How to Recover Deleted Photos and Videos on Android Devices

Accidentally deleting photos or videos from your Android device can be extremely frustrating. However, with the right tools and techniques, recovering deleted photos and videos on Android is often possible. This guide will provide an overview of the best methods for recovering deleted media files on your Android smartphone or tablet.

Stop Using Your Device Immediately

As soon as you realize you’ve accidentally deleted important photos or videos, the first thing you should do is stop using your Android device. Continuing to take photos, install apps, or even browse the internet can overwrite the deleted files making them unrecoverable.

Put your device in Airplane Mode and connect it to a charger to prevent anything from accidentally overwriting your deleted files. The sooner you stop using your device, the better chance you’ll have of recovering deleted media.

Check the Trash Folder in Your Gallery App

Most Android devices don’t permanently delete photos, videos, and other media right away. Instead, they move deleted files to a Trash or Recently Deleted folder where they are stored temporarily before being permanently erased.

  • Open the Gallery app on your Android device
  • Navigate to the Trash, Recently Deleted, or other folder where deleted items are stored
  • Locate your deleted photos/videos and tap to restore them

Files in the Trash are typically automatically deleted after 30 days. So if you act quickly, this can be the fastest way to get back lost media.

Use a File Recovery App

If your deleted photos and videos are no longer in the Trash, your next option is to use a file recovery app. There are many great options available on the Google Play Store. Some top recommendations include:

  • DiskDigger – Free photo and video recovery app for Android. No root required.
  • Dumpster – Recycle bin app that can recover recently deleted files.
  • Undeleter – Recovers lost and deleted files from Android internal memory and SD cards.

These apps scan your device’s storage and attempt to recover deleted files. Results can vary depending on how long ago the files were deleted.

Connect Android to Computer and Scan with Data Recovery Software

For the best results recovering permanently deleted files, connect your Android device to a computer and use professional data recovery software like EaseUS MobiSaver or Stellar.

These tools perform much more advanced scans of your device’s internal and external storage to recover deleted data. Follow these general steps:

  1. Download and install the data recovery software on a Windows or Mac computer
  2. Connect your Android device to the computer via USB
  3. Select file types to scan for (photos, videos, etc.)
  4. Preview and select files to recover
  5. Save recovered files to your computer

This method works even if files were deleted weeks or months ago. However, the sooner you perform the scan, the better your chances of recovery.

Try Automated Backups and Sync Services

If you use backup services like Google Photos, Dropbox, or OneDrive, deleted files may be recoverable from the cloud. These services automatically sync photos/videos by default, so check if your deleted files were backed up previously.

You can restore cloud backups directly to your Android device and recover lost media fairly easily this way. Just re-enable the sync/backup option if you disabled it previously.

Enable Encryption for Important Data

One way to mitigate issues with accidental file deletion is to enable encryption for important folders on your Android device. Encrypted files are not easily overwritten and are more likely to be fully recoverable by data recovery apps and tools.

Go to Settings > Security > Encrypt Device on your Android to encrypt the internal storage. You can also encrypt external SD cards with third-party apps. This protection comes at the cost of convenience, but may be worthwhile for precious photos and videos.

Practice Regular Backups

To avoid dealing with data recovery entirely, it’s highly recommended to implement regular file backups for your Android device. You have a few options:

  • Back up to the cloud automatically with services like Google Photos or Dropbox
  • Manually transfer important files to a computer or external hard drive
  • Use Android backup software to schedule backups to a computer

Making manual or automated backups on a regular basis will save you the headache of trying to recover deleted files from your Android device after the fact.

Contact a Data Recovery Service

If all else fails and you absolutely must retrieve your deleted files, you can enlist the help of a professional data recovery service. They use specialized tools and clean room facilities to repair devices and recover data.

However, these services can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Use them as a last resort if your lost files are extremely important or valuable.


Accidentally losing photos, videos, and other multimedia files on your Android can be frustrating. Thankfully, in many cases, recovery is possible by using the right software tools or techniques.

Stop using your device immediately after deletion, check the gallery trash folder, use Android file recovery apps, connect to data recovery software on a PC, restore cloud backups, and enable encryption to give yourself the best chances of getting back deleted files on Android.

Implementing regular manual or automated backups is also recommended to prevent ever needing Android data recovery in the first place. But when disaster strikes, this guide outlines the most effective methods of recovering deleted photos, videos, and other files from your Android smartphone or tablet.