In a moment of relaxation, you took your trusty smartphone to look at some photos you are particularly fond of but, after looking for them for a few minutes, you realized that they literally disappeared from the System Gallery! Intent on taking possession of them again, you opened Google in search of a guide that could show you where to look for them, ending up right here on my website.
If that's the case, I'm happy to say you're in the right place at the right time! Below, in fact, I want to explain how to recover missing photos from Gallery by applying a series of simple and affordable procedures, even for those who, like you, are not very familiar with the world of technology.
Then, what else are you waiting for? Cut out a few minutes of free time for yourself, make yourself comfortable and read everything I have to explain on the subject very carefully: I'm sure that, at the end of this reading, you will be perfectly able to find the missing photos, to your satisfaction. Having said that, I have nothing left to do but wish you a good reading and good luck with everything!
Before you even get to the heart of this guide and explain how to retrieve missing photos from the Gallery, you should make an important distinction between the possible reasons for "disappearing" pictures.
In some cases, photos may no longer be displayed in the Android or iOS Gallery because, for example, they have been voluntarily moved to the Archive section of your device (effectively hiding them from the main photo gallery view).
On other occasions, however, photos may no longer be displayed because, for one reason or another, the folder in which they reside is no longer "automatically recognized" - or, in jargon, indexed - by the system; in this case, simply access the aforementioned folder using a file manager.
The same applies to photos that are automatically moved to the cloud, which may have been deleted from the device during a scheduled cleaning operation; again, all you have to do is access the photos in question via the cloud space app in use and, if necessary, download them back to the device.
If, on the other hand, the photos have disappeared because they have been "physically" deleted from the device (even unintentionally), then things are a bit more complicated: first of all, you need to take a look at the Gallery management app recycle bin on board the device; in case of failure, you will need to contact a specific program to try to restore the deleted files, starting from the memory of the terminal in use.
In any case, I'm going to explain everything, in detail, in the following chapters of this guide.
How to recover missing photos from Android Gallery
If you have a smartphone or tablet equipped with Android, this is the section of the guide best suited to your case: in the following lines, I will explain how to access the mysteriously "disappeared" photos again, through a series of very simple steps.
Restore disappeared photos from the Gallery
Most Android Gallery management apps, such as Google Photo, have a special folder, called Archive, where you can move photos you no longer want to see in the Gallery, without physically deleting them from the device's memory.
For your information, you can move an image in the Google Photo archive in the following way: after starting the app, simply tap on the photo of your interest for a long time to select it, then press the button (⋮) located in the top right corner and, finally, touch the Move to Archive item attached to the proposed menu.
So, if you have inhibited the display of the images in the way explained above, you can access them again in the same easy way: start Google Photo, tap on the Photos tab (bottom), tap on the button ☰ located in the top left corner and press on the Archive item located in the menu that you are offered, to access the folder that contains the "hidden" photos.
To restore the display of one or more images in the Android Gallery, tap on the photo you are interested in, to select it, repeat the operation on the other images to restore and, when you are done, tap on the button (⋮) (top right) and select the item Remove from archive located in the proposed menu. That was much easier than I thought, wasn't it?
Using a file manager
If you couldn't find the photos in your device's photo gallery archive, then you might try using a file manager, such as Google Files (pre-installed on most Android devices and free downloadable from the Play Store, if needed), to access the folder dedicated to photos taken through the camera, or to view photos captured or sent through a specific app.
It's really easy to do: first, start the Files app, grant it access permissions to the device's memory, if necessary tap on the Browse tab (bottom) and then on Images. You can navigate through folders containing photos and videos using the tabs at the top. If you wish, you can quickly switch between folders by swiping to the right or left.
If you can't find the missing photos in this way either, you can try to "directly" access the folders that may contain them: to do so, go back to the Files Browse tab, tap on the Internal Memory item (or Memory Card, if you have opted for microSD storage) and, from there, access the folder that you think may contain the images you can no longer find.
For example, to view all the photos captured through the camera, you need to go to the DCIM > Camera folder; to view the photos received and sent through WhatsApp, you need to go to the path WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Images; to access the photos taken/modified through the Facebook camera, to the DCIM > Facebook folder, while to view the photos downloaded through Google Chrome, you need to go to the Downloads directory.
Once you have found the image you are interested in, you can make it visible again in the Gallery by transferring it to the DCIM > Camera folder. Are you asking me how to do this? I'll explain it to you right now.
First, tap on the button located at the name of the image you're interested in, select the Move to menu item, tap on the Internal Memory (or SD Card) option, access the DCIM and Camera folders using the next panel and, when you're done, tap the Move here button to transfer the photo to the main folder dedicated to the Android Gallery.
