How to Retrieve Deleted Photos on Phones and Computers

We’ve all been in that situation where we hit the wrong button and all of a sudden, our favorite picture we’ve ever taken is seemingly gone forever. Maybe you accidentally deleted some images of a pet or family member who has passed away, and you don’t know what to do.

Those are photos you simply can’t ever recreate. Yes, we’ve all hit the “delete” button and had our jaws and hearts immediately drop to the floor. But before you pass out, you should know that there are actually several ways how to retrieve deleted photos on a variety of platforms including iPhones, Androids and desktops.


How to Retrieve Deleted Photos

1. iPhones

Since the majority of us use our iPhones to take pictures day in and day out, it’s likely that from time to time, we found ourselves accidentally tapping the delete option without giving it a second guess. Once we realize it, our hearts started pounding out of our chests and we have no idea what to do, until now.

Here’s how to retrieve deleted photos on an iPhone:

  • Deleted Folder

One easy way is to check the “recently deleted” folder on your phone. iPhones keep photos in there for 30 days before actually being permanently deleted, so if your photo is still in there, simply “recover” it back to your album.

  • iTunes

Another solution is to perform a backup using iTunes. You will need to connect your phone to a computer and open iTunes, then use the “restore” option.

However, you should know that this option will override any existing information that came after the backup. This means potentially losing new files and pictures you have taken since the backup.

  • iCloud

Always check your iCloud backup to see if your photos were saved there. In this instance, all you need to do is login and look through the photos that have been backed up. If there, you can re-save it onto your device in just a matter of seconds.

  • Backup App

You also have the option of downloading a backup app from your iPhone. There’s a wide variety of backup applications that will allow you to choose a backup time without erasing your most recent data: you get the best of both worlds.

To put it simply: start by checking your recently deleted folder to see if you can easily restore a photo. If not, you will need to try more in-depth methods such as backup using iTunes or downloading an app that will give you access to deleted photos without damaging your current information or data.

2. Android Phones

Working with an Android device? No worries! There are plenty of options for you as well if you’re wondering how to retrieve photos that have been deleted.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cloud

Using the cloud backup service on your Android device is the number one solution to retrieving deleted photos. All you need to do is log into your cloud backup device and go to the “Google Photos” option.

You will find your pictures there and have the ability to save it back onto your device by hitting the “Save to Device” button. If you deleted it from your cloud, check the recycle bin and you should be able to retrieve it that way.

  • SD Card

You may also use an SD card to retrieve deleted photos, but that is only if your Android phone includes a microSD chip inside. If it does, you will need to get a special piece of software that will be able to extract files off of the SD chip and onto the computer. From there you can retrieve the deleted photos and save them, replacing them on the SD chip to place back onto your phone.

  • Apps

Much like an iPhone, there is a variety of applications available for download that will allow you to perform a backup on your phone. These applications will make sure that your photos don’t get permanently deleted as they automatically backup every time something new is done on your phone.

Some of these backups may help to restore a phone back to before your accidental deletion as well, so go ahead and take a gander at what’s available for Android phones.

3. Desktop Computers

Accidentally deleted a photo while using your desktop computer? No worries.

If using a Mac, the steps will be similar to using an iPhone in the way that you can use the iCloud backup to find your photos. You can also download an application to help with a backup. But if you’re working with a Windows computer, here are your options:

  • Recycle Bin

First and foremost check the trash folder or recycle bin! Nothing is permanently deleted until you “Empty the trash or recycle bin” on a Windows computer. Thus, make sure you go there first before trying any other methods.

  • System Restore

You can also opt to perform a system restore on your computer. Unfortunately, doing a system restore will remove anything you have done after the backup.

That means any files, downloads, or installations that have occurred will be automatically deleted and not retrievable. In this circumstance, see if the benefits outweigh the negatives. If they do, go to system and hit “System restore”, and then follow the prompts.

  • Apps

There are a ton of different software programs that can help you with retrieving permanently deleted things on your computer. What is best for you will rely solely on your needs, so pay close attention to what the different pieces of software are capable of doing. A lot of these will have the ability to perform backups without getting rid of any new information.


Deleting a photo can be absolutely devastating. Nonetheless, even if you think that your picture is gone forever, and before you begin to fret, you know now that there are several options to retrieving your deleted photos. Whether you’re working with an iPhone, an Android, Mac or Windows computer, there are a variety of different solutions you can use to get those photos back onto your device.

1 thought on “How to Retrieve Deleted Photos on Phones and Computers”

  1. Awesome Information! For retrieving deleted/lost photos, But I choose another way such as using data recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery, Recuva on my pc for recovering deleted or lost photos. Thanks!


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