How to Recover Deleted Photos from Android Phone

taking photos with Android phone

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

How to access the Trash on Android? There isn’t such Recycle Bin or Trash function on most Android phones. When you select your pictures and tap the delete icon, your pictures are deleted and they can’t be restored unless you have backups.

But does that mean you have to lose the files forever? No, there is still a chance to get them back. That’s why we are writing this article.

We are going to show you three different ways to recover deleted pictures from an Android phone: via backups, using an Android photo recovery software, or sending your device for recovery services.

Precautions and Tips

Once you couldn’t find your photos, stop using your Android phone immediately. Do not shoot additional pictures or videos, do not generate new data either.

If your pictures were stored on a mass memory card, remove the card from your device and put it in a safe place — make sure it won’t be physically damaged.

All these precautions are to avoid data overwriting. Technically, though you’ve deleted some files off your Android, the data will remain intact there on your device. If you continue to generate new data, it’s possible that your old data will be over-written thus become unrecoverable.

Next, follow the steps below.​

1. Check If You Have Backups

In general, there are two backup strategies you can use to back up data on your Android phone: via the 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 any photos. 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 has more.

Also, you can use Auto Backup to sync your pictures to Google Drive. If you’ve enabled the auto backup and sync feature on your Android phone, good luck for you. Just go to Google Photos or Google Drive, and you should be able to easily access your deleted pictures there.

Restore via device backups

Besides Google apps, many Android phone manufacturers offer software tools for backup and sync purposes. For example, Samsung has the Kies app, LG has the LG Mobile Switch app.

If you have synced or backed up your device before the photos got deleted, it’s easy to restore your pictures. Simply go to your device provider’s website and search for related support articles.

Don’t have a backup? Try method #2 or #3.

2. Use Android Photo Recovery Software

Since Android phones have internal memory and support extended memory cards, the type of photo recovery software you need will depend on where your deleted pictures were saved.

If your photos were saved in the internal memory, try dr. fone for Android — one of the best Android data recovery software we’ve reviewed and it worked great to retrieve many types of data deleted or lost from an Android device.

Simply connect your Android phone to your PC or Mac. Then get dr.fone and install it on your computer. And then follow the step-by-step instructions as shown on the software screen to continue.

If your photos were stored on an external memory card, try Stellar Photo Recovery — a power photo recovery software designed to retrieve files deleted or lost from common memory cards. The program offers both a Windows and macOS version.

First, load your SD card into a card reader, plug it into your computer and launch the software for a scan, then recover and save your pictures.

3. Send Your Android Phone for Data Recovery Services

Warning: do this only when the above two methods fail to retrieve your files. Also, you’ll probably need to spend a lot of time finding a reliable service provider and pay fees that are probably much higher than your expectations.

We highly recommend you contact your device manufacturer’s customer support first, see what advice they would give for your situation. Then do your own research and evaluate the best data recovery company to work with.

Don’t send your device right away to a remote center, unless you know what you’re doing. Ideally, you should go to a local one that is close to your area.

Final Thoughts

Unlike Apple iOS which offers a “Recently Deleted” folder to recycle deleted pictures and videos (learn more from our iPhone photo recovery article), most Android phones don’t have this feature.

When you delete some photos or videos and can’t find them anywhere on the device, it’s definitely frustrating depending on how valuable these photos mean to you.

Fortunately, it’s often possible to recover Android photos provided that you act quickly and take the right steps. Hope you find the above three methods useful. Next time, remember to back up all your photos on a regular basis.

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  • Deborah

    Hey I wanted to delete certain amount of pictures but due to sudden phone hang my entire camera roll is vanished and all the pictures from my recent tour are present in it. I didn’t know how to back up in Google photos or drive. So I found my pictures no where. I deleted them three weeks ago but I couldn’t restore them immediately due to heavy work schedule. Please help me. I don’t know what to do.

  • Khushbu

    How to get back my deleted photos and videos from my Android on5 Samsung series?

  • peggy bowman

    I don’t know how but this is the second time my binder has been cleared without me being in my binder. I’m frustrated because I have a lot of info in it and I can’t just keep tryi g to remember this stuff. Please help