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How to Recover Deleted Files from Android

By Emily Watson, Thursday, Octorber 11, 2019
Summary:

Deleted files are not completely gone on your Android phone. FonePaw Android Data Recovery can magically bring your deleted data back. Give it a free try.

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Sometimes you can delete files that you actually need on your Android phone, such as photos, downloaded MP3 audio files, contacts, messages, etc. Luckily, permanently deleted files in Android can be recovered as long as you do Android file recovery following the right way.

Here is the complete guide to show you the right way to recover deleted files on Android, both from Android internal memory as well as SD card external memory.

Where Do Deleted Files Go on Android?

Although Android doesn't have a recycle bin for deleted files, files do not completely disappear from your phone memory after they are deleted. This is why it is possible to restore deleted files on Android.

When you delete a file in Android, your Android phone doesn't move the file to another place, nor does it wipe the deleted files from your memory space. What happens is that the deleted file still remains on the same spot of your memory space, only that the space it occupies is marked as "unused" and becomes available for new data to write in. Once the spot is used by new data, the deleted files are overwritten and deleted permanently.



For iPhone Users: How to Recover Deleted Files from iPhone

For Deleted Photos: How to Deleted Photos from Android



How Can I Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Android Phone?

As we have learned that deleted files are still in our Android phones, so long as we perform Android file recovery before the deleted files are overwritten, the deleted files can be restored.

To make sure that you can retrieve the deleted files in Android, there are two things to do: 

  • Stop creating new data;

  • Recover the deleted files as soon as possible.

Many things you do on a phone can create new data: install or update apps, download music, take photos... Therefore, put your Android phone in Airplane mode to stop receiving new messages or downloading new files, and try to use the phone as less as possible.

Then, with a reliable Android file recovery application, you can start to recover deleted files from your Android phone. And instead of recovering deleted files from Android without computer by a file recovery app, which could potentially overwrite the deleted files when the app is installed, you have a better chance to recover the deleted files with a desktop Android data recovery application on a computer.

So you are recommended to install FonePaw Android Data Recovery, a data recovery program for Windows PC or Mac to undelete photos, audio files, videos and more on Android in one click.

Recover Deleted Files from Android (Take Samsung as an example)

FonePaw Android Data Recovery is designed to recover deleted/lost data on Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, LG, Sony, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, OnePlus, AUSU, ZTE and more. It can recover deleted photos, videos, music, text messages, WhatsApp, contacts, call logs and document files on Android phones. It can recover Android files within a few clicks. Here is how to use it.

Click the Download button below to install FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

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STEP 1. Connect Android to PC

To start with, install and run the phone memory recovery for Android on your computer. Then connect Samsung phone (Galaxy S7/S8/S9/Note 9) to PC with a USB cable.

Connect Android Phone to PC

STEP 2. Allow USB Debugging

Open your Android phone and allow USB debugging, which is needed for the computer to communicate with the connected phone.

For Android 2.3 or earlier: Enter "Settings"> "Applications"> "Development" > "USB debugging"

For Android 3.0 - 4.1: Go to "Settings" > "Developer options" > "USB debugging".

For Android 4.2 or newer: Hit "Settings" > "About phone". Tab "Build number" for 7 times till the dialogue box "You are under developer mode" occurs. Then go back to "Settings" > "Developer options" > "USB Debugging".

Allow for USB debugging


STEP 3. Choose File Types to Recover

After USB debugging is turned on, the Samsung is successfully connected to the program, you will be asked to select files types that you want to restore. Tick documents, photos, messages or other deleted files that you need, and then click the "Next" button.

Choose File Types to Recover

STEP 4. Analyze Device and Get the Privilege to Scan Files

In this step, the program will check the device information and then try to get root permission, which is needed to access the deleted files. When you see the below screen, open the connected Samsung and tap "Allow/Grant/ Authorize" to make sure the root request is accepted.

Analyze Device and Get Privilege to Scan Files

Once the program gets root permission, it will begin to scan out the deleted data. Please wait patiently for phone file recovery to finish.

Scanning Files of Android Phone

STEP 5. Preview and Recover Lost Files from Android

When the deleted files are found, all your Android files will be displayed. To look at only the deleted files, tap the "ON" icon on the top to set to display the deleted items only. Select the deleted files that you are looking for and click "Recover". The deleted files will be retrieved and saved on your computer.

Preview and Recover Files from Android

That is how to get back deleted items from Android phones and tablets.

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The deleted files will be recovered to your computer. The following table shows what FonePaw Android Data Recovery can recover and how the recovered data are saved.  

Tip: After saving the deleted data, you can put the data back to your Android phone with FonePaw DoTrans, a data transfer utility for transferring data between mobile phone and PC, Android to Android, Android to iPhone and more. 


Recovered Contents and Exported Format

If you have files that are important to you, make sure you always have a good backup of them!

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Does It Possible to Recover Deleted Files from Android without Root?

Some users are looking for a method to recover deleted data on Android without root, however, we are sorry to tell you that it is impossible to retrieve the deleted data unless the phone is rooted. The deleted files are in the part of the file system that is only accessible with root privilege.

So if you really need to get the deleted files back, give the data recovery program root access to the phone. After the data are back, you can unroot your phone anytime you want.

Android Root

Recover Deleted Files from Android External Memory (Without Phone)

If the photos, files, videos, audio that you deleted are stored on an SD card, you can also recover data from Android external memory. You can do SD card data recovery which requires two steps.

  • Stop reading or writing data on the SD card;

  • Use a data recovery tool to recover deleted files from the SD card immediately. FonePaw Data Recovery supports recovering data from SD card, USB drive, external hard drive, computer hard drive. You can use it to recover Android files from external memory.

    (Tutorial: How to Recover Deleted Files from Android SD Card)

Data Recovery

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