How to Recover a Deleted Photo on Your Phone

Losing a cherished photo or video from your phone can be distressing, but it doesn’t have to be permanent: our tips for getting them back.

Mistakes happen: one misplaced tap and your precious memories seem to disappear. Worse yet, sometimes you don’t notice it immediately, leading to panic when you can’t find a photo later.

But don’t lose hope. Beyond the usual sermons about backups, photo management apps themselves often offer life-saving features that can resurrect files you’ve inadvertently deleted. These functions have their limitations, but they can be very useful.

Google Photos

For Google Photos users, quick action can undo a deletion. Go to the Library tab of the application, tap Trash, select the files you want to recover and confirm the restoration. If you acted hastily and want to undo the deletion, tap the ‘Cancel’ button that appears briefly.

The elements remain in Trash for 60 days if they are backed up, or 30 days otherwise. Once you empty the Trash or choose permanent deletion, recovery is impossible. This feature is accessible both on mobile and via Google Photos on the web.

Apple Photos

Apple Photos offers a similar backup to recover deleted items from the phone. Deleted media on Apple devices are moved to a “Recently Deleted” album, accessible via the Albums tab. After verifying your identity, you can recover or permanently erase the items in this folder.

This safety net remains open for 30 days.

Other services

Various third-party software solutions also exist, claiming to recover mistakenly deleted photos from your phone. However, exercise caution and avoid paying in advance before verifying their effectiveness. Programs like Stellar Data Recovery have received positive feedback from users and critics and might be worth exploring.

Finally, diversifying your backup strategy increases your chances of recovery. Services like Dropbox allow a grace period to undo deletions — 30 days for standard users, 180 days for premium subscribers. Dropbox’s online interface includes a ‘Deleted Files’ section where you can locate the files you want to recover.