Digital photos are a big part of our lives today. We create multiple memories daily by clicking photos using smartphones, digital cameras, video cameras, handy-cams, etc. But what if those precious pictures get deleted? It would be devastating, right? Don’t worry yet. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Whether you’ve deleted the pictures mistakenly or intentionally, you can easily retrieve them. We’ve shared the top 5 ways to recover deleted photos on multiple devices like PC, Mac, SD card, phones, cameras, etc. in this comprehensive guide. So let’s get started without a further ado!
Watch Video on How to Recover Deleted Photos on Different Devices - Expert Advice
Recover Deleted Photos from Windows
Sometimes, you may lose access to your photos stored on Windows PC due to accidental deletion, sudden power cut, or malware infection. However, you can easily recover deleted photos from Windows PC with the following methods.
1. Restore Deleted Pictures from Recycle Bin
If you have accidentally deleted your pictures on Windows, you must first check the Recycle Bin folder. Follow the below steps to get back photos:
- Go to Recycle Bin.
- Find and select the photos you want to retrieve. (See figure 1)
- Right-click on the picture and select Restore. (See Figure 2)
You can also drag and drop the selected pictures to a folder or destination of your choice.
Wait for the process to complete and verify your restored photos.
Note: The photos are deleted automatically after 30 days from Recycle Bin.
2. Use Windows Backup and Restore Utility
If you regularly take backup of your computer data, you may easily recover deleted photos from PC. Open Windows built-in backup and restore utility. Follow the given steps to get your precious photos back from Windows:
- Connect an external storage media to your Windows PC to store your photos.
- Open Control Panel and go to Backup and Restore Windows (10).
- Choose either to Restore my files or Restore all users' files. (See Figure 3)
Note: You will not be able to see the individual files when browsing for folders.
- Select your deleted pictures that you want to retrieve. (See Figure 4)
- Click 'Browse for files' or 'Browse for folder' and click Next. (See Figure 5)
- Click Next and then Restore photos to the storage media.
3. Recover Deleted Pictures with the Best Photo Recovery Software
If you can't find your photos in Recycle Bin and don't even have a backup, try using an effective photo recovery tool like Stellar Photo Recovery Software. This DIY (do-it-yourself) software can recover deleted photos, videos, and audio files lost due to deletion, corruption, formatting, virus, inaccessible drives, etc. This tool can restore photos from Windows PC, HDD, SSD, USB Flash Drive, SD Memory Card, and other removable media.
- Download and launch Stellar Photo Recovery on your Windows PC.
- From Recover Photo, Audio & Video screen, select the drive from where you want to recover the deleted photos, and click Scan. (See Figure 6)
- On the completion of the scanned process, the lost photos can be viewed in three panes– 'File Type', 'Tree View' and Deleted List'. You may preview the scanned files before retrieving.
- Select the photos and click Recover. (See Figure 7)
- Click Browse, choose a desired location to store your photos, and click Start Saving. (See Figure 8)
[Caution: Don't save your restored photos in the affected drive/volume/partition/SD card from which you lost pictures to avoid overwriting.]
Recover Deleted Photos from Mac
If you have lost your pictures from Mac, you may use several tried and tested methods to recover deleted photos from Mac. Below are some effective ways to get your hands back on your beloved photos.
1. Restore Photos from Trash
In case the photos are accidentally deleted, macOS Trash is the first place to look for. Photos stay in the Trash folder on Mac for days, post which they get automatically deleted. Follow the given steps to get your pictures back from Trash on macOS:
- Go to Trash bin and find your pictures.
- Select the photos and right-click on them.
- Select Put Back option and the photos will be restored to their original location. (See Figure 9)
2. Use Photos App Backup
If you store your pictures in Photos App on Mac, and accidentally deleted or lost pictures from it, you may get them back by following the given steps:
- Go to Photos app in macOS and open 'Recently Deleted' section. (See Figure 10).
- Select the pictures and you will see a blue check mark when your photos are selected. (See Figure 11)
- Click Recover, and send it to their original destination. (See Figure 12)
- Once done, click on Photos or Album to exit the 'Recently Deleted' section.
Note: The images are permanently deleted from the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder in Photos App after 30 days.
3. With Time Machine Backup
If you backup your photos with Time Machine, you can easily get your favorite photos back to their original destination. Below are the steps to restore deleted photos from Time Machine:
- Go to Time Machine option in the menu bar.
- Choose Enter Time Machine. You may also choose the Apple menu, select System Preferences > Time Machine. (See Figure 13)
- Time Machine will open and show your available backups.
- Select the date of your last backup and navigate to your photo library backup, and select it.
- Click Restore to recover the Photos library. On doing so, your photos will be restored to their original location on Mac.
