How to Recover Deleted Photos on iPad

Photos app in iPad

Most of us are used to cleaning up our iPads by deleting pictures that are duplicated or don’t look so nice. The urge to free up more storage space often drives mistakes.

How many times have you experienced this? “Delete, delete. Oh no! I didn’t mean to delete that one.” Worse yet, sometimes accidentally deleted a whole album of family pictures.

Fortunately, it’s often possible to recover deleted photos from your iPad. And there are several iPad photo recovery solutions — from iOS “Recently Deleted”, iCloud and iTunes backup, to using an iPad photo recovery software.

We are here to show you all of them so you can get back your lost pictures ASAP.

Things You Need to Prepare:

  • Your iPad
  • A computer (that you use to sync data with iTunes)
  • Apple ID (for checking iCloud backups)
  • iPad data recovery software (optional)
  • Internet connection

Now follow the guides below. If one method doesn’t work out, go to the next. Good luck!

Method 1: Undelete iPad Photos via “Recently Deleted”

Apple has added a new feature called Recently Deleted into its mobile operating system since iOS 8. That means if you’ve updated your iPad to the latest iOS, your iPad will have the feature. If you are still using iOS 7 or an older version, this feature isn’t available.

If you want to know which iOS version your iPad is running, on your device, tap Settings > General > Software Updates to figure out.

The “Recently Deleted” folder is very much like Recycle Bin on Windows or Trash on macOS — the only difference is that items sent to the computer Recycle Bin or Trash will be there forever unless you empty the bin.

But iOS “Recently Deleted” only keeps those items for a period – up to 40 days.

Where Are Deleted Photos on the iPad?

iOS Recently Deleted folder

When you delete some photos on your iPad, first open the Photos app, tap the Albums tab, scroll down and you’ll see a trash icon next to the “Recently Deleted” folder. Tap on it, select the pictures you want to get back, and tap the Recover option at the bottom right corner.

Then go back to the Photos app and check out these recovered photos.

Note that the “Recently Deleted” folder only keeps items for up to 40 days, after that, your iPad will automatically delete the photos or empty the folder. If you can’t find your deleted photos there, they may have been cleaned already.

Method 2: Recover iPad Photos from iCloud Photo Library

Apple knows the significance of photos to its users, the company has made a lot of efforts to prevent data disasters. iCloud, a freemium cloud backup service makes it easy for you to backup all of your iPad pictures almost “instantly” provided that you have enough iCloud storage space.

To access iCloud Photo Library and see if your deleted iPad photos are there, follow these steps:

  1. Open a web browser, e.g. Safari on your computer or iPad.
  2. Visit and log in using your Apple ID.
  3. Tap on the Photos app icon.
  4. Now check if your deleted pictures are there. If yes, select and save them.

Method 3: Recover iPad Photos from iTunes Backup

Besides regular file sync-ups, iTunes is also a great tool for data backups. See this Apple article for how to back up an iPad using iTunes.

If you already have an iTunes backup of your iPad device before your photos got deleted, it’s guaranteed that you can restore all of them.

Note though: this method only works when backups were made prior to deletion.

Find the computer you use to make regular iTunes backups, turn it on. Launch the iTunes app, connect your iPad. Then follow the instructions as shown in this 3-minute video (YouTube).

Method 4: iPad Photo Recovery Software

If you are looking to restore your iPad photos without a backup and the Recently Deleted folder doesn’t have your photos as well, your last option is to try data recovery software.

Here are our top recommendations, both offer a free trial though you’ll need to pay to actually recover and save the found iPad pictures.

Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone — Don’t be fooled by the name, the software also supports recovering data from iPads. Try the “Recover from iPhone” mode.

dr.fone — boasted as the world’s first iOS data recovery program. It has four recovery modes that almost cover every iPad data loss scenario. To retrieve photos deleted from your iPad, start with the Direct Scan mode.

Do you find this iPad photo recovery guide helpful? Have you managed to recover deleted pictures on your tablet? Either way, leave a comment below and let us know.

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