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Lost your data? Here's how you can recover it, rooted or not

Lost your data? Here's how you can recover it, rooted or not

We've all done it: accidentally deleted photos, videos or files by accident. But, before you say goodbye to it for good, there are ways to recover your data and get back your precious files. In this article, we'll guide you through how you can do that.

Don't panic! Here's how to recover your lost data 

Time is always of the essence though: do not save anything else to your device or switch it off. First, check your backups (such as those made automatically by Google) to see if your lost data is there. If not, then its time to get to work, and fast. Turn off your internet connection so that no automatic updates occur before you've had a chance to recover your lost data.

Use a PC program

Your best bet to recover deleted files that were stored on a microSD card is a PC program. There are plently of them online and your success with each may vary. We recommend trying Recuva. Many users report successfully recovering their files with it and we were able to get the five photos we deleted for our test too. The software is easy to use and offers both a free and relatively low-cost version professional version for $19.95. For our experiment, we used the free version.

recuvascreen
You don't need to be tech-savvy to use Recuva. / © AndroidPIT

First, connect plug in your microSD card into your PC or laptop. You might need a microSD to SD adapter to do so. Next, open Recuva. The program has a wizard interface, which is pretty self-explanatory. First, a prompt will ask you what type of file you are trying to recover - pictures, videos, text files, etc. If you use the professional version, you will also be able to create a disk image first and recover from it. Next, you will be asked where the program should look for the lost data. Simply select your microSD and start the process. If or when the program finds your files, check if they are usable on your PC first, since they can become corrupted.

We must note, however, that Recuva is usually not able to detect Android smartphones as removable drives. Restoring files deleted from your device's internal memory is therefore not likely using this software. There is still hope if your phone is rooted, however. In that case you can simply install a mass storage enabler app. After enabling it, Recuva will be able to detect and scan your phone.

Back up

You never know what might go wrong with your smartphone, so backing up is essential if you don't want to lose any data. After all, prevention is the best cure. The simplest method for backing up your photos and videos is simply making copies of them on both your PC and an external hard drive if you have one. Once you've connected your phone to your computer and allowed file transfers, you can usually find media in the DCIM folder of your smartphone.

For more advanced tips and tricks on how to back up everything else, check out our guide to backing up anything:

Did you manage to get your lost files back? Let us know what worked for you in the comments below.

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108 comments

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  • I've sold my old phone to get extra money so i could buy a new one. So I manually deleted all my files then factory reset is it still possible to recover it? And I know that deleted file are kept in internal storage so it could be recovered and those file are overwriten when we add new files. I like to that a file can be still be recovered after weeks? I'm paranoid that some might recover those files.


  • Hello, I am from Ethiopia. I recently got a handle down phone of a family member. which I reset and used. only to find out now that it had some very important data on it. I don't mind losing my data but is there any way to get it back?


  • Elisa 8 months ago Link to comment

    Hello,
    I am looking for a data recovery programm for my lost notes/memos (only text) from my Samsung Galaxy A5. Is there anything I can do without root access? Because root always failed.
    Perfectly would be free software or something where I definitly get my money back, if it doesn't work (read so often, that they didn't pay in the end). With MobiKin I didn't find the option to recover memo-files.

    Thanks a lot


  • Mav-Eric 10 months ago Link to comment

    (I made this account specifically to make this comment.)
    This software "MobiKin Doctor for Android (Windows Version)" installs in windows and when you connect your phone it installs their app on your phone!
    It gives no warning for this.
    This risks overwriting the deleted files that one is trying to recover.
    Very poor choice for deleted file recovery.
    Also it does not find deleted files. It only found files that were not deleted.


    • We checked with MobiKin about this, and while it's true that the app installs on the phone, they insist it will not overwrite the deleted files. If you didn't find the files you wanted try turning on usb mass storage on your phone before re-running the program. You can also contract MobiKin directly about it by emailing support@mobikin.com if you still have any problems.