4. With Photo Recovery Software for Mac
If you couldn't retrieve your deleted photos from Mac's Trash bin, iCloud or Time Machine Backup, you can use a reliable Photo Recovery Mac software. Follow the given instructions and get your pictures back from Mac.
- Download, install and launch Stellar Mac Photo Recovery for Mac.
- On 'Select What to Recover' interface, select Photos and click Next. (See Figure 14)
- Choose the drive or storage media from which you lost the photos and click Scan. (See Figure 15)
- By using 'Advanced Settings' option on the top, Add File type or Edit File type or Filter to scan for faster results. Click Next. (See Figure 16)
- A dialog box saying 'Scanning Completed Successfully!' will display. The scanned files and folders will appear on the screen. You may preview the scanned files before saving them.
- Select the pictures and click Recover. (See Figure 17)
- Choose a desired location and click Save to save the pictures.
[Caution: Always use an external storage media to save the retrieved pictures from affected drive or PC to avoid overwriting.]
Recover Deleted Photos on Android
There are several methods to recover deleted photos from Android device. You may restore pictures from Gallery's Trash folder. If you have backup then you can retrieve photos from the cloud storage. If nothing works, a free Android data recovery software can get your photos back in a few simple steps. Check the different methods shared below to recover deleted photos on Android:
1. Use Gallery App's Trash
There are some smartphones like Samsung M20 or A 20, which offers Trash option in the Gallery App. This facility lets you retrieve pictures if you mistakenly removed your photos from Android phone. Follow the instructions given as following:
- Open your Android's Gallery App.
- Click on three dots adjacent to search option and tap on Trash. (See Figure 18)
- Select the photos you want to restore and click Restore. (See Figure 19)
- Your lost photos will be restored to their original location.
2. Use Google Drive Backup
If you have a backup of your Gallery pictures on Google Drive, just sign in to your Google Drive account on your Android phone or computer and follow these steps:
- Open Google drive on your smartphone or in your PC.
- All the backed up photos will appear there. (See Figure 20)
- Select the pictures you want to restore and tap on/click Download. (See Figure 21)
3. Restore Photos With Google Photos
Almost all Android phones have Google Photos, a photo-sharing application. Any photos taken on your smartphone or shared via WhatsApp will be automatically saved in Google Photos if you turn on the backup and sync option. The backup and sync is a storage feature in Google Photos that automatically saves your pictures and videos to your Google Account. Even if you accidentally delete your pictures from the phone’s Gallery, you may easily recover deleted photos by following the given steps:
- Open the Google Photos app on your Android phone or tablet.
- Sign into your Google Account.
- Select the photos you wish to restore.
- Click More > Download to save your photos.
Check if you can access your photos now.
Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card
Whether you lose access to your pictures due to accidental SD card formatting, corruption, virus attack or deletion, you may try the following methods to recover deleted photos from SD card.
1. Use Windows Explorer
Sometimes, when you connect your SD card to a malware infected PC, it may completely hide all your photos, or other files and folders. Follow the below steps to recover hidden photos from SD card:
- Connect your SD card to your PC.
- Open Windows Explorer and click Tools.
- Go to Folder options and click View.
- Open Show hidden photos/files/folders.
- Uncheck Hide and you will be able to access your photos.
2. Use CHKDSK Command
When you try to open your SD card and it shows an error message, try fixing this error by following these steps:
- Click Start from Windows taskbar and choose My Computer.
- Go to Devices > Removable Storage and locate your SD card (note that the drive letter assigned).
- Open Command Prompt by typing cmd in search box and click Run as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk.
- Add the letter of the SD card e.g., chkdsk E: /f and hit Enter. (See Figure 26)
CHKDSK command will check for possible errors and fix it. If you are able to access your SD card, you may easily get your pictures back.
3. Use the Best Photo Recovery Software
If your photos are deleted from SD card, using a reliable photo recovery tool like Stellar Photo Recovery software is the best approach to get your pictures back. The software approach is safe and quick as it can retrieve pictures with the original date and file names. Also, it recovers photos with the original quality. You can download the free version of the software from here.
Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone
To recover lost pictures from iPhone, trust the backups provided by Apple. If you’re using iTunes or iCloud, follow the given instructions to retrieve deleted photos. You can also restore the pictures from Photos App on macOS.
1. Use iTunes Backup
If you have synced your iPhone with iTunes, you can use Apple's backup utility to retrieve lost or deleted pictures on iPhone. Connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to Mac or PC and open iTunes. On Mac, the iTunes backup is stored in Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup. Follow the steps below to know how to recover deleted photos from iPhone using iTunes.
- Open iTunes and select your device in it.
- Right-click on your device and choose 'Restore from backup…' option.
