How to Recover Photos from Google Photos

Need to recover a photo you accidentally deleted from Google Photos? Want to download some content from Google Photos to share via other apps or third-party services? Don't worry: in all these cases, I have solutions for you.

In today's guide, in fact, I'll show you how to recover photos from Google Photos in case you have accidentally deleted them. I'll explain how to proceed both on smartphones and tablets (both Android and iOS) and from your computer, through the browser you usually use to browse the web. Also, in case you want to download a copy of the photos synced to Google Photos via other devices, I'll give you some walk-through directions on mobile devices and PCs.

Come on, it's time to sit back and take a few minutes to go through all the tips I've prepared for you in this guide. Are you ready? Are you? Very well! All that remains is for me to wish you a good read and, above all, a lot of fun!

Recover deleted photos from Google Photos

If you've accidentally deleted photos in Google Photos, you don't have to worry about it, because you can easily recover them, as long as they haven't been deleted for 60 days . In fact, Google Photos prevents accidental deletion of media items with a virtual recycle bin, which keeps this data for easy recovery within the specified time limit.

So, in the next few lines, I'll show you how to recover deleted photos from Google Photos both via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and from your computer, conveniently using your web browsing browser.

Smartphones and tablets

On smartphones and tablets, you can recover all accidentally deleted media files from Google Photos via the Trash section of the app. To do so, simply open the Google Photos app for Android or iOS (whose icon has a colorful flower inside) and tap on the icon located at the top left.

At this point, on the screen that you are shown, locate the Trash section, where you will find all the media items, such as photos and videos, that you have accidentally deleted. As I have already mentioned in previous paragraphs, a file in this section will be available up to 60 days to recover it, after which time it will be permanently deleted from Google's servers and therefore will no longer be recoverable.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to see how much time is left before a media item in the Trash section is permanently removed. So, if you find your photo mistakenly deleted, don't delay and restore it immediately.

Once you've located the photo in question, to restore it, just keep your finger on its thumbnail and tap on the Restore button in the bottom right corner. Alternatively, if you're using Android, tap on the thumbnail to view the photo full screen, and then tap on the three-dot icon located in the upper right corner; in the screen that you see, tap on the words Restore to recover the photo. On iOS, tap on the thumbnail and press the Restore button located in the lower right corner.

If you want to recover all the media items in the Google Photos Recycle Bin , just press the Restore button at the top right, so as to reposition them in their respective albums.


Google Photos is also available through the Web panel, to upload photos from your PC and view those synchronized on other devices. The latter feature allows you to have a copy of your media files stored in the cloud (for 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 the erosion of storage space on Google Drive to keep the content in original quality). If you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend reading my guide on how Google Photos works.

The first thing you have to do is access Google Photos from your web browser: go to the service's website and click on the Go to Google Photos button, then type theusername and password of the Google account you use on your smartphone and tablet.

You have now reached the main Google Photos screen. Now click on the icon in the top left corner and select Trash in the left sidebar. In this section you will find all the items that you deleted from Google Photos both through the web panel and from your mobile devices. In fact, since data synchronization is active, any operation performed on one device will be carried out on all the others.

Media files in the Recycle Bin are only available for 60 days, after which they are permanently removed. That said, if you've located the photos you want to restore, click thecheckmark icon on each thumbnail to select them one by one. Then click on the rotating arrow icon(Restore) to recover the deleted files, which will be available in their respective albums.

Recover photos from Google Photos archive

By enabling Google Photos sync, all media files can be streamed to any device. If you'd like to download a copy of these files to your device's storage, perhaps to share the photo on other apps or services, Google Photos makes this task really easy.

In the next few paragraphs, I'll explain how to recover photos from the Google Photos archive both on smartphones and tablets and on computers, via a web browser.

Smartphones and tablets

On smartphones and tablets, launching the Google Photos app allows you to view the photos and videos on your device's memory as well as media files that have been backed up and synced from other devices. For the latter type of content, the files are streamed without actually having the file available on the device's local storage.

If you want to download a copy of photos from the Google Photos archive to your smartphone or tablet, you need to launch the Google Photos app and tap on the thumbnail of the media item you want to download. Then, click on the icon with the three dots in the upper right corner and select Save to device (on Android) or Download (on iOS) in the screen that appears.

By doing so, a copy of the photo will be downloaded to the local storage of the device, so that it can be shared in other applications or third-party services.


Accessing Google Photos from a web browser, unlike what I told you in the previous chapter on mobile devices, you can either download individual photos or entire albums. But let's go in order.

To download a single photo, first go to the official Google Photos website, press the Go to Google Photos button and enter the username and password of the Google account you use on your smartphone or tablet.

Then, on the main screen, click on the thumbnail of a photo and press the icon located in the upper right corner. Among the items that appear, 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 sidebar, then select an album from those presented to you and click on the icon, located on the top right. Among the items that are displayed, select the one called Download All, to download the album in a compressed ZIP archive, which you can open with File Explorer or with one of the programs that I recommended in this guide.

As an alternative to the above procedures, you can also decide to export all the media files on Google Photos 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 performing the Google Photos media import. If you do, you'll need to upgrade your storage space starting at £1.99/month for 100GB of cloud space.

From the Google Drive web panel, sign in with your Google account credentials and click on thegear icon, located in the upper right corner. Then, in the pane that appears, select Settings and, in the screen that is shown, put a check mark in the Create a Google Photos folder box.

On Android, launch the Google Drive app, click on the icon at the top right and select Settings. Then move the toggle from OFF to ON near the Add automatically item in the Google Photos section.

On iOS, click on the icon in the upper right corner and tap on thegear icon. On the screen that appears, tap on Photos and move the toggle from OFF to ON near the Google Photos folder item.

This will create a folder called Google Photos in Google Drive. Inside it, you will find folders divided by year that contain all your media files. If you use the Backup & Sync software, you can download all of these files to your computer so that you can store them on your local hard drive. If you want to know how to use Google Backup and Syn c to download photos from Google Drive to your PC, I suggest you read my guide dedicated to this topic.

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