When I'm asked to explain the main features of Apple devices, I can talk for hours without realizing it - there are several doubts I want to fill. However, one of the questions I'm asked most often is about a common problem: the accidental deletion of your photos and videos. Both friends and colleagues who are tech-savvy and novice users ask me a recurring question: "Salvatore, what do I have to do to get my photos back from iCloud? It is clear that, sooner or later, whether they want to or not, everyone will run into this technological problem.
It has happened to you too: due to a moment of distraction, you deleted from your iPhone that beautiful photo you took a few days ago. You're desperate: that was one of your best shots, you can't have lost it forever! Come on, don't be like that, all is not lost! Apple devices have an edge over native iCloud photo recovery. With a little patience and calm, you'll be able to restore the photos you care about.
I'm sorry? Don't believe it? Well, then you just have to read this tutorial of mine. In the following lines, I'll explain how you can recover photos from iCloud using your device or the web version of Apple's popular storage service. Are you ready to get started? Are you ready to get started? Great, then I guess I'll just have to wish you a good read.
How to activate iCloud Photo Library
If you want to make sure that you can recover photos taken from your Apple phone from any device at any time, you should first check that you've activated iCloud Photo Library service on your iPhone or iPad.
This way, the photos you take from your smartphone or tablet will be synced to all your Apple devices and can also be viewed online at any time. You can make sure this option is turned on in no time by tapping directly from your device settings. I'll explain how to proceed in the following lines.
From your iPhone's home screen, tap the Settings icon, which is the one with a gear symbol, to access your device's Settings screen. Locate the Photos item now and tap on it, then make sure that iCloud Photo Library is active and also that Upload to My Photo Stream and Upload Photo Quick Sequence items are active.
If these entries are disabled, activate them manually: to do so, move the stick from left to right and turn it green. Always using your device's settings, and then using the gear symbol app, make sure that the photo backup system on iCloud is also active for security. To do this, tap on your name from your device settings and tap on the iCloud entry.
On the next screen, make sure that the Apps using iCloud are marked Yes under Photos and iCloud Backup. If not, tap on the individual entries I mentioned and move the toggles from left to right to turn them green.
In this way you will have fully activated all the features of the service in question. You'll be sure to have a backup copy of your photos and also be able to retrieve them at any time from any Apple device, including through the web-based iCloud service. I'll explain how to proceed in both cases in the following lines.
How to recover photos from iCloud (via Web)
Once you've successfully activated (or verified activation) the iCloud Photo Library service, you can try to recover your photos in a variety of ways. In this section I will first explain how to do this by acting as the official iCloud website.
Then open the browser you usually use to browse the Internet and go to the official iCloud website at this link, logging in with your Apple ID information.
Once you're logged in to the iCloud web service, first click the Photos icon and wait until you see the photo and video library that has been synchronized with your device. Once you view all of your photos through the web-based iCloud service, the first thing you can do is click the Recently Deleted item.
This item is located in the left sidebar (it has a trashcan symbol); it is a photo folder synchronized on the web version of iCloud that includes all the photos you have recently deleted on your device.
Through this folder you should be able to view a series of photos that you have deleted, provided they have been deleted no more than 40 days ago. Please note that the photos you delete from your device will not be permanently deleted, as they will be stored in this special folder for up to 40 days. After this time, the images will be permanently deleted. If you have recently deleted pictures from your device, you can still see them in this folder: it will be very useful to recover them.
In case the image you are trying to restore is present in this folder you can recover it in a very simple way. All you have to do is click on it to select it and check it and then press the Recover button that you can see located in the top right corner. In addition, you can perform this recovery procedure even in case of multiple images: select them one by one so that the check mark appears and perform the recovery by always pressing the Recover button.
How to retrieve photos from iCloud (alternative method)
But now let's put the case where you are trying to recover an iCloud photo but it wasn't stored directly in the iCloud Photo Library, as it was in a folder that you uploaded to iCloud Drive. If you accidentally deleted the folder in question, you don't have to worry: then recover it and the photos in it.
To do this you need to go back to the official iCloud website and log in with your login details. Once you are logged in, click on your name, which you can see at the top right of the page, and then click on iCloud Settings from the menu that appears.
Now click the Restore Files option in the bottom left corner. This will open a menu where, in the Restore Files section, you can view the files you deleted from iCloud Drive and easily restore them. To do this, all you need to do is tick the file names and then click the Restore button at the bottom of the menu.
How to recover photos from iCloud on iPhone
As we have seen together, recovering deleted photos from iCloud is actually very simple, as it will be enough to act from the Web version of the well-known service developed by Apple. There is also an even more immediate and intuitive procedure that allows you to recover photos that have been deleted from your device, acting directly from the Photo app, present by default on your mobile phone.
So if you've deleted photos from your device, the first thing you need to do is open the Photos app from your smartphone's home screen. Then tap on Albums to view all the photo albums on your device.
Then locate the album called Recently Deleted and tap on it. Similar to what I saw in the previous lines, the Recently Deleted folder is located directly in the iOS Photos app, so you can search this screen for the photos you deleted to perform the restore process.
Again, please note that deleted photos will only be stored in the Recently Deleted folder for a maximum period of 40 days. After this period, the photos will be completely deleted and you will no longer be able to restore them.
Therefore, if you have deleted a photo from the memory of your device in a fairly recent period of time, search for the photo in question through the Recently Deleted folder and once found, tap on it and, to retrieve it, tap on the Retrieve button which you will see located at the bottom right.
You can also perform this procedure to retrieve multiple images at once. To do so, first tap on the Select item in the top right corner of the Recently Deleted folder, then tap on the individual images you want to restore to place a check mark on them, and then retrieve them all once by tapping on the Retrieve item in the bottom right corner.
How to recover photos from iCloud on iPhone (alternative method)
An alternative procedure that I want to explain to you concerns the recovery of deleted photos from iCloud, in case they were stored in an iCloud Drive folder.
You can also recover deleted photos from iCloud Drive from your Apple smartphone or tablet using the File application on your device by default.
If you cannot find the File application on your device's Home screen, you may have deleted it by mistake. Don't worry - open the iOS App Store and use the search engine to locate, locate, download, and re-install the File app. Once the installation is complete, tap on it from your device's home screen or tap Open, which will appear in the iOS App Store.
Use the File app to tap the Browse item and then tap the Recently Deleted item. The photos uploaded to iCloud Drive that you recently deleted will appear in this folder. You can then use this folder to restore the images. To do so, tap on the Select item and then tap on the Recover item with a check mark on the images you want to recover.