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Learn how to see your deleted photos on any device with this comprehensive guide. From Windows PCs to Macs, iPhones to Android devices, and even digital cameras, we'll show you how to retrieve lost memories and prevent future photo loss.

If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate situation of having deleted photos, there’s no need to panic. It’s often possible to recover these images, whether you’re using a Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android phone. This guide will provide you with straightforward instructions on how to utilize built-in system tools as well as reputable third-party software to retrieve your lost pictures. We will take you through each step to ensure you have the best chance of restoring your precious memories. Ready to get started? Let’s dive into the recovery process.

For Windows Users - using free build-in tools

The first method to retrieve recently deleted photos on a Windows PC is by using the built-in tools. These tools are readily available and can be accessed easily on your computer. They include the Recycle Bin, File History, and Windows File Recovery tool. Let’s dive into the detailed steps on how to use each of these tools to recover your precious memories.

Check your Recycle Bin first

In most cases, deleted photos are sent to recycle bin directly.  You can easily see your deleted photos in Windows Recycle Bin.
Tips:When you delete photos using the Shift + Del command, they bypass the Recycle Bin. To recover these files, consider using data recovery software or check if you have a backup available.
Step 1: Checking the Recycle Bin
If you have recently deleted photos from your computer, the first place to check is the Recycle Bin. This is a temporary storage location where deleted files are kept base on the settings on Windows(users can adjust settings that affect how long items remain in the Recycle Bin). If you have not cleared your Recycle Bin, there’s a high chance your photos are still there.
Windows Recycle Bin Versions
Step 2: Opening the Recycle Bin
To access the Recycle Bin, double-click on the icon on your desktop or open the File Explorer and select “Recycle Bin” from the left menu.
Step 3: Restoring the Photos
Once you have opened the Recycle Bin, browse through the files to find the photos you want to recover. You can use the search bar at the top to search for specific photos. Once you have located the photos, right-click on them and select “Restore” to bring them back to their original location on your computer.

Using File History(Previous Versions)

If the photos you want to recover were stored on your computer’s hard drive, you can also use the File History feature to retrieve them. Keep in mind that this method only works if you had enabled File History at the time the photos were deleted.
Step 1: Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where the deleted photo was located.
Step 2: Right-click on the folder and select “Properties” from the drop-down menu.
How to check folder size in Windows - SimpleHow
Step 3: In the Properties window, click on the “Previous Versions” tab.
windows - Restore even earlier previous versions
Step 4: If available, you will see a list of previous versions of the folder with their timestamp and size. Select the version you want to restore and click on the “Open” button.
This will open a window showing the contents of the selected version. From here, you can copy and paste the deleted photos to a new location on your device.
After the process is complete, you should be able to find your deleted photos in their original location. If you have disabled System Protection or if your device ran out of disk space, there may be no available backups to recover from. You may find out how to enable file history here.
Tips:It’s important to note that the Previous Versions feature is not a guarantee for file recovery. It is only available if System Protection is enabled and if a previous version of the file is available.

Using Windows File Recovery Tool

If the above methods do not work, you can also use the Windows File Recovery tool to retrieve your deleted photos. This tool is available for Windows 10 and allows you to recover deleted files from your hard drive, external storage, and even SD cards.
Tips:This method is only available for Windows 10(ver:2004 or above)/11 users.
Note: Download and install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. Carefully follow the installation directions provided.
Microsoft's Windows File Recovery Work
Step 1: To begin using the Windows File Recovery tool, open the File Explorer and navigate to the folder where your deleted file was located. You can also search for the file by name using the search bar at the top of the File Explorer window.
Step 2: Once you have located the folder or file, open the Command Prompt by pressing the Windows and R keys on your keyboard, typing “cmd” into the Run dialog, and pressing Enter. Alternatively, you can right-click on the Start menu and select “Command Prompt” from the list.
type cmd in run dialog
Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type

