3 Ways to Recover Deleted Photos from an Android Phone or Tablet

taking photos with Android phone

Oh no! So you just hit the delete option on your Android phone or tablet, and accidentally sent some precious photos or videos to the Trash.

Trash? How to access the Trash on Android? To be blunt — there is NO such trash bin on Android OS! When you select your pictures and tap the trash icon, your pictures are deleted and can't be found unless you have backups.

But does that mean you lose them forever? Nope, there is still a chance to get them back. That's why we write this article to show you three different ways to recover deleted pictures on Android devices: via backups, use an Android photo recovery software, or send your device for data recovery services.

Nothing complicated, but you'll probably spend some time or money to retrieve your Android photos finally. Let's get started.

Precautions & tips

The moment you found you couldn't find your photos, stop using your Android device to shoot additional pictures or videos, and don't save to generate any new data either. If your pictures were stored on a mass memory card, best to remove the card from your device and put it in a safe place — make sure it won't encounter any physical damage.

The goal is to avoid data overwriting. Although you've deleted some items off your Android, chances are the data retain intact there on your phone/tablet internal memory or external memory card. If you continue writing further data to the memory, it's quite possible that your old data can be written over thus become unrecoverable.

#1: Check if you have backups

In general, there are usually two different types of backup techniques you can use: via Google Photos app, or via your device manufacturer's own backup software.

Restore via Google Photos

Google Photos is probably the best app to backup and recover your photos and videos. You can save your Android device's media files to your Google Photos library. All you need is to turn on the backup & sync feature on your device. This Google support article tells how. Also, you can also use Auto Backup to automatically sync your pictures and videos to Google Drive. So, if you've enabled the auto backup and sync feature on your Android phone/tablet, good luck for you. Simply go to Google Photos or Google Drive, and you can easily access your deleted pictures, videos even music.

Restore via device backups

Besides Google apps, many Android device manufacturers also offer software tools for backup and sync purposes. For example, Samsung has Kies app, LG has an LG Backup (Sender) app, Sony Xperia also has a backup and restore feature. If you have synced or backed up your device before the photos got deleted, it's very easy to restore your pictures. Simply go to your device provider's website and search for related support articles.

Don't have a backup? Go to method two or three.

#2: Use a photo recovery software for Android

Since an Android-based phone or tablet usually supports extended memory, the type of photo recovery tools you should use depends on where your deleted pictures were saved.

If your photos were saved in the internal phone memory, try SmartPhone Recovery PRO. It's one of the best Android data recovery software. We tested it and it works great to retrieve many types of data lost or inaccessible from an Android device. Simply connect your Android phone to your computer, then download and install the program. Next, follow the instructions on the software to continue. The process is pretty straightforward and should be easy to operate.

Get SmartPhone Recovery PRO for Android

If your photos were stored on a MicroSD card, try Stellar Photo Recovery — a robust digital media recovery program designed to rescue files deleted or lost from common flash cards. Note: you'll need to run it on a PC or Mac. First, load your SD card into a card reader, plug it into your computer and launch the software to scan, then recover your pictures and videos.

Download Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery

#3: Send your Android device for data recovery service

Warning: do this only when those deleted pictures mean the whole world to you, as you'll probably need to spend lots of time finding a reliable service provider and pay fees that probably much higher than your expectation. We highly recommend you contact your device manufacturer customer support first, see what advice they would suggest for your situation. Then do your own research and evaluate the best data recovery company to work. Do not easily send your device right away to a remote center, unless you absolutely have to. Go for a local one that is close to the area in which you live.


Unlike Apple iOS which offers a "Recently Deleted" folder to recycle deleted pictures and videos users remove, Android does not have this feature in its current OS version. When you delete some pictures or videos and can't find them anywhere on the device, it can be very frustrating and devastating depending upon how valuable these photos mean to you.

Fortunately, it's not impossible to recover Android photos provided that you calm down and take the right steps as soon as possible. Hope you find the above three Android photo rescue methods useful, and you've managed to find your data back. Next time, remember to back up your media files on a timely basis. If you have any questions in any of the recovery processes, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.

Jessica Carrell

Jessica is one of the co-founders at AnySoftwareTools. She is a photographer, teacher, Apple advocate, and lover of learning. Recently she's keen on following news related to the big five tech giants and many SaaS startups in bay area.

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