How to recover deleted pictures on Samsung phone: step by step guide

Submitted on 05/23/2018

One of the biggest problems for Samsung mobile phones owners is the loss of photos, images and video files from the phone memory.

Unfortunately, Android doesn't offer the backup by default in the obvious way. As the result, the user must search for the deleted photos himself with the help of various programs and then recover the photos.

In this guide you will find valuable advice on how to recover deleted pictures on Samsung (Galaxy S4, S7 – S9, J3, A5, etc.). If you do it in the advised way the files are likely to be restored without any damage. So, let's start.

1. Find out from where the photos have been deleted

The first thing you should do is to find out where the photos were stored on your mobile device. The thing is that the images could be in stored on the internal memory but also on the smartphone / tablet sd card. Also detect the type of images that have been deleted: screenshots, photos from the phone gallery, downloaded from a messenger files.

In fact, the article will help to find out the location of the files:

Where the photos are stored on an Android

2. Install the DiskDigger program on Android

DiskDigger program scans the sd card and the mobile device memory, allowing you to find, recover deleted pictures from phone and save them to the Dropbox cloud or Google Drive. It is safe and doesn't overwrite the data.

DiskDigger is also one of the best recovery utilities on the quality / price ratio. A nice bonus is that the part of data can be recovered for free. Unlike other programs like Dr. Fone or Mobisaver it works directly on the phone and partially works without root-access to the file system.

3. Remove the sd card and recover it via your PC

It's worth trying to recover the photos using a card reader connected via USB to a PC or a built-in card reader of the laptop. The majority of the recovery tools don't work on the phone or the PC. You need to insert the sd card into the card reader and then scan one of the programs.

Among the other programs let's also point out such programs as Card Recovery, Disk Drill and Photorec. A comparative review can be found here:

The best programs to recover files on a sd card

sgal 02
Samsung Galaxy photo recovery via PhotoRec

4. Recovering from the internal phone memory

Unfortunately, the images are not always stored on the phone sd card (which would facilitate the recovery). If the internal phone storage was selected in the android application settings, you will not be able to recover deleted pictures on Samsung in the usual way .

The reason is that the memory device is not mounted as a separate drive, and recovery software will not see the connected phone. It is necessary to make an internal memory copy and then with the help of a free program Recuva (or any other) scan the copy of the memory.

The instruction on the recovery from the internal memory

5. Check the photos backup in Google Photos

If you have installed the Google Photos app on your phone, it is likely that the backup images copies were saved in the cloud. You can check this by logging in to your Google Photos account  from your phone or via browser on your computer.

To read the details on restoring from the Google Photos cloud, click here.

Recover deleted pictures samsung via Google Photos
Google Photos archive

Android Picture Recovery: Questions and Answers

A few days ago i upgraded my phone (from a Samsung mini to a Samsung A5). The shop transferred/upgraded everything from my old phone and all appeared fine, however for whatever reason my new phone didn't connect to the network. Yesterday I called back to the shop and they initiated the network change again. I didn't notice until after I returned home that all my pictures that were stored on my SD card have now disappeared from both phone.  How to recover deleted pictures from phone? Thanks a lot.

The answer. To recover the sd card use Recuva, PhotoRec or DiskDigger (PC version). I advise you to scan both (new and old) sd cards.

Also, if the pictures were synced with Google Photos, check the Recycle Bin content on the service and sync settings. Maybe you have simply disabled them.

09/04/2018 10:35 Spyros

On my wife's phone a Samsung J3 she took many photos in April and again October 2017 and can't find those photos and don't know if they were stored in the Dcim internal or the sd card. I have used my PC to check both the Dcims and can't find them. If my wife deleted them by mistake is there a way to get deleted pictures back on my Android? Are those cards have any hidden files where the deleted photos have gone to it? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

The answer. You can find out where the photos were stored by clicking on the camera settings (depending on whether it's a default app or an another camera). By doing this you will narrow the deleted pictures search area. After doing it start the recovery by choosing one of the methods which were mentioned above.

30/04/2018 14:50


(recover photos from phone storage - not on an sd card)

how do i restore pictures on my Android that have been deleted without rooting it. Recuva does not recognize my phone and therefore I can not recover the deleted photos from my phone storage.

The answer. Try using the Android DiskDigger program which works without a root. However, note that the probability of recovering from phone memory in this case will be significantly lower than with activated root-rights: scanning will be done only within the sections with open access.

I wanted to send pictures from my phone to the computer. I have cut the folder and pasted it on the Desktop by an accident. The folder was empty and the pictures disappeared from the phone. It is possible to somehow undelete the pictures on Android? I have tried various programs for Android and it didn't help.

The answer. It is clear that searching for the images on the PC is pointless. Therefore only the sd card and the internal memory of the phone are left. You've probably tried programs which scan the memory on the surface. Try using Diskdigger or Recuva (if you're making the copy of the Android internal memory). In general, go through all the paragraphs of the guide step by step.

I have a problem: lately the photos that I download are then deleted from my device. At the time of downloading the photo is shown, but after some time, the picture disappears and then is replaced with a black background saying "No thumbnail". I've lost a lot of pictures because of it and this only happens with the pictures I download. Screenshots and made with camera photos have never disappeared. The memory is both internal and of the sd card. Phone Samsung Galaxy S7 which I've been using already for 2-3 years.

The answer. Select another location for storing the files in the camera settings: the sd card or internal phone memory. Then check whether the images are there.

To improve the Android capability it's extremely useful to create more free space on the phone. This can be done with the help of CleanMaster, CCleaner or the built-in Samsung utility.

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