Photos are one of the greatest ways to preserve memories, and it can be heartbreaking if you have accidentally deleted images or lost them unintentionally. While you can recover the photos, it isn’t sure how much of them can be recovered as it can vary based on factors like size, time since deletion, etc.
If you’re here, we believe you might have some important photos as well. If that is the scenario, the below approaches will help you arguably recover your photos, and here is how you can do it on different platforms.
What we cover
Recover Deleted/Old Photos
With time, most of us have been capturing pictures with our smartphones, thanks to the enhancement in mobile camera technology. This has made things easy, especially in how images are saved, thanks to Google and Apple’s cloud support.
Throughout the article, we will focus on recovering the images through Google Photos and Apple Photos on several platforms. If none works, worry not, as we will provide you with third-party alternatives that could potentially recover deleted or lost old photos.
Recovering Photos with Google Photos
- Start by opening Google Photos on your Android smartphone from the app drawer or through an app search.
- After Photos opens, navigate to Library and tap on it.
- Under library, you will find several options at the start, and from which, tap on Bin.
- You can see most of your deleted photos here if you haven’t emptied your bin. Now, select the image/images by tapping the Restore button present at the bottom to recover the photos.
If you don’t find your lost photo in the bin, there is a high chance that Google Photos has made a backup if provided access. If you have enabled backup, follow the below steps:
- Start by looking for the photo that isn’t present in your internal storage, and once you find it, tap on it.
- After the photo loads, swipe up or tap on three vertical dots present at the top right corner to reveal multiple options.
- From the options, look for Download and tap on it. By doing so, the image is restored and added back to your internal storage, resulting in a successful recovery.
Considering the interface of Google Photos remains the same, the steps above work on iPhone as well. Here are quick steps on how you can recover photos using Google Photos on iPhone:
- Open Google Photos from your app drawer or through an app search.
- In Google Photos, go to Library and tap on it.
- Under the library, tap on Bin.
- If your deleted photos are in the bin, choose the photos you want to recover and tap the Restore button at the bottom to recover your photos.
If you can’t find your deleted photo in the bin and you’ve enabled backup, follow these steps:
- From the backed-up photos, locate the photo that’s not in your Photos app and tap on it.
- When the photo opens, swipe up or tap the three vertical dots in the top-right corner to access more options.
- Look for Download in the options and tap it. This action will restore the image and add it back to your internal storage, successfully recovering it.
Recovering Photos with Apple Photos
Unlike Google, Apple hasn’t provided cross-platform support with their Photos app. Hence, the below steps can be performed on Android. To address this issue, we have provided a dedicated section for recovering photos through the web in the later of the article, so please keep reading.
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone from your app menu or through an app search.
- After the app is loaded, look at the bottom for Albums and tap on it.
- Now swipe down until you find the section Utilities, and from the options present under it, tap on Recently Deleted.
- If you haven’t set auto delete or emptied the deleted photos, you should find even old deleted photos. Select the desired image/images and tap on the Recover button.
The above steps recover the deleted photos, and if you haven’t found the photo you’re looking for, rest assured that your images are backed up on iCloud. However, unlike Android, to recover the photos, you need another PC or an Apple device.
Unfortunately, if you haven’t backed on iCloud, here are steps on how you can restore photos using iTunes/Finder if you have made a backup:
- On your Windows PC, install iTunes, or if you use a Mac, install Finder.
- After the software is installed, connect your iPhone to the laptop/PC and wait until it gets recognized.
- Now, head to the Summary tab and click on it to find a section named Backups.
- Under it, look for Manually Back up and Restore, and click on the Restore button to recover images.
Note: Before performing this step, ensure that the iPhone is backed up as it overwrites the existing one, which is a major drawback. Also, you don’t have preview access for photos within backups.
To counter this issue, the only possible approach is to rely on third-party software, which can be a hassle for non-technical people and can cost you money as most third-party software are paid.
Recovering Photos from Web
There isn’t anything particularly new with this approach since we provide the same steps on a different platform. While this might not be useful for all, iPhone users who have made a backup on iCloud and those looking for flexibility must consider this.
Recover from Google Photos:
- Start by opening your web browser, navigate to the Google Photos website, and sign in to your Google account if you’re not already logged in.
- After Google Photos is loaded and you’re on the homepage, look to the left to find the section Library. Under the library, you will find several options, and click on Trash from the options.
- If your deleted photos are in the trash, choose the photos you want to recover and click the Restore button to retrieve your photos.
If you can’t find your lost photo in the bin and you’ve enabled backup, follow these steps:
- Start by searching for the photo that you find missing and click on it.
- After the photo loads, click on the three vertical dots located at the top right corner to reveal multiple options.
- From the options, look for Download and click on it. By doing so, the image is recovered successfully, and you can find it in the downloads folder on your Windows PC.
Recover from Apple Photos:
- Start by opening your web browser, navigate to the iCloud Photos website, and sign in with your Apple account if you’re not already logged in.
- After Photos is loaded, look on the left side of the screen, and under the Photos section, click on Recently Deleted.
- After you find the image the image deleted, click on it and find the Recover button from the options to recover the image.
If you have accidentally deleted a photo and believe it is backed to iCloud, here are steps to recover it through the browser.
- Find the photo missing by looking at the images from the iCloud homepage.
- After you find the missing photo, tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the photo.
- Now, click on it to reveal options and find the Download option to recover the image.
Congratulations on successfully recovering deleted or old photos from the approaches provided!
If you had no luck recovering the images, all you’re left with is the third-party data recovery tools. From our end, we had luck with Android while using these tools, and we suggest checking apps like DiskDigger photo recovery.
However, on iPhone, most apps haven’t worked right, and we suggest checking multiple free apps until you’re satisfied with the result. Contrarily, if the photo is lost on a Windows or Mac PC, any data recovery would do a satisfactory job.
So, to conclude, always back up your photos to the cloud or on local storage to avoid loss of photos. Also, while purchasing an app or tool, ensure they have good ratings.
Can we recover 5 years old deleted photos?
Recovering photos deleted five years ago may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The success of recovery depends on factors like backup availability, storage type, and the specific device or service used for deletion.
What are a few typical causes of lost photos?
Accidental deletion, equipment malfunctions, software problems, and infrequent photo backups are among the common causes of photo loss. Hardware failure or theft are other potential causes of data loss.
Are there any safety measures that can be taken to stop smartphone data loss?
Make regular backups of your images to an external storage device or cloud service to avoid data loss on smartphones. To improve security, use password protection and update the operating system on your device frequently.