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How to Retrieve Deleted Photos from Phone Internal Memory


Losing photos and videos from Android Gallery is the most frequent case for photo recovery. The worst thing is that phone internal memory isn’t designed for data recovery. Suffice to say, standard recovery software simply won’t see internal memory as removable media (such as USB stick or SD card).

If you try hard, it is possible to retrieve photos from your phone internal memory; some cases are described in our guides. Haven’t found the answer? Here I am going to answer some of your questions.

Table of Contents

1. Root is required to recover deleted photos from phone memory

If root access isn't activated on the phone the chances to recover data in the internal memory are greatly reduced.

Such programs as DiskDigger and Undeleter won't be able to gain access to the file system and, accordingly, won't help to find photos and videos you're looking for.

Instead of original images poor quality thumbnails will be recovered without root access. 

Read the guide on how to root Android

2. Make a copy of the internal memory and connect it to a PC

Users who lost files in the internal memory often ask: why doesn't Recuva see the memory as a separate drive during the phone connection.

The thing is that files are transferred via USB cable to Android upon the MTP Protocol. Therefore, phone internal memory isn't displayed as a drive when connected to a computer.

The only way is to make a copy of the internal memory and mount it to the file system. After that Recuva (or any other recovery program) will gain access to the data and scan the memory.

Read the guide how to do it:

How to recover data
from Android phone internal memory

3. The easiest way of deleted photo recovery from phone memory

If the files were deleted not long ago you should try this free software:

DiskDigger for Android


Pro version: $14.99


Undeleter Recover files & data


Pro version: $5


MobiSaver for Android


Pro version: $59.95


However, you will have to pay for additional functions. Also don't forget to set root before using those android apps.

4. Files are lost after being transferred

Unfortunately, files are often lost while being transferred from one drive to another, so it's better to be on the safe side.

Thus if you want to free up space in internal memory copy the files you want to transfer and check whether all data has been transferred or if there are any errors. Only after this you should delete the original files.

Internal phone memory recovery: Questions and answers 

Got updates to my xiaomi redmi 3. Installed update, all works. But I lost my videos and photos from phone internal memory. Now the weird thing is device memory shows 25GB instead of 32. Maybe my lost files are resting there. I searched all folders but found nothing. How to recover photos from phone memory, where to look for them?

Answer. Images and videos are stored in the DCIM/Camera folder. Unless you had saved them onto your SD card, your multimedia were in the internal memory so you should look for them in there.

It is possible that during the update the folder with your images was overwritten. By the way, part of the device total space is given to system memory so not necessarily your files are hidden.

Try scanning your device for the lost files using DiskDigger (for Android). If it fails to help, make an image of your phone internal memory and then scan the disk connected to the computer using Recuva app.

I wanted to delete a bad photo and accidentally deleted some others that I needed. The photos were in phone memory. When I connect my phone to the computer, it doesn’t show up as a disk. So as far as I understand, basic recovery software won’t help me get my photos back as they’re in the phone memory. What app can I use to recover them? I’d rather go for a simple variant as I’m not too good at these things. If possible, it’d be nice to have step-by-step instructions.

Answer. There exist no simple methods to recover photos from phone memory. As a rule, recovery software for Android works only with external media or requires root access and still doesn’t scan the whole internal memory of your phone. Consequently, the only possible solution is to make an image of internal memory and at the next stage use any recovery tool. It’s essential that you won’t use the phone before that otherwise the deleted files in the phone memory will be overwritten.

I can’t figure out how to recover deleted photos from phone internal memory and not memory card. I really need my photos from Camera folder. When I use the apps you recommend I only get some odd images recovered, like from Telegram or someone’s profile pics. Can I recover the pictures I need?

Answer. Indeed, although developers claim their software retrieves files practically from wherever, in fact most data is ignored during a scan process either because you don’t have sufficient permissions or because the software doesn’t support your memory type. If you’re experienced enough, make an image of your device internal memory using our instructions. The process takes long but you are likely to find the pictures you need among the trash. Besides, it is a way to recover deleted photos from android internal memory for free without any limits on the amount of files and time.

