For many people, the iPhone has replaced the point-and-shoot camera and, in some cases, even the mighty DSLR. No wonder then that the demand for iPhone photo recovery solutions and techniques has never been greater.
In this article, we present several solutions that you can use to recover permanently deleted photos from your iPhone. If you don’t know which one to choose, just look at the quick navigation table below and pick the solution that most closely fits your data loss situation.
|I need to recover permanently deleted photos from an iPhone without backup.||Use iPhone recovery software (Solution 4).|
|I need to recover photos from a broken iPhone.||Send your iPhone to a professional data recovery service (Solution 5).|
|I need to recover recently deleted photos from an iPhone.||Restore them from the Recently Deleted album (Solution 1).|
|I need to recover old photos from an old iPhone.||Retrieve them from a backup (Solution 3).|
|I need to recover iPhone photos after a factory reset.||Restore from iCloud Backup (Solution 2).|
|I need to recover photos from an iPhone without a computer.||You can restore them from the Recently Deleted album (Solution 1) or get them back from your iCloud account (Solution 2).|
|I need to recover photos from a stolen iPhone.||Turn on iCloud Photos on your new iPhone (Solution 2).|
Pro tip: If you’re missing important photos and are not sure how to get them back, stop messing with your iPhone and familiarize yourself with the recovery solutions and techniques described in this article first. The last thing you want is to make a careless mistake during recovery and permanently overwrite some or all deleted photos, making them unrecoverable.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone
Regardless of if you own iPhone 6, 7, 8, 9, X, 11, or 12, there are several methods that you can try whenever you need to recover deleted photos (or videos).
Solution 1: Recently Deleted Album
When you snap a picture with your iPhone camera, the picture is saved to internal memory, and it becomes accessible from the Photos app. One great thing about the Photos app is that it gives you a chance to recover deleted photos by moving them to the Recently Deleted folder before deleting them permanently. Deleted photos remain in this folder for up to 40 days.
As such, you have plenty of time to follow the steps below and restore them:
- Open the Photos app.
- Go to Albums and tap Recently Deleted in the Utilities section.
- Tap the photo you want to undelete and tap Recover
- Confirm that you want to recover the photo.
Pro tip: You can also recover multiple photos at once to save time. Unfortunately, there’s no way how to select all recently deleted photos with a single tap.
Solution 2: iCloud Photos
iCloud is Apple’s cloud backup service, and you can use it to automatically store every photo you take in the cloud. Should you ever accidentally erase your iPhone, physically damage it, or lose it somewhere, you can turn on iCloud Photos on another iOS device and access them from it.
Here’s how to turn on iCloud Photos to see the photos you took with your iPhone on your other device:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap iCloud > Photos.
- Turn on iCloud Photos.
Depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may take a while before you see all your photos, so be patient and check the Photos app every few minutes.
Note: When setting up a brand-new iPhone for the first time, you can select the Restore from iCloud Backup option on the Set up your iPhone screen to restore all data and settings from an iCloud backup. You will be prompted to enter your iCloud credential and given the option to choose which backup you want to restore from. Pick the latest backup containing the missing photos and wait until your iPhone is ready.
Solution 3: iPhone Backups
Backups can help you recover deleted photos that have been overwritten, but restoring an iPhone from a backup on your Mac can take a while. The good news is that you don’t need any special software because Finder has been in charge of backups since macOS Catalina 10.15.
To restore your deleted iPhone photos from a backup on your Mac:
- Open Finder.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer.
- Select your iPhone when it appears in the Finder window.
- Click Restore Backup and pick the most relevant backup available.
- Click Restore and wait for the restore time to finish. Enter your password if asked.
If you’re on a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, then you need to use iTunes instead of Finder, but the rest of the process is the same.
Your backups are located in the following folder:
- macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
- Windows: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
Backups are reliable and convenient, but what if none of your iPhone backups contains the permanently deleted photos? In that case, your next best option is iPhone recovery software for Mac or Windows. Such software can analyze your iPhone’s internal storage and find photos and other files that have been deleted a long time ago.
Most iPhone users have access to a Mac computer, which means that they can use Disk Drill to recover permanently deleted photos from any iPhone. Disk Drill is free to try, so you can verify its ability to recover your photos before you purchase a license.
To recover deleted photos from iPhone using Disk Drill on Mac:
- Download Disk Drill and install it on your Mac.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac computer and tap Trust on your iPhone if asked whether you want to trust your Mac.
- Launch Disk Drill and select the iPhone from the list of available devices.
- Click Search for lost data to scan your iPhone.
- Review what was found and select the type of data you want to recover (Photos).
- Click Recover to undelete all missing photos or click Show in Finder to mount recoverable photos as a disk so that you can go through them and see what you’re recovering.
Just because you don’t have access to a Mac computer doesn’t mean that you can’t use iPhone recovery software to retrieve lost photos. Dr.Fone by Wondershare, for example, runs on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and offers full support for iOS 14, iOS 13, 12/12.3, iOS 11, iOS 10.3, iOS 10, iOS 9, and former.
Here’s what you need to do to get back inaccessible photos with its help:
- Download Dr.Fone by Wondershare and install it on your Windows PC.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC and tap Trust on your iPhone if asked whether you want to trust your computer.
- Launch Dr.Fone on your computer and choose iOS data recovery.
- Select the type of data you want to recover (Photos and App Photos) and click Start Scan.
- Wait until the scan process is over and choose the photos you want to recover.
- Click Restore to Device (you can also click Restore to Computer if you would rather access the restored photos from your Windows computer).
Solution 5: Data Recovery Service
The above-described iPhone photo recovery solutions are great if you need to recover recently or permanently deleted photos from a fully functioning iPhone, but they won’t help you recover deleted photos from an iPhone that has been damaged so badly that it’s now unusable.
Instead of attempting to repair the damage yourself by following instructional videos on YouTube and tutorials on websites like iFixit, it’s almost always much safer and faster to send the iPhone to a professional data recovery service center and let experienced technicians with expensive special equipment get your photos back for you.
Contrary to what many people believe, the cost of professional data recovery seldom exceeds a few hundred dollars, which is a fair price to pay for getting back irreplaceable photos of your family and friends.