Since going digital, the number of digital photographs has grown significantly, and so are the chances of accidental deletion of photos from digital cameras, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, mobile phones, etc. This can happen while trying to make more space on your device for other files or accidentally hitting the Delete or Format button on an important picture. While it is recommend to follow safe data deletion practices, not all is lost if you do land in such a situation.
Let’s look at some of the ways to recover the Photos on Windows PC
Method 1: Recycle Bin
When you hit the ‘Delete’ button, the files end up in Recycle Bin, the first destination to recover deleted photos. The files stay in Recycle Bin until you empty it or the space allotted to Recycle Bin is filled, in which case, the oldest deleted files will be deleted first.
- Go to Desktop and double-click on Recycle Bin.
- Look for the deleted picture.
- If the file is found in Recycle Bin, right-click on the file, and click ‘Restore.‘
- The file will now be available in its original location.
- You can also drag the file from Recycle Bin to the desktop/any other folder.
Method 3: Windows Backup and Recovery
Pro Tip: If you are a professional photographer and aren’t using Windows Backup & Recovery tool, you must enable it now.
If you have been using the Windows Backup & Recovery feature, and the system successfully backed up your lost media files, you can recover them in easy steps.
- Connect the external storage media where you have kept the backup.
- Go to Windows > Settings > Update & Security > Backup.
- Back up using File History > More Options > Restore files from a current backup.
- Look for your Media Files/Photos using ‘Browse for Files’ or ‘Browse for Folders.’
- Select your files and click ‘Restore.‘
Method 4: Photo Recovery Software/Application
In the off-chance, when there’s no backup, and the files aren’t found in Recycle Bin, you can use a third- party application to recover your lost photos. We reviewed several photo recovery software and found Stellar Photo Recovery to be the most effective. Here’s how to use the software:
- Download & Run ‘Stellar Photo Recovery’ application.
- Select the ‘Drive’ containing the data and click ‘Scan.‘
- You can use ‘Deep Scan’ if the ‘Scan’ doesn’t show favorable results. However, it takes considerably more time but can recover even remote data from the hard disk sectors.
- Once the scan is finished, you can filter the results by ‘File Type.‘ You can also check ‘Tree View’ or ‘Deleted List’ if you know the file location.
- You can preview the photos you can recover by clicking on the file.
- Select all the files you need and hit ‘Recover.‘
Let’s look at some of the ways to recover the data on a Mac
Recovering media files from Mac is similar to recovering them on Windows. The first step is the Trash.
Method 1: Trash
Trash is similar to the Recycle Bin of Windows. The deleted files stay in the Trash folder until a specified time or till you empty the Trash.
- Click on the Trash Bin icon and open it.
- Find your photo/photos.
- Right-click on them and select ‘Put Back’. You’ll find the files in their original location.
Method 2: Time Machine Backup
Time Machine is a built-in Backup and Recovery tool for Mac users. You can easily retrieve lost photos if you have created a backup using this feature.
- Connect the External Drive where you’ve taken the Backup.
- Open ‘Finder Window’ and locate the folder containing the photos.
- Click on the ‘Clock icon’ on the Menu Bar of Mac and click ‘Enter Time Machine’.
- Select the items you want to retrieve.
- Click ‘Restore’ to restore the photos back in the system.
Method 3: iTunes Backup
If you had created an iTunes back up on your external Drive, you could recover your files using the iTunes backup.
- Close the iTunes application.
- Open the external drive, select, and copy the iTunes folder.
- Copy the folder by right-clicking.
- Paste the folder to your desired location.
- Hold down the ‘Option’ key, click iTunes.
- The dialog box ‘Choose iTunes Library’ will open up. Select ‘Choose Library.’
- You have to select the folder you have copied.
- Once you open it, you must choose the iTunes Library.itl file.
- Your backup is ready, and you can find your files easily.
Method 4: Photo Recovery Software/Application for MAC
Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac can help recover the photos that are not recoverable even from Trash folder or iTunes backup. Download and install the application from the Stellar website.
- Run ‘Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac’ application.
