Table of contents

Delete Photo Recovery: How to Salvage Precious Memories

Updated to Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips by William on Apr 8, 2024 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

It's the digital age, and our memories are no longer stored in shoeboxes filled with photographs or in albums lovingly compiled over the years. Nowadays, they reside on our phones, cameras, and computers – in digital formats that are incredibly vulnerable to accidental deletion. Losing an important photo can be devastating, but all is not lost. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the intricate process of delete photo recovery on Android, iPhone, iPad, digital camera, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux, ensuring that you never lose them again.

Understanding Picture Deletion: Is it Really Gone?

The act of deleting a snapshot from your device seems final – you can't find it in your folders, and it's not visible when you scroll through your camera roll. However, the reality is a bit more complex. When you delete a photo, the device marks the space occupied by the image as 'available,' which means it can be used to store new data. The photo itself remains on the device until it is overwritten by new information. This critical piece of information is a lifeline for when you need to recover an accidentally deleted photo.

Free Deleted Photo Recovery from Cameras

Some cameras have built-in recently deleted photo recovery features that allow you to get back accidentally lost pictures. Here's how to check if your camera has this option:

  1. Turn off your digital camera.
  2. Hold down the 'Delete' or 'Trash' button, then turn your camera on.
  3. Keep the button held down until you enter the mode for photo recovery free.
  4. Use the navigation buttons to choose the images you want to return and follow the on-screen instructions.

Photo Data Recovery on Android Phones

Recovering deleted images from an Android smartphone requires a tailored approach. Many methods are available, and we will discuss some of the most effective ones.

Method 1: Utilizing Google Photos and Google Drive

Thanks to the automatic backup features of Google Photos, you may find that your deleted pictures are still stored in the Cloud. Here's how to check:

  1. Open Google Photos app on your Android phone and ensure you use the correct account.
  2. Tap 'Library' to view the list of available folders.
  3. Look for the 'Bin' folder, which retains deleted photos for 60 days before permanently removing them.

If your photos are not in the 'Bin,' don't lose hope – they might still be in your Google Drive. To check:

  1. Open the Google Drive on your Android device.
  2. Navigate to the 'Bin' section of the app.

  3. Select the needed ones and restore deleted photos to the desired location.

Tip: Many cloud storages offer options to sync photos and other files; if you have used another platform, open it to check for missing pictures.

Method 2: Using a Third-Party Photo Recovery Application

Sometimes, photos aren't saved to the Cloud, or you permanently delete them. In such cases, a third-party tool can be a lifeline. Here, you can try the file recovery app by AI Photo Team, which is the highest rated in Google Play. It doesn't need root access to perform delete photo recovery.

  1. Download and install it from the Google Play Store.
  2. Click on 'Deleted photo recovery' to start scanning your Android phone.

  3. It will display a list of files that can be recovered after scanning. You can preview these images before deciding which ones to recover.
  4. Select the lost pictures and tap the 'Recover' option to save to your device.

Photo File Recovery on iPhones and iPads

Apple devices have a robust ecosystem, and the delete photo recovery process can benefit from native features as well as third-party utilities.

Method 1: Using the 'Recently Deleted' Album

When you delete pictures on an iPhone or iPad, they are moved to the 'Recently Deleted' album. These images remain there for 30 days before they are permanently deleted. To recover photos from this album:

  1. Open the 'Photos' app and go to the 'Albums' tab.
  2. Scroll down and find the 'Recently Deleted' album.

  3. Tap on any photos you want to restore, then select 'Recover.'

Your pictures will be resaved to their original location in the 'All Photos' album.

Method 2: From

You can also recover pictures deleted from if they were previously backed up. Sign in and go to Photos > Albums > Recently Deleted. Select the photos you lost and click 'Recover.'

Method 3: By iTunes Backup

If you have ever used iTunes to back up your iOS device, you can retrieve deleted photos from the backup. However, please note that this will replace the current data on your iPhone or iPad with the data from the backup, which means you may lose some of your latest data that is not included in the backup. If you don't want to do this, then you can also try using the 'Recover from iTunes' mode of Method 5's photo recovery application to extract the deleted photos.

  1. Connect your iOS phone to a computer, where the iTunes backup is stored.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Choose your iPhone when it appears in iTunes, and then click 'Restore Backup.'

  4. Choose a backup node that contains photos you accidentally deleted and click 'Restore.'

After waiting for the photo data recovery process to complete, you should be able to find the disappeared pictures in their original location.

Method 4: Using iCloud Backup

If you have iCloud backup, then follow the steps below for free deleted photo recovery on your iPhone/iPad using backup. But this method will replace all the current data on your iPhone with the data in the backup. Therefore, you might lose some recent data not included in the backup.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap 'General,' scroll down, and tap 'Reset' > 'Erase all content and settings.'

  3. After restart, follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the 'Apps & Data' screen, then tap 'Restore from iCloud Backup.'

