Would you like to recover accidentally deleted videos from your Android smartphone but you don't know how to do it? If you want, I can help you out, but I warn you that the chances of you succeeding are quite limited. Videos, you should know, are much more prone to corruption than photos or other types of files, so even if you manage to recover them, they are often unreadable or partially damaged.
Having said that, don't give up before you even start! If the portion of memory where your videos were stored has not yet been occupied by other data, you might be able to recover most of your videos without turning to specialized companies or experts. Don't waste any more time! Take five minutes of your free time and find out how to recover deleted Android videos with the apps I'm about to recommend.
The apps are all very easy to use. Some of them work directly on the smartphone or tablet from which you want to recover the videos, while others have to be run from a PC. The ones that work from the computer are especially suitable for devices with expandable memory, so in those cases where the videos to be recovered are hosted on an SD card and not directly on the memory of a smartphone or tablet. To find out more, read on. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that everything goes smoothly!
I know it may seem trivial as advice, but before seeing how to recover deleted Android videos with ad hoc applications, try to open the gallery of your smartphone (or your tablet) and check that the videos of your interest are not in the trash.
When you delete photos or videos on Android, in fact, these are transferred to a temporary folder (called the Recycle Bin) where they are kept for 60 days before being permanently deleted. By accessing the Recycle Bin before this time period expires, you are able to view all your deleted photos and videos and recover them with a simple "tap".
To access the Recycle Bin on your device, open the Google Photos app, click on the hamburger icon located at the top left and select Recycle Bin from the bar that appears at the side. If the videos you want to recover are still available, select them by holding your finger on their thumbnails and click on the arrow that appears in the upper right corner to recover them.
DiskDigger Pro (Android)
DiskDigger Pro is one of the best apps for recovering deleted files on Android, or at least it's the one that in my tests seemed to offer the best compromise between effectiveness and ease of use. Unfortunately it's not free (it costs €3.37) and it only works if you root your Android, but it has to be said that most data recovery apps are like that.
To put it to the test, buy it from the Google Play Store, launch it and grant it root permissions by clicking on the Grant button that appears in the middle of the screen. Then wait for DiskDigger Pro to scan the memory of your smartphone (or tablet), select the drive from which you want to recover the deleted videos (e.g. /data if it's the internal memory of the device), check the box next to MP4 and click the OK button to start searching for files to recover.
Once the scan is complete (the operation may take several minutes), check the thumbnails of the videos you want to recover, click the Recover button located in the upper right corner and choose whether to save the videos in a folder on your phone (by "tapping" on the folder icon in the box that opens) or save them online via a cloud storage application (by selecting the cloud icon).
As widely pointed out at the beginning of this tutorial, there are high chances that the videos recovered from your smartphone/tablet are partially corrupted. If you can't play them on Android, try transferring them to your computer and feeding them to software such as VLC, which can often play the partially damaged videos as well.
In case DiskDigger failed to meet your expectations (or seemed too expensive), consider Undeleter, another Android deleted video recovery app that lets you restore photos, videos, and other file types fairly quickly and easily. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store, but to unlock the saving of the recovered files, you need to purchase its full version (which costs €2.75). It requires root to work.
To test Undeleter's capabilities on your smartphone/tablet, download the app, launch it and grant it root permissions by clicking on the Grant button that appears in the middle of the screen. Next, select the Restore files option from the screen that pops up, choose the drive to be scanned (the device's internal storage or the SD card) and choose to run a Deep Scan.
Then select the file types you want to recover (in your case MP4 and if you want AVI and MKV as well), click the Scan button and wait patiently for the app to do its job. When the videos you're interested in appear (hopefully they really do!), click on their thumbnail to preview them in real time and click on the floppy disk icon (top right) to save them on your smartphone memory or on a cloud storage service of your choice between Dropbox and Google Drive. You'll need to unlock the full version of the paid app to complete the save.
If your smartphone or tablet has expandable memory, and therefore the videos to be recovered are located on an SD card, you can insert the card into your computer and attempt to restore the deleted files with PhotoRec.
PhotoRec is a free and open source application that allows you to recover deleted data from a wide range of devices and drives. It's very effective and is compatible with all major PC operating systems, but today I'm going to deal specifically with its Windows version, which features a very easy-to-use graphical interface.
To download PhotoRec, go to its official website and click on the Windows entry. The software comes bundled with TestDisk, a program that allows you to restore lost partitions and make damaged disks bootable again, but we're not interested in that, for now we just need PhotoRec.
Once the download is complete, open the zip archive that you've just downloaded to your PC, extract the contents into any folder and run the qphotorec_win.exe file. In the window that opens, expand the dropdown menu at the top, select the drive where your microSD resides and click on the primary partition of the card (it should be the one named FAT32, FAT16 or exFAT).
Next, check the FAT/NTFS/HFS+/ReiferFS and Free options, click the Browse button and choose the folder where you want to save the videos PhotoRec will recover from your SD. Once you're done with this step, click the File formats button and choose the file types you want to recover.
Then click the Reset button to clear the selection of default file types and check the mov item only (mov/mp4/3gp/3g2/jp2). To finish, click on the OK and Search buttons and wait for the program to do its work. At the end of the procedure you will find the videos recovered by PhotoRec in the folder you chose earlier.
Note: Experienced users can also use PhotoRec to recover photos and videos from smartphones without expandable memory. Simply create an image of the device's internal memory, convert it to VHD format and process it in PhotoRec. For more information on this, there is a comprehensive tutorial on the XDA website.