winfr source: destination

and press Enter. The source refers to the drive where the deleted file was located, while the destination is where you want to recover the file to. For example, if you want to recover a file from drive C and save it to the desktop, you would type

winfr C: C:\Users\YourUsername\Desktop

Step 4: The tool will start running in either regular or extensive mode, depending on the size of the file and the current status of the drive. It may take some time for the tool to finish scanning and recovering the file, so be patient.
Using Command Prompt (CMD) Windows File Recovery(winFr) Command to Recover Deleted Files on a USB Drive in Windows 10/11
Now that you have learned how to recover recently deleted photos using the built-in tools on your Windows computer, you can also check out our next chapter on “For Windows Users – Renee Undeleter“. This tool offers more advanced features and can help you recover lost photos from various storage devices with ease.

For Windows Users - using Renee Undeleter

Those Windows build-in tools does not work for you? Don’t panic, there’s still a way to retrieve them with an advanced tool called Renee Undeleter. This tool offers more features and a higher success rate when it comes to recovering lost photos. Follow the detailed steps below to learn how to use it.
Step 1: Download, install and run Renee Undeleter on your Windows computer.
Renee Undeleter - Powerful Data Recovery SoftwareRenee Undeleter data Recovery software

Easy to use Only simple steps to recover data from storage devices.

Multiple scan modes Fast partition scan, whole partition scan and whole disk scan for different recovery needs.

File types Support to recover pictures, videos, audios, documents, mails, etc.

Supported storage devices Recover data from recycle bin, SD card, external disk, etc.

Supported systems Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS X10.6, 10.7, 10.8.

Easy to use Only simple steps to recover data from storage devices.

Multiple scan modes - 3 scan modes for different recovery needs.

Supported storage devices Recover data from recycle bin, SD card, external disk, etc.

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3000 users have downloaded Renee Undeleter and found data back!

Step 2: Select the [Fast Partition Scan] option in the main interface.
Please avoid installing the software on the disk containing the data to be recovered in order to prevent data overwriting. Also, refrain from saving new data to the same disk partition after a file is lost to avoid further damage or complete loss of the lost file.
Renee Undeleter, select Fast Partition Scan
Step 3: Next, select the partition where the lost data is located, and click [Next].
select partition to scan for fast partition scan
Step 4: Select the [Fast Scan] option and click the [Next] button to scan.
The [Fast Scan] mode scans the initial 30GB of available space on the chosen disk. If desired files are not found, the [Deep Scan] mode can be used for a thorough scan of the hard disk partition, though it will require additional time.
Select Fast scan in Fast Partition Scan
Step 4: Wait for the scan to complete
you can double-click the file to preview, then check the files that need to be recovered, and click the [Recover] button to recover the files to other disks.
preview before recovery
preview deleted mkv video file
Tips:Please select a disk without any important data when installing the software to avoid overwriting it. If the quick scan mode doesn’t find the necessary files, we suggest trying the deep scan mode for a full search.
Now you have successfully recovered your recently deleted photos using Renee Undeleter on your Windows PC. But what if you want to retrieve lost photos on a Mac? Don’t worry, our next chapter will guide you through the process.
Continue to “Method 2: How to Retrieve Lost Photos on Macs Using Built-in Utilities and Renee Undeleter” to learn more.

For Mac Users - Using Built-in Utilities and third-party apps

Built-in Utilities

Time Machine: The First Line of Defense
For Mac users seeking to retrieve deleted photos, Time Machine stands as the premier built-in utility. To access it, connect the drive where your backups are stored, click on the Time Machine icon in the menu bar, and choose “Enter Time Machine“. From here, you can navigate back to the date before the photo’s deletion and click “Restore” to recover your image. Ensure you have Time Machine set up and running before any data loss occurs.
Enter Time Machine MacOS
Retrieving from the Photos App
The Photos application on macOS, replacing older apps like iPhoto and Aperture, also offers a safeguard against accidental deletion. Within the Photos app, deleted pictures are moved to the “Recently Deleted” album where they stay for 30 days before permanent removal. To restore, simply select the desired photo(s) and press “Recover“. The chronological library and the ability to sort into albums make managing and retrieving your photos straightforward.
Recently Deleted Mac OS
Utilizing Photo Booth for Recovery
In instances where you’ve used Photo Booth—a camera application that comes standard with macOS—deleted photos might be recoverable if they were recently removed. Check the app’s library for thumbnails of saved images, as they may still be present. Although recovery options within Photo Booth are limited, the thumbnails provide a quick visual reference for recently captured images that may have been deleted elsewhere on your system.
Photo Booth for Recovery MacOS

