Did you delete some photos you really wanted while cleaning up your smartphone? Don't despair, we all make mistakes, and the last word is not yet spoken. If the portion of memory on which the images were hosted has not yet been overwritten, that is, has not yet been occupied by other data, you can restore your photos and get them back (at least in part). I assure you it's not difficult, just use the right programs.
What are the "right programs" I'm referring to? Fortunately, there are several that you can turn to, some that work directly from your smartphone and others that instead require the use of your PC: choose the one that best suits your needs and try to recover deleted photos from your phone using it, below you will find all the instructions you need.
The software that we are going to know works with both Android terminals and iPhones, are compatible with all versions of the most popular operating systems from Google and Apple and do not require complicated configurations to be used. You just need to take a few minutes of your free time and try them out. I cross my fingers that you will be able to recover all the photos you deleted by mistake!
Although it may seem trivial as advice, before turning to data recovery apps open the trash of your smartphone and check that the photos of your interest are not in there. Not sure what I'm talking about? Then let's get some clarity.
By default, Android and iOS move deleted photos into a temporary folder- a sort of recycle bin where the images remain for a few days before being permanently deleted. If you access the recycle bin before the photos are permanently deleted - which is usually within 60 days - you have the option to recover the images without using special software.
To recover pictures on Android, open the Google Photos app (the one with the colorful pinwheel icon), click on thehamburger icon in the upper left corner, and select Recycle Bin from the bar that appears on the side. Then keep your finger pressed on one of the photos you want to restore, select the others by putting a check mark next to their thumbnails and click on the arrow icon in the upper right corner.
If you're using an iPhone, open the Photos application, go to the Albums tab at the bottom right, and select the Recently Deleted album. Then click on the Select button at the top right of the screen, check the thumbnails of the pictures you want to restore, and tap the Recover button at the bottom right of the screen.
Recover deleted photos from Android
If you are using an Android device, you can recover deleted photos from your mobile phone by using free apps from the Google Play Store. These apps are very easy to use, but they only work if you have rooted your smartphone. What is this procedure? Rooting is a procedure that allows you to get administrator privileges on Android and act deeper on the system, you can find everything you need to know about it in my tutorial on how to root Android. Once you've rooted your phone, try one of the apps I'm about to recommend.
DiskDigger Free is a great app for recovering JPG photos and PNG images or screenshots. It's also available in a paid Pro version that allows you to restore compressed archives, apps and many other different types of files, but we're not interested in that for now.
To use DiskDigger Free, download the app from the Google Play Store, launch it and click on the Grant button to allow it to run with root permissions. Reject the upgrade to the Pro version of the app (by clicking on the No, thanks button), choose thedrive where you want to scanthe photos (it should be the one selected by default), check the box next to JPG and/or PNG (depending on whether you want to recover only photos taken with the phone's camera or also screenshots and images downloaded from the Internet) and click on the OK button.
Once the scan is complete, check the thumbnails of the images you want to recover, click on the Recover button at the top right and select the cloud icon to auto-send the photos to yourself via email or if you want to save them on a cloud storage service, or the folder icon if you want to save them on your phone's memory.
Undeleter is another app for recovering data from Android terminals. Just like DiskDigger, it's available in two versions: a free one that allows you to restore photos only and a paid one that allows you to recover other types of files as well. To use it, download it from the Play Store, launch it and click on the Next and Grant buttons to authorize it to run with root permissions.
Next, choose the Restore files option, tap on thedrive you want to recover images from (e.g. Internal storage) and go to Deep scan. Then, place a check mark next to the JPG and/or PNG item and press Scan to start searching for recoverable files. Once the scan is complete, select the thumbnails of the photos you want to recover, click the menu button in the top right corner (the three-dot icon) and select Save file from the menu that appears to complete the operation.
If your smartphone has expandable memory and the photos you deleted were on a microSD card, you can also use PhotoRec. PhotoRec is a free and open source PC program that can recover deleted files from memory cards, hard drives, USB sticks and other devices. It is compatible with both Windows and macOS, but only on Windows does it have a graphical interface (on other operating systems it must be used via command line). It comes bundled with TestDisk, another free software that allows you to repair damaged disks and recover lost partitions, but we don't care about that for now.
To download PhotoRec to your computer, go to its official website and click on the Windows entry under the heading TestDisk & PhotoRec 7.0. Once the download is complete, open thezip archive containing the program, extract the contents into a folder of your choice and run the qphotorec_win.exe program.
In the window that opens, select the drive relative to your microSD (which you can connect to the PC using a common SD or USB adapter) using the drop-down menu at the top, select the main partition of the card (the one named FAT32, FAT16 or exFAT) and put a check mark next to the entries FAT/NTFS/HFS+/ReiferFS and Free.
Now click the File formats button and choose the file types to recover (in your case JPG and/or PNG). To select only JPG and PNG images, click the Reset button (in order to reset PhotoRec's default selection), tick the JPG and/or PNG boxes and click the OK button to save the changes.
Finally, click the Browse button, select the folder where the photos recovered by PhotoRec will be saved and click the Search button to start data recovery. All images found by the program will be automatically saved to the folder you just selected.
Recover deleted photos from iPhone
If you want to recover photos from an iPhone you have to resort to computer applications, such as EaseUS MobiSaver Free, which allows you to restore pictures, messages, notes and contacts directly from the phone memory or iTunes backups (both local and iCloud).
The software was quite effective in my tests, but, be warned, it's not completely free: its free version has no time limit but unfortunately only allows you to recover one photo at a time. To restore multiple images at once you have to buy EaseUS MobiSaver Pro, which costs about 60 euros.
To download the free version of EaseUS MobiSaver to your computer, go to the EaseUS MobiSaver website and click on the Free download button and then on Download. Then open the installation package named ems_free.exe and click on Yes, OK and Next.
Once the installation is complete, connect your iPhone to the computer using the included Lightning/Dock cable, launch EaseUS MobiSaver and click the Scan button located next to the device name. Wait for the device's content to be scanned and select one of the months listed under Photos/Videos from the left sidebar. Then place a check mark next to the thumbnail of the photo to be recovered, click on the Recover button, choose the folder where to save the file and that's it.
If you can't find the photo you're interested in on your iPhone's memory, go back to the EaseUS MobiSaver home screen and try scanning your iTunes backups by choosing either Recover from iTunes backup (to check locally saved backups) or Recover from iCloud backup (to check online saved backups).
EaseUS MobiSaver is also available for Mac. Its operation is identical to that of the Windows version; the only difference is in the installation process, which consists in opening the dmg package downloaded from the program's website and dragging the icon it contains into the Applications folder of macOS.