1. I bought a new phone (ZTE Blade X3) and wanted to move memory card from the old phone but forgot to power off the new one. All my pictures from internal memory disappeared and those on memory card remained. I have only one question: how to recover deleted photos from Android phone internal memory?

2. I accidentally deleted a folder with photos from my phone internal memory. As a result photos remained in Android Gallery but as black and grey squares which read “file deleted or corrupt”. Can I recover lost photos somehow?

Answer. To begin with, check if there are copies of the photos on your memory card (they can be hidden) and check for errors using a Windows chkdsk utility.

If you still can’t find them, hot on the trail use DiskDigger or make an image of the phone memory and then, with the help of PhotoRec for Windows or Recuva, recover deleted photo from phone memory.

Trying to get back a lost album from Gallery I downloaded two Android photo recovery apps. Partially some photos were back but not the most valuable ones. How to try again with minimal risks? Is it real to get my lost photos back in this case? The photos were stored in Android internal memory.

Answer. You risk nothing when you scan your phone internal memory multiple times. Yet, the longer you use your phone after the deletion of photos, the lower your chances are for successful recovery. Any tool uses internal memory and can write files over the previous ones to the area marked as “available space”. Make an image of your phone internal memory and experiment in a read-only mode.

I moved my valuable pictures to the folder of a game clash of clans which I was playing. Then as I looked into that folder on my phone, photos disappeared. Can I recover my photos in the internal memory of SAMSUNG GALAXY J2, ANDROID OS 5.1.1?

Answer. Yes, if you follow the steps in the instruction. First and foremost, figure out which disk has your photos and create a raw copy of that very partition. Piriform Recuva should be able to recover your photos if the recovery status is yellow or green.

Here’s the problem: my tablet is not responsive, I got some photos recovered in support center but they formatted internal memory. I tried apps but the tablet is read as MTP not memory stick and can’t be scanned. Is it possible to restore deleted photos from phone memory by copying internal memory image and its partitions?

Answer. Yes, we described the process in our recovery guide. Using FTP server you can create an exact memory card image in the form of a raw file and mount it on the computer; then using any recovery tool (we’d suggest Recuva) recover deleted photos from Android internal storage.

[related to the data which has been lost]

my mobile has been switched off and there is lots of data in mobile so there might hardware or may be be software issue too. so how should i recover deleted photos from android internal storage with any software or some tricks using cmd and even i don't have backup of its so. there will be some solutions?

Answer. The only option is a qualified mobile device repair with saving the main components functionality. If the display fails to function it can be replaced with saving the phone data. If microcircuit chips are damaged no one will try to fix them.

The most important thing is that you should be able to turn on the phone and grant access to Android file system.

[How to restore my deleted photo from internal storage?]

My internal storage is almost full hence i deleted cache data. After that i realised all my photo and video was deleted! I yet to do any back up, have try apps to restore my deleted photo but can't retrieve back. I deleted on 23/5/2018 around 10:53 am. How to retrieve deleted pictures from phone?

Answer. If there wasn't enough space in the internal memory the data could have been overwritten many times. Therefore the chances of images recovery from phone memory are small. Check whether the desired files are on the memory card: maybe Android camera put the files there due to the lack of free space in the internal memory.

If you're using Samsung mobile device and backup function was enabled, check the backup files copies in the cloud. It's also worth checking if there are any photos in Google Photos albums.

my son deleted photos from my phone (from the internal memory). I don't have a flash card on my phone. How to recover deleted photos from Android phone memory? I tried using some programs: a part of photos was recovered, but I noticed that those were the photos that I once sent to my friends. Is it possible to recover the rest: the photos that I took? They are very important to me

Answer. Perhaps, the software you were using to recover didn't scan those parts of memory from which the programs were deleted.

If the photos are really important spend time recovering them from the internal memory backup. This method we describe in details here.

