were overwritten. In addition, different applications use different algorithms to recover information. Consequently, it is not unreasonable to try offers from several developers in order to know which program is best suited to a specific situation.

Simple recovery of recently deleted photos

To begin with. about the easiest methods to recover deleted photos from Android phone, which many novice users forget or just do not know, they do not always help, but can also work. For starters, two very simple points.

  • When we take a photo on Android, it is saved in the internal memory of the phone or on the memory card in the DCIM folder.
  • often than not, the average user browses and deletes photos not with the help of file managers, but with the built-in applications Gallery or Photos (Google Photos).
  • When using the Google Photos app, photos are usually synced with your Google Account, meaning they are automatically uploaded to the Internet and are not only stored on your device. Often the user is not aware that synchronization is enabled.
  • Many cloud service applications (OneDrive, Yandex, and so on).Disk and others) offer to enable photo synchronization when you install it and always upload to the cloud storage once enabled.
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And now about how it can help us recover deleted ones

The methods described in this part of the manual may seem obvious to some, but in my experience a lot of people forget about them.

Make sure that Android photos are saved automatically to the cloud

So now you know how to recover deleted pictures. But all the above ways usually do not work if a week or even longer has passed after deleting the photo. So we advise you to play it safe.

Do the cloud synchronization, in this case the photos will be regularly sent to a special service. This is a very useful function because it saves your pictures in case of damage or loss of your smartphone. You might have drowned your phone in the sea, for example.

Without the cloud, you would have lost all the photos that were in the memory of the device. And some Dropbox or Google Photos save images on their servers, so that you can download them to your computer or other device. And the simple restoration of photos in the case of the “cloud” is simplified. you definitely do not need the root-right.

There are many cloud services, which we have already told you about. But let’s go over it again. The most popular are the following services:

How cloud saving photos works

Most of the time, a cloud service client is designed to save all sorts of files. That is, you can upload to the cloud storage photos, music, documents and any archives. The developers of such programs have implemented a great feature.

It’s called “Synchronize Photos.”. If you activate it, then after each use of the camera, fresh pictures and even videos will fly to the “cloud”. At the same time, such applications most often do not carry out synchronization, if the battery level is low enough. And in the cloud client settings you can enable uploading photos only via Wi-Fi.

Each cloud client has its own specifics. And none of them has an infinite amount of storage. Dropbox provides the least amount of gigabytes. Most of all. OneDrive, although this service in our country for some reason has low popularity.

But the best way to sync images is with Google Photos. This is where the largest number of settings are contained. Also this service knows how to remind from time to time about old photos, making you a kind of excursion into history.

Using cloud services is very simple. First you need to download the app. Then you sign up for an account if you haven’t got one yet (otherwise, just enter your username and password). And then you will need to activate the synchronization of photos in the program settings. Often you will not even need to do this. the corresponding request will appear after you have created the first picture, you will only need to agree to synchronize the folder with the pictures.

Your photos are stored in the cloud until you delete them. It turns out that you can restore them at any time. But it should be understood that on the service itself the deletion of the file is complete. there is no way to return something through other applications. However, some “clouds” first place the file in the “Trash”, where it is stored for about one week.

Useful tips for recovering photos on Android using a computer

If you are going to recover files with a computer, you need to activate the item “USB debugging”. It is located in “Settings”, in the “For Developers” section. If the function is not activated, the computer program simply cannot access the entire file system of the smartphone.

You should only think about getting root access if you do not use Sberbank Online or any other bank clients. Such applications detect the presence of ROOT access, refusing to work. Made for client security.

It is not necessary to keep the cloud client on your smartphone. You can install it on your computer. In this case the photos are sent to the “cloud” after each USB connection.

The easiest way to recover photos from a memory card is to use the appropriate computer program and card reader. In this case you eliminate the limitation of your smartphone operating system.

