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I Deleted My Photos by Accident

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

1 Introduction: Restore Photos

It can be a very frustrating or even heartbreaking experience to lose your images. Missing photos and videos can be lost forever. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to protect those precious memories.

File Recovery.

Recovering deleted photos can be a critical task, especially when they hold sentimental or professional value. Fortunately, whether you're using a Mac, PC, Android, or iPhone device, there are several methods to attempt photo recovery. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to recover deleted photos across these platforms.

For Mac Users

1. Check the Recently Deleted Folder

  • Photos App: Open the Photos app, go to the 'Recently Deleted' album, and see if your deleted photos are there. If yes, you can easily recover them.

2. Use Time Machine Backup

  • If you've set up Time Machine, connect your backup drive, open the folder where your photos were stored, and use Time Machine to restore deleted photos.

3. Third-Party Recovery Software

  • Consider using software like Disk Drill or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Install the software, run a scan on your Mac, and recover the found photos.

4. iCloud Recovery

  • If you use iCloud Photos, log in to iCloud.com, go to Photos, and check the 'Recently Deleted' folder.

For PC Users (Windows)

1. Check the Recycle Bin

  • First, look in the Recycle Bin to see if your deleted photos are there. If found, right-click on them and choose 'Restore'.

2. Use File History

  • If you've enabled File History, go to the folder where your photos were stored, right-click on it, and select 'Restore previous versions' to recover your photos.

3. Data Recovery Software

  • Use software like Recuva or Stellar Data Recovery. These tools can scan your PC for deleted files, including photos, and allow you to recover them.

4. OneDrive Recovery

  • If you've synced your photos with OneDrive, check the 'Recycle bin' on the OneDrive website for your deleted photos.

For Android Devices

1. Check Google Photos

  • If you've synced your photos with Google Photos, open the app, go to the 'Bin' (or 'Trash'), and recover your photos from there.

2. Use Android Data Recovery Software

  • Software like Dr. Fone or EaseUS MobiSaver can help. Connect your Android device to your PC, enable USB debugging, and use the software to scan and recover deleted photos.

3. Check Local Backup

  • If your device has a local backup feature, use it to restore your photos if they were included in the backup.

For iPhone and iPad (iOS)

1. Recently Deleted Album

  • In the Photos app, go to the 'Recently Deleted' album. If your photos are there, you can recover them.

2. iCloud Recovery

  • Similar to Mac, use iCloud.com or the iCloud Photos app to recover photos from the 'Recently Deleted' folder.

3. iTunes Backup

  • If you've backed up your iPhone or iPad to iTunes, you can restore the entire device from an older backup that includes your photos.

4. Third-Party iOS Recovery Tools

  • Tools like PhoneRescue or EaseUS MobiSaver can be used to recover deleted photos. Connect your device to your computer, run the software, and follow the instructions.

General Recovery Tips

  • Act Quickly: The sooner you attempt recovery, the higher the chance of success.
  • Avoid Overwriting Data: Stop using the device to prevent new data from overwriting the deleted photos.
  • Preview Before Recovery: Most recovery tools allow you to preview files before recovery, helping you to identify the needed photos.

Preventive Measures

  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your data to the cloud or external drives.
  • Cloud Sync: Use services like iCloud, Google Photos, or OneDrive for automatic photo backups.
  • Handle Data Carefully: Be cautious when deleting files and avoid accidental data loss.

Conclusion

Losing photos can be stressful, but with the right tools and techniques, recovery is often possible. Whether you're using a Mac, PC, Android device, or an iPhone/iPad, start with built-in recovery options and then move on to third-party software if needed. Remember, the key to successful photo recovery is acting quickly and having regular backups in place.

2 Device: Type

For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

? What kind of device are you using?

  1. Desktop
  2. Laptop
  3. Smartphone
  4. Tablet

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It can be a very frustrating or even heartbreaking experience to lose your images. Missing photos and videos can be lost forever. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to protect those precious memories.

File Recovery.

Recovering deleted photos can be a critical task, especially when they hold sentimental or professional value. Fortunately, whether you're using a Mac, PC, Android, or iPhone device, there are several methods to attempt photo recovery. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to recover deleted photos across these platforms.

For Mac Users

1. Check the Recently Deleted Folder

  • Photos App: Open the Photos app, go to the 'Recently Deleted' album, and see if your deleted photos are there. If yes, you can easily recover them.

2. Use Time Machine Backup

  • If you've set up Time Machine, connect your backup drive, open the folder where your photos were stored, and use Time Machine to restore deleted photos.

3. Third-Party Recovery Software

  • Consider using software like Disk Drill or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Install the software, run a scan on your Mac, and recover the found photos.

4. iCloud Recovery

  • If you use iCloud Photos, log in to iCloud.com, go to Photos, and check the 'Recently Deleted' folder.

For PC Users (Windows)

1. Check the Recycle Bin

  • First, look in the Recycle Bin to see if your deleted photos are there. If found, right-click on them and choose 'Restore'.

2. Use File History

  • If you've enabled File History, go to the folder where your photos were stored, right-click on it, and select 'Restore previous versions' to recover your photos.

3. Data Recovery Software

  • Use software like Recuva or Stellar Data Recovery. These tools can scan your PC for deleted files, including photos, and allow you to recover them.

4. OneDrive Recovery

  • If you've synced your photos with OneDrive, check the 'Recycle bin' on the OneDrive website for your deleted photos.

For Android Devices

1. Check Google Photos

  • If you've synced your photos with Google Photos, open the app, go to the 'Bin' (or 'Trash'), and recover your photos from there.

