Google Photos is claimed to be a spacious and reliable storage service for your images. However, phone users often complain about their photos disappearing from the storage. We’ve collected the most common scenarios and the solutions to them.
We are describing how to retrieve images from your Google Photos account, as well as giving existing recovery methods: both those provided by the service itself and alternative ones (if there is no backup copy).
- Recovering deleted Google Photos from Trash
- Using DiskDigger for photos recovery
- Google Photos sync is disabled
- No access to Google account
- Photo upload was interrupted
- Tips and tricks
Basic recovery from Google Photos Trash (Recycle Bin)
Your photos are stored on the Google Photos Cloud for 60 days. If you haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin, you can still recover your permanently deleted photos.Keep in mind, however, that this is only going to work if the photos had been backed up using “Back Up and Sync” on the app.
Instruction for an Android
1. Open the Google Photos app on your phone (downloadable from Google Play).
2. In the top left corner of the app, find the “Main Menu”, and navigate to the “Trash.”
3. Select the elements on the list that need recovering: deleted files, folders with images and videos.
4. To retrieve selected files, tap “Restore.”
5. After that, selected photos and videos should be recovered. The Google Photos app will save them to the album/folder that they used to be stored in.
Instructions for a PC
- Make sure you are signed into the account you are using for your Google Photos.
- Google Photos Trash is here.
- Recovery happens in the same way as in the mobile version: you specify what deleted data you need to recover and click the “Done” button to confirm your choice.
- To recover Google Photos images, press “Restore.”
- All deleted files will be restored and synced with your Android phone.
Universal method to restore Google Photos folders after 60 days — DiskDigger
If the 60 days are up, you won't find your images in Google Photos Trash. Instead, you will need to use a recovery tool which is proven to be effective: DiskDigger for instance. Let’s have a look at how to recover deleted photos on Google Photos using its toolbox.
1. Download and install DiskDigger for Android from our website or the Play Store.
2. Run the app and scan your phone memory or SD card.
Note: you need to define the exact location of the photos – internal memory or memory card. You can look it up in the settings of the app (Camera, etc.).
3. Save the files which you find.
There are a number of other recovery apps, besides DiskDigger, which should be able to help you. We are now going to look at the best ones:
How else can I recover data from Google Photos? A few simple formulas
Well, basically, photo recovery from the Cloud can be performed only by using the Google Photos service, but there are a couple of tips and tricks which come in handy sometimes.
- Check other folders in your Albums, since your photos can also be “hiding” in odd places. How to recover photos from Google Photos:
- Open Google Photos in the mobile app or browser.
- Under“Photos on device,” find the folder you need.
- Look through the thumbnails to see which photos are stored there.
- If you have shared photos with other users, ask them to check if they have them in the “Downloads” folder. Next, check your message history in messengers (Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook).
- If you are using Samsung apps like Cloud, check for the backup copies of your photos on the server.
Photos aren't displayed on a new device (syncing is disabled)
I accessed Google Photos via another device and the latest photos weren't shown there, even though everything is fine when I open Google Photos from an old device. Nothing is stored on my phone and I remove every file right after downloading it. All the photos are displayed in the Google Drive on both (old and new) devices.Everything is also shown at photos.google.com. What should I do in order to be able to view new photos via Google Photos on the new device?
The solution: You have to enable syncing between Google Photos and your new Android device. This can be done in the following way:
- Go to the “Settings” via the app side menu.
- Open the "Back up and sync" section and toggle on the option of the same name.
- In order to set up the option of backing up, you have to specify the settings of your Gmail account.
- From now on, every photo or video stored in Google Photos will be available on all the devices your Google account is linked to.
Since the app consumes a lot of traffic, you should turn on syncing only when your device is connected to a WiFi network.
No access to my Google account
I need your help. All the photos from my old phone were stored in Google Photos and after buying a new phone, my husband deleted my account via the old phone and created a new one. Is it possible to recover the photos from my old phone if I don't know either the username or password?
The solution: The best and, in fact, the only way to get the photos back is to regain access to your Google account. When you were registering this account, you will have specified a backup mailbox and other data to help you to remember your username and password. We've already described here in detail how to go about recovering Google account information.
Once you have access again, link your account via the settings of your Android or open Google Photos via a browser.
Photo upload was interrupted
I've faced the following problem: some photos were lost while being transferred from the SD card to Google Drive. Moreover, problems with the internet connection also occurred at the same time; the files failed to load (the process of downloading is still active), but they are also gone from the card. Am I able to recover them?
The solution: Since your photos weren't downloaded entirely to Google Photos, you have to recover them from your SD card. This manual will be helpful to you:
In addition to Power Data Recovery, you can also try DiskDigger, PhotoRec, and Recuva software. They're free of charge.
Questions and Answers
I need urgent help. My problem is that all photos from my old phone were in Google Photos folders. When I got a new phone and tried signing into that account, the photos weren’t there. They mean a lot to me and I need help. Where can I find them. Am I doing something wrong?
- Photos might have not been uploaded to Google Photos from your old phone; the sync feature could be off or perhaps only partial synchronization was turned on.