Why don’t store important photos on your device

Surely you have had to restore deleted files on your hard drive before. And I am sure that in most cases you have succeeded. If the disk is faultless and the file is not overwritten, the probability of successful recovery is close to 95-100%. This fact relaxes users a little and sends them into a deep sleep, thinking that recovering deleted data on their mobile devices is as easy as on their PCs. But that’s not the case.

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Flash memory of a modern smartphone does not work like a hard drive. When the user deletes files, the drive marks the storage location as unused and starts treating the data as erased. When this memory block is accessed, the drive’s controller returns zeros even if the data still physically exists. At this stage recovery is possible.

However, if a file is marked as deleted, the controller can physically erase it at any time. To do so, the Android operating system, since version 4.3, there is a built-in FSTRIM function, an analogue of TRIM, which is used to clean up SSDs. The function is activated automatically about once a day and you don’t know when it’s time. Data recovery is impossible after FSTRIM.

  • Chances of successful data recovery from Android mobile device memory are lower than from hard drive.
  • The less time has passed since deletion of a file, the higher is the chance to restore it.
  • It is very seldom that you can restore a file 24 hours after its deletion. And if you can, it is usually only from a cached copy or a thumbnail, i.e. in a lower quality than the original.

Still, you should not give up in advance if the photos you want were deleted a long time ago. Below we will look at several free applications from Google Play for recovery of image files, which have helped a lot of people.

How to restore photos on Android after deletion


When you create a photo on your smartphone it is saved to the internal memory or SD card. Most often user deletes files without using file manager. It uses “Gallery” or Google Photos applications. In the second case, images are synchronized with your Google account, automatically uploading to the cloud.

Restore photo from Recycle Bin

After deleting an image from the “Gallery” app. Find Trash. For example, on Honor phone it is the “Recently deleted” item.

The Photos app

This is a built-in Google app. Located (depending on the model) in the “Gallery” app. Open it. The photos uploaded to the cloud will be displayed. Find “Trash”. After deleting, images are stored in it for sixty days. Recover them.

If you lose your smartphone, or reset it to factory settings with a Google Account, go to https://photos with your Sign in to see your deleted photos from your phone.

Specialized software

To restore deleted files on your phone, many utilities require root rights (to open the system directories). It is not recommended to use such applications. OS hacking leads to device malfunction. So let’s take a look at programs that do not require root rights.

DiskDigger Photo recovery

Utility works with smartphone memory and SD card. Recovers data from Dropbox and Google Drive.

How to recover photos with Photo Recovery

The application uses two search algorithms:

Wait for the program to analyze and recover files.

Restore via computer

If the files were overwritten, or there was a reset, you won’t be able to recover your photos using the above methods. What to do? Connect your smartphone to PC. Turn on the debugging mode on your phone. Found in the settings under “Developer Options”. Install specialized software.


Go to: Download the utility on your PC. Install and run the program. Connect your smartphone to PC with USB cable. Application will identify your phone. Select the type of files and save location.

Tenorshare Data Recovery

Feature of the app. works with all Android devices. Program is free, compatible with all versions of Windows. Launch the offer, do the analysis, select the “Photo” group, restore the desired image.

Use the DiskDigger photo recovery app

Google Play store has a huge number of applications for file recovery, but we choose DiskDigger photo recovery as it is ideal for photo recovery.

The app offers you two modes to search for deleted files:

  • Basic scan: you can recover photos even if your phone is not rooted. Select the “Start a simple image search” option and the recovery process will start immediately. After the search for deleted images is over, mark the photos you want and click “Recover”. Then you only need to choose where to save your photos.
  • Full verification: with this method you can recover files only if your device is rooted. Since this option is for rooted devices, you can choose which storage or partition you want to scan. Next, you need to select the types of files you want to find. Once the scan is complete you need to select the files you want and confirm the restore using the appropriate option. After doing all these steps, you will be able to save your files wherever you want.

That’s all, now you know how to recover deleted photos on your Android device.

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