How to Recover Deleted Photos On Android

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

There's no built-in mechanism to recover a photo you've delete, but fortunately, there are phone apps and PC software programs to help you recover these images. Just keep in mind that you need to act fast.

The article you’re reading is limited to instructions for recovering photos on Android devices. Here's how to recover deleted photos on the 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 can 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 it’s fully download, open the app. If it asks you to allow access to photos, media, and files, tap allow.

  2. Within the app, tap 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 tap recover at the top of the screen.

  4. The app will ask how you would like to recover the files. Tap 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. If you already use Dropbox, that's a good one to choose because it's designed for, among other things, photo storage.

    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 instruction screens 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 include plugging your phone into your computer, and using the computer interface to find the deleted pictures. You can search for other, similar programs online.

Be aware that some programs are paid and others aren’t. If you don’t want to pay for a particular program, it’s likely another will suit your needs for free.  

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 another backup 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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