  4. Sign in to iCloud and choose the most recent backup to restore your device.

Method 5: Employing Photo Recovery Software for iOS

Can't I retrieve accidentally deleted pictures if the lost pictures are not in the "Recently Deleted" album and there is no backup in advance? Of course, you can, but you can only ask third-party software for help. The most trusted iOS recovery app is iBeesoft iPhone Data Recovery. Here are the features:

Your Best Photo Recovery Application for iOS

(Trust Score 4.8 by 579 Users)
  • It provides 3 recovery modes and can delete photo recovery without backup and reset your device.
  • iBeesoft's UI is clean, modern, and incredibly straightforward. From connecting your device to selecting the recovery model, every step is designed for ease of use.
  • It can preview files before you recover them. This ensures that you can select only the items you want, saving considerable storage space on the device.
Download for Windows Download for macOS

To photo data recovery on an iPhone using iBeesoft, you can follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iOS phone to a computer.
  2. Download and install iBeesoft iPhone data recovery software.
  3. Launch it; choose 'Recover from iOS Device' from the first window.
  4. Choose your device and click 'Scan.'

  5. Once the scan is complete, preview the found data.
  6. Select the deleted photos and click 'Recover' to save them to your computer.

Delete Photo Recovery on Windows PC

For Windows users, there are many ways in which your precious moments may be recovered. You can select the appropriate method according to your own situation. Here's how to rescue those lost photos in Windows 11/10/8/7:

Method 1: Check The Recycle Bin

By default, when you delete photos, they're not gone and will moved to the Recycle Bin. Therefore, you can find them here.

  1. Open 'Recycle Bin' on your desktop.
  2. Search for your recently accidentally deleted photos.
  3. Select the targeted items.
  4. Right-click on the selection and choose 'Restore.'

Tip: the Recycle Bin has a limited size, and once it's full, older items get purged to make room for new deletions. If not here, try using photo recovery software for PC to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Method 2: From Previous Versions

Windows has a handy feature called 'Previous Versions,' which saves snapshots of files when you're making changes. These can also be used for photo recovery free. But, ensure that 'File History' or 'System Protection' is enabled in Windows to make use of this feature.

  1. Right-click on the folder where your photos were stored.
  2. Select 'Restore previous versions.'

  3. Select the version before the deletion and click 'Restore.'

Method 3: Use Backup and Restore

This method only works if you have previously set up a backup on your Windows PC. If you habitually back up your computer regularly, you can use the following steps for photo file recovery.

  1. Click the Start button, type 'control panel" in the search bar, and press Enter.
  2. In the Control Panel window, look for the 'System and Security' option and click on it.
  3. Under 'System and Security,' find and click 'Backup and Restore.'
  4. Click 'Restore my files' or 'Restore all user's files.'

  5. Follow as you are guided through the process of retrieving these pictures.

Method 4: By Photo Recovery Software for PC

A third-party photo recovery application comes to the rescue when the 'Recycle Bin,' 'Previous Versions,' and 'Backup' don't yield results. It can scour your hard drive for 'marked as available' data and return your images. Here, you can try iBeesoft Data Recovery, which has powerful capabilities and the function of repairing damaged photos. Therefore, it is your best option.

Your Best Tool for Delete Photo Recovery

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • It can photo video recovery due to accidental deletion, formatting, RAW drive, system crash, virus attack, and other scenarios.
  • It supports data recovery from a pen drive, disk, USB drive, SD card, digital camera, and other storage devices on Windows or Mac.
  • It offers a quick scan for recently deleted photo recovery and a deep scan for files deleted long ago or those difficult to recover.
Download for Windows Download for macOS

Here's how to recover deleted photos on PC with iBeesoft Data Recovery:

  1. After the download and Installation, open it on your computer.
  2. Click 'go to settings' from the start window and leave only the selected image.

  3. Choose a hard drive or folder to scan for lost pictures.
  4. Once you've selected the target location, click 'Scan' to begin scanning.

  5. After the scan, it will display a list of recoverable photos. You can preview these files and select what you wish to recover.

  6. When selecting the shots, click 'Recover' to save them in your specified location.

Photo Recovery on Mac

Although Mac is known for its powerful performance and well-established ecosystem, there is no way to avoid losing photos due to unexpected circumstances. If you face this challenge, don't despair; photo recovery is possible. Next, you can check out these methods.

Method 1: Check the Photos app's 'Recently Deleted' Option

Open the Photos app and click on 'Recently Deleted' in the left-hand window. Select the photos that you want to retrieve and click the 'Recover' button.

Method 2: From Your Trash (Similar to the Recycle Bin)

Before assuming the worst, check your Trash. Sometimes, pictures may not be permanently deleted and can be restored from the Trash can.

  1. Go to Dock and click on the 'Trash' icon.
  2. Locate and select the deleted photos.
  3. Right-click and choose 'Put Back.'

Method 3: Check Your Backups

Start here if you maintain a regular backup schedule using Apple's Time Machine service. Restoring from backup is the safest and easiest method of delete photo recovery when the target item is not in the Photos app's Recently Deleted and Trash.

  1. To start the free deleted photo recovery process, ensure your backup disk is connected to your Mac.
  2. Open the 'Time Machine.'
  3. Select' Restore' from the menu. Once you've selected the photos, you want to recover.