2. Use Android Data Recovery Software

  • Software like Dr. Fone or EaseUS MobiSaver can help. Connect your Android device to your PC, enable USB debugging, and use the software to scan and recover deleted photos.

3. Check Local Backup

  • If your device has a local backup feature, use it to restore your photos if they were included in the backup.

For iPhone and iPad (iOS)

1. Recently Deleted Album

  • In the Photos app, go to the 'Recently Deleted' album. If your photos are there, you can recover them.

2. iCloud Recovery

  • Similar to Mac, use iCloud.com or the iCloud Photos app to recover photos from the 'Recently Deleted' folder.

3. iTunes Backup

  • If you've backed up your iPhone or iPad to iTunes, you can restore the entire device from an older backup that includes your photos.

4. Third-Party iOS Recovery Tools

  • Tools like PhoneRescue or EaseUS MobiSaver can be used to recover deleted photos. Connect your device to your computer, run the software, and follow the instructions.

General Recovery Tips

  • Act Quickly: The sooner you attempt recovery, the higher the chance of success.
  • Avoid Overwriting Data: Stop using the device to prevent new data from overwriting the deleted photos.
  • Preview Before Recovery: Most recovery tools allow you to preview files before recovery, helping you to identify the needed photos.

Preventive Measures

  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your data to the cloud or external drives.
  • Cloud Sync: Use services like iCloud, Google Photos, or OneDrive for automatic photo backups.
  • Handle Data Carefully: Be cautious when deleting files and avoid accidental data loss.

Conclusion

Losing photos can be stressful, but with the right tools and techniques, recovery is often possible. Whether you're using a Mac, PC, Android device, or an iPhone/iPad, start with built-in recovery options and then move on to third-party software if needed. Remember, the key to successful photo recovery is acting quickly and having regular backups in place.

For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

To continue, we need to know what Operating System your computer is using.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.

Microsoft Windows Apple macOS
Microsoft Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony. Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.
Microsoft Windows. Apple macOS.

The following guide will walk you through the steps to recover files on your Windows computer.

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The following guide will walk you through the steps to recover files on your Mac computer.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

To continue, we need to know what Operating System your smartphone or tablet has.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for smartphones currently available, Android and iOS.

Android Smartphone iOS Smartphone
Android smartphones are produced by multiple companies, such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, and OnePlus. Apple is the only company that makes iOS smartphones.
Example Android home screen. Example iOS home screen.
  1. Open the Google Photos app.
    Google Photos.
  2. Swipe from the left, and select Trash.
    Google Photos menu with Trash highlighted.
  3. Select Restore at the top.
    Trash with Restore highlighted.
  4. Select any images you wish to restore, then select Restore at the bottom right.
    Restore with item selected and restore highlighted.
  1. Open the Google Drive app.
    Google Drive.
  2. Swipe from left to right, and select Trash.
    Drive menu with Trash highlighted.
  3. Look through the files listed for missing files.
    1. If you see a file you wish to restore, select the 3-dot menu for that file.
      Trash with 3-dot menu highlighted.
    2. Select Restore from the menu.
      File menu with Restore highlighted.

We were unable to locate the file on your device, and all the backup resources that are available are either not in use, or do not contain the file.

The next option is professional data recovery. These services can be quite expensive, depending on how much data is lost, and how the data was lost in the first place.

If you intend to pursue professional data recovery services, it is extremely important you stop using your device, Shut it down, and do not turn it back on till after you have spoken with the professional data recovery service you have chosen.

Continuing to use the device in any way can destroy the data permanently, without any chance or hope of recovery.

iCloud automatically backs up your data, including your photos, to their cloud servers. It is possible your device isn't connected to iCloud, and can't show your missing data.

iCloud will automatically enable when you log in with your Apple ID for the first time.

You can manually sign in to iCloud, iTunes and App Store, iMessage, FaceTime, and your other Apple services in one place.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Sign in to your [device].
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password. If you don't have an Apple ID, tap Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it? and follow the on-screen prompts to set up your free Apple ID account.
  4. If you protect your account with two-factor authentication, enter the six-digit verification code and complete sign in.

iOS device showing the apple id selected

  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Photos app with Albums highlighted.
  3. Select the Recently Deleted album.
    Recently Deleted folder highlighted.
    The Recently Deleted album will only appear if there are items in it.

    Skip to the next step if you do not see the Recently Deleted album at the bottom of your Album list.
  4. If you see an item you were looking for select it.
    Recently deleted with image highlighted.
  5. Select Recover at the bottom.
    Image displayed with Recover highlighted.
  6. Select Recover Photo.
    Recover Photo highlighted.
  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Photos app with Albums highlighted.
  3. Select the Hidden album.
    Albums with Hidden highlighted.
    The Hidden album will only appear if there are items in it.

    Skip to the next step if you do not see the Hidden album at the bottom of your Album list.
  4. If you see the item you are looking for, select it.
    Hidden Album with image highlighted.
  5. Select the Menu icon at the bottom.
    Image display with Menu icon highlighted.
  6. Select Unhide.
    Photo menu with Unhide highlighted.

We were unable to locate the file on your device, and all the backup resources that are available are either not in use, or do not contain the file.

The next option is professional data recovery. These services can be quite expensive, depending on how much data is lost, and how the data was lost in the first place.

If you intend to pursue professional data recovery services, it is extremely important you stop using your device, Shut it down, and do not turn it back on till after you have spoken with the professional data recovery service you have chosen.

Continuing to use the device in any way can destroy the data permanently, without any chance or hope of recovery.