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Android Photo Recovery: How to Retrieve Deleted Photos on Android

By Emily Watson, Tuesday, December 17, 2019

"I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 on Android Oreo 8.0. I deleted some family photos from Gallery. What can I do to recover deleted photos from Android Gallery?"

Unlike iPhone or PC, there is no "recently deleted" folder or trash bin on Android Gallery so you don't have the option to recover deleted photos directly on the phone. However, it doesn't mean that it is hopeless to undelete photos on an Android device. On the contrary, it is easy to recover deleted photos from Android Gallery or other location on your phone. But you'll need little help of a third-party photos recovery app for Android.

There are two keys for recovering accidentally deleted or lost pics from Android:

  • First, don't use the phone until you get back the deleted photos, for instance, do not use the phone to take a new photo, download new photos, send or receive new messages on the Android device.

  • Secondly, use a powerful Android photo recovery tool to restore the deleted photos as soon as possible.

Here we'll show you how to recover deleted photos from Android internal storage as well as SD card. Usually, you'll need a computer to perform Android photo recovery. But if you would like to recover deleted photos on Android without computer, this guide will also show you what your options are.

Don't Miss:

Can You Recover Deleted Photos on Android?

You can recover deleted photos on Android and the reason why you can is that the photos are not really deleted. Although the deleted photos disappeared from Android gallery, the photos still exist on memory storage of your phone.

Whether stored in internal storage or external memory (SD Card), the deleted photos remain in the memory space but the space it occupies is marked as "unused" and can be used by new data in any minute. Once there is new data written into where the deleted photos are, the photos will be gone and unrecoverable.

That's why you shouldn't use the phone before recovery. Any operation on the phone could generate new data and overwrite the deleted pictures, including installing new apps, taking photos, receiving messages, etc.

So turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data on the phone and put it aside. Then free download FonePaw Android Data Recovery on a computer, connect your phone to the computer and let the program get the photos back.

Some users prefer an Android photo recovery app to recover deleted files on Android without a computer, but that's a bad idea since you are taking a risk - the deleted data might be overwritten by the installation of the app.

Restore Android Photo

Steps to Recover Deleted Photos from Android Internal Storage

FonePaw Android Data Recovery is a desktop program that can quickly restore deleted and old photos from Android phones and tablets. It supports images in .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp, .webp, .tiff formats and more. And is fully compatible with most Android brands and can recover deleted photos on Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, LG G, Sony Xperia, HUAWEI Mate, Xiaomi and so on.

Free download the program on Windows PC or Mac. 


STEP 1. Connect Android to PC

Connect your Android phone to PC and run FonePaw Android Data Recovery on the PC. Make sure that you have enabled USB debugging on the Android phone so that the phone can be detected by the program.

Connect Your Android to PC

STEP 2. Choose to Find Deleted Photos

When your Android device is connected, you can see the interface as the below screenshot shows, which allows you to select categories of the deleted files. To retrieve deleted pictures from Android gallery, select "Gallery" or "Picture Library" and click the button "Next" to continue.

Select File Types to Scan Photos

STEP 3. Allow the FonePaw Program to Scan Deleted Photos

The program needs to get permission to access deleted data so it'll add an app to your phone asking for permission. Open your phone, turn on Install via USB in the Developer Options and select Install to get the FonePaw app via USB

Install FonePaw App to Get Permission

On your phone, allow the FonePaw app's requests to access your phone data. Without your permission, the photos recovery program won't be able to access your phone storage, let alone finding out the deleted photos.  And it is totally safe to grant access to the FonePaw app as it won't collect any of your data and your phone data are processed and stored locally on your computer. 

Click Scan Authorized Files to start scanning for deleted photos after giving the app permissions. 

Authorize FonePaw to Scan Deleted Pics

STEP 4. Preview and Restore Deleted Photos from Android

The scanning process can take some time, especially there are many photos on your phone. When the progress bar comes to 100%, the scan process is completed.

The FonePaw program can detect deleted images in two modes: Standard Scan and Deep Scan.

After Standard Scan, you can click "Gallery" or "Picture Library" at the left pane to check if there are the deleted photos that you need. If not, click Deep Scan for the program to search out more deleted photos from your phone.

Preview Deleted Photos in Standard Scan

And with the registered version, you can preview its full size by double-clicking the photos. Mark the pictures you want to restore and click "Recover" to retrieve them to PC.

Selectively Deleted Photos from Android Device


  • The gallery contains camera photos, screenshots, photos received from PC or other devices, downloaded photos. Picture Library includes cache images.

  • Photos will be exported as .jpg and .png and they will be sorted by file types on your PC.

  • Since the recovered photos are saved on your computer, you may need to transfer the photos from PC back to your Android. To do that, you can connect the Android phone via a USB cable and use a data transfer tool - DoTrans to transfer the Android photos quickly.

Steps to Retrieve Deleted Photos from SD Cards on Android

Many people might save their pictures on an SD card on Android with less free space and accidentally delete the photos from SD memory card. Just like there is Android photo recovery for internal memory, there are also applications to undelete photos on Android external memory. 

FonePaw Data Recovery is one of the desktop apps that can recover photos and other data from SD memory card, USB memory sticks, external hard drive. Here is how it works.

STEP 1. Stop writing data into the SD card.

STEP 2. Install Data Recovery and run it. Connect the card reader with SD card to the computer.

STEP 3. The program will detect the SD card memory and scan deleted photos on the card.

Scan Deleted Photos from SD Card

Recover Deleted Photos on Android without Root

Some apps claim that they can recover deleted photos on Android without root. But I have to tell you that there is no way to get back the deleted pictures from Android internal memory without root. Deleted photos are stored in certain system folders that cannot be accessed on unrooted devices. Only after a device is root can you can get the full control of the phone and find the deleted pictures.

If you really don't want to root your device, the only possible way to find a deleted photo on Android is that you have back up the photos somewhere, whether on cloud storage, computer or SD card.

How to Restore Deleted Photos Without Computer

If you have saved your Android photos to certain cloud storage, like Google Photos, Onedrive, you can easily recover deleted photos on Android without a computer and without root. For example, if you have synced photos to a Google account (which is usually a Gmail account), you can recover pictures deleted from Android but saved Google Photos easily.

Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photos

Note: Deleted Google photos will be removed permanently from Google cloud after 60 days.

STEP 1. Run "Google Photos"/"Photos" app on your Android. Tap on the "" icon at the left top of the interface.

STEP 2. Select the "Trash" option in the panel.

STEP 3. Preview your deleted images and select desired ones to "Restore" on Android.

Restore Photo Gmail

Recover Deleted Photos from Dropbox

Dropbox also has a trash folder that contains deleted photos for 30 days. To recover deleted photos from Dropbox:  

  • Log in on Dropbox desktop;  

  • Go to Files > Deleted Files, then select the photos you want to restore.

This should show you the importance of backup. Backup is the best way to tackle data loss. To do this, just connect your Android phone to PC and copy those important photos to the computer. If you want to save space on the computer, use Android Data Backup & Restore to back up Android data to PC in small size.


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  • disqus_yxAxVDSxOl

    I spent the $60 to recover the 34 items in the Picture Library only to see weird shapes/icons as the. jpg photos. Can't it Recover photos after a factory reset since the photos didn't backup like they were suppose to on my Galaxy Note 2?

    2015-09-01 14:49