How to Recover Deleted Photos On Android

Accidentally dumped the wrong photo? Try these tips to recover it

What to Know

There's no built-in mechanism to recover a photo you've delete, but there are apps that can help you recover them. We'll tell you how to retrieve deleted photos on any Android device, and offer a few additional tips for recovering lost photos. (If you're an iOS user, learn how to recover deleted phots on an iPhone.)

Retrieve Deleted Photos on Android Smartphone

The easiest way to retrieve deleted photos on your Android smartphone is with an app called DiskDigger.

Don’t use your phone for anything else until you’ve recovered your image. Creating new files or data may erase the deleted image that’s likely still on your phone.

Using your phone, go to the Google Play Store and download the DiskDigger app.

  1. Once the DiskDigger app is downloaded to your Android device, open it. If it asks you to allow access to photos, media, and files, choose Allow.

  2. Within the app, select Start basic photo scan.

    Three Android screens with Install, Allow, and Start Basic Photo Scan buttons for DiskDigger app
  3. When you see the deleted photo appear, tap the box in the upper-left corner to select it, then choose Recover at the top of the screen.

  4. The app will ask how you would like to recover the files. Choose Save the files to an app on your device

  5. The app will present options for where to save the photo. Choose the one that will work best for you and follow instructions from there.

    Recover, Save files, Add to Dropbox buttons on three Android screens

Retrieve Deleted Photos on Android Tablet

The process to retrieve deleted photos from an Android tablet is virtually the same as doing so on an Android phone. Just be sure to read all the on-screen instruction within DiskDigger to catch minor differences.

Other Options to Restore Deleted Photos

There are also software programs to help you restore deleted photos, including Recuva, which hasn't been tested for this article but comes recommended by reliable sources. Download the program, then follow the instructions, which involve plugging your phone into your computer and using a tool to locate the deleted pictures.

You can search for similar programs online. Just be aware that some are paid and others are not.

Out of options for getting that image back from your phone or tablet? Think about places where copies of it could be:

  • Did you email or text it to a friend? Ask them to send it back!
  • Did you post it on social media? You can download it from there. For example, on Facebook open the photo, right-click on it, and select Save image as…. Then go through the normal process to save the file to your computer.
  • Did you back it up using Google Photos, Dropbox, Carbonite, or some other backup storage service? All of these services have ways of restoring your documents. For example, the process in Google Photos is the same as the one for Facebook described above.
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