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3 min read 100 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. 

Maybe you've reached this article as a result of a frantic search after going 'Delete, delete, delete...oh no!' in your gallery. Don't worry, it's not too late! If you're just morbidly curious about what might happen to your photos, then we can also advise you on how to back them up so that you never have to experience this panic again.

Jump to:

How to recover deleted photos with an app

First, head to the Play Store and grab DiskDigger photo recovery and then run the app.  There are a few apps on the Play Store that claim to recover deleted photos, but after our investigation, DiskDigger was not only more reliable, but was less intrusive when it came to serving up ads, too.

It's helpful, once you have the app, to then 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.

Note: On a non-rooted device, DiskDigger is limited to recovering images from your thumbnail caches, which means that the images will likely be lower-quality than the original photos or videos. Recovering the full-resolution original versions of the photos or videos is only possible by rooting your device. If you don't know how to root your phone, then refer to our complete guide on how to root Android to get started.

If you've recently deleted your photos, DiskDigger should be able to find those photos, and you'll be given the option of whether to restore them to a folder on your device, or back up to a cloud service.

diskdigscreen
DiskDigger managed to find and restore deleted photos in our test. / © AndroidPIT (screenshot)

At first, it didn't look like DiskDigger could find our photos, but a quick dip into its settings and unchecking the minimum file size factor revealed our deleted pics. We should also note at this point that if you want to recover your photos, you will need the Pro version of the app, which is available below.

Once you've recovered your photos, you'll want to make sure this never happens again. And we all know prevention is better than the cure.

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. It 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.

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

100 comments

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  • I'm only interested in restoring data.


  • I would just like to ask, is the difference between using DiskDigger on an unrooted phone vs a rooted phone only the quality of the pictures? Or will it also affect what pictures will be recovered?


  • Failed to mention you have to buy the pro version to regain the photos. The free version only finds them but with no recovery possible.


  • Ok, so what if my phone is in my hand and I don't want to download an app! This article was click bait. Im so glad I have an iPhone! Now I need to convert my parents! I was checking for my dad and this looked like a good info spot....ha. I was fooled.


  • Thanks for your information


  • 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.


  • thanks


  • "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...


  • 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.


  • That app is good 4 nothing. Tested!


  • 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


  • It is really helpful. I appreciate your recommendation.


  • 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


  • 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%


  • Nowdays, high tech makes Android phone as a right tool to capture the details of life. And photo loss issues can not be avoided. With such way, we can easily recover lost photos on android phone. So helpful.


  • I want to recommend this app "recover deleted photos now" in google play it can recover deleted photos in your android devise


  • NICE


  • Wendy Jun 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I dont have a pc or laptop at home. Pls advice how could i retrieve my precious pix. Thx


  • Brian May 24, 2016 Link to comment

    What time to need for the last process "DOWNLOADING"?


  • I accidentally deleted photos on my Samsung Galaxy S6 and Gihosoft Free Android Recovery helped me to retrieve them back.


  • buena


  • Zeltyc May 14, 2016 Link to comment

    I encounter a problem in which Dr.Fone was, at 90% copleted analize, saying to me that my phone was being rebooted... but it didn't do nothing. But i managed to reboot it manualy and then dr.fone re-rebooted it automatically and now everything is alright!


  • I save mine to Google drive


  • Thank You, this is informative!


  • I'm using a Mac and trying to recover images from Android phone, but Dr Fone is asking me to connect my "iOS" device...


  • With Dr Fone, Is it actually undeleted or recovered ? I mean, do you get your photos back to the original folder, with original date (create date on device)?
    Considering pictures stored in the download folder, disappeared from the android gallery app, do you get back picture metadatas (tags, notes, geolocation, category, title) you stored previously?


  • I tried the Dr.Fone app and it seems to be recovering deleted files from the computer I am using instead of my phone. What could be the problem?


  • once i tried to recovery the images deleted in gallery but failed due to half procedure followed.
    when i tried with second time i could not proceed with recovery files. since i could not proceed after usb debugging.
    plz help me in this regard.

    thanking you


  • I use Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime and this program does not work for my phone :(
    I accidentally deleted a folder instead of 1 image and that folder had some very important images, idk how to get it back.


  • You have to pay to recover the photos on all these apps. Only the app download and scanning is free. Recovery is about $50 minimum so only worth it for BIG deletions. They should all be a bit more transparent on pricing.


  • I lost my pics n videos accidentaly.... is it possible to recover them... i havnt created any backup... n moreover the data was in phone memory... not in sd card.. wat to do


  • Also, the other app that is advertised here in a number of comments that are probably from parties with a vested interest (since they also don't mention a cost, and talk about how easy and great the app is) is also not free. In that case, you see the words "Free Download" which are designed to make the uninitiated think the software is free. Almost all software is free to download. If it's commercial software you have to pay for the license. Advertising free download is like advertising Fat Free raisins. It's true but of trivial significance.