      • I have a Motorola G5+. It' not the USB issue. That feature is active, and must be for any access to files remotely.
        It turns out that my particular phone's deleted files are somehow not accessible to these types of recovery programs.
        I posted on the official Lenovo site with this issue. The only reply indicated that it is not possible to recover deleted files.
        And of course since they are the makers of the motorola software, they won't discuss the root option.
        It seems rooting is the only option. I was able to find instructions on developer sites for my exact model. Unfortunately they are very complex and involve downloading multiple custom coded programs for the task.
        I've had some bad experiences with rooting, so it seems I'm out of luck.
        Thanks for your reply.


  • Try looking at your providers on line billing account, surprising how much info is stored, if not then give them a ring, you may possibly have to make a freedom of information request but they will have stored the data you have lost for sure. They have to by law.


  • Are there any websites that root your phone for you? I've seen OneClickRoot and Perfectroot but not sure about those. I really want my phone rooted so I can recover my photos.


  • I have a Samsung Note 4 with a completely inoperable shattered screen. The phone still rings, and texts are heard, but cannot be seen. The touch screen is non-responsive....and the phone is PIN-Locked... is there any hope of getting the content off of the internal storage? I've tried searching every site..most sites say you can do this if it's "pattern-locked", but I've seen nothing about being able to unlock a pin-locked phone, so that I can transfer the content to my computer or another phone (note 5) ...If so, please dumb it down a little. I'm not super-techy, but I know enough to be able to understand most of what's going on in this forum lol
    Also, more specifically I hope to get my sms's, pics on internal drive, and contacts from this phone....
    Thank you in advance... !!


  • i do backups monthly and i dont care if anything happens to the data on my smartphone


  • Hi,

    I have tried many software for my LG K10. I enabled developer options and usb debugging as requested.
    I used all the following software:
    Android Recovery, Dr Fon, Fonelab, Jihosoft Android Recovery, Recuva

    And none of them worked! I have over 600 photos deleted in the phone and I am trying all these software in a matter of hours.

    Please asking for your help, desperately needing your advice.


    • Goonz Dec 24, 2016 Link to comment

      Forget all those PC based software.

      Install one of the following android apps, and resolve your problem ..
      - DiskDigger (doesn't need root for basic scan for photos and such)
      - Dumpster (doesn't need root, but only sees stuff deleted after it was installed .. rather useless .. LOL)
      - GT Data Recovery (needs rooted)
      - HexaMob (needs root)
      There are others too ..

      Unlike the PC based software, these will do basic recovery without requiring that you pay first. Also, some of them do not require your device to be rooted.

      I recommend DiskDigger in particular because it has saved my arse a good few times now and I eventually purchased it.


      • Dumbest thing to do when wanting to recover files from a device is install anything on the device, you are trying to preserve your data, not write over it.


      • So glad to come across your comment. Thanks a million! You saved me a lot of money. Recovered all my photos for free - still purchased DiskDigger though, as a show of support.


    • Hi were you able to recover your stuff and if yes can you help me please....I'm really sad the same happened with me


  • hi i tried to download the dr fone for android recovery whenever it scans it will crash
    plz help me
    thank you


  • I have found nothing on recovery of my texts. I'm extremely frustrated.


  • Well I just tried both for a Galaxy S6, and both required root in order to work so I guess the title is a bit misleading :(


  • I didn't need any of that. I already had ASUS File Manager installed on my Wileyfox and at the bottom of the opening page is a link to Recycle Bin, which lets you see and restore deleted files without root access.


  • is there a way to recover Android phone if I accidentally wiped it from find my Android samsung.com exactly how it was set up and everything or is it gone


  • using google/motorola Nexus 6 the program Mobikin only shows that all that can be undeleted are contacts and text messages of which there are none that can be recovered... i want to un delete videos and it dosnt show that as an option so MOBIKIN does not work and is useless.


    • Hello Gergory,
      could you be more specific? Is the programm simply not showing the photos or is there an error message?

      We tried it here in the office and it worked fine.


