Deleted Photo Recovery: 4 Proven Ways to Restore Deleted Pictures + Bonus

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N. Lankevitch for pandorarecovery
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how to recover deleted photos

We have all become accustomed to the ease with which we can take and save photos with our mobile devices and computers. Without the cost and hassle of sending film out to be developed, it’s very easy to accumulate a large gallery of images that you have taken yourself or downloaded from the web. Some users devote a significant amount of their available storage to save and catalog their pictures.

The flip side to the convenience of digital images is that it is easy to accidentally delete some or all of your images. This can happen in a number of ways and may require you to restore deleted photos from your Windows machine. An inadvertent click or formatting the wrong partition can quickly delete important photos. While your first reaction may be despair, there are proven methods you can employ to perform deleted photo recovery. Here are some options.

How to Recover Deleted Photos Using Disk Drill Recovery Software

Disk Drill data recovery software is your best bet for restoring lost or deleted images. We will show you how shortly, but first we need to talk about preserving the disk from which the images have been deleted to give you the best chance of a successful recovery.

The Windows 10 operating system logically removes access to files after you delete them. This is also true if you logically format a drive or partition. The files are still physically available on the hard disk and data recovery programs use this fact to undelete an image that is apparently lost. Until the storage space is overwritten with new data, the file can be recovered.

As soon as you think you have deleted photos that you wish to recover you need to stop using the disk which contained the pictures. Using the disk increases the chances that the files you want to recover will be overwritten. This includes downloading and installing the data recovery tool on this disk. Don’t do it.

To recover lost photos using Disk Drill, follow these steps.

  1. Download and install Disk Drill for Windows. As stated, use a USB or thumb drive if the files you wish to recover were located on your computer’s main disk.
  2. Launch the application.
  3. Select the disk or partition where recovery will be performed from the list provided by the program.
  4. Click the Search for lost data button to initiate Disk Drill’s scanning algorithms.restore deleted pictures
  5. Preview the recoverable files that the application has identified.
  6. Select the lost files that you wish to recover from the preview list.

    At this point, you should also select a new storage location where the recovered photos will be stored. Avoid the original location to prevent overwriting file corruption.

    how to recover deleted pictures
  7. Click the Recover button to perform the photo recovery.

    The Windows version of Disk Drill allows you to recover up to 500MB of data for free before upgrading to the Pro version of the tool.

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free data recovery software Disk Drill for Windows & macOS Free Download
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Uncovering the best solutions to recover deleted photos from your computer.

How to Recover Deleted Images Without Any Software

There are a couple of methods that you can use to attempt to restore deleted pictures without any additional software. They may only be successful in limited circumstances, but they are worth a shot if you don’t have a proper photo recovery software available.

Recovering Lost Photos from the Recycle Bin

Recovering Lost Photos from the Recycle Bin

The first place you should look when you need to try to undelete photos is your computer’s Recycle Bin. If you have recently deleted the image, with any luck you will be able to easily recover it. Here’s what to do.

  1. Open the Recycle bin by double-clicking or right-clicking and selecting Open.
  2. Choose the photo you want to recover.
  3. Right-click on the photo and select Restore.deleted photo recovery

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin after the files were deleted, this method will not work. In those cases, data recovery software may be able to recover your images.

Restoring Previous Versions of a File

Restoring Previous Versions of a File

You may also be able to use the Windows facility for restoring previous versions of a file to recover a lost photo. To attempt this method, follow these steps.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the file or folder which contained the files that you wish to recover.
  3. Right-click and select Restore previous versions from the menu.
  4. Select the version you wish to recover from the list provided by Windows.
  5. Click the Restore button to recover your photo.deleted photo recovery with Disk Drill

Of course, for this method to be successful, there needs to have been previous versions of the file on the disk. This may not always be the case, leading you back to data recovery software to rescue your lost photos.