- Check if the photos are on your old memory card or on your old device.
1. My photos from Google Photos disappeared, even though before deleting them from the Gallery on my phone, I double-checked that they had synced with Google Photos. Please, help me restore photos from Google Photos service.
2. 21/04/2018 19:37, Amanda (recover deleted photos)
My boyfriend deleted photos that I wanted to keep, and then someone stole my phone. Now I've just got a laptop and I’ve logged into my Google Photos account, but can’t figure out how to recover deleted photos from Google Photos. Is there anything I can do?
3. 22/04/2018 5:36, Dusty (Photo recovery)
I believe someone deleted my photos and emptied the Trash folder. How can I get my photos back if they got deleted from Google Photos and emptied from the Trash? Is there any way I can still undelete Google Photos?
The solution: If it hadn't been over 60 days since you deleted them, look for them in the Trash. To recover deleted Google Photos after 60 days, use DiskDigger for Android to scan the internal memory of your phone for the images.
This morning, I was taking screenshots from Instagram and didn’t open the Gallery. In the evening, when I wanted to take some pictures of nature, I didn’t find the screenshots. Then, in Google Photos, there were a lot of files which wouldn’t open. I deleted them and removed them from the Trash. Where have they gone?
The solution: As you might have guessed, the photos were deleted as a result of your actions. However, it’s not quite clear from your question what exactly you want to recover:
- If it’s Instagram screenshots, it’s easier to capture them again or recover them using this Instagram recovery guide.
- If it’s photos of nature, they should have been saved not only in Google Photos, but also to the memory card. Look for them using the software we mentioned above.
Please, help me retrieve images from Google Photos. I have no idea how it works. I transferred photos to Google Photos (from a Lenovo phone) and then, when the storage was full, I deleted them, hoping they would remain in the Gallery. I can’t find them anywhere, even in the Recycle Bin. My Google Photos disappeared!
The solution: You had synchronization with Google Photos enabled on your phone. Consequently, whatever files you delete on your computer go to the Trash in the Cloud. As was mentioned above, you can restore files within 60 days, after which the Trash will be emptied.
(I deleted photos from my Google Account and they are still on my phone)
I deleted photos from my online Google Photos account (using my computer - I also emptied the Trash in Google Photos) and they are still on my phone. How do I make the online version and my phone version the same? I know that my phone has synced with my Google Photos account.
The solution: The most likely explanation is that you have disabled the syncing of Google Photos on your phone. You can enable it via Google Drive by clicking on “Back up & sync” in your Google account, or directly through the settings of Google Photos.
If this option has already been enabled, but the photos are still stored on the phone, it's easier and faster to manually delete the photos from your Android device using any File Manager.
09/05/2018 7:03, Pratima (about Google Photo deleted files)
- Today I installed Google Photos andI saw an option, “Back up and sync.” I turned it on and suddenly all the photos were deleted. How can I recover deleted pictures from Google Photos? My mobile is Samsung J1.
- I have inserted a new USB stick into my phone. I copied photos from the phone memory onto it. Then I decided to delete the files to free up space on the phone memory. The photos have been deleted from the stick! I can't find a way to recover them. The Google Photos app wasn't installed. I only managed to find photos from 2016, and that was all. How can I retrieve deleted pictures from Google Photos?
The solution: This could happen if you have deleted synced photos on another device besides your phone. Search for them in the Google Photos Recycle Bin or any other local storage sources like an SD card or a PC. If they aren't there, use programs to recover photos from the Android Gallery.
10/05/2018 13:10 (Recover deleted pics)
I have Recuva and it worked well on a MicroSD. However, now new Androids can't be read as drives, and my device is not rooted. I have tried all the mentioned software already and none works. I deleted pictures from my cell which were not backed up by Google Photos at that time. Now all the software only shows me the pictures which I already have in a backup or on my cell. No software is showing the deleted photos. The pictures were deleted 6th May 2018. Help me to restore pictures from Google Photos, please!
The solution: The thing is that the images can be stored on the internal memory of the phone too. The majority of phones connects to a PC in MTP mode, and no program is able to scan the phone memory like it scans an SD memory card. You can make an exact copy of the Android internal memory and try to recover the images using the Recuva program. You can find out how to do it here.
My old photos in my Google account disappear when I delete them from the Gallery. I don't think this has happened before. Moreover, in this app, the Recycle Bin is empty. In what cases should files be stored there for 60 days after being deleted?
The solution: You need to enable syncing in the Google Photos app. Android copies all the files from the Gallery to the Cloud by default. You can also make a backup copy of certain photos by selecting the “Back up” option in the Google Photos app menu.
All the images which have been deleted from the synced folders are stored in the Google Photos Recycle Bin and after 60 days, they are automatically deleted.
How can Iretrieve deleted Google photos which have been wiped over a certain period? For example, all those that were deleted from yesterday to today.
The solution: Since the Google Photos Recycle Bin doesn't have an option of sorting by date, you will have to recover all the photos. Unfortunately, the date of removal remains unknown.
We suggest using stored inside images EXIF data while making photos, so it will be easier to distinguish photos in the future.
