Accidents happen to the best of us. When selecting a folder full of photos, all you need is one misclick to delete everything. True, a warning box comes up but most of us actually ignore it. No wonder why Android photo recovery is such a hot subject. So, how do we restore deleted pictures? Well, let us find out!
Before moving on with Android photo recovery
Don’t write anything. It’s very important. If your photos were stored on your SD card, then don’t touch it. Same thing for the internal storage.
Though, to be honest with you, if your photos were stored on your internal storage then that further complicates things and chances are that you’ll be forced to install a program on it for photo restoration. Not to mention that temporary/cached files always come and go into the internal storage which makes things worse.
Last, but not least, do understand that recovering deleted files is not guaranteed to work. You’re sort of making a gamble here but a little something is always better than nothing.
If you’re interested in the details on how Android photo recovery works and why you shouldn’t write anything when you want to perform it, then move on towards the end of the article after the how-to guide is over.
How to perform Android photo recovery – different methods and tools that you’ll need
Back to the guide now. There are two main methods to restore deleted photos or any kind of deleted file really:
- Using a PC
- Installing a file restoration app from the Play Store
Both methods have their pros and cons. If your files are stored on an SD card, then using a PC to restore them is probably the way to go. The only downside is that you can’t really use that method for photos that are stored on your internal storage.
The second method is your best bet if your photos are stored on the internal storage or if you don’t have a PC. But, do keep in mind that root access is required for optimal results.
With that being said, getting root access will likely ruin your warranty and can even brick your phone if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Not to mention that the root process can vary from phone to phone and that we can’t thoroughly guide you through it in this article as this is something that absolutely requires a dedicated article. You understand – lots of information.
We’ve once created a root guide for Samsung devices but we’ll probably have to create a new one soon. So, we’ll start with the first method which should be easier to follow for the average smartphone user.
First method: using a PC
If your photos are stored on your SD card, then using a PC is the recommended method for Android photo recovery. You only need a working computer that has an SD card slot and at least Windows 7 installed.
Other than that, you’ll also need a microSD card adapter so that you’ll be able to use your microSD card on your PC. You can see how that looks in the image above.
In the rare case that your computer doesn’t actually have an SD card slot, then you’ll have to get an SD to USB adapter. They are relatively inexpensive and they get the job done.
Other than that, some phones do also support USB simulation where you connect your phone to your PC and the computer recognizes your SD card as a sort of USB flash drive. So, you can use that as well if you’ve got that option.
Now, if your PC doesn’t even have a single USB port, then you need to seriously consider an upgrade. Just joking – you can move on to the 2nd method which doesn’t involve using a PC.
Speaking of upgrades, you don’t really need a powerful computer or anything. If your machine can take an SD card in any way and runs anything from Windows 7 and above, then it’s likely suitable for this job.
1. Install file recovery software
You’ve got the hardware. All that you need to do now is to install the software. There are various file restoration programs out there for computers with Recuva being one of the most popular ones – not to mention that it offers a free version as well.
With that being said, while we do recommend Recuva, you can install whatever it is that you prefer. After the installation is complete, move on to the 2nd step.
2. Connect your microSD card to your computer and proceed with the photo recovery
As we mentioned above, you need specific tools to connect a microSD card to a computer. That, or you can connect your phone directly to the USB port of your computer. However, your device must support USB drive emulation or this will likely not work.
After connecting your microSD card to your computer, all you need to do is follow the instructions of the specific software that you installed to restore your deleted files.
In the case of Recuva, after selecting to scan for deleted files, you’ll see that different photos have different colors. Red means that a file can’t be recovered, yellow means that it can be partially recovered, and green means that it can be fully recovered.
Hopefully this worked out for you. If not, well, do understand that Android photo recovery – or any kind of file recovery really – is not guaranteed to work 100% of the time.
In case that you failed but still got hope then you can give our second method a try as well. But, if the PC failed at restoring your deleted pictures, then we’re sorry to inform you that your phone will likely not do anything better.
Second method: using your phone along with a file restoration app
If your photos are stored to your internal storage, then this is the way to go. It usually doesn’t work as well as the PC method, but if that’s your only choice, then so be it.
The steps are very easy to follow in this one as you don’t need any additional hardware and you’re likely already very familiar with how the Google Play Store works:
- Install the file restoration app of your choice
- Proceed with restoring your photos
If you’re not sure as to which app to choose, then you can start with MobiSaver as it’s a rather popular choice already. As you can see on the app ratings, when it comes to Android photo restoration, results vary wildly.
You will get much better results if your phone is rooted. And if it’s not – again – rooting is slightly risky and may void your warranty.
We can’t provide a thorough root tutorial in this article because the process may slightly vary from phone to phone and the process is rather lengthy, to say the least.
If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to root your phone with a one-click root app like KingoRoot or something similar.
That’s all for now. Hopefully, you were able to get at least some of your deleted photos back.
How does Android photo recovery work?
Deleted photos are, well, deleted. Right? So, how can you possibly restore something that’s gone?
In reality, you don’t actually delete your photos or anything for that matter. Sorry to break it to you but that includes your confidential “cough” porn “cough” files as well.
Upon the deletion of a file, both computers and phones mark that deleted file as free space that can be used for storing other data. That, of course, is oversimplifying things, to say the least. But, you do get the point.
Different operating systems and devices handle things a little bit differently. However, the end result is more or less the same.
And by the way, that’s why we told you not to write anything on your storage before. Because when you want to perform data restoration on any kind of storage device, writing anything else on it puts you at risk of overwriting the deleted files that you want to restore.
Data restoration programs that also work for Android photo recovery search for the deleted files that have yet to be replaced by different files and allow you to restore them when possible.
Fun fact: there are also programs that have been made with the purpose of completely and truly deleting a file so that nobody will ever be able to find it.
Some operating systems like Windows also allow you to move your unwanted files into a recycle bin so that you can decide later on if you really want to delete them or not and that prevents accidental deletions.
There are Android apps like Dumpster that are trying to achieve the same result. But, do keep in mind that they don’t always work.
So, there you have it. Android photo recovery is possible – just not guaranteed to work. What results did you achieve? Managed to restore anything? Let us know in the comments section down below.
Feel like we forgot something important? Then do also let us know about that in the comments section down below!
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April 05 2018