  • Eric Aug 25, 2016 Link to comment

    this is a common problem for users best way around this problem is using an app for backing up all important files whether they files are photos or videos or PDF docs any and every file can be backed up automatically with Folder Sync pro simply instal that app and set it to back up using any cloud service then you simply link any folder on your device and then set it to sync to any folder on cloud, just make sure you only sync one way now if you accidentally delete a file you'll have a backup no root required you can sync every folder you can have really important files back up as soon as they're edited also can back up via wifi or mobile network


  • To save people a lot of time and stress, You will not be able to recover your deleted photos or data and these programs won't work without Rooting your phone; Which, in part, may no longer allow you to get updates from your carrier or your phone manufacturer and If your pictures were on your internal memory, then you are probably out of luck like me. Just take your existing pictures or any new pictures you take and back them up to a service such as Dropbox or Google photos. Or simply just upload them to your computer periodically so you can have copies. I had MUCH more details in this comment, but this site wouldn't allow me to post due to "Unapproved content" Bottom line being, these advertised programs won't work without your phone being rooted, Period! Photos on micro sd are Still salvageable with adpater pligged into PC and photo recovery sogtware. Sure wish I could have typed my entire comment.


    • what about viber deleted chat and not previously backed up? can it be recovered by one of these softwares after rooting the device?


      • I guess there is no absolute answer. But you can back up your current data first and try a recovery tool. I personally recommend iReparo, yes, another software . It is good at recovering Viber chats. You can have a try. The viber recovery function is integrated into WhatsApp module.


    • Do you mean that you had to have already rooted the phone prior to say, the screen getting smashed and being unable to use the screen, but the phone still rings.....?


    • Can you type it backwards?


  • my phone, samsung galaxy s3 seems to have restart while i was taking pics & video at a concert & i think it said something about corrupt data or something & when it finally came back on my whole phone was wiped out, all my pics & apps i installed were gone, how can i get them all back? Thank you :)


    • If the photos were in your internal memory, then you won't be able to get them back unless you root your phone. If they were in a Micro SD card then you can purchase a Micro SD card to SD card adapter, then plug it in your computer and then these photo recovery programs may work. But, it sounds like your phone did a factory reset and that case it may have wiped all of the data clean but possibly not. Good luck


  • Surely, you can get your lost data back . This tips here rightly explain how to recover lost data from android phone .


  • If I haven't rooted or backed up my Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime and accidentally cleared my data for pictures, videos, and music, is there any way for me to retrieve my lost files? If so, what are my possible options? And Can I retrieve it right through my phone? Or would I need to use a computer as well? Please and thank you! I'm trying not to freak out.


    • You would need to use a computer as well with the phone plugged into the USB and USB debugging enabled which is in your settings but you have to access developer options. You can look that up on Google. But the main caveat is, you have to have your phone rooted for your to retrieve any lost data from your internal memory. It's a BS thing that Android does..and I love Android.


  • It was really Helpful!


  • I was testing "Android Device Manager" to find my phone location from my friend's phone. But my friend had accidently pressed erase button and in a second my phone blank out. I tried many software like DrFone,FonePaw etc. but no success. Can I get at least contact information. I have no backup of data.


  • Reyn Jul 4, 2016 Link to comment

    Nice share.


  • We may have saved a batch of important and precious files like contacts, text messages, photos and videos on Android phone, but these files are always facing the peril of loss because of accidental deletion, device formatting, restoring the factory settings, rooting, virus infection, etc. And this article is helpful for such problems.


  • wqqwab Jun 28, 2016 Link to comment

    Thanks for sharing, yes, we can still recover lost phone data with some mobile data recovery app, and most of them are very easy to use.


  • Recover lost android phone data with an android data recovery


  • Root makes it very easy to get the deleted data back from Android.


  • There are so many options but none of them work.


  • EHP May 29, 2016 Link to comment

    I need help. dr.fone doesn't recognized my lenovo A7000K, is there any other option? I lost my important video files, like 40 of'em, really need help..


  • Start backing-up your devices friends and avoid paying for expensive data recovery products.


  • I know there are some professional Android recovery tool for you to recover almost any android phone files including photos, videos, notes, texts and more.


  • recuva is a great program. it once brought deleted files back from my sd-card wich were deleted by incident. all files recovered. good work mentioning this program in this article because it really digs files back :-))


  • McNeil May 10, 2016 Link to comment

    What if i have done a factory rest , can i still recover anything??? PLEASE HELP :(


    • Probably not. It would have wiped most of the data. But even is some were Salvageable, you would have to have your phone with root access unlocked in order to restore anything deleted on your internal memory.


