Let’s face it: losing photos sucks. While you can always reinstall your operating system and applications, it’s much more difficult to recover deleted photos in Windows 10. However, it’s not impossible.    

If you follow our instructions and act quickly enough, you should be able to retrieve most—if not all—recently deleted photos without taking your computer apart or paying an expensive professional to retrieve deleted photos for you. 

We recommend you start with the first method if you haven’t yet made any attempt to recover your deleted photos. If you have, feel free to start with any method you want. 


How to Recover Deleted Photos in Windows 10 from the Recycle Bin


The Recycle Bin is by far the easiest way how to restore deleted photos in Windows 10. When you delete pictures in Windows 10, they are moved to the Recycle Bin, where they sit and wait until you empty the Recycle Bin, which can happen both manually and automatically. 

Note: Pictures deleted using the Shift + Delete key combination can’t be undeleted from the Recycle Bin because they are immediately erased. Skip to the next method to recover deleted photos in Windows 10. 

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop. 

Step 2: Select the deleted pictures you want to recover.

Step 3: Click on the Restore the selected items option located in the Recycle Bin Tools tab. 

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How to Restore Permanently Deleted Photos in Windows 10 with Photo Recovery Software


Without a backup, photo recovery software is the only way how to recover deleted photos on Windows 10 that can’t be found in the Recycle Bin. We recommend Disk Drill because it offers several different recovery methods, supports a variety of image file formats (JPG, PNG, TIFF, RAW, DNG, R3D, etc.), and is exceptionally easy to use. 

Best of all, you can use Disk Drill to recover up to 500 MB for free, so you can see for yourself how well it works before you pay any money. 

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Download Disk Drill and install it. 

Disk Drill
Data recovery for free
Your Companion for Deleted Files Recovery

Step 2: Run Disk Drill.

Step 3: Select the storage device from which you want to retrieve the deleted photos. 

Step 4: Click Search for lost data. 

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Step 5: Wait for Disk Drill to finish scanning and click Review found items. 

Step 6: Filter the results by category to see only pictures.

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Step 7: Select which photos you want to recover. You can click the preview icon to preview the deleted photos before recovering them. 

Step 8:  Click the Recover button. 

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How to Retrieve Photos from Windows 10 Backup (or with File History Option)


There’s a good reason why experts constantly preach about the importance of backups: they work. If you’ve been taking advantage of the backup features present in the Windows operating system, you’re in luck because you should be able to easily recover all deleted photos. 

Older versions of Windows used a different backup method than Windows 10, so follow the steps that correspond to the backup method you had selected. 

Follow these steps to retrieve photos with Windows 10 File History: 

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type “Restore your files with File History,” and hit Enter.  

Step 2: Find the deleted pics and select the version you want to restore using the arrow keys.

Step 3: Click the Restore icon to recover the deleted pics to their original location. 

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Follow these steps to retrieve photos from older system image backups: 

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and hit Enter.  

Step 2: Navigate to System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

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Step 3: Click Restore my files.

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Step 4: Select the deleted photos and click Next. 

Step 5: Choose where you want to restore the deleted photos and click Restore. 


How to Do Windows 10 Recover Deleted Pictures via System Registry


One lesser-known way how to recover deleted photos on Windows 10 involves system registry, which is a massive database where Windows stores various low-level settings. Use this method if you can’t recover deleted photos because you don’t have the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop. 

Note: This method won’t work if the option “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.” had been selected in Recycle Bin Properties when the photos were deleted. 

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type “regedit,” and hit Enter.  

Step 2: Go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\

Step 3: Right-click anywhere in the right pane and select New > Key.

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Step 4: Type {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}, and then press Enter.

Step 5: Close Registry Editor and log out. 

Step 6: Log in again. The Recycle Bin icon should be restored on your desktop. 


How to Restore Deleted Photos via Data Recovery Services


If you have no luck with the free methods described in this article, you can still pay data recovery professionals to help you restore your photos. Of course, data recovery services won’t recover your deleted photos for free, but they know how to recover deleted photos from laptop Windows 10 refuses to work with or hard drives that have suffered mechanical damage after being exposed to water, heat, or shocks.  

