Android Recycle Bin: Where Are Deleted Files Stored on Android Phone

By Elsie Wesley, Friday, May 24, 2019

"I accidentally deleted all my photos on my Samsung S8 yesterday, but I can't find a Samsung recycle bin on my phone to retrieve my photos. Is it possible to get them back? Any idea?"

As an Android user, have you ever met this situation before? You've deleted some important files on your Android phone by accident. When you want to retrieve them, you find that you can't. Actually, unlike the Windows or Mac computers, there is no Android Recycle Bin on Android phone. However, don't worry, you definitely are able to get deleted files back after reading this post.

Part 1. Is There A Recycle Bin on Android?

Unfortunately, there is no recycle bin on Android phones. The main reason probably is the limited storage of an Android phone. Unlike a computer, an Android phone usually has merely 32GB - 256 GB storage, which is too small to hold a recycle bin. If there is a trash bin, Android storage will be soon eaten up by unnecessary files. And it's easy to make the Android phone crash. Thus you can undelete data from a recycle bin on Android.

Recycle Bin

Part 2. Where Do Deleted Files Go on Android Phone?

Many of you might be asking, if there is no recycle bin on Android devices, where do the deleted files go? In fact, when you delete a file on the Android phone, it will not be completely deleted. It is still stored in the phone's internal memory, and the space that it used will be marked as readable. So when a file space is deleted, new data is able to use its space at any time, and then, overwrite the deleted data.

Since deleted files are not permanently deleted, they can be restored. However, since the Android phone does not offer a recycle bin, you can use a third party data recovery software to achieve the goal.

NOTE: Operations like sending messages, taking photos could generate new data and overwrite the deleted data. To protect the deleted files, you'd better turn off network connection and not use the phone until the date are recovered.

Part 3. How to Retrieve Deleted Files on Android?

If you are looking for a solution to restore files that are accidentally deleted before, a desktop program called FonePaw Android Data Recovery can be on the list.

FonePaw Android Data Recovery specializes in recovering deleted photos, videos, audios, WhatsApp, text messages, contacts, call logs and documents on Android phones which are running OS between 2.1 and 9.0, for example, Samsung Galaxy S10/S9/S9 Plus, S8/ S8 Plus, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, OnePlus and so on.

Step 1. Download FonePaw Data Recovery

Click on the download button to get the program. The program is supporting both of Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Mac 10.14/10.13/10.12/ 10.11 / 10.10 / 10.9 / 10.8 / 10.7.

Download Download

Step 2. Launch FonePaw Android Data Recovery

After installation, launch the program on the computer. And then, connect your Android phone to your computer with a USB cable.

Connect Android to Computer

Step 3. Authorize Your Android Phone

Click "OK" on the pop-up window on the Android phone for authorization. If the pop-up window does show up, you can manually enable the USB debugging on your Android phone. See also: How to Enable USB Debugging on Android.

Enable USB Debugging

Step 4. Select File Types to Recover

If your Android phone is successfully connected to the program, you are allowed to select the file types you need. For example, check "Contacts", "Messages"  or "Select All" directly. And then, click on the "Next" button.

Select File Types

Step 5. Grant Permission to Scan Deleted Files on Android

Before being able to search deleted files on your phone, the program needs to have your permission to access the space that store deleted files. When you see the request popping up on your phone, Tap "Allow".

Step 6. Choose Target Files

When the scanning is finished, deleted files will be listed on the program's interface. In this step, enable the checkbox to choose your target files. After that, click "Recover" button to get files back.

Recover Files From Android

The deleted files will be saved to your computer after recovery. You can manually move the deleted photos, videos, audio files, etc. back to your Android phone or use FonePaw DoTrans, which can quickly import data from PC to Android/iOS device as well as transferring files between Android and iOS devices.  

Part 4. Get A Recycle Bin on Android? It Is Possible

Although Android phones do not provide a recycle bin for users, many applications have their own trash folders which allow users to recover deleted data on the applications. That's also another reason why there is no need to have a recycle bin for Android.

1. Android Email Recycle Bin: All email clients, including Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook have their own trash folder to hold deleted emails temporarily.

2. Recycle Bins in File Explorer: File Explorer applications like Dropbox, ES File Explorer contain their own recycle bin.

3. Trash on Photos App: Photos app like Google Photos have a built-in trash folder. And if you have enabled Samsung Cloud on a Samsung phone, you can also find deleted photos on Samsung Cloud's trash folder...

4. Recycle Bin for Android APK

If you really need a recycle bin on your phone, there are some third-party recycle bin for Android.

  • Dumpster: As similar as that on a computer, when you delete a file on your Android device, the deleted file will be automatically removed to Dumpster.  Moreover, you can check the deleted items in the application. Additionally, it can also restore deleted files such as images, audio, documents, video and even APK files, VCF cards and HTML pages.


  • Recycle Bin: Recycle Bin, also known as Trash, serves as a temporary storage location for the files on Android devices. If you want to delete a file with Recycle Bin, you can get the result via "Send To", "Share it" or "Open With" options to transfer files to the Recycle Bin. If you want to permanently remove the file, you need to go to Recycle Bin and enable "Permanently Delete the File" option. Moreover, you can also restore the files with it.

Recycle Bin

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