Method 4: Use the Photo Recovery Tool for macOS

If the backup is unavailable or out of date, then you have to rely on a tool. Here, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac will be a reliable option. It has advanced algorithms and can recover up to 200MB of deleted photos for free. Here is a guide:

  1. Download and install this program for deleted file recovery.
  2. After launching it, unselect the type of files you do not need and then click 'Start.'
  3. Next, select where the lost files were initially stored on disk and click 'Scan.'
  4. The photo recovery application will scan the selected location for recoverable images. You can preview them to ensure they are what you want to recover.
  5. Finally, select the deleted pictures and click 'Recover' to save.

Deleted Photo Recovery on Linux

Linux is a free and open-source system that works from the command line, so it does not have built-in options to help you retrieve deleted pictures. But you can use tools such as Foremost. It is a free forensic tool that is pre-installed in Kali Linux and suitable for all kinds of storage. You can follow these steps for photo recovery free:

  1. Use the following command to install this photo recovery application.

    sudo apt install foremost, sudo dnf install foremost, or sudo pacman -S foremost
  2. Type 'fdisk -l' to find the drive path where the lost photos were saved.

  3. Type 'foremost -t jpg,png -v -q /dev/sdb1 -o /root/desktop/myfiles' to delete photo recovery.

    jpg, png: is the suffix name of the photo that needs to be restored.
    /dev/sdb1: is the hard disk path in step 2 (if it is an external device, please add -i after -q)
    /root/desktop/myfiles: is the storage location of recovered photos.

The Ultimate Solution for Photo Recovery

If the above solutions for each platform fail, data recovery services will be your last hope. They use advanced techniques to retrieve data that might seem lost or inaccessible to the average user. Although the photo data recovery success rate is high, it is expensive and time-consuming. If these pictures are precious enough to you, then you can try the following steps:

  1. Search to find a reputable data recovery service near you.
  2. Reach out to the service and explain your situation.
  3. You must send your device or storage media to the service. Make sure to follow their packing guidelines to avoid further damage.
  4. Once they receive your device or storage media, they'll diagnose the problem and determine if recovery is possible. They should provide you with an estimate of the cost at this stage.
  5. If you agree to the cost, the service will attempt to recover your images. This will take a few days to a couple of weeks.
  6. If the photo file recovery is successful, the service will return your data, often

Best Practices and Preventative Measures

While the methods above offer hope for recovering lost pictures, prevention is still the best practice. Here are some tips to avoid permanent image loss:

Following the above preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of permanent photo loss.


Losing precious photos can be a harrowing experience. Here's a listicle that addresses some of the most common questions about photo recovery, arming you with the knowledge to safeguard your digital memories.

  • You must use a tool to recover permanently deleted photos. This type of photo recovery software can scan your storage media (like your hard drive or SD card) to find lost items. However, it's always recommended to stop using the device immediately after you realize that you've deleted files to prevent overwriting the lost data.

  • Yes, in most cases, you can. Deleted data is often recoverable whether you're using a smartphone, a camera, or a computer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to enhance your chances of recovery:

    1. If possible, stop using the device immediately after discovering the missing photos. Continued use runs the risk of overwriting the deleted data.
    2. Time is of the essence. The sooner you attempt recovery, the more likely you will retrieve your photos successfully.
    3. Select a reliable photo recovery application compatible with your device to avoid complications.
  • While it's possible to try manual recovery methods, using specialized photo recovery software significantly increases your chances of success. These tools are designed to scan and retrieve lost photos from various storage media types, including memory cards, hard drives, and SSDs. Some trusted recovery software includes applications like iBeesoft Data Recovery Wizard, Disk Drill, and PhotoRec.

  • Yes, it is generally safe to use photo recovery software as long as you choose a reputable program. Trustworthy software will not harm your device or overwrite its existing data. However, to minimize any possible risks, it's essential to follow the proper steps during the recovery process and to ensure the software is up to date.

  • It's easy to make mistakes during the photo recovery process. Here are some to watch out for:

    1. Do not return recovered photos to the same location where they were lost. This could lead to overwriting and further loss of data.
    2. Ensure the device you are recovering from has enough power to avoid any disruptions during recovery.
    3. Avoid doing activities such as formatting, defragmenting, or taking new photos before the delete photo recovery process.
  • You can recover photos from an old or even a formatted SD card. The data isn't typically removed with a quick format; instead, it's flagged as available for overwriting. You can often find and restore these "lost" images using recovery software.

  • It is generally meant for logic issues, not physical damage. If your device has physical damage, a photo recovery application can help you. On the other hand, you need to consult a professional data recovery service, as they have the tools and expertise to deal with physical damage.


Our photos are a reflection of our lives – they capture moments that we cherish and want to hold onto. However, a photograph's deletion doesn't necessarily equate to its demise. You can often easily restore lost imagery with the right method or powerful photo recovery application. Remember, the key to successful recovery is prompt action and avoiding any actions that could overwrite your precious photo data.

With the tips and insights from this guide, you better understand how to perform delete photo recovery on your operating system of choice. Your adventures, family celebrations, and daily moments can be breathed again into the digital galleries of your life.