Follow these steps to find a reputable data recovery service near you:

Step 1: Go to Google.com

Step 2: Search “data recovery services near me.”

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Step 3: Click on the map right below the search bar to see all data recovery services near your location. 

how to professionally recover deleted photos on windows 10We recommend ACE Data Recovery, a Microsoft Registered Partner with high-tech recovery facilities and over 30 years of experience. When everything else fails, you can count on ACE Data Recovery to know how to recover deleted photos from Windows 10. 

This is how data recovery with ACE works: 

Step 1: You either bring your device to their office or ship it to them and explain that you want to recover deleted photos on Windows 10. 

Step 2: You receive an all-inclusive quote and let ACE Data Recovery get to work. 

Step 3: Your deleted pictures will be handed to you on a free return media.  


Tips for Better Recovering Deleted Files in Windows 10


It would be great if all data recovery jobs were successful. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to data recovery because there are many factors that influence your chance to recover deleted photos Windows 10 can’t see. 

Understanding these factors is essential for avoiding making a crucial mistake when recovering deleted files and potentially jeopardizing any chance of successful recovery. To some, they may be common sense, but experience tells us that even seasoned Windows users tend to forget them. 

1. Create a Backup in Advance. 

You should always expect any storage device—be it a hard drive, SSD, memory card, or USB flash drive—to fail at any moment and have a reliable backup stored someplace safe. For just about any backup job, we recommend Disk Drill because it can create a byte-to-byte backup copy of any storage device or hard drive with just a few clicks:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Select Drive Backup from the left panel.
  3. Choose your storage device and click Backup.how to recover deleted photos from laptop windows 10 with disk drill
  4. Save the backup to a different storage device. 
  5. Wait for Disk Drill to finish the backup process.  

2. Do Not Defragment This Drive 

Defragmentation is arguably one of the worst things you can do to your storage device if you’re attempting to recover photos or other files from it. Why? Because during defragmentation almost all data are moved to a different physical place on the storage device, so it’s almost guaranteed that the photos you’re trying to defragment will be overwritten and become unrecoverable. On Windows 10, drives are by default optimized every week, but you can change this setting from the Defragment and Optimize Drives app.  

3. Never Write New Data to the Place Containing Lost Data

When you write new data to a storage device, you overwrite some deleted files that are still physically present on the storage device even though Windows can’t see them anymore. If you have recently deleted a bunch of photos that you now desperately want to recover, avoid writing any new data to the storage device where they were located before you deleted them. Even a single small file could remove any chance of successfully recovering a valuable photo, so it’s just not worth the risk. 


Summary


In this article, we explained five ways how to restore photos on Windows 10, including Disk Drill, an easy-to-use photo recovery software that lets you recover up to 500 MB of photos for free. You can apply the same methods to recover other types of data besides photos and images, but you should always keep in mind the tips for better recovering deleted files in Windows 10 described in the chapter above. 


FAQ


How do I recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10? 

One available recovery option in Windows 10 is called Restore Previous Versions, and, as its name suggests, it can be used to restore previous versions of deleted or lost files, including photos. To use it, do the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select the folder in which the deleted photos were located. 
  3. Right-click on the folder and select Restore previous versions from the context menu.how to recover deleted photos from windows 10 without software
  4. Select which previous version you would like to restore and click Restore. 

How do I recover permanently deleted photos from my PC?

If you’ve been backing up your photos using the File History feature, you should now be able to easily recover them by following the instructions below: 

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the folder in which the deleted photos were located. 
  3. Select Restore previous versions.
  4. Pick any available backup and click Restore.recover deleted photos on windows 10 for free with file history

How to recover permanently deleted photos in Windows 10 without software?

As long as you have a backup of your deleted photos, you should be able to restore them without any software. The process is as straightforward as it gets:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the folder where your deleted photos were located. 
  3. Select Properties and go to the Previous Versions tab.
  4. Select a previous version of the folder and click Restore. 

Note: if there’s no backup available, it means that you can’t recover permanently deleted photos in Windows 10 without software.

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In that case, we recommend you use Disk Drill

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator. He also has a more than 10-year experience in program development for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android.Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator with a deep expertise in progra...

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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.