How to Recover Deleted Photos from Mobile, PC, SD Card etc. [4 Ways]

Many people get their vital photos lost due to accidental or intentional deletion by themselves, system error or the device problem. And this guide comes to tell how to recover deleted photos from iPhone, Android, computer (hard disk drive), SD card, USB flash card etc.

Both professional photographers and the general public get used to taking photos with their portable mobile gadgets, lightweight action camera or bigger-sized DSLRs, then storing them on their own storage space or some other dedicated physical devices like external and (USB) flash hard drive. However, usually due to this or that reason, some precious or valuable photos are lost so that the photographers have to take time on getting them back. If you are one of them, don’t panic or despair because there are truly many ways to recover deleted photos from any storage devices, be it iPhone, Android, Windows/macOS/ChromeOS based computer, SD card, or external hard drive.

How to Recover Deleted Photos

Now let’s get together to see how to recover deleted photos with various methods.

1. Check Out Whether Theres a Backup of Deleted Photos

Once you have backed your target deleted photos up before the deletion, you can get them back directly by accessing to the original storage space, locally or on the cloud. If you are not sure about whether the backup exists or not, navigate to possible places to make a confirmation via the name, shooting time and so forth.

Regularly making a backup of all or at least the crucial photo data is strongly recommended all the time to protect against any unwanted data loss, no matter for business or personal purpose. Usually, the backup medium could be a (separate) hard disk location, an external drive, an USB stick, a piece of disc/tape, or any mainstream cloud service like Google Photos, Dropbox, One Drive, and iCloud Photos. You can choose either one or more according to your budget. Of course for the best results, you’d better conduct the backup consistently on a daily or so basis in case the photo data is too large to handle at one time.

2. Using System Recovery Functionality to Recover Deleted Photos

(For PC & mobile user only)

Maybe being aware of that there are many accidental data loss scenarios, to give user second chance to turn around and regain the file like deleted photos, both PC and mobile gadget manufactures have equipped their products with standalone location to keep the deleted files temporarily, such as the “Recycle Bin” of Windows PC and new Chromebooks, “Trash” of Mac machine, “Recently deleted” album on Android and iOS phones. If you manually delete the photos before, they were bound to be here unless you make a further permanently deletion here. So, do take a look at the trash can or folder to see if the target photos are here still.

How about you are a frequent recycle bin cleaner and have the deleted photos permanently disappear from your device? Just move on to the next method.

3. Retrieve Deleted Photos with Customer Data Recovery Software

In the huge customer software development market, data recovery software has been here for many years, among which many top-ranked and also most renowned PC data recovery software have already upgraded to higher version number with mature (deleted photo) recovery capability and intuitive user experience. Here we showcase how to retrieve deleted photos from Windows 10/8/7 with Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery as a demonstration. After going over this workthrough, you will have a understanding on how those similar programs work for either computer, smartphone, SD card, USB flash drive or so.

– Firstly, you need to free download this app and set it up on your Windows PC.

– Then open it up and choose a proper location to move on. 

recoverit main window

This professional software can recover deleted photos by shift + Del deletion operation, recycle bin emptying, mistakenly removal, uninstall software and even infected virus/Trojan.

If you are sure the photos are manually erased from Recycle Bin, you can select “Recycle Bin File Recovery” directly.

As to the Advanced Recovery modes, they are perfect for the condition that if the recovered files have been damaged or corrupted. You can use them to fix the damaged files.

– Define the disk location and start the quick or deep scan with a process window showing the details.

recoverit scanning

– When scan is finished, choose the photo item(s) according to your need from the available results and type “Recover” to bring your photo data back immediately.

recover results from recycle bin by recoverit

Note that if your first trial doesnt scan the right deleted photos out, just turn to another mode instead. If all modes have no idea on that, you can also try many other alternative applications (e.g. that from EaseUS, cclearner and Disk Drill) since the real scanning and recovery capability may be different between apps.

Speaking of the differences between data recovery software, you can roughly check their product and tech specification pages on supported file lost situation, storage medium, file formats, (file/PC) system and so forth. If there’s no message on your situation and similar, then it’s most probably unsupported at all.

4. If All Failed, You Need to Seek Help from Professional Data Recovery Service

In most cases, the customer data recovery software can help you regain the deleted photos as long as the original data is not overwritten on the location or the storage device is not physically damaged.

If even after you have tried several best data recovery software, the photos still play hide and seek with you, then you’d better quit this method and ask for assistance from any data recovery professional nearby by simply googling “data recovery service” and cherry-selection. Such agents do have more advanced recovery machine and tool that general consumer software can’t afford.


This easy guide gives every beginner the right direction to go on after any photo deletion on computer, phone, camera card, flash drive, external hard drive etc. Although there are some unexpected accidental deletions caused by system upgrade, crash, virus infection or so, manual deletion is still one of the most common reasons. Therefore, our advice is: you should form a good habit on data backup, and every time there’s a file deletion, think twice before doing that. Perhaps the software or professionals are able to recover deleted photos afterwards, it always take your time, efforts and even money.



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