Smartphones give us the ability to conveniently capture the most memorable moments in our lives, but there are consequences for storing our memories on mobile devices, and data loss is one of them. If you’ve accidentally deleted photos from your mobile device or wiped its memory clean, you’re now probably wondering if there’s a way to recover deleted photos on Android.

Don’t worry, it’s not too late to undelete photos Android can’t see after a hard reset, but you also don’t have much time before they become unrecoverable. This article is here to teach you several ways how to recover deleted photos on Android so you can pick the one that works best for you. 

How to Recover Photos from the Cloud

recover deleted photos androidLike most Android users, you’re probably using some kind of cloud storage service to back up your photos. If that’s really the case, you’re in luck because you would be hard-pressed to find an easier way how to recover deleted photos on Android. 

Method 1: From Google Photos

Google Photos is a popular photo-sharing and storage app developed by Google. The app can safely back up all images that you keep on your Android smartphone to the cloud and restore them when needed. It can also automatically remove backed up images, which sometimes causes users who are not familiar with this feature to panic. But fear not, recovering photos from Google Photos is simple. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your Android device.recover deleted photos android with photos
  2. Select the deleted photos.
  3. Tap More (three dots) and select Save to device.recover deleted photos android easily

Method 2: Recover from Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive, offers an automatic photo backup and delete feature, which frees up internal memory by uploading pictures to the cloud and deleting them from the phone. All images uploaded to OneDrive can be recovered from any device, including the device with which they were taken. 

Steps to recover deleted photos on Android: 

  1. Open the OneDrive app on your Android to recover deleted pictures on android with onedrive
  2. Select Photos from the bottom menu. 
  3. Select the photos you want to restore. 
  4. Tap More (three dots) and select to recover deleted pictures on android from the cloud

Method 3: Recover lost photos from Dropbox

If you’re a Dropbox user and had activated the automatic photo backup feature before you lost or accidentally deleted your photos, you can now easily recover them without a computer to the phone memory with just a few taps.   

Follow these steps to recover photos on Android: 

  1. Open the Dropbox app on your Android to recover deleted pictures on android with dropbox
  2. Navigate to the Camera Uploads folder. If you remember moving the images to a different folder, navigate to it instead. 
  3. Select the photos you want to restore. 
  4. Tap More (three dots) and select Save to to recover deleted pictures on android instantly

Method 4: Recover photos from Google Drive

Since July 2019, photos stored in Google Drive don’t automatically show in Google Photos, which means there’s one more way how to recover deleted photos from the Android gallery. However, it’s worth noting that the automatic photo backup feature uploads photos to Google Photos regardless of whether you activate it from Google Drive or Google Photos. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Open the Google Drive app on your Android devicerecover deleted photos android google drive
  2. Select the photos you want to restore. 
  3. Tap More (three dots) and tap Download. recover deleted photos android drive

Recover Deleted Photos from an SD Card Inside Your Android Device

retrieve deleted photos from android sd card

Using an SD card as secondary storage gives you the ability to store far more photos than you ever could by relying on the internet memory alone. However, it also exposes you to the danger of losing thousands of photos at the same time, which is why we need to take a closer look at how to recover deleted photos from SD card on Android phones with SD card recovery software applications.

Users who want to recover deleted photos on Android from an SD card can use what’s arguably the most user-friendly and powerful photo recovery software application currently available, Disk Drill, and recover deleted photos and images even without a cloud or third-party backup.

Follow these steps to recover photos on Android:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Connect the SD card to your computer and scan the card for recoverable photos by clicking the Searc for lost data button.disk drill android sd card scan
  3. Use the preview feature and scan results filters to help you decide which photos to select.
  4. Click the Recover button and select a safe recovery destination.disk drill mac android sd card photo recovery

Restore Deleted Images from Android Internal Storage with Data Recovery Software

recover deleted photos android internal storage quicklyBy default, most Android devices save images to internal storage, and such images are automatically displayed in the Android gallery. Based on your operating system, pick one of the two methods provided in this chapter to learn how to recover deleted photos from Android gallery.

