How to Recover Deleted Instagram Photos using Archive feature

Submitted on 12/29/2017

Through your negligence you may lose your best Instagram photos. Mostly they disappear when you delete or disable your profile. The sad part of it is that losing your account you also lose precious memories. If you’re reading this, it might be your case.

Can such an issue be resolved positively? It depends. We are going to look at all the ways to recover deleted Instagram photos which are known for now.

1. Instagram has no Recycle Bin / recovery features

The first thing to keep in mind is that Instagram doesn’t have any obvious recovery options. Unlike Google Photos, it has no Recycle Bin.

Photos and videos are stored on the Instagram server even after deletion for an indefinite term (legally, they have to), but according to the regulations,

Content removed from the Service may continue to be stored by Instagram, including, without limitation, in order to comply with certain legal obligations, but may not be retrievable without a valid court order.

Consequently, if you need a photo to provide in the court as evidence, you can turn to Instagram customer support. Yet, use it only as your last resource, because your requests filled with tears won’t convince Instagram customer support staff that they should send you the backup.

2. Check Instagram Archive feature

In 2017 a new feature was integrated into Instagram, which is Archive Posts. It’s great because:

  • you can hide any photos and stories from being seen by anyone,
  • any 'deleted' photo can be retrieved in two clicks.

Basically, Instagram Archive feature can be compared to a Recycle Bin – a location where your files are temporarily stored. Till you empty it, your photos will be available for quick recovery and share. Subsequently, as soon as you delete a photo from Instagram Archive, you lose guaranteed recovery of your content.

Tip: if you want to hide some of your posts, use Archive feature instead of simply removing photos. Even if a photo seems to have no meaning to you, you may need it back in a year.

3. How to see deleted Instagram pictures on your phone

It makes sense that photos can be stored on your phone both before and after you share them online (unless you’ve deleted them). The locations where you can search for copies and recover deleted instagram pictures are:

  • Android Gallery
  • DCIM/Camera folder
  • Downloads folder
  • other user catalogues you save your images to

For quick search use any file manager with convenient filtering and flexible search.

4. Use recovery soft to find deleted pics

Forget about the Instagram server. Say, you can’t get your deleted photos from there. There’s a universal method of local files recovery. To use it follow the steps:

  1. Try to recall where your photo was stored (see above),
  2. Install a recovery tool,
  3. Scan the location for deleted files,
  4. Save found images.

The detailed description of the process can be found here:

How to recover deleted photos from Android Gallery

If photos were deleted from the phone’s internal memory, you have a chance to find them only if they have been deleted recently. DiskDigger utility for Android can help in less simple cases.

5. Recover photos using your Google account

Many Android users use Google Photos or Samsung service to store their photos and are not aware of that. So it makes sense checking if there is a backup copy in the cloud.

For this:

  1. Navigate to Google Photos from your account,
  2. Examine the content of all the published albums if you have any,
  3. Check if the Recycle Bin contains any of your photos shared on Instagram.

Download Google Photos app

By the way, we’ve already told how to recover files from Google Photos, so you are welcome to have a look!

How to recover deleted pictures from instagram via Google Photos
Quick photo recovery using Google Photos


6. Look at Instagram using Internet Archive

Internet Archive service comes in handy when you need to see a previous version of a website and retrieve content “conserved” there. This method should work out with Instagram as well.

  1. Go to the main page
  2. Type in your Instagram account address into the text box
  3. In the calendar select the date of the snapshot you want to view

As to the year 2017, Internet Archive has had over 300 billion pages. However, this time machine isn’t available to any Instagram account. Most of the time you’ll see an empty page instead of your photos. Yet, there hasn’t been a better alternative to this service so far.

How to see deleted instagram photos from Web Archive

7. Make a backup copy of the most valuable photos

Abstract from Instagram Policy:

Consequently, Instagram encourages you to maintain your own backup of your Content.

Although it sounds like an excuse, this recommendation is worth following. Always make a backup copy of your most valuable files, Instagram photos included. There are two variants of backing up shots:

  1. Install Backup and Sync app,
  2. Enable synchronization of Gallery with Google Photos service.

It will take you 10 minutes to set up backing up and will secure you from problems. In future you won’t face any difficulties recovering photos from Instagram, Camera and other applications and services even if you lose access to them.

Didn’t manage to restore files? Send us a question

Describe your issue using our feedback form. Give us details on where the files were deleted from, when and how, and we will try to give you an answer. Besides, your question will clarify and make more complete questions by other users, which is of great help for us in making our recovery guides more helpful.

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