Restoring From a Backup

Restoring From a Backup

If you have made backups of your computer, the images that were deleted may have been saved on your backup media. Depending on the method employed to create the backups, the restore process may vary. Backing up your data is considered one of the best ways to protect yourself from data loss.

restore deleted pictures via Disk Drill

(Bonus) Recover Photos and Videos from Your Cloud Backup

Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photos

How to Recover Deleted Photos from Google Photos

Google Photos is a popular platform for users to save and share their digital images. It enables a user to store photos taken on their Android phone or another mobile device in cloud storage where they are easily accessible from any location. Google Photos makes it easy to share a precious photo with friends and family. You can save space on your Android device by uploading images to Google Photos and removing them from your local memory card. There is always a chance that you can accidentally delete an image or video from Google Photos. Here’s what you can do.

To recover images from Google Photos you need to:

  1. Sign in to the Google account where the deleted photos were stored.
  2. Open Google Photos or the Google Photos app on a mobile device.
  3. Open Google Photos Trash.Recover Deleted Photos via Google Photos
  4. Select the deleted files that you wish to recover.
  5. Click the clock icon on a computer or the Restore button on mobile.Recover Deleted Photos by Google Photos

Recover Photos from iCloud Backup

How to Recover Photos from iCloud Backup

Apple’s iCloud is a comprehensive cloud storage and account synchronization platform that is widely used by the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer community. Accessing your iCloud account is the first step in setting up a new iPhone or sharing or backing up your devices. Automated backups using iCloud are a great way to protect your data. In the event of photo loss, you can use backup files to recover the data. The backup capacity of iCloud for mobile devices is similar to that of iTunes for a computer. Occasionally, you might accidentally delete a photo that needs to be recovered.

To recover images from iCloud Backup, you need to:

  1. Navigate to Photos on
  2. Open Recently Deleted from the Library section.Recover Photos via iCloud Backup
  3. Select the files to restore.
  4. Click Recover. The files will be restored to their original location on your computer or device.Recover Photos with iCloud Backup

Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software vs Native Windows Tools

Here is a brief overview that shows how Disk Drill is a superior solution when compared to the basic tools provided by Windows.


Disk Drill

Basic Windows Tools

Ability to recover files from an emptied Recycle Bin.

Yes. Disk Drill can recover your photos if they have been permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin.

You cannot recover files from an empty Recycle Bin with native Windows tools. You may be able to recover a previous version of the file.

Recover photos from a formatted hard drive.

Yes. Disk Drill will recover files from a formatted drive or partition.

No. You will not be able to use basic Windows tools to recover from a formatted hard drive.

Recover deleted photos from external storage.

Yes. If you can attach the storage device to your Windows machine, Disk Drill may be able to recover its data.

No. Files deleted from external storage often do not make it to the Recycle Bin and will not be recoverable with basic Windows tools.

Recover recently deleted photos.


Yes. If they are still resident in the Recycle Bin they are easily recoverable.

More on Restoring Deleted Photos via Disk Drill:

Why Losing Important Photos or Images Can Be So Stressful

Photos can hold irreplaceable memories of people and events in your life. Losing them can be very disturbing and cause you to panic. Through the methods described above, you may be able to recover the photos that were deleted or lost. If the images on your computer are important to you, protecting them is vital.

The best way to protect all of your data including photos is to take regular backups of your computer. A backup allows you to recover your data to any compatible machine. If you are not already following the practice of backing up your computer, we strongly recommend that you start as soon as possible.



The possibility always exists that valuable photos and images on your computer can be accidentally deleted. While you may be able to recover them with basic Windows tools and methods, data recovery software will often be required to get back your lost images. Disk Drill is an excellent choice in data recovery software and provides additional data protection and management features that make it even more valuable. Download it for free today and see how this application can help protect your photos and all the rest of your important data.

Jeff Cochin is a data management and recovery professional, who has been with Pandorarecovery for nine years and has always been an essential part of the team. Jeff also works as a technical writer at Macgasm, being a first hand in testing, trying and writing about big and small tech software.
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Over 15 years strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.