The process itself is straightforward as long as your device is rooted and you’ve enabled USB debugging. If neither rings any bells and you just want to get your photos back as quickly as possible, you can also follow the instructions in the next chapter. 

Method 1: For Mac OS X Users

Disk Drill for Mac has been helping Android users recover deleted photos from Android phones for quite some time now, and it can help you too if you follow the instructions below even though you might not need them because Disk Drill is easy to figure out. 

Follow these steps to recover deleted photos from Android: 

  1. Download Disk Drill for macOS and install it on your Mac.
  2. Make sure your Android device is rooted and has the USB debugging option enabled. 
  3. Launch Disk Drill and choose Android Devices.Disk Drill android devices macos select
  4. Connect your Android device to your Mac and grant Disk Drill the necessary permissions.allow usb debugging disk drill android
  5. Select your Android device and click Search for lost data to scan it. If the device isn’t rooted, you will see a warning message instead of the button. In that case, you can either root it or remove the SD card and scan it separately using a memory card disk drill recover internal root warning
  6. Select which deleted photos you want Disk Drill to recover using the scan results filters and the preview feature. Click Recover and specify a suitable recovery destination.disk drill android photo recover

Method 2: For Windows PC 10, 8, 7 Users

Unfortunately for Windows users, they can’t recover deleted photos from the Android internal storage with Disk Drill (at least not yet!), but they can use another image recovery software application, Wondershare’s dr.Fone, and still complete the recovery without too much extra effort. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Visit dr.fone’s website and download the Windows version.
  2. Install and launch dr.fone but don’t connect your device to your computer just yet. 
  3. Select Data Recovery on the main screen and connect your Android device.  recover deleted photos from android with app
  4. Select photos as the type of files you want to recover, click next, and select a storage scanning mode. recover deleted photos from android with drfone app
  5. Wait for dr.fone to finish scanning, select which photos you want to recover, and click either Restore to Device or Recover to Computer. 

How to Recover Deleted Photos with an Android App

 recover deleted photos from android with diskdigger appPhoto recovery apps for Android don’t recover deleted pictures that Android users want to get back nearly as well as Disk Drill and other photo recovery apps for Windows and Mac, but they do come in handy for more straightforward photo recovery jobs. Just like when recovering photos on a computer, your Android device should be rooted, but some Android photo recovery apps work even without root, including our pick, DiskDigger

Follow these steps to recover lost photos on Android: 

  1. Install DiskDigger from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch DiskDigger select one of the two supported scan methods. recover recently deleted pictures from android after hard reset
  3. Wait for DiskDigger to find your deleted pictures. 
  4. Select pictures for recovery.
  5. Click the Recover button. recover recently deleted pictures from android after hard reset with diskdigger

Recover Deleted Photos from Android Phone Without Root

undelete images on android without rootTo get the best results when recovering deleted photos from an Android phone, you need root access to the entire file system. However, there are ways how to recover deleted photos on Android even without root. Use these methods if you don’t like the idea of rooting your device and possibly losing the warranty. 

Variant 1: Backup and Restore

If you have taken the time to back up your Android phone, you’re in luck now because you can recover deleted photos using the built-in backup and restore feature. Keep in mind that you might not be able to recover every single lost photo depending on the age of your backup. Also, this option may not be available at all, or it may be called differently depending on the make and model of your Android smartphone. Still, it’s always better to recover some photos than none at all. 

  1. Go to Settings on Android phone, tap on Account. 
  2. Sign in with your account and password if prompted. 
  3. Look for an option called Backup and Restore.
  4. Click Restore. 

Variant 2: Restore from SD Card Directly 

Many Android smartphones come with a slot for a microSD card that can be used to significantly expand the internal storage space. The chances are that you’ve been saving photos to it without even realizing it, which is great news because you can now remove it from your Android smartphone and use a photo recovery software application like Disk Drill to recover lost photos directly from it even without root.

We’ve already described how to restore deleted pictures directly from the SD card in the chapter titled Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card Inside Your Android Devices, so feel free to jump back to it if you think that this is the right recovery method for you. 