  • Alex May 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Recuva from Pinform is the best guys I have been using it for years in my PC and Phone as well its really awesome guys and the best part is it comes for free


  • Finally, someone is here to clean this place.


  • Most of these tools aren't working with the Marshmallow.


  • Nice share! I find another android phone recovery is much better to use. It has simple interface and easy steps. You can google FonePaw, they have a software to recover lost data on Android. You can have a try.


  • Can I use Wondershare Dr Fone on unrooted phone


  • I rooted my nexus 5 and lost some important data, Is it possible to recover the lost data?


  • Useful tips. Maybe it is worth trying. I used a tool that restored my lost data last month whose name is iMyfone D-Back. It's quite easy to use. I think it is very helpful, because I retrieve my deleted photos with its help. If anyone of my friends who deleted his/her important data accidently, it is a good choice.


  • Sorry mode I didn't want to spam the boards.


  • I'm the one with the first comment.


  • kris carlon......pls dont post ur illusion.....root is required for full backup


  • Hi there, I'm having trouble with your recommendations. Recuva does not recognize my phone (when the computer does and I can access all files from my computer), and Wondershare Dr Fone does recognize it, but once I start the scanning it keeps rebooting the phone over and over again and I get nowhere.
    I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (GT-I9190). Android 4.4.2. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!


  • I downloaded dr fone and i was about to start the scan, but i saw that this program will apply one-click root to my phone when the scan starts, is it going to root my phone ? Because i really don't want to root it especially now because its an S6 and it will be receiving future OTA updates ..


  •   5
    Deactivated Account Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

    In fact ,the deleted data are not lost! Though you cannot see them,use some recovery app have chance to regain data.


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


  • Is there a way to recover SMS message on Android phones directly on the phone without a PC ?

    I managed to recover all messages but I do not knpw how to put those SMS messages back in order.


  • Can anyone guide on how to Root Moto G XT1033 ?


  • I have a question douse any one know how to fix my problem I have a galaxy s 4 I was stupid an delete sum things an data but after i did it I can receive txts an can't send no more after so many calls my internet goes off an only comes back on after resetimg my phone plzz help me an even ever I call things that automatic menu like my bank I can't use dial pad I would press a number but some go threw plzzz help just help Me get txtin back


  • Hello I lost all my data on my android Phone (moto G - XT 1033, Lolipop 5.1) last evening.. the phone rebooted and all data was gone !
    I am trying to do lots of research on the net trying to find the correct app to recover all data (videos, pics, sms, message, data etc., ) but its not been helpful. Here are some of my queries.
    1. What is rooting and is is mandatory for recovering data from some of the software's (Wondershare, EaseUSe Etc)
    2. Do I need to buy the software or will I be able to recover using the Free version ?

    Appreciate any help and comments

    Deactivated Account


  • So much spamming here.


  • Wish we have something like iOS users have, it's iTunes.


    • We do have something like itunes...... it's KIES....go to settings in your phone and then to app manager and scroll over to all and look through the lost and you'll see it. You have to download to your PC and then connect your phone and via USB. You can backup and restore all your data with it.......unfortunately I wasn't aware of this BEFORE I lost my data :(


  • There are so many trolls here. :D


  • I've tried to use Wondershare and other similar software numerous times to recover lost data on my phone and it won't complete the scan. It acts like it's going to then gives me an error message and tells me I need to root the device and try again. Unfortunately, the phone is work issued so I hesitate to even consider rooting. Any ideas why this software won't work on my Galaxy S5 (AT&T)? I've enabled debugging via developer option, etc and I'm fairly certain I've done everything correctly. Please note that I only tried with free versions of these programs to avoid spending money on something that won't work


  • There are devices (dedicated hardware) that forensic investigators in the FBI, and similar agencies, have at their disposal that cost thousands of dollars and they do a good job IF they are used in accordance with the established "best practices" in the industry. I'm not even sure that non-law enforcement or not otherwise officially designated parties can legally purchase or own one of these.

