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Video recovery on Samsung devices running under Android

Written by: Ilia

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Owners of Samsung smartphones and tablets running under Android will find this manual useful. If you've lost any valuable video files, our methods will help you to retrieve them in their original quality or, if not, at least a part of them.

Mostly we're going to talk about Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, S9, S10 devices which quite often lose video files, despite the fact that Samsung company has taken care of syncing multimedia files with Google Photos cloud.


What determines the possibility of video recovery

  1. The time passed since the deletion of files
  2. Was any data written after the deletion
  3. The place from which files were deleted (phone memory or memory card)
  4. Recovery methods (scanning settings and software used for recovery)

What to do if a video is missing from a memory card

In some way, you're lucky if your video files were stored on the memory card of your mobile device instead of its internal memory. In such case, you can use desktop recovery software which functionality is much better than of mobile apps.

How to recover a video from Samsung memory card

In fact, the model of a phone doesn't make much difference as long as it's possible to extract a memory card from it. The sequence of actions:

  1. Safely remove the memory card from your phone.
  2. Connect it via a card reader to a PC.
  3. Install video recovery software. Among free programs we suggest paying attention to Recuva, DiskDigger and PhotoRec and among the paid ones – DiskDrill. The list is pretty long so this review might help to choose the right program for you. 
  4. Run any recovery program and scan the memory card via it (if you use Recuva, we advise to select DeepScan mode).
  5. If you face any troubles with Recuva, follow this step-by-step manual. We've described how to retrieve a video from a memory card. there

What to do if your video is damaged after its recovery

Unfortunately, no recovery software can ensure that you'll be able to restore videos in their original quality. Quite often found files contain so-called artifacts, i.e. distortions interfering with the ability to play these video files.

If this is your case, we suggest reading the following review, which lists some programs for fixing damaged videos. Among them are:

  • Stellar Phoenix Video Repair,
  • Restore.Media, Video Repair Tool,
  • Video Repair Tool.

The operation of video correction is pretty simple: you specify the original (i.e. damaged) file and you get a video which can be played on a PC or mobile device as a result of the analysis conducted by the program. Especially advanced tools can fix files only having the data on another video taken in the same conditions (for example, when it's a similar video shot by Samsung phone camera).

However, this method of video recovery doesn't always bring successful results. Artifacts may remain unfixed and videos will be played in fits and starts. At the same time, if it was impossible to open those videos before, the programs like Stellar Phoenix Video Repair can make them readable again.

Check the settings of video syncing with Google Photos

If Google Photos app is installed on your Samsung smartphone and auto sync is enabled, there is a chance that your lost video files are stored in the cloud. 

You can check whether auto sync is working via the settings of Google Photos: "Settings" > "Auto backup and sync" option.

What you need to know:

  • When syncing is enabled, Google Photos app stores videos up to 10GB on the server and it supports most video formats. 
  • You should check Google photos Recycle Bin also since deleted files are stored there for 60 days. 
  • If syncing was carried out on another device (like a PC, tablet, etc.), check if there are any video files you search for on this device.  

If a video didn't manage to sync before it was deleted and you can't find it in Google Photos Recycle Bin, give a try to other recovery methods. 

How to recover videos from the internal memory of Samsung

Samsung devices internal memory (with an average capacity from 16 up to 64 GB) allows you to store large volumes of files, including high-resolution video. However, access to internal memory partitions is limited due to Android OS security policy. As a result, it's quite complicated and sometimes even impossible to retrieve a video from the internal memory of Samsung devices. 

Despite some developers claim that their software can recover files from internal memory, in fact it's not that simple to do it. 

  1. You'll require root access. After granting which you'll be denied warranty maintenance of your device. Moreover, many Samsung devices are protected from unauthorized access and access to file system. Therefore, it's a bit difficult to get root access. 
  2. Without root access video recovery is still possible, but in a limited mode. Recovery can be done via the following programs for Android: DiskDigger and Undeleter
  3. In this manual we've explained how to take a snap of the internal memory of your device and safely recover its contents in a way similar to the process with an SD card. We highly recommend to use this method only to advanced users.