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PC, smartphone, SD card: how to find deleted photos?

Have your photos gone? It is still possible to restore them!

Image 1: PC, smartphone, SD card: how to find deleted photos?

Have you just inadvertently deleted precious photos from your SD card, phone or laptop? It happens. Do not panic, there are several methods of recovery. On any type of image file.

Recover your deleted photos on Windows

The most classic case. You have just selected images on your PC, probably to copy them to another device, but they have just disappeared. Be aware that they have not been removed from the computer, only placed in the Recycle Bin until you empty the Recycle Bin.

To restore them to the original location:

  • Double-click the Trash icon on your computer’s desktop or search for “Trash” in the Start menu (if you have an operating system earlier than Windows 10).
  • In Windows 10, you can also use the “Restore your files using file history” program; grab simply “Restore” in the search field and click on the relevant functionality to access the history of files saved (and deleted) on your discs.

In the Recycle Bin, you can apply a filter to display only the files that interest you, in this case photos. To do this, click on the Element type column and, in the drop-down list that appears, check the image file extensions (JPG, JPEG, PNG, DNG, RAW, etc.)

Image 2: PC, smartphone, SD card: how to find deleted photos?

You can also reverse the order of the results from the most recent to the oldest, or vice versa by clicking on the “Element type” label.

Obviously, if the photos are no longer in the trash it is because they have been permanently deleted. In which case, we invite you to use recovery software.

What is the best program to recover my photos?

There are many and varied recovery software, among the most popular: Recuva, PCInspector File Recovery, ParagonRescue Kit. Be careful however: after installation, these utilities can overwrite your deleted photos. It is therefore preferable to install and run them from a USB key. A procedure that is specifically suited to Recuva.

Once the application is installed, launch the file recovery wizard (always via your USB key). Choose the type of files you want to recover – here “Images” – then their original location; if you have any doubts about the latter, check “I am not sure”. Finally, activate the in-depth analysis and click on the “Finish” button.

Image 3: PC, smartphone, SD card: how to find deleted photos?

A list of results is displayed. It separates easily recoverable images (in green), partially recoverable images (in orange) and unrecoverable images (in red). Select the photo files in green and choose a new destination location, then click OK. Your photos are available again.

Recover deleted photos from SD card

If your deleted photos are on an SD card, Recuva is just as useful. Repeat the same process described above. The only difference: in the “File location” step, choose “On my removable card” to scan your SD card.

Recover deleted photos on your iPhone

If you’ve deleted photos on your iPhone or iPad, there is a “Recently Deleted” folder in the “Albums” section of the Photos app. The deleted photos and videos are kept there for 30 days. Therefore, as long as this time is not exceeded, you can select the ones you want and restore them in your photo album, now called “All photos”.

Recover deleted photos from Android smartphone

As long as you use Google Photos on your Android phone, you will find that there is a system similar to that of the iPhone. System that allows you to find recently deleted photos in a recycle bin.

  • Open the Google Photos application then the menu (three horizontal lines) and search for the Recycle Bin.
  • Press and hold your finger on one of the photos you want to recover, then press “Restore” at the bottom.

The photos will be returned to their original location. Keep them safe!

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