    The following paragraph was copied and pasted from the article:

    "Note: Normally, for most of these programs to work, your memory must be formatted as FAT32, NTFS or similar. If your memory card format is not recognized for some reason, you can just do a complete copy of its contents to your computer, reformat the memory card as FAT32 and then dump the copied files back on it and continue the process."

    WAIT

    Yes you can copy the existing files to another device, you can reformat if you absolutely need to (quick format) but depending on the file systems involved you may lose data. IF you take the files that you copied to another drive and put them BACK on the reformatted memory card you WILL lose data. Do not write to the medium you are trying to recover from....period.


  • In last 50 comments, I only find "Ed Ruthmayer" reply sensible.


  • Recuva struggle to recover deleted files from Windows how it can recover deleted data from Android?


  • Seriously, I'm getting tired of it.


  • Once the data is gone, it's almost next to impossible to retrieve it back.


  • It seems everyone is deleted data from their phones.


  • I wondering why these different companies making the almost same tool for recovery with a different name.


  • New Marshmallow will make all these data recovery tools obsolete.


  • Too many recommendations making it even more difficult.


  • I advice everyone to test the "Free Trial" version before you purchase the license for any software that claims to recover your data.


  • I tried an app called "RecoverIt" on Play Store but it couldn't recover a thing from my Android.


  • Finally they have the Mac version to recover files from your Android. It's in beta stage though.


  • You are right that, when we try to recover Android phone data, help of PC recovers tool, have some problem due to ice cream, sandwich versions of Android. Along I agree with you that Recuva, and Wondershare Dr. Fone are the good free tools to retrieve data from Android mobile phone.


  • Most of these recovery tools ask you to root your Android device before you use them for data recovery.


  • Hi.. I'm in desperate need of help. .. my phone went in for repairs and I backed up all my data on mobiletrans. . Problem is I was using the free trial version... when I bought the full version it didn't want to work with my laptop so I downloaded it on another laptop.. now when I connect my phone, after it returned from repairs it was wiped clean, to that laptop it doesn't pick up my backup... my phone also automatically updated all my apps. I'm using a S5.. is there anyone out there who has an idea what I could do to recover my lost data please. ...


  • Once it's gone, it's gone for good.


  • The app Dumpster is in place on my phone. It gives me a trash can for all deletions to pass through - and be intercepted subject to whatever settings are in place.
    It won't help with your deletions previous to installing it but it's ready for the next one.


  • what do u mean by rooted or not rooted? please tell me


  • You guys should not provide your email address here.


  • This is why you need to backup your data regularly. Most of the recovery programs are crap.


  • This article is getting so many comments. It seems nobody backup their Android data.


  • Thanks, it works great :)


  • Recuva is a useful tool for data recovery, I see "Recuva recovers files deleted from your Windows computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera card, or MP3 player. " What is for android?


  • Please help!!! I lost all my pics and video off galaxy 3. It shouldn't be a problem getting stuff back but since new update awhile back it will not read as a USB for mass storage. Only options I have are media or camera. I be done the developer option debugging and it still doesn't work. I found a program that will force my phone to use mass storage but my phone isn't rooted. Is there any options? I lost the last video of my mom and I really want it back. Can I root my phone and retrieve the list pics and video or will it be lost?


  • Only sad thing is that these all data recovery tools don't give you 100 guarantee of lost/deleted data recovery even if you root your device.


  • Can I still recover deleted files/data if I already done a system restore veri kurtarma and verikurtarmahizmeti.com


  • or you can try this instead.. icare-data-recovery-key.blogspot.com/


  • To use a call MobiKin Doctor for Android software to restore lost data from android phone. It really work well. I use it to get back deleted data and files just through three steps. You can have a try.

    Deactivated AccountDeactivated Account


  • Yes, Dr.Fone for Android needs root. It rescued my precious data from Galaxy S5.


  • Thanks


  • Can I still recover deleted files/data if I already done a system restore? Im using rooted smart phone and its my first time to root so I don have any idea. Thank you in advance


  • how to recover on nexus 6? It don't have USB Mass storage option so, Recuva and other softwares are unable to detect the removable storage. Softwares which are able to detect are asking for Root. How can I proceed in this case?


  • Nice guides, I also followed a tutorial to get back deleted photos from my Samsung Galaxy S4

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