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5 Ways to Recover Deleted Photos on Your Android Device

The way we reminisce over memories has changed drastically. While previous generations would have pored over a physical photo album to relive favoured days gone by, the world is not knee-deep into the digital revolution. This means that our lives are recorded via smartphones and tablets.

The advantages to this are clear. Moments can be captured in the blink of an eye and accessed at the touch of a button. Alas, it’s just as easy to lose photos this way. One clumsy thumb swipe, or a lack of sufficient attention, could see your wedding snaps or baby’s first steps banished into the online ether.

It’s important to know how to recover lost photos from a phone or tablet. This guide will explain exactly how you can do so.

Cloud Drives

Most Android appliances offer the opportunity to automatically back up all data on a handset to a cloud drive. If you accidentally delete a photo from your handset, there’s every chance it can still be found in the cloud. Just be aware that you’re going to need to act quickly.

The first thing to do is check your backup settings on your device. How often is your appliance set to back up the cloud, and at what time? If this is daily at midnight, you can quickly get your image back. Race into your cloud drive and check the photo drive. As the backup has not yet taken place, it has not yet been deleted from the cloud. Restore the photo to your handset and breathe.

Even you can’t find the photo in the cloud, do not immediately panic. Most cloud servers have a recycle bin. Check here – the photo may be in a holding pattern until the next backup is scheduled.

Google Photos

On paper, it’s even easier to retrieve a deleted file from Google Photos. Open the app, then head to your library. Click on the trash can icon, as this is your recycle bin. All being well, the image will be in this folder. You can simply highlight the file in question and click restore. This will return the photo to Google Photos, as well as any albums that you have set up.

This will only work if the image is in the trash, though. There are a few reasons why this may not be the case.

If you cannot find the image, check a cloud drive as we discussed above. If you still don’t have any joy, all is not lost. As we’ll discuss in a moment, Dumpster can track down and restore the lost file.


Having mentioned cloud drives a couple of times now, we should give a special shout out to Dropbox. If you are going to back up your data, Dropbox is arguably the safest way to so. Even a free, basic Dropbox account saves deleted files for 30 days. If you’re prepared to pay a fee for an advanced account, they’ll be kept around for even longer.

Restoring a deleted photo from Dropbox is simple. Head to the folder that contains your photo and restore an old version from the history. As discussed, this could be from any update over the last 30 days. Just be aware that this will completely restore the old folder, so if you deleted a hundred photos but only want to save one, you’ll have to re-delete the rest. 

If you’re not sure when you deleted the photo and don’t fancy trawling through a month of versions, use Dropbox Rewind. This will restore your content to how it looked 30 days prior. Naturally though, this means that anything else you have backed up since this date will need to be saved again. Dropbox Rewind is essentially erasing the last 30 days from history.


So you’ve tried Dropbox, Google Photos and every cloud drive that you use to no avail. Under normal circumstances, we’d say that you live and learn – the file is gone. When you download Dumpster, however, normal circumstances do not apply.

Dumpster operates a recycle bin, where anything deleted from your device will be stored. These files will be compressed, so they have little impact on your storage allowance. You can restore anything from the recycle bin in a matter of seconds, even if it has been removed from other sources.

How about files that were deleted before you installed Dumpster, though? These, too, are accessible. Dumpster uses patented Deep Scan Recovery technology to locate photos thought lost. The app will rummage through the cache of your apps, as well as any hidden folders, to find the photo you’re looking for. From here, the image can be restored to your handset or tablet.

How to Avoid it Next Time

These steps are great for retrieving lost photos. Prevention is better than cure, though. It’s preferable to avoid your photos being deleted by mistake. We appreciate this is easier said than done, especially if you allow young children to use your phone!

To minimise the risk of unwanted photo deletion, take these steps.

Losing photos can be heartbreaking. As is the way of the internet, however, deleted does not mean lost forever. By utilising any of these techniques, most notably Dumpster’s Deep Scan Recovery technology, your memories can be retrieved. Download Dumpster now and sleep easier knowing that your precious images are safe. 

Greg Porter

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