Have you accidentally deleted photos from your iPhone and are desperate because you don't know how to recover them? Unfortunately, you're in a bit of a pickle, my friend. If the photos have been permanently deleted from the phone's memory, it's very difficult to bring them back to life, but... the last word hasn't been said yet!
Your photos may have ended up in a "trash can" in the Photos app or, if you have iCloud's Photo Library service on your iPhone, they may still be available online. I mean, there's still a fair chance you might be able to retrieve them, but it takes a bit of luck.
There are also third party software that allows you to recover deleted iPhone photos by acting directly on your phone's memory (or even iTunes backups) but, as mentioned above, there is a high probability that they will not give the desired result. Unfortunately, when a photo is physically deleted from the phone, it gets deleted for real. There is almost nothing we "common mortals" can do to solve the problem. At this point, then, all I have to do is wish you the best of luck and invite you to read the tutorial below. I sincerely hope it will help you and regain possession of your precious shots.
Recently Deleted Album
iOS 8 has introduced a seemingly trivial but actually very useful feature: an album, in the Photos app, where all the photos deleted by the user are automatically collected. It's a sort of "trashcan" in which images remain for about 40 days, after which they are permanently deleted.
If you have deleted your photos for less than 40 days, then, you can recover them in no time by simply opening the iPhone Photos app, selecting the Albums tab from the lower right menu and "tap" on the Recent Items icon.
Next, press the Select button in the top right corner, select the thumbnails of the photos you want to restore and tap the Recover button (bottom right corner) and then the Recover Photos button to complete the operation. The selected images will return to the iOS roll, where they were originally located.
iCloud Photo Library
As I explained in my tutorial on how to store photos on iCloud, iCloud Photo Library is a very useful service that allows you to store all photos and videos made with your iPhone (or even iPad) online. It's free, but to use it you need to purchase one of iCloud's paid plans (starting at 2.99 euro/month for 200GB of online space).
One of the benefits of the iCloud Photo Library is that it syncs photos to all devices connected to your Apple ID. This means that if you accidentally deleted a photo from your iPhone, you can also retrieve it from your iPad, another iPhone connected to your Apple ID, or even a computer.
To recover deleted iPhone photos from an iOS device you can follow the procedure we just saw together, in fact all deleted pictures are automatically transferred to the Recently Deleted album (which is synced on all devices).
If you prefer to act as a computer, you should log in with your Apple account information at iCloud.com. Then click the Photos icon and wait a few minutes for your photo library to load.
When it is complete, select the Albums tab in the top right corner and go to the album called Recently Deleted. Then click the Select Photos button, click on the thumbnails of the photos you want to restore, and choose whether to retrieve the images in the iCloud Roll or download them to your computer (by clicking one of the buttons at the top).
The restored images will automatically return to the iCloud Roll, and then to the Photo app roll for all devices synced with your Apple account.
Third-party cloud services
If you have installed third party applications for storing photos in the cloud, such as Google Photo or Dropbox, you can take advantage of the recovery features included in them to recover deleted photos from iPhone.
If you're using Google Photos, you can view the photos you've uploaded from your iPhone on the app's main screen, and if you're lucky, they'll include pictures you've accidentally deleted from the main iOS roll.
To view photos deleted by Google Photo (both from iPhone and from all devices you have connected to the service), press the ≡ button in the top left corner and select the Trashcan item in the bar on the side. Once you have found the images to recover, select their thumbnails and press on the arrow icon on the top right to put them back in the Google Photo roll.
You can do the same thing from your PC, connecting to Google Drive from your browser, logging in with your Google account details and clicking on the Google Photo icon in the left sidebar. By clicking on the recycle bin icon (which is always in the left side bar) you can instead view - and restore - the photos deleted from the service.
If you use Dropbox and you have activated the automatic backup of the photos on the latter, open the application and see if among the images uploaded to your online space there are also those you have deleted from the main iOS roll.
To access the deleted photos directly from Dropbox, connect instead to the official website of the service, log in with your account details, select the folder that contains the photos and click on the recycle bin icon at the top right to view the deleted files.
Once you've found the images to recover, select them and click the Restore button to add them back to your Dropbox.
Data Recovery Software
If you don't use cloud services and/or couldn't find your photos in the "Recently Deleted" album, all you have to do is try the last card at your disposal - a third-party software that can recover deleted files from iPhone memory or iTunes backups. There are many such programs, but, alas, none of them work miracles. Sorry to tell you, but if your photos have been permanently deleted and you don't have a backup on your computer, there is very little chance of recovering them.
Anyway, among the many data recovery programs available on the market I recommend you to try EaseUS MobiSaver, which is very easy to use, it is also compatible with Mac and you can try it for free with no time limit. Its free version has all the features of the full version (which costs $59.95) but allows you to recover only one photo at a time (so, in theory, to recover 10 pictures you would have to click the export button 10 times).
To download the free version of EaseUS MobiSaver to your computer, connect to the program's website and click on the Free Download button first and then on Download Now. Then open the software installation package (ems_free.exe) and click the Yes button first and then OK and Next.
Then tick the box next to I accept the terms of the license agreement and complete the setup by pressing Next twice in a row and then Install and Finish. If you do not want to send anonymous statistics about the use of the software to EaseUS, uncheck the Join EaseUS Experience Client program option from the last screen of the installation process.
If you have a Mac, you can download EaseUS MobiSaver by connecting to this web page and clicking the Free download button. Once the download is complete, all you need to do to install the software is to open the dmg package that contains it and drag and drop its icon into your MacOS Applications folder.
Now, connect your iPhone to your computer, start EaseUS MobiSaver and click on the Scan button next to the device name. Wait for the contents of the device to be scanned and within a few minutes you should see all the recoverable photos on the screen. You may be asked to enter the password you used to encrypt your iTunes backups.
At this point, select the images you want to recover, press the Recover button (located at the bottom right) and choose the folder where you want to save them. Please note that in the free version of EaseUS MobiSaver you can select no more than one photo at a time.
If you have any difficulty in getting your iPhone recognized by EaseUS MobiSaver, try to activate DFU mode on your device by following the instructions in my tutorial on how to put your iPhone in DFU.
If you want, EaseUS MobiSaver can also recover data from iTunes and iCloud backups. To use these features, you need to go back to the home screen of the software, select Recover from iTunes Backup or Recover from iCloud backup and select the iPhone name or the account from which you want to recover files.