Retrieve Deleted Photos on Android Tablet

undelete images on android without root on tabletThe good news is that Android tablets are essentially just larger Android smartphones, so you can use the same tools to retrieve deleted photos from them. We recommend Disk Drill for Mac because of its proven reliability and exceptional ease of use. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
    Disk Drill
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  2. Connect your rooted tablet to your Mac and enable USB debugging.
  3. Launch Disk Drill and go to Android devices.
  4. Select your tablet, grant the necessary permissions to give Disk Drill access to its storage, and begin the scan process by clicking the Search for lost data button. If your device isn’t rooted, a warning message will be displayed instead of the button.disk drill tablet photo recovery android
  5. Select photos for recovery using scan results filters and Disk Drill’s preview feature. 
  6. Click Recover and pick a suitable recovery destination. 

Other Variants to Restore Deleted Photos on Android Devices

The methods described in this article cover all the main ways how to restore deleted photos on Android devices, but there are a few other options that you can explore to recover even more deleted photos, some being more obvious than others

The alternative methods on how to restore deleted photos on Android devices may sometimes feel rather desperate, but it’s always better to exhaust all options than to lose a treasured photo of great emotional value. 

1. Go Through Your Emails and Messages

Many email services offer unlimited storage space, allowing users to keep as many emails and attachments as they want. Check if you sent the deleted pictures to someone else via email. If so, they’re probably still in your inbox, and you can simply download them to your computer or Android device. 

2. Check Social Networks

When it comes to privacy, it’s not really a good idea to use social networks as photo backup services, but that’s exactly what many people do. Even if you keep your social media presence limited, your friends and family might have shared the exact same pictures you’re trying to recover, which is why you should check social networks before you call it quits and declare the pictures lost. 

3. Check Backups of Your Device

If you have a complete backup of your Android device, now’s the time to use it. We recommend you create a new backup before you restore your device from the old one so you can recover the deleted images and then restore your device again to its original state and avoid having to reinstall and configure dozens of apps. 

How to Avoid Losing Your Photos on Android Next Time

restore deleted photos on android without computer

Just because there are many ways how to recover deleted photos on Android doesn’t guarantee successful recovery. Even with the best image recovery software applications and our detailed instructions, there’s a small chance that you won’t be able to recover everything you would like to recover. That’s why it’s better to avoid losing photos in the first place and don’t risk anything. Use the five tips below to decrease your chance of accidentally losing important photos. 

1. Back Up Your Phone

Never underestimate the importance of a backup. Having a complete backup of your Android device at hand allows you to recover not just delete and lost photos and videos but also all other files, applications, and even settings. If you lose your device, you can simply get a new one and recover it from the backup, which beats having to set up everything from scratch. 

2. Clear Cached Images in Android Gallery

You click on a thumbnail in Android Gallery but nothing happens—the photo doesn’t open. Why? This issue often happens when the Android operating system doesn’t generate thumbnails correctly, and the only way how to fix it is to delete the .thumbnails file in the DCIM folder. You can either delete it directly using a file browser, or you can use a disk space cleaner to do it for you. 

3. Clean Up Your Storage Space

Some Android device behave erratically when they are low on storage space. If your pictures ever start disappearing, make sure to check how much free storage space you have. If you find out that you have just a few megabytes left, your device most likely needs cleanup. 

4. Upload Photos to the Cloud

These days, there are many cloud storage services to choose from, and most of them are compatible with Android devices and offer automatic photo backups. The best thing about letting a cloud storage service upload your photos to the cloud is that you can recover them from anywhere and any device.

5. Be More Careful 

A backup may save you when the worst happens, but it’s best to avoid the worst entirely. Because there’s no recycle bin on most Android smartphones and tablets, you should be very careful when deleting or otherwise managing photos and videos. When in a hurry or feeling stressed, remind yourself to think before you tap. 


Hopefully, you’ve been able to use the instructions provided in this article to recover all deleted photos from your Android device with Disk Drill or some other photo recovery method. We recommend you bookmark it so that you can come back to it in the future or send it to someone you know and help them recover deleted photos before it’s too late. 


David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer specializing in the technology niche, covering a wide range of topics from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry applications. His passion for te...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.