Using the Cloud
Some cloud apps, such as Google Photo, Google Files or OneDrive for Android, allow you to delete images already in the cloud from your device's memory in order to free up a fair amount of internal memory (or microSD space). Typically, this option, called Free Space from Device (or similar), resides in the application settings. However, as a result of using it, your photos may no longer appear in the Android Gallery.
To overcome this little inconvenience, you can use the app used to automatically upload images to the cloud, so you can access them and, if necessary, download them back to your device.
For example, if you have uploaded the photos to OneDrive, launch the Android app of the same name, tap on the Photos tab and locate the image you are interested in; once you have done this, tap on it for a long time to select it, repeat the operation on any other photos to restore, tap on the button (⋮) and choose Save from the proposed menu, to transfer the photos to the Android memory (and make them visible again in the Gallery).
For more information on cloud apps, I suggest you take a look at my best cloud guide, where I've covered the topic in detail.
Recover deleted photos
I beg your pardon? You couldn't restore the missing photos from the Android Gallery with any of the procedures seen so far, because you suspect that you deleted them manually from the device's memory?
If this is the case, I suggest you to check if the images in question are still present in the trash can attached to the Gallery management app you are using (e.g. Google Photo): it usually contains all the photos and videos deleted through the app, for a period of time usually equal to 30 days.
To access the Google Photo Recycle Bin, launch the app in question, tap on the ☰ button at the top left and select the Recycle Bin item attached to the menu that opens laterally.
Once this is done, locate the photos you want to recover, tap on one of them for a long time to activate the selection mode, tap on the other images you want to recover (if necessary) and press on the arrow icon at the top right to restore them in the Gallery.
If the photos are not even in the recycle bin, then you can try to restore them using computer software or a specific app, such as PhotoRec or DiskDigger, which I told you about in my guide on how to recover deleted photos from Android.
However, I cannot guarantee the complete success of the procedure, since, as I explained in my dedicated guide, the chances of success vary depending on the time elapsed since the photo was actually deleted.
How to recover missing photos from iPhone Gallery
If it's your intention to recover missing photos from the iPhone Gallery, please read carefully the following sections of this tutorial, in which I'm going to explain how to proceed in the various possible scenarios.
Restore disappeared photos from the Gallery
If you remember, in my guide on how to hide photos on iPhone, I explained how to use the system share menu to inhibit you from viewing photos from the main area of the iOS Photo app, without physically erasing them from the device's memory.
All you have to do, to achieve this result, is to open the image of your interest, press the share button (the square with the up arrow) and select the Hide item from the panel that is proposed to you, then confirm your willingness to proceed by touching the Hide button.
If you have hidden your photos in this way, you can easily access them using the iOS Hidden album. It's really easy to do - just start the iOS Photos app, tap the Albums tab (bottom), scroll down to the Other Albums section, and tap Hidden to get to the area for photos that aren't in the gallery.
Now, tap on the Select item at the top, tap on the previews of the photo you want to restore, press the share button (the square with the up arrow) at the bottom left and, to finish, tap on the Show item from the panel displayed on the screen.
After a few moments, your selected images will be displayed in the iOS gallery again.
Using a file manager
If you can no longer find an image previously displayed in the iPhone Gallery, you can try to "manually" access the relevant file (either in the iPhone memory or on iCloud Drive) using the iOS File app. This is quite rare, since the images in memory and on iCloud are automatically grouped into iOS photo albums, but it's worth a try.
To do so, start the File app, calling it from the Home screen of the "melafonino", tap on the Browse tab and, using the available options, reach the folder where you think the _lost_ image is located.
When you've found it, tap the Select button at the top, tap on the preview of the image in question (or images if you want to view more than one photo), press the share button, and finally tap the Save Image button in the on-screen panel to add the photo to the Gallery (and store it in the device's memory).
Recover deleted photos
If none of the methods mentioned so far have been able to remedy your problem, because you suspect that you have unintentionally deleted the photo from your iPhone's memory, you may try to recover it using the Recently Deleted album on iOS/iCloud Drive, a kind of "trashcan" where pictures remain for about 40 days after you delete them (after which the photos are permanently deleted).
So if you've deleted images you've been interested in for less than 40 days, you can quickly retrieve them by launching the iOS Photos app, going to the Album tab at the bottom and tapping on Recent Items just below.
Once you've found the photo(s) you're interested in, tap on the Select item at the top right, tap on the previews of the images you want to recover, press the Recover button and, to return the images to the iOS gallery, tap on the Recover Photos button and you're done.
If the pictures don't even appear in the recently deleted album, you need to use a computer data recovery program (e.g. EaseUS MobiSaver) to analyze the "melafon" memory and try to recover the deleted pictures.
This solution, which I told you about in my guide on how to recover deleted photos from your iPhone, doesn't have a very high margin of success, however, as the result varies depending on the period of time since the photo was actually deleted. If all other solutions have failed, however, it's still worth a try!