Third-party apps/service

Third-Party Data Recovery Software
When built-in options fall short, Mac users can turn to third-party software such as UndeleterDisk Drill or PhotoRec for more robust recovery capabilities. These applications perform deep scans and can often recover files that are no longer visible to the user. They operate on the principle of file signatures, allowing them to identify various data types, including photos, and attempt to restore them. Remember to halt all use of the storage device immediately after data loss to prevent overwriting your deleted files.
How to Undelete Files with File Recovery Tool - Rene.E Laboratory
Professional Data Recovery Services
If all software-based methods fail to yield results, and the photos are irreplaceable, seeking professional data recovery services may be the next step. Despite being more expensive, these services provide specialized recovery techniques, particularly in cases of physical damage to storage media, offering the highest probability of retrieval for your valuable memories.
Tips:Ensure Time Machine is set up and running before any data loss occurs.

For iPhone/iPad users

Understanding the “Recently Deleted” Album
On an iPhone, deleted photos first move to the “Recently Deleted” album within the Photos app. They remain there for 30 days, providing an immediate recovery option without the need for additional software. During this period, you can simply select the photos and tap “Recover” to restore them back to your main library.
Recently Deleted iPhone
Tips:It’s crucial to understand that photos in the “Recently Deleted” album are permanently erased after 30 days or if the album is manually cleared.
Seeking Third-Party Data Recovery Solutions
When the “Recently Deleted” album is no longer an option, specialized software like Renee iPhone Recovery, Dr. Fone, iMyFone Data Recovery, and PhoneRescue can help. These tools attempt to recover lost data from deep within the iPhone’s storage. Although results can vary, many of these programs offer a preview feature to identify recoverable photos before purchase.
Recovering from Other Devices and Cloud Services
If third-party tools fail, check if the lost photos exist on other synced devices such as an iPad or a Mac. Cloud services like iCloud are also worth exploring, as they may have automatically backed up your photos. Additionally, images shared on social platforms may serve as an inadvertent backup.
Tips:Access your account via in a web browser and log in with your Apple ID. Click on Photos, then Recently Deleted. This folder, much like the Trash in Google Photos or the Recycle Bin in Microsoft OneDrive, keeps deleted photos for up to 30 days. Select the photos you want to recover and click Recover, and they will reappear in your iCloud Photos Library and on all devices with iCloud Photos enabled.
Considering Professional Data Recovery Services
While professional data recovery services can sometimes salvage photos that software cannot, they come at a significant cost and with no success guarantees. Such services should be a last resort, typically for irreplaceable photos, and it’s advisable to inquire about the likelihood of recovery before committing.

