Our smartphones have become inseparable from our lives. Whether we’re clicking pictures, checking the weather, or looking up directions, we can’t find ourselves without them. Our Camera Roll is probably full of random selfies, pictures of your favorite foods, landscapes, animals, or anything else. And although this is a good thing for us, it has its downsides too.
Accidentally deleting the wrong photos can be a nightmare. In this day and age, it can feel like you lost precious memories forever. But there are some steps you could take to try to recover those photos. Depending on a few things, you can get back deleted photos on your iPhone.
How to Recover Deleted Photos on the iPhone
Apple built a feature into iOS that lets it automatically store deleted photos. You can find them in the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app. For the last 30 days, your photos will be stored there. If you deleted a photo that you want to recover, follow these steps to get it back:
Step 1. Launch the Photos app.
Step 2. Select the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3. Scroll down until you locate the Recently Deleted folder. Tap on it.
Step 4. Tap Select at the top-right of the screen.
Step 5. Select the individual photos you want to save. Or tap Recover All if you want to recover all the photos in your deleted folder.
Step 6. Then tap Recover at the lower-right corner.
Step 7. Tap Recover Item(s) when prompted.
These photos will be restored to the album they were in before they were deleted, so your Photo Library and other albums should have the photos you deleted back in them.
How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos using an iCloud Backup
To prevent photos from being deleted, make sure to back up your phone regularly. If you find your photos are gone from the Recently Deleted folder, restoring your device from a previous backup may help get them back.
This approach has a disadvantage: if you restore an older backup, all of your deleted files will be recovered including apps, texts, and other data. If the backup is recent though, it may be worth the risk.
Nowadays, the best way to back up your phone is through iCloud. However, if you use Finder or iTunes, follow the steps in the next section.
Step 1. Back up your phone to iCloud so that if you mess up, or you’re unhappy with the content of your backup and you are willing to trade in your photos, you can go back to your current configuration.
Step 3. Follow the on-screen instructions until you get on to the Apps & Data page.
Step 4. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
Step 5. Sign in to your iCloud account.
Step 6. Select the recent backup and tap the Restore button.
Step 7. When we’re done, check the Photos app to see if your lost photos were retrieved. If not, you can repeat the process with an older backup or return to your most recent backup.
How to Recover Deleted Photos on the iPhone using Finder
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a photo or video on your iPhone, you know how much it hurts. But don’t worry—backups are your second-best option for retrieving lost photos.
When recovering deleted photos from iPhone with backups, always use the most recent one you have. It may be a good idea to keep your older backups just in case something goes wrong with the most recent one.
Notes: To recover your deleted photos using Finder, macOS Catalina, or newer is required. If you have earlier versions of macOS, use iTunes instead.
Step 1. Connect iPhone and Mac with a cable.
Step 2. Open New Finder Window.
Step 3. In the Finder sidebar, click your iPhone under the list of locations.
Step 4. If prompted, select Trust This Computer and enter your Passcode to continue.
Step 5. Click the General tab at the top of the Finder window.
Step 6. Then press on the Restore iPhone… button.
Step 7. Select the backup you’d like to use.
Step 8. Finally, click the Restore button to confirm.
Once the restoration is complete, go back to check if you found your lost photos. If not, you can repeat the process with an older backup or return to your most recent backup.
How to Recover Deleted Photos on the iPhone using iTunes
If you’re a little old-fashioned and not yet using iCloud to back up your phone, then restoring from an iTunes backup is pretty straightforward.
Step 1. Connect iPhone and your computer with a cable.
Step 2. Fire up iTunes.
Step 3. Click the small iPhone icon near the top left corner of the iTunes window.
Step 4. Click on the Summary tab.
Step 5. Press Restore Backup… in the Backups section.
Step 6. Select the backup you’d like to restore your phone to.
Step 7. Click Restore and wait for the process to finish.
Step 8. Once the restoration is complete, go back to check if you found your lost photos. If not, you can repeat the process with an older backup or return to your most recent backup.
How to Recover Deleted Photos using a Cloud Storage Service
If you’re using a cloud service like Google Photos or Dropbox, you’ve got an ace in the hole. These services provide automatic backup of all your photos on the cloud, independent from iCloud or iTunes.
If you’re not already using a photo-saving app, you should. The Google Photos or Dropbox apps for your iPhone are perfect options. Configuring these apps to back up your photos is incredibly easy. You don’t have to do any effort to set it up, as it’s done automatically in the background.
If you are a Google Photos or Dropbox user, you can easily get your photos back with just a few taps.
Step 1. Launch the Google Photos app on your iPhone.
Step 2. Select the photos that you want to restore.
Step 3. Tap the Share button at the top navigation bar.
Step 4. Then select Save to device. The selected photos will be restored to your photo library.