How to Recover Deleted Photos from an iPhone (with/without Backup)

Avatar photo
Written by
1112

recover deleted photos from iphoneHave you mistakenly deleted the wrong photo on your iPhone? Or maybe you’ve performed a factory reset of your phone and now all of your photos are gone? If you’re in a situation like this right now, we have a solution for you.

In this article, we’ll show you seven data recovery methods that can help you recover deleted photos on your iPhone.

How to Find Deleted Photos on an iPhone

By default, iPhones store photos and images in a native app called Photos. This application comes preinstalled in all iPhones and cannot be deleted by the user since it’s the main storage location for such data. Also, the app itself contains different folders which are used to organize everything.library photos

You can search for any photo using the Photos app on your iPhone. It is very easy to do that because all of the photos in the application are grouped into folders according to different criteria. If you remember at least some information about the photo that you’re looking for, you should be able to locate it in seconds.
Here’s how to search for photos in the Photos app on your iPhone:

  • Check the Library tab: Here you’ll be able to view your photos according to the date they were taken or added to your phone.
  • Look through the folders in the Albums tab: This tab will group all of your photos according to categories such as selfies, portrait, screenshots, imports, animated, recent photos, etc.
  • Use the search tool in the Photos app: Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right of the application to search for a photo or photos using keywords, view the photos grouped according to the place where they were taken, see photos with specific people, etc.search tool photos iphone

How to Recover Deleted Photos on iPhone

Here are the seven most effective data recovery solutions that can help you bring back your deleted photo on an iPhone.

Option 1: Check the Recently Deleted Folder

Once you delete a photo from the Photos app on your iPhone, it doesn’t get instantly erased from it. First your phone moves it to a folder called Recently Deleted within the application. This folder allows you to see deleted photos on your iPhone without a backup.

Note: The deleted photos will be manually deleted from the Recently Deleted folder after 30 days have passed since they’ve been added to the folder.

Follow these steps to find recently deleted photos on your iPhone and recover them:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the Albums tab.
  3. Scroll down to find the Recently Deleted folder and tap it to open.recently deleted folder photos app iphone
  4. Tap Select and choose the photos that you wish to recover.
  5. When ready, tap Recover.recover deleted photos iphone

Option 2: Check Messenger Attachments

If you remember sharing the photo that you’re looking for with someone via text message on Messenger or through a social media app, it’s a good idea to check the attachments in that application. Even if you’ve deleted the photos from your iPhone, the media attachments may still be stored within those app caches and potentially recovered.

Follow these steps to check the attachments in the Messenger app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Messenger app on your phone.
  2. Choose the person you’ve sent the photo you’re looking for.
  3. Tap the sender’s name on the top of the screen.
  4. Scroll down and tap Photos (look through the photos and videos that have been shared between you and the other person).find photos in messenger attachments
  5. Tap the share icon on the bottom left and choose Save Image to add it to your gallery in the Photos app..

Option 3: Use Data Recovery Software

If the photo that you were looking for is no longer in the Recently Deleted folder, your best option would be to use a specialized data recovery software to bring it back. But the key here is to start the recovery process as soon as possible since your goal is to not let the iOS on your phone overwrite the deleted photos with other data.

There are not so many apps to recover deleted photos iPhone on the market. When it comes to choosing a data recovery tool in such a case, our recommendation is Disk Drill.

Apply a coupon “DD-IOS-30” during the checkout process, and you’ll get Disk Drill PRO (Mac edition) with a 30% discount.

This application is one of the not so many that has the capabilities of performing data recovery on an iPhone. Moreover, it can restore not just photos from your phone, but a wide variety of other file types (documents, videos, notes, email files, etc.).

Follow these steps to recover accidentally deleted photos on iPhone using Disk Drill:

  1. Download Disk Drill for Mac and install it on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the MacBook and unlock it for interaction.
  3. Launch Disk Drill and click the iPhones & iPads tab from the sidebar on the left.scan iphone disk drill
  4. Choose your iPhone from the list of connected devices.
  5. Click Search for lost data to start the scan.scanning iphone disk drill
  6. Click the Pictures tab to view only files that are of this type or use the search field at the top-right to enter the file’s extension or any other keyword that would help to narrow down the scan results.
  7. Click the eye icon near a file to preview it.
  8. Put a tick in the box near the file that you wish to recover and click the Recover button whenever ready.recover photo disk drill iphone
  9. Choose a preferred destination for the files and click OK to confirm.

Note: The free Disk Drill version allows only to preview the discovered photos. To actually recover the photos with this tool, you need to upgrade to the Pro version.

Option 4: Restore From an iTunes/Finder Backup

It’s possible to restore the deleted photos on your iPhone from an iTunes backup. But keep in mind, this option will work only if you’ve previously used iTunes to backup your device.

The overall process is pretty straightforward. All you need for this is your iPhone, a USB cable, and a computer containing the iTunes backup. You can use either a Mac or a Windows-based computer. If you’ve already tried to find the iTunes app on your Mac and it’s not there, don’t worry. On computers running macOS Catalina and later, iTunes was replaced by Finder, so you’ll be using it instead for recovering the photos. Nevertheless, the steps are basically the same for both apps.

Note: This method entails restoring all of the data on your iPhone to the state everything was when the selected backup was performed. To be able to do this, your Mac should be running macOS Catalina or later.

