Surely it has ever happened to you that you want to put the glove on a photo and it turns out that the day before, while you were cleaning, you deleted it without realizing it. On desktop systems there are dozens of applications prepared to recover deleted files, as long as they have not been deleted long ago, but things change slightly when we talk about mobile phones. Is it possible to recover deleted photos? Yes. It is easy? It depends.

There are several methods, each one more complicated, especially when we talk about recovering photos on Android, but let’s see them all, regardless of the operating system. Later, we will see some alternatives so you don’t get scared again. With that said, let’s get started.

On Android

We start with the Google operating system. Generally, on the latest mobiles, manufacturers have implemented a trash in the gallery app that saves the photos for a few days before “deleting them completely”. The layers in question are One UI (Samsung), LG UX 6.0, EMUI 8 (Huawei) and MIUI 10, in addition to Android One, Pixel Launcher and other versions of Android Stock that generally use Google Photos as a gallery. , an app that has a built-in trash can by default.

Before you go to use applications and break your brains to recover a photo, take a look at the gallery app to see if there is an option called “Trash” in the menus (the route will depend on the mobile). If you have recently deleted the photos (between one or two weeks), surely you have them there safe. Select the ones you want to recover and voila, they will return to their site.

It is possible that your gallery app does not have a trash can, in which case will have to use applications. The chances of recovery will depend on whether you have root access or not. Let’s see both. But first, note that if the photos were on the microSD card, you can try using Recuva.

No root

Most likely, your phone is not rooted. That does not mean that you cannot do things, but we already anticipate that the options are reduced. Recovery apps can only access the cache and thumbnails, better known in the jargon as thumbnails. What does that mean? That what you are going to be able to recover are small photos, not the original file. It is more than anything, but less than what you had before.

One of the most popular applications for this missive is DiskDigger. Its operation is very simple, you simply have to give it permission to access the storage and wait for it to analyze all the internal memory of your mobile. They will appear all (eye, all) the photos that you have in your device mixed, that is to say, that you will see both deleted and not. In my case, which I have tested on a Motorola One that I use as a secondary mobile, more than 1,000 photos have appeared, so finding the one you are looking for can be a complicated task.

Deleted photos are mixed with non-deleted ones, so finding one in particular can be a difficult task

Now you just have to browse through the entire collection of photos that appear and find the one you need to recover. When you find it, click on it and select the “Recover” button. The thumbnail, not the original photo, will reappear in your gallery and at least you can see it as many times as you want. To give you an idea, from a photo of 4,128 x 2,322 pixels we were able to recover a thumbnail of 640 x 360 pixels.


With root

If you have root the thing improves, because the applications can do a deeper scan and show, on some occasions, the original photos. The end result depends, to a large extent, on how long you have erased it. If it was recently, you might be lucky and you can get it back in full without too much damage. If you don’t have root permissions, you should know that getting them involves some risks, so do it at your own risk.

That you have root access does not guarantee that you will find the deleted photo, it simply increases the possibilities

If you are a root user, open Diskdigger and give it superuser permissions. Then choose the specific partition you want to analyze, although it is recommended that you leave the one activated by default. Finally, select the file format you are looking for. In the free version you can only choose photos or videos, if you want something else you will have to buy the Pro version for 3.34 euros.

And now we have to wait a long time. The good thing is that, finished the crawl, you will only see the photos and videos that have been deleted, so it will be easier for you to find what you are looking for. That does not mean that they are few, but surely they are less than those that appeared before. When you find the file, click on it and select “Recover”. Ready.

On iPhone

On iPhone it is much easier, since the “Photos” app has a trash can that keeps the entire files for a month. If the photo you deleted is recent, don’t worry that it will be there with almost total security (unless you have manually deleted it, in which case it will get more difficult).

To recover a deleted photo on iPhone (or iPad), simply open “Photos”, go to “Albums” and navigate all the way down. In the “Other albums” section you will see the option “Deleted”. There you will find each and every one of the files, be it photo or video, that you have deleted in the last 30 days together with the time that remains to be permanently deleted. Select the ones you want to send back to the gallery and click “Recover”. The photos will return in their original state. If they don’t appear in “Deleted”, it’s time to try your luck with the backup.

From a backup

By default, the iPhone is configured so that back up photos to iCloud library. Even so, the free space is very limited, just 5 GB, so if you have been filling it since you bought your phone with photos and videos, most likely the most recent ones have not been uploaded. Still, by trying you lose nothing.

On the iPhone, open the “Settings” app.
Click on your name (at the top).
Select iCloud.
Check that the “Photos” section is activated and that the “Photos in iCloud” option is checked inside. If so, your photos may be safe in the cloud.

On a computer, go to and log in with your Apple ID. Enter the code that requests you and it will have appeared on the iPhone and select “Trust this browser”. You will come to a window like the one you have right up here. Choose “Photos”.

If you are lucky and the photo was synchronized with the cloud, you are in luck because will be there. Mark the ones you want to recover and press the cloud icon with the down arrow. That will download it to your computer in its original size.

No this? Well, we still have the iTunes backup, if you have not modified anything it is done every time you connect the iPhone to the computer and open the application. If you have a recent backup, or at least from before you deleted the photo, don’t worry because it’s probably there. Connect the iPhone to the computer and press the icon that appears marked in the photo below.

Now locate the option “Restore backup”. Below it will show you the date it was made. If it’s from before you deleted the photo, it’s probably there. Restore the copy and voila, with a little luck you will be back in the gallery.

Don’t let it happen to you again

Have you managed to recover the photo? Goodness. It was a scare, but hey, everything is back on track. Now we are going to see some options so that this does not happen again. You have several alternatives, but the simplest are two: use a cloud storage service or periodically upload photos and videos to a physical medium such as a computer.

Cloud applications: the most recommended, as it is free and unlimited, is Google Photos. It works with the Google account and is available for iOS and Android, making it a sure way to never lose a single image or video. If you don’t like it, you can use Dropbox, Google Drive or any other cloud app. On iPhone, if you are willing to pay, you can use iCloud.
In a physical medium: as simple as connecting the mobile to the computer, find DCIM folder and copy all files to hard drive. It is slower, requires a little more work on your part and a certain periodicity, but at least it is a method so that you do not have a scare again.