Need to recover a photo that you accidentally deleted from Google Photo? Do you want to download some content from Google Photo to share with other apps or third-party services? Don't worry - in all these cases, I've got solutions for you.
In today's guide, in fact, I will show you how to recover photos from Google Photo in case you have accidentally deleted them. I'll explain how to do it both on smartphones and tablets (both Android and iOS) and from your computer, using the browser you usually use to browse the web. Also, in case you want to download a copy of your synced photos to Google Photos via other devices, I'll give you some directions on mobile devices and PCs.
Come on, it's time to sit back and take a few minutes to review all the tips I've prepared for you in this guide. Are you ready? Are you ready? I'm ready! I just have to wish you a good reading and, above all, a good time!
Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photo
If you have accidentally deleted photos on Google Photo, you don't have to worry in any way, because you can easily recover them, provided that 60 days have not yet passed since their deletion. In fact, Google Photo prevents accidental deletion of media items with a virtual trash can, which stores this data for easy recovery within the specified time limit.
In the next few lines, I'll show you how to recover deleted photos from Google Photo both via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and from your computer, using your web browser.
Smartphone and tablet
On smartphones and tablets, you can recover all your accidentally deleted media files from Google Photo via the Trash section of the app. To do this, simply open the Google Photo app for Android or iOS (whose icon has a colourful flower inside) and tap on the ☰ icon in the top left corner.
At this point, on the screen that is shown to you, locate the Recycle Bin section, where you'll find all the media items, such as photos and videos, that have been accidentally deleted by you. As I have already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, a file in this section will be available for up to 60 days in order to recover it; once this time limit has passed, it will be permanently deleted from Google's servers and will therefore no longer be recoverable.
Unfortunately, you can't see the time remaining before a media item in the Recycle Bin is permanently removed. In this regard, if you find the photo wrongly deleted, do not delay any longer and restore it immediately.
Once you've found the photo in question, to restore it, tap your finger on its thumbnail and then tap the Restore button at the bottom right. Alternatively, if you're using Android, tap the thumbnail to view the photo full-screen and tap the three-dot icon in the top right corner of the screen you're viewing; on the screen you're viewing, tap the Restore button to recover the photo. On iOS, tap on the thumbnail and press the Restore button at the bottom right of the screen.
If you want to retrieve all the media items in the Google Photo Basket, just press the Restore button at the top right of the page to reposition them in their respective albums.
Google Photo is also available via the web panel, so you can upload photos from your PC and view synchronized photos on other devices. The latter feature allows you to have a copy of your media files stored in the cloud (free and without erosion of space on Google Drive, if you accept a limitation to 16MP resolution for photos and 1080p for videos, otherwise you must accept erosion of storage space on Google Drive to keep the content in original quality). If you want to learn more about this topic, I suggest you read my guide on how Google Photo works.
The first thing you need to do is to access Google Photo from your web browser: then go to the website of the service and press the Go to Google Photo button, then type the username and password of the Google account also used on smartphones and tablets.
After that, you will have reached the main Google Photo screen. Now click on the ☰ icon at the top left and select the Trash item in the left sidebar. In this section you will find all items deleted from Google Photo both via the web panel and from mobile devices. In fact, since data synchronization is active, any operation performed on one device will be performed on all the others.
The media files in the Recycle Bin section are only available for 60 days, after which they are permanently removed. That said, if you've found the photos you want to restore, click the check icon on each thumbnail to select them one by one. Then, click on the icon with an arrow that rotates (Restore) to recover the deleted files, which will be available in the respective albums.
Retrieving photos from Google Photo Archive
By enabling Google Photo Sync, all media files can be streamed to any device. But if you're planning to download a copy of these files to your device's memory, perhaps to share your photo on other apps or services, Google Photo makes it easy.
In the next paragraphs, I'll explain how to retrieve photos from the Google Photo archive both on smartphones and tablets and on computers via web browser.
Smartphone and tablet
On smartphones and tablets, by starting the Google Photo app you can view the photos and videos on your device's memory and the media files that have been backed up and synchronized from other devices. For the latter type of content, files are streamed without the file actually being available in the device's local memory.
If you want to download a copy of the photos from the Google Photo archive to your smartphone or tablet, you need to launch the Google Photo app and tap on the thumbnail of the media item you want to download. Once you've done this, tap on the icon with the three dots in the top right corner and select Save to Device (on Android) or Download (on IOS) on the screen you see.
This will download a copy of the photo to your device's local memory so it can be shared with other third-party applications or services.
By accessing Google Photos from a web browser, unlike what I explained in the previous chapter on mobile devices, you can either download a single photo or entire albums. But let's go in order.
To download a single photo, first go to the official Google Photo website, press the Go to Google Photo button and type in the username and password of the Google account you also use on smartphones and tablets.
Once this is done, on the main screen, click on the thumbnail of a photo and press on the icon ⋮ located in the upper right corner. Among the items you see, select the one called Download, to immediately download the single photo.
If, on the other hand, you want to download an entire album, click on Albums, located on the left in the sidebar, then select an album from those that are presented to you and click on the icon ⋮, located at the top right. From the items shown, select the one called Download All, to download the album within a ZIP compressed archive, which you can open with File Explorer or with one of the programs I have recommended in this guide.
As an alternative to the above procedures, you can also choose to export all your Google Photo media files to Google Drive. You can perform this simple operation by accessing the Google Drive web panel or through the Google Drive app for Android and iOS.
I recommend you to check if you have enough space on Google Drive before importing your Google Photo media files. If so, you'll need to upgrade your storage from 1.99€/month per 100GB of cloud space.
From the Google Drive web panel, sign in with your Google account credentials and click on the gear icon at the top right. When you've done so, in the box you see, select Settings and, in the screen you're shown, tick the Create a Google Photo Folder box.
On Android, launch the Google Drive app, press the ☰ icon in the top right corner and select Settings. Then move the toggle switch from OFF to ON near the Add automatically item in the Google Photos section.
On iOS, instead, press the icon ☰, which you find in the top right corner and tap on the icon with a gear. On the screen that appears, tap on the Photo item and move the toggle switch from OFF to ON near the Google Photo Folder item.
This will create a folder called Google Photo within Google Drive. Inside it, you'll find folders sorted by year that contain all your media files. If you use the Backup and Synchronization software, you can download all of these files to your computer and store them on your local hard drive. If you want to know how to use Google Backup and Sync to download photos from Google Drive to your PC, I recommend reading my guide to this topic.