For Android Devices Efficiently

In today’s digital age, we use our smartphones to capture and store our precious memories in the form of photos. But what happens when we accidentally delete these photos? Thankfully, there are ways to retrieve them on Android devices efficiently. In this chapter, we will guide you through several methods to recover deleted photos on your Android device.
Step 1: Check Your Google Photos Trash
If you use Google Photos to back up your photos, then your deleted photos may still be in the trash for up to 60 days. To check, open the Google Photos app, tap on the three lines in the top left corner, and select “Trash” from the menu. If your photos are in the trash, tap on them and select “Restore“. This will move the photos back to your main library.
google photos trash in Android
Step 2: Use Your Device’s Gallery App
If you have deleted a photo from Google Photos, but it’s still on your device, then you can use your device’s gallery app to delete it. Simply open the gallery app, find the photo, and delete it. This will permanently remove the photo from your device.
Step 3: Try OneDrive Recycle Bin
If you have OneDrive backup set up on your Android device, then you can try recovering your deleted photos from the recycle bin. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Open OneDrive on your device.
2. Tap on the three lines in the top left corner and select “Recycle Bin“.
3. Find the deleted photo and tap on it.
4. Tap on “Restore” to move the photo back to your main library.
Step 4: Remove SD Card and Connect to a Computer
If you have photos stored on an SD card and they have been deleted, you can try recovering them by removing the SD card from your device and connecting it to a computer. You will need a card reader to do this.
Step 5: Use Data Recovery Software
If all else fails, you can try using data recovery software to retrieve your deleted photos on your Android device. There are many options available, but do thorough research and choose a reputable and reliable software to use.
Tips:Most third-party data recovery software necessitates rooting your Android phone prior to initiating the scan process. It’s important to be aware that rooting can void your manufacturer’s warranty and potentially disqualify your device from official repair services.
By following these techniques, you can efficiently recover deleted photos on your Android device. But what about lost photos on digital cameras or storage devices? Continue to our next chapter to learn about “Method 5: The Strategy of Recovering Lost Memories from Digital Cameras Storage” and the potential reasons why an SD card may lose data.

Recovering Lost Memories from Digital Cameras Storage

Storage media like SD cards are indispensable for digital cameras but can succumb to many forms of data loss, such as accidental deletion or card corruption. Water, heat, and even seemingly innocuous actions like ejecting the card during a write process can compromise the integrity of the data. For instance, exposure to moisture not only risks electronic failure but can also lead to data corruption, affecting the stored images on the SD card.
Immediate Response to Data Loss When data loss is detected, the initial response is critical. Ceasing all operations on the digital camera’s storage device is paramount. Users should avoid capturing new images or attempting to access the card with other devices, which can lead to overwriting the lost data, rendering it irrecoverable, data only appear to be gone but are actually waiting to be overwritten.

Preventive Measures: Tips to Avoid Future Photo Loss and Secure Your Memories

While it’s great to have methods for recovering deleted photos, it’s always better to not lose them in the first place. The recovery process may not always be successful, and it’s time-consuming. To avoid the stress of lost images, here are some preventive measures you can take:
Step 1: Regularly Back Up Your Photos
Protect your memories by regularly backing up photos using built-in utilities, third-party tools, or cloud services. Choose a weekly or monthly schedule and promptly back up new images after events or before system updates. Windows users can use File History, and Mac users can use iCloud for security.
Step 2:Create multiple partitions.
Organize photos into dedicated folders or create separate partitions on your storage device to minimize accidental formatting and allow space for backups, enhancing photo protection.
You can use Disk Utility on Macs to create multiple partitions on your external hard drive.
Step 3:Never write new photos to the same place as lost images.
If you’ve accidentally deleted photos, it’s important to stop using the device or storage media that contained the lost files. This is because the data is still physically on the device until it is overwritten. If you continue to use the device, you risk overwriting or corrupting the lost files, making it difficult to recover them.
If you’ve accidentally deleted photos from your camera’s SD card, remove the card and do not use it until you’ve attempted the recovery process.
Step 4:Auto-upload photos to the cloud.
Many devices have the option to automatically send your photos to the cloud, providing a backup that extends beyond your device. This eliminates the need for manual backups and offers additional storage space through your cloud provider. Popular services like Google Photos and iCloud make it easy to store and access your photos.
You can enable auto-upload for your photos on your iPhone through the iCloud settings.


Photographs are precious memories, and losing them to deletion or technical issues can be devastating. Our guide helps you recover lost photos from various devices, explaining the “recently deleted” folder and providing step-by-step recovery instructions for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and digital cameras. We highlight tools like Renee Undeleter for easier recovery and offer tips for backing up and managing files to protect your photos. This guide ensures you can restore and secure your memories for the future.