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

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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: 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. 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 3: Restore From a Backup in Finder

It’s possible to restore the deleted photos on your iPhone from a backup on your Mac. So if you’ve been using your Mac to sync the data, you should be able to recover the photos from that backup.

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 restore photos from a backup in Finder on your iPhone:

  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 4: Recover From iTunes Backup

If you used iTunes to backup your iPhone, then you can restore the deleted or missing photos using this tool as well. The overall process is pretty straightforward. All you need for this is your iPhone, a USB cable, and a computer.

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

  1. Use the USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
  2. Open the iTunes app.
  3. Click the iPhone icon located in the upper-left corner of the application.
  4. Click the Summary tab on the sidebar.
  5. Scroll to the Backups section and click the Restore Backup button.
  6. Select the needed backup version and wait for the process to finish.

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. All you need to do is open the cloud storage site or app and log into your account. After that, find the needed photo and add a copy of it back into your iPhone.

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

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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.
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12 years experience in software development, database administration and hardware repair.