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How to Retrieve Deleted Photos from Phone Internal Memory

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Published 10/29/2018

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.

Steps to recover deleted photos from internal storage on Android

  1. Install root on your Android phone
  2. Make a copy of the internal memory
  3. Install memory recovery software on Android OS
  4. Ask your question

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

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.

Hello there! My Samsung S6 Edge was stolen today. I had the pictures of my family in it. My phone was pattern lock and it was a pretty hard one. 

Surely, the theive must hard reset the mobile. So, my question is that, will the data in my phone whether pics, videos, contacts and important assignments will be removed/deleted or not after a hard copy? These were in internal memory.

I was moving photos from internal storage to SD card. Only to discover some are now in locked folder. I didn't even set up said pin for this locked folder. Or they have been deleted.

Good afternoon! I've deleted photos and videos from the internal memory of samsung galaxy note 2 (gt-n7100). Programs for Android such as Diskdigger and etc managed to recover only thumbnails. The issue is that I can't connect the smartphone to my computer in flash mode in order to recover the files via Recuva. I installed Ums Activator app on the phone, but it connects the SD Card only as a flash storage device and the computer still won't see the phone internal memory. Maybe you could give me a piece of advice how to recover the photos and videos from the phone or how to connect it to the computer in flash mode? Thank you in advance.

Today I went outdoors with my kid and I took some photos and videos, but then suddenly everything I've taken was gone. All the photos turned into gray squares with a crossed out figure resembling a mountain. I have reloaded my phone at least 5 times if not more. I went to the Settings, clicked erase the data from the media storage. On Android. And it was pointless.  Moreover now yesterday photos are also gone, and I can't find my videos either. Old photos which are apparently stored on the phone itself are alright, and it happens only to everything new that should be stored on the flash. Please tell me if there is a way how I can recover the lost photos and videos? Thank you.

data recovery software for android phone internal memory phone memory recovery for android how to recover formatted data from phone internal memory

how to mount internal storage android

[Permission denied for list of partitions]

Hello there, could you please give me a hand with it? When I try to get the list of partitions the system tells me that:

C:\Users\t_2me>adb shell
shell@OnePlus:/ $ find /dev/block/platform/ -name 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; > /sdcard/list_of_partitions.txt
ev/block/platform/ -name 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; > /sdcard/list_of_partiti ons.txt
find: /dev/block/platform/: Permission denied
1|shell@OnePlus:/ $ adb pull /scard/list_of_partitions.txt C:/cygwin64/000
adb pull /scard/list_of_partitions.txt C:/cygwin64/000
/system/bin/sh: adb: not found

Thanks and best regards

[Android Internal Storage Recovery]


Following your guide online to recover deleted files android internal storage, I am unable to get the list of partitions text file to have any data or list of values. I am doing this on a Oneplus 3, on Oreo with root. My /dev/block/platform goes to a folder soc, then 624000.ufshc, which can be opened as a folder with TWRP and has the sda, sdb through to sdf files. I don't have any experience with this sort of internal storage recovery so I'm not sure if this is the normal file hierarchy. You mention that I could pull the entire internal storage, what command would that be?

Thanks James

[Finding partition with lost data and creating image]

I am having trouble with your tutorial, when I write: find /dev/block/platform/ -name 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; > /sdcard/listofpartitions.txt in ADB shell I get an error which states that there is no file or directory.

Thing is when I write /dev/block/platform/ -name 'mmc*' I get the full list of partitions of my device.

I am stuck there. I would appreciate some additional help.

Thank you very much.


I set up filezilla server as per your manual using as the server ip address but dos command prompts for the various windows are just blinking. Kindly advise me where the problem is.

when i do the find \dev… i get an error saying not found. is there a way just to recover the whole Android internal storage?

thank you

I read the "Guide on Data Recovery from Internal Storage of Android Phone" and it's very comprehensive, I was actually looking for a way to restore data from an image I could play with so I could keep using my phone in the meantime, so this is very helpful. But here's my question - does the image also make a copy of "unused" space (like bit copy in Windows)? The reason I'm asking is that I lost the data because I had to reflash my ROM. Since the new ROM is much smaller than the previous one, I believe the original data may not have been overwritten yet, but is recovery possible in such a situation at all or is it a lost case?

[Recovery help]

I ready your post on how to recover data from Android phone internal memory. I couldn't try it yet because the data which is lost is so important, I didn't want to take any chances. By any chance would you be able to help? It's very very very important.

[Recovery internal phone all Data]

I encrypting my phone during encrypting i interrupts and my phone is rest.i loss all data.

Can possible to recover deleted files from phone memory?

[Commands written in cmd are not working]

I am typing adb shell command on cmd and I get the message that adb is not recognized as internal or external command. can you help me with that?

[Recovery Android Internal Storage]

I tried the step on this page, and by the setting up filezilla step 6, it is said to "click Add and specify the address C:\cygwin64\000". Do I need to type that up manually, or the folder would be created automatically after adding new user (step 5)?

Really looking forward for your help, thank you.

When I typed adb devices on cmd it said that 'adb' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

What should I do to fix that? Did I miss a step?

[Data recovery from internal storage moto g XT1032]


I'm trying to recover data from internal storage of android phone by making an image of the memory and mounting it as external hdd on win10.

I followed the method you described in this link:

I am a newbie and I block in this step :

c:\cygwin\bin>adb devices
List of devices attached
TA93009A29 device
c:\cygwin\bin>adb shell
shell@falcon_umts:/ $ su
root@falcon_umts:/ # find /dev/block/platform/ -name 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; > /sdcard/list_of_partitions.txt
me 'mmc*' -exec fdisk -l {} \; > /sdcard/list_of_partitions.txt <
tmp-mksh: can't create /sdcard/list_of_partitions.txt: No such file or directory
1|root@falcon_umts:/ #

I want to make a raw image of all the memory of the phone. Can you help me to write the correct command lines to follow this method Thank you very much.

[adb command not found]

Hello, very good guide. The problem is that adb can not find the commands.

Can not find: find, fdisk, ftpput.

I do not know how to continue, I already look for some solution trying to update adb but I still can not find the solution.

[adb devices code]

Hi i try your guide, but when i add in cmd "C:\cygwin64\bin" adb devices there is no list about my phone, i have connected my phone as USB transfer file, before enable USB tethering usb. What im doing wrong. Thank you!


First, thanks for the great description of the phone memory recovery. Unfortunately, I lost 6 months of videos and images of my little kids…

Anyway, I tried your recovery method but when entering the shell 'su' (superuser I guess?) it is answerd with "/system/bin/sh: su: not found. Although it will create a file 'listofpartitions.txt' in my devices root directory the file is empty (Copied the file to the computers' drive worked though).

I assume it has something to do with the response to 'su'. How to get in as 'su'?

Well, thanks in advance and best wishes from Germany!

[Recover dara from my phone]

I'm clearing internel storage defective folder from my phone in pc But some mistake my internal storage data fullly deleted. How i recover it plz help me! Data also not in Recycle Bin.