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How to recover deleted screenshots on Android

Submitted on 12/20/2018

Screenshot is a shot of your device screen (smartphone, tablet, PC and etc.). You can document anything via it: messenger chat, pictures and webpages. Screenshots can be processed via any graphics editor and used in publications.


Where are screenshots saved on Android

The easiest way to open your screenshots is via the Gallery. If you set album display, you will see folders with pictures, including the one where your screenshots are located. The absence of such album from the list is possible if you have a custom firmware.

Screenshots storage location depends on the decision made by your device manufacturer.

Owners of the majority of smartphones running on Android 4.0 and above will find their screenshots folder at:

Internal storage → Pictures → Screenshots.

Older versions of OS don't allow you to take screenshots via standard methods so there is no way you can do it without third-party programs. They usually store images in ScreenShots folder on user's memory card.

Some phone models create Screenshots album on removable media immediately after saving the first taken screenshot.

HTC smartphones send screenshots to a sd card/ DCIM folder and Samsung S3, S4 and Note folder send them to the folder with other photos.

Recovering screenshots via special utilities

If screenshots are missing, they can be easily retrieved via functional software. Many programs designed for data recovery are available for free.

We don't recommend creating or downloading new files after important shots went missing: any operations of such kind reduce your the chances of successful data recovery. We advise you not to save images to the location from which they were removed.

Types of recovery apps:

  • Android apps. Among the most popular ones are DiskDigger for Android, Dumpster, Undeleter and GT Recovery;
  • Desktop programs (run from a computer). After connecting Android gadget they analyze its sd card or internal memory and search for objects which can be recovered (UltData for Android, Recuva for PC, etc.).

DiskDigger for Android is a powerful program for working with deleted files

If you need to quickly recover screenshots from your SD card or phone memory, DiskDigger is a great option to choose. It can work even with a formatted storage device.

The free version can retrieve images from cache, but their quality is often quite poor. If you want to get images in higher quality, you have to buy DiskDigger Pro-version and get root access on Android. Superuser rights will make more folders located on your smartphone internal storage available for analysis.

After launching the app, you will see a window asking you to choose one of the scanning options:

  • simple (works regardless of root access);
  • full (runs on devices with granted full access).

You can select a disk or album for searching only on rooted gadgets. Basic scanning only checks the cache and lists all the files that can be recovered.

After marking the object for scanning - the folder with screenshots, we proceed to the next step which is choosing a file type. DiskDigger free version handles only JPG and PNG formats.

Once you have ticked a file type and started analysis, image thumbnails will appear on your device screen. Thumbnails are sorted by size and their creation date.

In order to retrieve deleted screenshots, you have to:

  • Tap on one or more shots by marking them;
  • Click on "Recovery" button at the top of the program window.

And the final step is to select where to save images: cloud services, any folder or FTP-server.

How to recover screenshots from a sd card via Recuva

Recuva isn't adapted for Android so there is no mobile version of the program. Nevertheless Recuva can scan any sd card if you connect your phone to a laptop or a computer. An alternative option is to remove your memory card and connect it via a card reader.

The process of recovering screenshots via Recuva is the following:

  1. instal free Recuva software on your computer;
  2. activate "Flight mode" on your smartphone;
  3. connect your gadget as a USB drive;
  4. launch Recuva;
  5. select a file type for recovery;
  6. specify image /  Android screenshot location (on SD card);
  7. view a report and select the images you want to recover;
  8. recover those objects to the folder you’ve specified.

This utility doesn't read phone internal memory, so that your drive must be mounted as a separate volume, otherwise Explorer won't show it.

Screenshots marked in the list with yellow and red circles are damaged.

Other apps for recovering screenshots

If you want to protect yourself from losing important screenshots, you can found a mobile app Dumpster (which is Android Recycle Bin) very useful. In the menu you can set the period of data storage, folder size, backing up to the cloud and etc. Recovery of photos and images from the Recycle Bin is free, but other features require a purchase of its pro-version.

UltData for Android will help you in different cases: loss of images after OS failure, wrong deletion and so on. You have to pay for this program, but it has a trial period. The program requires installation on a computer and connection of a smartphone via a USB cable. It scans external and internal memory and recovers all types of files.

Recovering screenshots from Google Photos Recycle Bin

If syncing of images from Screenshots folder with popular Google Photos service is enabled on your device, it will be easy to retrieve the lost images. All deleted photos go to Recycle Bin and are stored there for 60 days.

How to recover a screenshot you need:

  1. open Google Photos on your smartphone;
  2. find "Recycle Bin" icon in the menu and click on it;
  3. select the photo you need in the opened list;
  4. recover that screenshot by choosing the corresponding command.

The picture will appear in the folder from which it has disappeared, as well as on Google Photos cloud drive.

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