Step-by-Step Guide to Recovering a Photo Accidentally Deleted on Your Phone

It’s certainly not the first time you’re looking at your old photos or you get a system notification to clean up old files. Without paying much attention, we hit “clean”, and suddenly, that wonderful photo from 2 years ago vanishes.

If you are a PC user, you may know that software to recover files deleted by mistake do exist, even at first, those files stay in the recycle bin. Is there anything similar for smartphones? Here we will show you the easiest way to recover those files both on your Android phone and in iOS (iPhone).

How to recover the file in Android

You probably have an Android operating system as they are the most common and therefore where most files are deleted by mistake. As this mistake was quite common, many of the manufacturers have added their own app that acts as a recycling bin. You may have already seen solutions for this type of mistake in your Samsung, LG, or Huawei.

In general, all versions that use Google Photos as a gallery, already have this feature by default.

The first thing we’ll do before we start to download unnecessary apps is to take a look at the gallery app on your phone to see if you’re lucky and already have this kind of backup.

If there’s an option called “Trash”… BINGO! Problem solved.

If not, do not worry, we will have to use a third-party app to do our dirty work, but that does not mean that we cannot recover the photos.

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There can be 2 different scenarios, you can have your phone Rooted or NOT Rooted (with or without access to the Android file system)

Case in which we do NOT have it rooted (WITHOUT ROOT)

This is the most common case since it is rare that the “average” user has to root his device. In this case, you will not be able to recover the original content of it, but rather its thumbnail (reduced version).

One of the best-known apps for this task is DiskDigger.  It is very simple to use; just give it permissions and it will analyze all the memory of the phone. All your photos will appear (deleted or not). We will simply choose the ones we want to restore and that’s it. Note that there is a paid version that will allow you to recover the images in their original sizes.

Case in which we have it rooted (WITH ROOT)

In case you have previously rooted your phone, you can perform an even deeper scan and find deleted files from much earlier. Rooting the phone involves certain risks, so we recommend you to be sure before proceeding.

We will be using DiskDigger in this case as well, but this time we will give it superuser permissions (root), then we will choose which part of the disk we want to analyze and we will scan it.

In the same way, we will choose the file we want to restore and the software will restore it to our folder.

Android Tips and Tricks

The premium version of the program, in this case, will not be limited to multimedia files, allowing us to recover files of all kinds.

How to recover files in an iPhone (iOS)

In iPhones, this process is much easier since the iOS itself with its Photos app has its own recycling bin where it keeps copies for all files for a month.

To locate this recycling bin, simply go to “Albums”, “Other albums”, “Deleted” and there you can see your deleted files.

We will then choose the files that we deleted by mistake, and finally click on “Restore”.

In case you don’t find them in this trash, there is a final option you can try which consists of finding them in a previous backup.

In this case, click on “Settings” on the iPhone, click on your name at the top, and when you select iCloud, we’ll see if a copy of your photos is indeed saved.

If so, all we have to do is go to a desktop computer, log in with our Apple ID and see if it has been uploaded to this service.

Anticipate surprises in the future

If you have managed to recover the lost pictures… don’t risk it again! Avoid unpleasant situations by making backups every few days through one of the services we describe below:

Cloud backup: Multiple cloud backup services are available. Including from Google and Apple, such as Google Photos and iCloud, as well as other external ones, backups in the cloud allow you not to worry and let the device itself manage when and how to make that upload in an intelligent way. But beware, we already know that everything in the cloud can become “public” at any given time if there is a security breach (such as password theft). If we have compromised photos or other content, it’s probably best to use a more “analogical” approach in the form of a physical copy.

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Physical backup: The safest way is to have all your files on another device or hard drive in your own home. It has the disadvantage that you will have to worry about the space and maintenance of that particular data, but in return, you will have the assurance that your data will not be transferred in any case to third parties. To do this we will simply connect our device to a desktop computer and make a copy of the files to be saved, or through iTunes, if you have an iPhone.

As you may have noticed, losing a photo is not something that can be considered a tragedy, since there are multiple alternatives to recover them. Obviously, it is not the same for personal photos, such as the photos of your wedding or photos needed for work, so we recommend that you make use of the information contained in this article.