  • This software is not free, though the page is carefully designed to make you not notice that. Just wanted to make sure people know that. I'm not against paid software. I'm a software developer myself and I know what it takes to write complex software like this. But hiding that fact until your lost data is a click away and a fairly high price is then revealed is a dark pattern.


  • Hi there... I am trying to recover my photos using the Dr Fone software but it keeps telling me I need to root my phone. I have installed Kingo Root and it keeps failing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


  • Does Dr.Fone roots the phone during the process ? I have a Sony Xperia Z3 running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 and the program has said me that it will install a One-Click-Root method on my phone. Thank you for your future support and for this tutorial :) .


  • Hi I am using the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and this program doesn't have the Note 5 listed when I connected my phone to my laptop. I have written to Dr. Fone but no reply even after 3 days. Please advise if there are other apps that support the Note 5 for photo recovery. Thank you


  • The scan completes, it shows that there a 6 pics in the Galllery (on the left hand side), but the main window shows nothing other than the default pic in the middle of the screen of a the memory card. How do I look at/recover the 6 pics ? SO odd.


  • Dr.Fone scanned call pictures but when i pressed recover then a box appear that your copy of software is not registered, recover files (x) and free lifetimes updates (x) .. plz help me out how to recover .. Im using free trial of Dr.Fone.


  • OMG THANKS SO MUCH I SWEAR. my phone is rooted so i was able to get it on the app. i had accidentally clicked a whole folder with pictures of my family and a lot of my baby brother as he grew up i was so upset and now i got them back


  • its awesome but its showing photos i never ever have in my phone, for example its showing me everyone else's facebook photos,why????


  • RAJ Jan 3, 2016 Link to comment

    i have mistakenly deleted reset my mobile and writes full memory again with another data.can i restore the old data that i deleted during reset >


  • I don't what happened but I lost the photos in my gallery. I tried to restart my phone thinking that maybe I can recover it. But when I read the instructions above saying Act Fast and my phone needs to be connected to a pc, but I don't have a pc now. Can I still be able to do the instructions above the following day and restore my pictures? Please help. Thanks!


  • Thanks for sharing, there're many data recover apps could recover lost photos from mobile phone, and almost very easy to use.


  • nisha Nov 25, 2015 Link to comment

    heyy , tried many times I have a Motorola g2 please can anybdody refer any other recovery app to recover lost photos other than this


  • nisha Nov 25, 2015 Link to comment

    hello,
    m trying to recover my data using dr. fone but each time its trying to analyse my phone and the search reaches 7% my phone switches off inspite of full battery charge..... please help do not understand y this is happenin... tried to do this many times each time the same thing happens.


  • Can I replace my old nexus 5's battery with new nexus 5 battery? Is that technically possible??


  • You can use the third party software recover deleted photos from Android phone. Through Softonic website find some great software, such as search "doctor for android" Apps to get more helpful sources! Hope this helps!


  • I use some professional tools recover deleted photos on android, you can find some good tools by Google.


  • hi i am using version 6 muskmelon can still use this because while trying to connect the mobile i cant able to connect the devices in this app


  • Hye. I accidentally deleted my graduation pictures yesterday. so,i tried some software to recover my pictures.. Bt they keep on telling either USB debugging is disable or there is no root to continue. I am using Samsung S6. Is there any chance i can get my pictures back?


  • 'it is not actually deleted until something has been written over it in the device's memory.'
    I wish I've checked this earlier :( I didn't actually detele anything, my phone erased every single picture from my SD card and other files, over 12GB deleted. I wish I knew if there's a way to know if my phone is failing of is it my SD Card.


  • I can't enable USB storage on my phone. I can't find the option that will enable to connect my phone to my computer. What should I do?


  • I tried to recover the data loss but my phone keeps closing..What can I do?


  • "All that is initially deleted is the index that points to where the data starts in your memory"

    Huh?


  • i did not know that you can do that


    • you can recover your deleted photos on smarphone easily with this app "recover deleted photos now appshmobile" in google play


  • Undoubtedly, some messages are of vital meaning to us. If you accidental delete some SMS you still need, it may cause some unnecessary trouble in your work or life. Well, don't be desperate. Data Recovery for Android can recover deleted text messages from Android phone,
    android-iphone-recovery.com/


  • I've got root and DiskDigger undelete (free version) worked for me. Loading of recovered items though depends on the size of the storage space.


  • Dr Fone is only free to scan. You have to buy it to recover.


  • I've lost some very important files after having to do a factory reset. The photos were supposed to be backed up, but turns out it never backed anything up so everything is just lost. Anyway, I tried this and it did not work. Says something about rooting my phone. Please HELP!!!!