- Select the drive containing the data and click ‘Scan.‘
- You can use ‘Deep Scan’ if the ‘Quick Scan’ doesn’t show results. It takes considerably more time but can recover even remote data from the sectors of hard disks.
- Once the scan is finished, you can see the list of recoverable photos in the application Window. Preview the photos by clicking on a displayed file.
- Select the files you need to recover and click ‘Recover.‘
Let’s look at some ways to recover photos from Your Android/iPhone.
The advantage of smartphones is that they keep taking automatic backups of your photos unless you stop them. You can easily find them in Google Photos, Dropbox, iCloud, iTunes, or One Drive – depending on your selected Backup application.
Google Photos/ One Drive/ Dropbox – Android
Google Photos has a ‘Trash’ folder that keeps the photos for 60 days even if you delete them. Unless you deleted them from Google Photos, you could find the images there.
- Go to the ‘Photos’ App on your Android device.
- Select Menu > Trash.
- Touch and hold to select the photo/photos you want to recover.
- Hit ‘Restore’ at the bottom of the screen.
- Google Photos also keeps automated Backup, depending upon the settings. The files won’t be deleted in such a case, if you deleted them from your phone and not from Google’s Photos app.
- If you have photos backed up on OneDrive or Dropbox, go to the App/Website. Check the ‘Recycle Bin’ in One Drive and ‘Deleted Items’ in the Dropbox for your photos.
iPhone Backup – iPhone
iPhone backup allows you to restore a backup without needing additional software or application. However, it will remove any new data. If you don’t have a backup, don’t erase the data!
- Go to Settings > General > Reset.
- Tap ‘Erase All Content & Settings’ > ‘Erase iPhone’.
- Tap ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’.
iTunes Backup – iPhone
iTunes provides a vital backup tool for Apple users. You can recover your photos using iTunes.
- Open iTunes on your PC after connecting your iPhone to the computer.
- The Device icon will appear, which you can select to see the details.
- Click ‘Restore from Backup.’
- Select the correct Backup that has the required photos.
- Click ‘Restore.’
If your photos are on a supported MicroSD Card, you can use the Stellar Photo Recovery Application to recover deleted photos.
- Connect your MicroSD Card to your Windows/Mac PC via Card Reader/Data Cable.
- Run ‘Stellar Photo Recovery.’
- Select the Drive containing the data and click ‘Scan.’
- You can use ‘Deep Scan’ if the ‘Scan’ doesn’t show results. It takes considerably more time but can recover even remote data from the sectors of hard disks.
- Once the scan is finished, you can see the list of recoverable photos in the application window.
You can preview the photos you can recover by clicking on the file.
- Select all the files you need and hit ‘Recover.’
How to Avoid a Situation like This!
While we have advanced tools for recovery now, we also have the means to take consistent backups. It is always better to backup your data, especially when external and cloud storage is convenient, fast, and cheaper than ever.
Set your phone and PC to automatic Backup. The phones can gain from Cloud backups. Apple’s iCloud is the default cloud storage app for Apple users and Google Drive for the Android users.
Multiple Partitions & Folder Structure
Use multiple partitions and avoid overwriting files. You can’t recover overwritten sectors. More partitions allow for a more significant scope of Backup and less chance of permanent deletion.
Delete Files Carefully
Ideally, delete files after ensuring you have proper backup or have no need the files in the future. Avoid using Shift + Delete at all costs, as it skips the Recycle Bin.
Keep Data Recovery Software Installed
In file recovery, time is of the essence. The earlier you detect a file deletion, the easier and faster the recovery process. We recommend keeping Stellar Photo Recovery installed on your system for its ease of use during the time of photo loss.
If you can’t find your precious or essential photos, don’t panic. There are ways to recover the files by following the steps we covered. If it still doesn’t help, a professional data recovery service can help bring your files back.
How to Recover Lost Photos Android Phone?
If the automatic backups option is checked, go to the App and recover from the Backup. If not, you can recover files using photo recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery by connecting your phone/SD Card to the computer. However, we can only recover files from memory card using this method, and not internal storage.
2.Are My Photos Lost Forever?
In most cases, the photos aren’t lost forever. Until they have been overwritten, you can restore your photos with specialized data recovery software or with the help of professional data recovery experts.