- Select the latest backup and click on Restore for photo recovery process. (See Figure 27)
2. Use iCloud Backup
You can recover recently deleted photos from icloud.com within 30 days. Whether you have accidentally deleted or lost your favorite pictures from iPhone, iPad device, Mac, or Windows PC, follow the below mentioned steps to recover recently deleted photos from icloud.com:
- Go to iCloud.com and sign in to your account.
- Click Photos > Albums at the top
- Click Recently Deleted album and select the pictures you want to retrieve.
- Click Recover and get your deleted photos back. (See Figure 28)
3. Use iPhone Recovery Software
If you can't recover deleted photos on iPhone using any of the above methods, use a reliable iPhone photo recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone. You can quickly recover deleted photos from iPhone. The software lets you select and restore only the desired photos. Try the free version of the software to retrieve your lost pictures on Mac system. The software works with all iPhone and iPad models.
Tips to Prevent Photo Deletion/Loss
1. Always have Backup in a Spare Hard Drive or Cloud
Whether you use native tools on your OS, third-party backup tools, external storage devices, or the cloud, backing up your photos regularly is a must. You may choose to back up your files daily, weekly, or monthly. Whenever you’re installing system updates or new software, always backup your pictures and other data in a spare drive to avoid photo and data loss in the future. You can use a cloud-based service, such as OpenDrive, Dropbox, or SkyDrive. You can also use a spare USB flash drive, SD card, or an external HDD to create your photos backup.
2. Subscribe to online archiving services
You can keep your digital photos and videos on cloud servers located in different geographical regions by subscribing to an archiving service. Although it’s a paid service, it’s a worthwhile investment.
3. Take proper care of physical storage devices
The sudden shock from dropping a device, excessive heat, moisture, or power fluctuation can cause data loss. Handle your laptop, hard drive, phone, or removable media with care. Use power protection devices like UPS to protect your computer and data.
4. Run Antivirus Regularly
Virus or malware infection can result in photo loss from the system. To stay protected, you should always have an updated antivirus program on your computer. Do not insert an external storage drive into a computer without antivirus.
5. Be Careful with Deletion Process
We are prone to make mistakes, and accidental deletion is one of the most common mistakes behind photo loss. You may, out of habit, or accidentally delete photos from your devices or storage media. To avoid this situation, always create a backup, as discussed above. However, it is completely up to you to protect your precious pictures. Always double-check before deleting photos and then perform the removal process. Spending a few minutes just checking and ensuring which pictures you want to keep and which ones you want to delete can save a lot of time.
Human error is one of the most common reasons for losing photos. It's quite easy to press the wrong button or format an important partition. Creating multiple partitions, as discussed previously, may help reduce the risk, but it is really up to the individual to protect their data. Verifying while deleting unwanted data can save a lot of time spent recovering any important data.
You just can't afford to lose your valuable photos. Hence, we have mentioned the best ways to recover deleted photos in this photo recovery guide. You may try these tested methods and regain access to your pictures. However, it is recommended to use a professional photo recovery tool so that you can get back your images in any data loss situation without any stress or hassle.
Q1. Are photos deleted permanently?
A. No, deleted Photos are not removed permanently unless they are wiped by a special eraser software or overwritten. After deletion, images remain in the Trash folder for a certain period or can be recovered from backup drives like Google Photos, Google Drive, etc. However, to recover permanently deleted images from storage drives, a professional photo recovery software is the assured solution.
Q2. How do I recover deleted Camera Roll?
A. Camera Roll is an app where all your iPhone, iPad, and Mac photos & videos are saved. To recover deleted Camera Roll photos and videos, check Trash (Mac), Time Machine Backup (Mac), or recently deleted folders (iPhone), Google Photos, or other online backups. If you cannot recover photos from backups as well, use Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone to recover Camera Roll photos and videos.
Q3. How to recover photos from damaged or broken SD card?
A. You can recover photos from broken SD cards using a reliable photo recovery software. Besides, you can also seek professional data recovery services that can retrieve images from physically damaged, burnt, or inaccessible SD cards. Meanwhile, in any data loss scenario, ensure the affected SD card is not further used and is stored carefully.
Q4. Can I recover photos if they are deleted from iCloud?
A. Once a photo is deleted from Photos on iCloud.com, it is also deleted from all devices synced with your iCloud account. However, you have 30 days to recover from the time of deleting it before it is permanently deleted. Else, take the help of Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone to retrieve them back.
Q5. How to recover if photos deleted from Google Photos?
A. Recover deleted photos from the Trash folder in Google Photos on Android/iPhone/iPad. If the photos were deleted within 60 days, you might find them. Else, you may try Stellar Photo Recovery software in case the images were transferred or synced & saved to your computer. Read More
Q6. How to recover deleted Instagram Photos?
A. Check Instagram “Recently Deleted” section and “Archive” for deleted photos. If the Photos are not there or in any other online backup drive, then go for Stellar Photo Recovery Software. Read More