  • I have a blackberry q10 will this work for me? I can't find my build number to click on help please


  • First gripe with Nexus 6. Stupid swipe to delete option on photos. Just lost about a dozen. And keeping the undo option live for 1ms is pretty useless. Photographs are IMPORTANT and need more protection from accidents.


  • I have a S5. My rebooted somehow. I have my contacts, but lost my photos, videos & music that was stored on my micro sd. Now when i installed my sd card in a pc or back in the phone, it prompts for me to format. Any way of recovering any of the files off it?


  • People usually like to store massive files on their Samsung phones. How to Recover Android Contacts? What if all your files lost due to formatting, accidentally deleting, ROM flashing or other unknown reasons? How to Recover deleted photos on Android? Can your important files be restored? How to retrieve my contacts, messages, videos, music, etc.? How to Recover messages from Samsung Now let's try Samsung Data Recovery. It's a wonderful Data Recovery tool which can scan your Samsung for lost file and save them on your computer. In addition, you are allowed to preview and backup your deleted data. What's more, it's 100% safe and no personal info leaking.


  • Good Article!


  • My Brother accidentally formated my phone.I lost all my precious photos which I have been collecting them for about a year now.Can this really help me to recover my memories?


  • I am not seeing 5 & 6 in the above article and my phone keeps on turning on and of (Galaxy note 2)

    Plus the analysing fails and it is trying alternatives

    Am I missing something?


  • rockyy Jun 24, 2015 Link to comment

    guys....please help me...i had deleted one necessery video 8 months ago..is there any way to recover it? my phone is s4 mini


  • I even heard the same wherein people saying that Dr. Fone works really work for them. I just tried it once for recovering my deleted contact. Steps listed here are pretty much clear and nice.
    Thanks for the share


  •   4
    Deactivated Account Jun 3, 2015 Link to comment

    Data recovery ,you need some application to help. From google ,android users can search a number of tool.

    Deactivated Account


  • please please i want heip .. yesterday i sellected all my photos on my mobile sony expiria z1 and i pressed delete now i want to recover them .. i used Dr.fone it works just 2 spests one and two from 3rd step it show this
    currently data recovery from your device can not be supported .if you sill want to recover your data , please root your device first .
    please what can i do? i root the USB cable and i tried again but its same please some one can help me iam really tired about it i want to recover my photos its very important for me ..
    i wait you


  • Its asking to one touch root access :o


  • Viper May 19, 2015 Link to comment

    Did find one after all em.dev at outlookcom for help as this site doesn't let me post it. Tenor share PRO


  • Viper May 19, 2015 Link to comment

    I had a mild success with FonePaw on iOS, but for rooted Androids... I can't find one working for the love of almighty.


  • cherry Apr 27, 2015 Link to comment

    I recommend an app called green gallery to organize your photo gallery. You can get the deleted photos back though the help of green gallery. It can also help you take control of sensitive photos.really awesome one!


  • Sadly none of the mentioned solution's worked. ::(. You can always depend on Google Services to help you along. NOT Software. I tried Android Photo Recovery(which happens to be the same software as the above mentioned software Dr. Fone) as suggested by Tennor. When he didn't work, I tried MobiKin Doctor for Android as suggested by TimoLiu and finally I tried HData Recovery as suggested by shuiguobaobei. So I'm just gonna depend on Google Photos to have backed up auto for me. Good post thou. hehe


  • it bricks your phone if its already rooted


  •   3
    Deactivated Account Dec 14, 2014 Link to comment

    DON'T use the phone till you get them recovered. Some computer stores do this, as do some phone stores. Your local provider should be able to undelete them for you, and there may well be a section in the detailed technical manual on the manufacturer's website.

    ANY use of the phone runs the risk of overwriting the deleted files, but most expecially ANY storage activity. They are not actually erased at this point - just removed from the directory so the phone does ot know they exist, and can be recovered if not over-written by later activity.

    Calling the manufacturer help number may work too, if you can interpret their language.

    There are also a number of sites with how-to's on the web:
    **admin edit: external links are forbidden**


  • I tried DrPhone... NOTHING! ;-(

    Here's what worked for me...
    I reset my phone for other reasons, leaving unchecked the "Erase all data" checkboxes.
    I did a backup/restore with HTC Sync Master (I don't think that had anything to do with it, but thought I'd mention it. Not happy with those results.)
    After that, I was messing around and clicked on "Gallery" app and lo and behold... ALL my pictures were back from the dead! ;-)))

    Give it a try as a last resort, or even as a first resort! As always YMMV.


  • lol, im not worried, i have 'icare data recovery' just have to recover it like a normal drive


  • The free version will let you see what you can recover, but you have to buy the app to actually recover it. :(


  • if I have reset my phone can I still get the images back ?