How to Recover Deleted Photos from Your iPhone

So you took some great photos only to have your friend grab your iPhone out of your hand, scream "EW, NO!" and delete them. Or maybe your toddler got a hold of your iPhone, selected a whole bunch of photos and deleted them by accident. Whatever happened, you're searching for those photos and worried that you won't be able to retrieve them. Not to worry. We can help you figure out how to recover deleted photos from your iPhone. We also have some tips on protecting them in the future.

Like your computer's "recycle bin" feature, your iPhone has a Recently Deleted folder in your Photos app:

  • Open the Photos app
  • Scroll through the list of Other Albums
  • Tap Recently Deleted
  • Tap Select at the top right corner
  • Select all the photos you want to recover
  • Tap Recover in the lower right corner
  • oIf you want to recover all the photos in Recently Deleted, simply hit Recover All

Keep in mind that the Recently Deleted folder will only hold deleted photos for 30 days. After that, they'll be permanently deleted.

Can I recover permanently deleted photos from my iPhone?

Sometimes. If you use iCloud or iTunes to periodically backup your iPhone, you might be able to restore a previous version of your phone and find the lost photos that way. Once you've picked an older version and the restore is complete just check your Photos app for the lost photos. Of course you might get a lot of other old data restored to your phone as well, so make sure you back up your iPhone before restoring the older version. That way you can return to it once you've recovered your deleted photos.

Can I recover permanently deleted photos from my iPhone without backup?

Unfortunately the answer is, probably not. If your device has no cloud storage backup and your photos are not automatically backed up by a service like Dropbox or Onedrive, you might be out of luck.

Prevent permanent photo deletion in the future

Use iCloud or iTunes to back up your entire phone, and/or use a service like Dropbox or Onedrive to back up specific photos in particular. Their apps are easy to install and can back up your photos automatically to the cloud and your computer with no further steps from you past installing and setting up your account. That way your photos, even deleted photos, will be captured somewhere secure, and you can get some of your phone's storage back.

While you're here be sure to check out how to customize your iPhone home screen, as well as our other iPhone Tips & Hacks.

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