How to Recover Deleted Photos from Android Internal Storage

by Emily Watson, Tuesday, August 04, 2020

As the photos taken by our smartphones are increasingly clear, we all take and store a lot of photos on the mobile phone. But the high resolution of photos also means that they will take up a lot of storage space. Therefore, we delete photos from time to time.

However, many Android users may delete the photos mistakenly and 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.

Are those accidentally deleted photos unrecoverable on Android devices? Of course not! On the contrary, it is easy to recover deleted photos from Android Gallery or other location on your phone. But you'll need the help of a third-party photo recovery app for Android.

Before we start, there are two things that you should pay attention to:

  • 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.

  • Second, use a powerful Android photo recovery tool to restore the deleted photos as soon as possible and you'll need a computer to perform Android photo recovery.

Now, we'll show you how to recover deleted photos from Android internal storage as well as from the cloud.

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Can You Recover Deleted Photos on Android?

You can recover deleted photos on Android and the reason is that the photos are not really deleted. Although the deleted photos disappeared from the 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 at 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


You may wonder if you can recover deleted photos on Android without root (opens new window). 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.

Steps to Recover Deleted Photos from Android Internal Storage

FonePaw Android Data Recovery (opens new window) 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, 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 (opens new window) 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 (opens new window). To do that, you can connect the Android phone via a USB cable and use a data transfer tool - FonePaw DoTrans to transfer the Android photos quickly.

  • If you accidentally delete the photos from the SD memory card, or your device is broken, there is also a way to recover photos from the SD card (opens new window).

FonePaw Data Recovery (opens new window) is one of the desktop apps that can recover photos and other data from SD memory cards, USB memory sticks, external hard drives. It is so simple to use.

Install Data Recovery and run it. Connect the card reader with an SD card to the computer and the program will detect the SD card memory and scan deleted photos on the card. Just in one click and the deleted photos will be recovered from your SD card.

Scan Deleted Photos from SD Card

How to Recover Deleted Photos from the Cloud

If you have saved your Android photos to certain cloud storage, like Google Photos, Onedrive, and Dropbox, 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.*

Run the "Google Photos"/"Photos" app on your Android. Then navigate to "Trash" by clicking the "" icon. Preview your deleted images and select desired ones to "Restore" on Android.

Restore Photo Gmail

Recover Deleted Photos from OneDrive

If you have backed up the photos on Microsoft OneDrive, you can go to the official website (opens new window) and sign in with your Microsoft account.

On the left side of the screen, you will see the Recycle Bin option. Click on it and you will see the deleted photos from the past 30 days.

Recover Files From OneDrive

Select the photos you need and hit Restore to retrieve them.


The Recycle bin only saves your deleted photos for 30 days.

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 and go to Files > Deleted Files, then select the photos > Restore. The deleted photos will be back in one click.

Restore Deleted Files From Dropbox

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 (opens new window) to back up Android data to PC in a small size.

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