  1. The following problem happened. Photos from the camera were stored in the folder Camera on the SD card. When trying to transfer other images folders from the internal memory to the external the folder Camera was automatically doubled. I deleted one of the Camera folders and the other was deleted too. Could you please tell me whether it's possible to recover the images? The transferring was carried out via a computer, can the images be left in the PC memory? The information is very important.
  2. There was little space left on the phone as all the photos were stored in the internal memory. I found a way out: I transferred everything from the phone to the PC and deleted everything from the internal memory. And when I transferred a folder with files to the flash drive there was no needed photos. I've tried all recovery programs but nothing helped.

Answer. Check out all the places were images can be stored: the hard disk, internal memory and the sd card. Most likely, there will be nothing stored on the hard drive as the files weren't copied on it i.e. it wasn't a medium.

In the future we advise you to copy files and delete them only after checking that they are on the recipient. It's rather unsafe to copy using ctrl + x: there are a lot of cases when files were simply lost along the way.

I want to try your way of restoring Android internal memory but there is little space on C Disk: only 17 GB, and phone partition needs 53 GB. Is there a way to create a folder for a virtual disk on D Disk? The phone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 4x.

Answer. Yes, of course, you can save the copy of Android internal memory on D Disk. The main thing is that all. exe files required for work were stored in cygwin64 folder. Specify D Disk instead of the C Disk in the console.

All files were deleted from the Gallery. The phone is Samsung Galaxy J2. Mostly videos and some photos. It's not possible to recover them from other sources. The problem is that the phone was without a SD card and the lost files were stored on the internal memory.

Searching through Google Drive and Google Photos gave no results. There is also nothing in Whatsapp messages.

Can you please tell me whether it's possible to recover deleted pictures from phone internal memory or is it a hopeless case?

Photos were deleted. I decided to recover the files using this guide. However, the problems will always find you... It shows "permission denied" when creating a server. I tried it with different memory partitions, but the result was the same. I even manually gave 777 rights to mmcblk0 and mmcblk0p* files... I'm pretty sure that busybox doesn't have enough rights to read these files, although it has root access. What should I do? The device is Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE.

Answer. We adjusted the guide and changed the method of creating a copy of internal memory for a more universal one. If you want you can find other ways, but this one is perhaps the best in terms of time/result.

I moved all the photos in PRIVATE, then I accidentally transferred some photos to internal memory but wanted to bring them back to Gallery. I tried to move the photos from the internal memory to the Gallery, but I failed. There are question marks in the photo titles and when I click on them a window pops out: in which format to open (video, image, audio and etc.). Please help me to recover deleted photos from mobile as those files are very important to me (the phone is HUAWEI LYO-L21).

Answer. Rename the files to jpg format. If Android still doesn't recognize the images transfer them to a computer and try to open.

Also, if files are damaged we suggest using special software for recovering jpg files.

[copying android internal memory]

Following this excellent guide to hopefully recover photos and videos after flashing my phone (xiaomi redmi note 3). The guide shows how to dump a specific partition but I want to copy the whole memory to my computer. Can you help me with the command lines?

Answer. You have a file with a list of partitions - list_of_partitions.txt. You can make a copy of each of them one by one. This is the simplest way of solving the problem.

I accidentally erased pictures under Camera folder. I was in the internal storage erasing unnecessary items to make space & accidentally tapped on DCIM to erase. Am I able to recover them? Happened 5 days ago. I went to Trash folder thru gallery but it shows files that are unable to be opened.

Answer. You can recover thumbnails even without root, but it's required if you need the original photos. We have already talked about such cases  here, so get acquainted with other users' cases.

[recover deleted pictures from phone memory]

I have already download the diskdigger to restored my deleted internal memory photos but I'm not getting to view the photo in original. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 version and the Diskdigger is asking me to root my device.

Answer. You didn't installed root, so the program found only photo thumbnails it had access to. For a full recovery grant superuser's rights to Diskdigger.

Vlad Brown, USA, Buffalo, WY

Vlad is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in data recovery with 15 years of experience. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and answer them. 

His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and provide answers to them, write proven manuals, be the website technical support and also run a Youtube channel.

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