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4 min read 94 comments

How to recover deleted photos on Android

If you've ever deleted a photo album by mistake or had your smartphone accidentally wipe everything from your gallery, then you know that particular variety of ''bottomless pit in your gut'' feeling. Never fear, your lost photos are not really lost at all. We'll show you just how easy it is to recover photos on Android. There's only one thing to remember: act fast. 


How to recover lost photos on Android

First of all: turn off Wi-Fi and data connections on your phone. The reason to do this is that when data is deleted, whether photos, music or documents, it is not actually deleted until something has been written over it in the device's memory.

All that is initially deleted is the index that points to where the data starts in your memory, so as long as you can find that point again, you can get your deleted pictures back. If that new data gets written over the top of where your lost pictures are, they will be lost forever. A poorly-timed update can be disastrous.

Note: this process requires root privileges on your phone.

1. Download a free program called Dr.Fone for Android by Wondershare (available for Mac or PC) on to your computer. There are other programs available, but we've always had good results with Dr.Fone.

2. Install the program, launch it and register. You'll see the screen below.

androidpit wonderfone recover photos 1
Connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable. / © AndroidPIT / © Wondershare

3. Connect your smartphone to your computer with a USB cable.

You need to have USB debugging enabled on your smartphone for this process to work. If you don't, simply go to your Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number repeatedly until the notification appears, telling you that Developer Options have been enabled.

Back in your main Settings screen, you'll see Developer Options down near the bottom. Scroll through the settings until you see USB Debugging and check the box beside it. You'll see a notification at the bottom of the Dr.Fone screen saying that USB Debugging is being opened.

For devices running Android Lollipop, you will need to authorize the PC via the prompt that will appear on your phone. 

androidpit usb debugging teaser cropped
USB debugging must be enabled for data recovery to work. / © AndroidPIT


4. Once Dr.Fone for Android has made the connection to your smartphone, you'll be able to select from the following categories of deleted files. We're only after photos, but if you've lost more than that you can tick as many categories as you like.

androidpit wonderfone recover photos 3
Most recovery programs can save a whole variety of important data. / © AndroidPIT / Wondershare

5. The next step asks you to scan for deleted files or all files. If you're after a quick recovery of your lost pictures to set your mind at rest, take the 'Deleted files' option. You'll need to accept the RSA key prompt on your smartphone (check 'Always accept' to make it easier), making the connection between the two devices secure and, of course, grant Superuser permission when prompted.

6. One this is done, Dr.Fone will analyze your phone and reboot it. If you receive a message on your PC to say your phone has connected again, ignore it; just let Dr.Fone do its thing. Any prompts on your phone that request permissions for Dr.Fone should be granted.

androidpit wonderfone recover photos 7
Let the program scan your device for current and deleted files. / © AndroidPIT / Wondershare

7. Once Dr.Fone has finished analyzing your phone you'll get the scan results screen where you can check the boxes for the photos (or other files, as you can see below, depending which file types you selected earlier) that you want to save, then hit Recover and you're golden.

androidpit wonderfone recover photos 8
Simply choose the files you want to save and hit recover. / © AndroidPIT / Wondershare

8. If you've made it this far you've hopefully learned a valuable lesson and will make regular copies of your smartphone photos from now on. Don't worry, we have plenty of tutorials on the site for that too.

How to back up your photos on Android

Now that we've explained how to recover deleted photos on Android, the next step is to prevent this situation from happening again. To do this, we recommend using an app such as Google Photos. This offers unlimited photo storage (so long as the files aren't too large) and the backup function is easy to set up.

Once you've installed the app just go to its Settings, then Backup & sync, and you can choose how often – and by which method – you wish to backup your photos. For a complete guide on how to use Google photos, hit the link.

Google Photos Install on Google Play

Have you had any disastrous lost data accidents before? What did you do to recover deleted photos on Android? Tell us in the comments.



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  • Yes, I can't agree with you more about act fast. If you still want to get back the deleted data from your Android phone, move fast and stop using your phone. This can avoid new data overwrites the deleted files on your phone. Wondershare Dr. Fone for Android is one of the best data recovery programs you can download from the internet. It requires a rooted Anddroid phone. So it can scan the phone's internal memory and SD card to find the deleted photos and other data for you. You have to admit that it is the only way to get back deleted data from Android phone without backup. So it's really important to back up your phone regularly at least once a week.

  • thenext 1 month ago Link to comment


  • "Any prompts on your phone that request permissions for Dr.Fone should be granted."
    Now why don't I like the sound of that? I just installed the free version and Dr.Fone is telling me it wants to ROOT my device! This is quite a stretch of trust, in my opinion.
    And even if I grant permission, I don't get to recover any file without having to pay $ 60 first. I feel like I'm in a tight spot...

  • Werf Abb 3 months ago Link to comment

    I also recommend MobiKin Doctor for Android, it is able to recover photos from Android phone and SD card.

  • The program this guide recommends Hard Bricked my S8+
    Im not saying its the program or guides fault, but be aware it can happen anyone.

  • If you store photos in SD card instead of internal storage, i would recommend RePicvid Free Photo Recovery to restore deleted pictures.

  • sandman V Mar 13, 2017 Link to comment

    That app is good 4 nothing. Tested!

  • PakRayon Jan 17, 2017 Link to comment

    I get most deleted photos with original size using iReparo for Android, though not all. The key is stop saving more new data, and use the app soon.

  • Please Guys and Girls
    Couls someone confirm that he already get the deleted photos with original size - not resized i mean

  • AFT World Dec 25, 2016 Link to comment

    It is really helpful. I appreciate your recommendation.

  • Hejfdert Dec 11, 2016 Link to comment

    As long as you data was not covered on the phone , you can using any recovery tools to scan the phone to recover lost images ,

  • It's NOT FREE. It will give you a preview of your photos, but to actually recover them you have to pay $50. A waste of time unless you have $50 you want to let go. If so, I have some real estate I want to sell you....... ;-)

  • Don't bother with this.
    Like one of the other people said it was stuck on 90%. Wasted 30mins of my time. Tw@ts

  • Mark Uka Aug 15, 2016 Link to comment

    I want to recommend this app "Photo Recovery Deleted Photos" in google play , it can recover deleted photos in your android devise easly .

    • it works thank you mark but its not easy to find you app its in 21th class

    • Mark who is the developer of this app I entered "Photo Recovery Deleted Photos" just as you have it in your above comment and a host of apps appeared. Which app is it??????

    • I tried the app, but only recovered duplicate photos from my whatsapp and picsart.. Any advise?

  • Don't bother. I downloaded this app. It will find deleted items for you, but you HAVE TO PAY TO RECOVER ANYTHING. They say this is a "free trial". That's a lie.

  • Should i pay anything for this procedure?
    Because i tried this and the procedure stucked to 90%

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