Follow these steps to recover your deleted photos on your iPhone from an iTunes backup:

  1. Open Finder on your Mac (click the first icon on the Dock).
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
  3. Click iPhone from the sidebar in Finder and choose Trust. Enter your phone’s passcode if prompted.
  4. Select your iPhone on the sidebar on the left in Finder.
  5. Click the Restore Backup button.restore backup in finder iphone mac
  6. Choose the suitable backup version.
  7. Enter your passcode if prompted and click Restore.
  8. Wait for the process to finish and then disconnect your phone from the computer.

Option 5: Restore From iCloud backup

If you’ve been using iCloud to backup the data on your iPhone, then you potentially can use one of those backups to recover the deleted photos. However, this process requires you to erase all of the content from your iPhone before moving forward. To do that, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap Erase All Content and Settings.erase iphone data

Once you’ve performed the factory reset on your iPhone, follow these steps to recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud:

  1. Turn on your iPhone and follow the instructions to set it up until you see the Apps & Data screen.
  2. Choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
  3. Use your Apple ID login and passcode to get access to your iCloud backups.
  4. Choose a suitable backup version (pay attention to their dates and size).
  5. Wait for the data transfer to finish and then also use your Apple ID to restore your applications.

Option 6: Restore From Other Online Cloud Storage

Many iPhone users choose to backup to the cloud only selected photos. For such a purpose, they usually use online cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Photos, OneDrive, etc.

If you’ve also been doing that with the photos from your iPhone, you can easily restore a deleted photo by accessing your cloud storage account. As an example, here’s how to restore a photo from Google Drive:

  1. Either open the Google Drive app on your iPhone or using the browser go to drive.google.com
  2. Sign into your Google account.
  3. Either search for the needed photo using the search field at the top or manually scroll through the files to find the needed one.restore iphone photos from other online cloud storage
  4. To save a photo to your iPhone, tap the three dots near the file and choose Open in (then select where you wish to save the photo).

That’s it! Now, simply go to the app or location to which the photo was saved to view it.

Option 7: Get Help From a Data Recovery Service

Is there anything else that you can try for recovering deleted photos on your iPhone? Luckily, there is one more effective solution, which is getting help from professionals. If the above-mentioned options weren’t effective in your situation, your only last chance is to resort to a data recovery center.

CleverFiles Data Recovery Center is one of the labs that you can try. They offer a lot of nice perks to their clients, such as free evaluations of the devices that suffered from data loss, a no data – no charge policy, and a stunning success rate. If you choose to go with this center, give them a call and the data recovery specialists will guide you through your next steps.

How to Backup Photos on iPhone

When it comes to recovering deleted photos from an iPhone, you have the most chances in succeeding in the process if you’ve been regularly backing up your phone before data loss occurred. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set up automatic backing up of your data to always have a quick and effective solution in case you ever delete the wrong photo or video on your iPhone.

The safest way to backup your iPhone is with the help of iCloud. If that’s what you want to do, follow these steps to set up automatic iCloud backups on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the menu.menu settings iphone
  3. Go to iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  4. Toggle on iCloud Backup to turn on automatic backups (to perform one manually right away, tap Back Up Now).set up icloud backup iphone

But unfortunately, iCloud is not completely free. If you’ve looking for a way to backup your iPhone data without having to pay anything, you can use your computer for that (either use Finder or iTunes for your backups).

Conclusion

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with deleted photos on your iPhone, which is why for best results, you need to start the photo recovery process on your phone as soon as possible. Whether you’re using software to recover the photos, a computer or cloud backup, or sending your iPhone to a data recovery lab, the faster you do it, the more chances you’ll have to recover the deleted data.

FAQs

Yes, there are ways to recover deleted photos on your iPhone without specialized software. But most of those methods entail using a backup to restore the lost data. So if you haven’t been backing up your phone before the data loss occurred, your only option would be to use data recovery software to scan your iPhone to recover the deleted photos.
The recently deleted photos on your iPhone can be found in a special folder located in the Photos app. To access the folder, open the application on your phone, tap Albums tab, and then tap Recently Deleted.
Yes, it’s possible to undo a deletion of a photo on your iPhone. But it will work only if the deleted photo hasn’t been yet removed from the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app. To get recently deleted photos on iPhone, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Photos > Albums > Recently Deleted.
  2. Choose Select and tap the photo you wish to recover.
  3. Tap Recover to place the photo back to the Photos app.
If you want to get deleted photos back on an iPhone without using a computer, your only solution would be to use iCloud for that. But unfortunately, this will work only if you’ve been already backing up the data on your iPhone using iCloud before the data loss happened.
The best way to retrieve deleted photos on an iPhone 11 is with the help of a specialized data recovery tool like Disk Drill. Here’s what you should do:
  1. Download Disk Drill to your Mac and install it.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
  3. Unlock your phone to interact with the Mac.
  4. Launch Disk Drill and choose iPhones & iPads from the sidebar on the left.
  5. Choose your iPhone from the list of devices and click the Search for lost data button.
  6. Select the files you wish to recover and click the Recover button.
  7. Choose a preferred destination for the recovered files and click OK to confirm.
Avatar photo
Romana Levko is a professional content writer with a strong interest in tech-related topics. Her main focus is on data recovery, Apple products, and cybersecurity. She spends her free time tinkering with her Mac and burning through her favorite music albums.
Approved by
12 years experience in software development, database administration and hardware repair.