Please tell me if there is a chance of recovering photos/videos from a phone I don't have access to anymore. The thing is that I broke my phone and I can't download anything from it to my computer or another phone. I don't want to lose all the files.
The solution: If you have enabled syncing with Google Photos, search for your photos on the Cloud. You can access the images with a PC (using Google Photos web version) or a mobile phone.
If you don't have the backup copies and only the phone screen is broken (the phone itself still functions), use DiskDigger or Undeleter programs to retrieve deleted Google photos.
To recover photos from the memory card, use Recuva after connecting the SD card to a PC via a card reader. By the way, it's likely that the files are stored there and you don't have to recover them. It's enough to simply copy them.
I have a Samsung A8. Photos and some folders with photos have disappeared from the Gallery. It seems that it happened after I made a backup copy. What should I do? Is it possible to recover my Google photos?
- Search for photos in the backup or the Google Photos Trash.
- Check the syncing settings: see whether syncing was enabled in the Google Photos app settings.
- Try to remember where else the deleted files were stored and try to recover them according to our guide.
I opened Google Photos from another device and the latest photos weren't displayed there, although everything is fine when I open Google Photos from an old device. I store nothing on the phone and I remove any files right after downloading them. In Google Drive, the photos can be viewed by both (old and new) devices. At the website photos.google.com everything is shown too. What should I do in order to make new photos appear in Google Photos on my new device?
My phone automatically changed to Google Photos, which I find to be a nightmare. I have just taken a few photos and sent them to my Yahoo account. They do not open up there, where I usually download them. I also cannot find them on my Google account. It changes each time I use my phone and becomes less reliable each time. Do you know how I can find and download these photos to my laptop?
I have deleted my Google account from a device and added another Google account. I just want to know if photos and videos will remain saved in backup or Google Photos on the first account. If yes, please help me to delete them.
[Restore already deleted photos and videos from the Trash]
I deleted photos and videos from Google Photos and also permanently deleted them from the Trash. I have to restore all my photos and videos from already deleted trash. What should I do and how can I recover deleted Google photos?
[SD Issue with Oreo and Moto G6]
I have a new Motorola G6 (64GB/4GB). I've got a new SanDisk 125GB card and it worked fine for 3 - 4 weeks (with issues like being unable to move files to the SD card using the stock Oreo Google Photos). Now the phone shows the card but not the contents. Using a PC, I can see everything and read/write normally. I’ve tried to restart, eject the card, etc., but it’s no use. Any suggestions?
[Google Pixel boot loop]
I have a Google Pixel that got stuck on the restarting screen. I have tried various things to fix it. I can't enable debugging or root the phone. The Google Photos weren't backed up for a month and a half. They're very important: it was the day before my son started school. If I factory reset the phone or delete all data through an app, will I be able to see the pictures in the Google Photos Trash folder, or will they be lost forever? Is there any way I can access the internal memory and retrieve Google photos?
[Google Photos backup]
My phone is a Samsung Note 9 and for some reason, several photos were deleted from it and moved to the Google Photos Recycle Bin. I miraculously managed to find and recover them. How can I prevent this situation from repeating in the future?
The solution: Store the most valuable photos in multiple places. These could be Dropbox or Google Drive Clouds, a memory card, or a PC hard drive. Here you can find the manual on backing up:
[recovering photos from an old phone]
Would you please tell me whether it's possible to recover photos from an old mobile phone via the Google Cloud service? There was a Google Account linked to my Samsung phone. Now I have the same account on a new device. Is it possible to recover the photos from my previous phone via Google? (They were deleted from it).
The solution: It doesn't matter which phone your photos were stored on. Only the photos that were moved to the Google Photos Recycle Bin can be recovered (files are permanently deleted from it after 60 days). It makes no sense to contact technical support directly: you will be redirected to the official guide on using the Google Photos service and app.
[photos are missing after my phone was updated]
My smartphone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. The software update was available so I downloaded it, installed it, rebooted the device, and everything was OK. On that day, I took photos and filmed videos, and the photos I made before were safe and sound. The next day, everything was gone from the Gallery, except for the files created after the update. I have no memory card. Google Photos Cloud has every photo I've ever taken via this phone.
The solution: If data syncing with Google Photos was enabled, search for the deleted photos there. Go through the Recycle Bin (deleted content is stored there for up to 60 days).
Make sure syncing with the Google Photos app on your Android is enabled. If not, enable it.
[Recovering photos from the Cloud after the period of 60 days since the deletion]
Please tell me if it's possible to recover photos that were lost a COUPLE of YEARS ago due to the faulty operation of a phone. I also want to recover photos lost when I changed my smartphone to a new one and didn't manage to find all the photos... All these devices were linked to one permanent Google account! Would you please help me understand how to fix it? Maybe there is a specific program which will meet my needs!?!
The solution: 2 years is too long to recover things from Google Photos, even if you don't take into account the fact that deleted photos are only stored on the Cloud for up to 60 days. In theory, there is a chance that you could repair the faulty phone, then disable syncing with Google Photos and check the phone memory.
If you stored the photos on the SD card, look through it because maybe they're still there.