Q: I recently got an iPhone 4 and been happily snapping away. However, I delete a load of photos by mistake that didn’t want to delete. I have not make any backups via iTunes and neither Photostream or anything like that. So what I can do to get my photos back.
Q: I just synced over 2,000 photos from my camera roll on my iPhone 5S (running on iOS 8) to iPhoto on MacBook Pro Snow Leopard. When the prompt asked to delete photos on phone, I clicked yes. The application wasn’t working after a while so I force quit. When I launch iPhoto again, the photos were not there and half the photos on my camera roll were gone. When I try to sync iPhoto with my iPhone, it says 0 photos. How do I recover them?
Photos are not actually deleted
After you deleted photos on your iPhone, they are not gone, just you can’t see them. They are still be somewhere on the phone. And Apple doesn’t want people to access the data of deleted pictures. So we need a third party iPhone Data Recovery tool.
Your Attention Please!
Before we start to recover the data, you should notice these:
- Set your iPhone into the flight mode and don’t use it until you find those photos;
- Do not sync your iPhone with iTunes, iCloud or other third-party tools, avoiding “deleted photos” be overwritten by new data.
6 methods to recover deleted photos from iPhone
Here we introduce 6 ways to recover the lost or deleted photos from iPhone. Please read them and choose the one which may be suitable for your current situation. During the recovery process, we may need iTunes or iCloud backup.
- Extract photos from iCloud backup using iPhone Backup Extractor software
- Extract photos from iTune backup with iPhone Photo Recovery tool
- Recover deleted photos directly on the iPhone
- Retrieve deleted photos directly from iCloud (Free)
- Restore lost photos from iTunes backup (Free)
- Restore deleted photos on the iPhone running iOS 8 (Free)
Method 1: Extract photos from iCloud backup using iPhone Backup Extractor software
This method is applicable to the case of people lost their photos but have an iCloud backup. Especially for those who lost their iPhone but want to get the photos back. It is suitable for all iPhone generation that running iOS 5 or later, including the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Please download and install the iPhone backup extractor software before following the steps.
Step 1: Choose the recovery mode and Sign in your iCloud
After installed the iPhone Photo Recovery, please running the program and choose the recovery mode of “Recover from iCloud Backup Files”, then enter your Apple ID and password to login. The program would not keep the records of your account, password or content at any time during your sessions.
Step 2: Download and analysis your iCloud backup
When you logged into iCloud, the program will list all iCloud backup files in your account. Choose the most recent one and click Download, and then choose the type of files you would like to download, click Next to continue. After that, you can scan the iCloud content. Click on the Start Scan button to begin. It will take you some time, please wait till the scanning process finished.
Step 3: Preview and recover the photos you want from the iCloud backup
The scanning will last a few minutes. Once stops, you can preview all the data in your iCloud backup file, like contacts, messages, photos, notes and more. Check them and tick those you need. Then click the Recover button to save them on your computer. The program will prompt whether you want to put the recovered contacts, notes and messages back to your iPhone if it is connected with your computer during the recovery process.
Method 2: Extract photos from iTunes backup with iPhone Photo Recovery tool
This method is suitable for those who backed up their iPhone with iTunes. If you have lost your photos, don’t have your iPhone around. Or your phone was stolen. You want the photos back. So please look at here, we will introduce how to extract the iTunes backup file and found the photos you want. First download the iPhone Photo Recovery tool. It has Windows version and Mac version, please make sure download the right one.
Step 1: Choose your iTunes backup and extract it
Run the program and switch to the mode of “Recover from iTunes Backup File”. Then all your iTunes backup on your computer will be found and listed. Select the one you want and click “Start Scan” to extract it.
Step 2: Preview and recover previous data
After a while, all data in the backup file will be extracted and displayed in categories. It contains deleted and existing items on your device. To separate them, please turn on “Only display the deleted items”. You can preview them and tick those photos you want. Then click the “Recover” button. The contacts, notes and messages can be directly recovered to your iPhone if you keep your iPhone connected with your computer during the recovery process.
Method 3: Direct scan and recover deleted photos on the iPhone
This method only applies to iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. If you don’t have iCloud backup or iTunes backup of your iPhone, or your backups are out of date, then the last method is to using iPhone Data Recovery software to scan the iPhone directly and try to find them. Please download and install the software first.
Step 1: Connect your iPhone to PC and Run the program
Connect your iPhone 4/3GS to the computer, and run the program. You’ll see the main window as below. Switch to the “Advanced Mode” through the button at the lower-right corner.
You will be asked to follow the 3-step introduction to enter device scanning mode. The program will ask you to download a plugin before entering the iPhone device scanning mode.
Step 2: Start the scan process for looking for the lost photos
After you click the “Start” button, and follow the steps to enter the device scanning mode. The program will analysis your iPhone for the lost data.
Step 3: Preview and recover the deleted photos from iPhone
After scanning, all found data are displayed in categories, you can preview photos by choose Camera Roll or Photo Stream. Tick those you want to get back and click “Recover” to save them on your computer.
Note: Photos found here contains deleted and also the existing ones still on iPhone. If you only want to see the deleted photos, slide the button on the top to separate them: “Only display the deleted items.”
Method 4: Retrieve deleted photos directly from iCloud (Free)
This method applies to all iPhone generation running iOS 5 or later. If you lost photos just after backed up with iCloud. You can restore from iCloud backup directly.
For example, you just deleted some photos by accident, but you have backed up the iPhone with iCloud yesterday and didn’t take any photo after that. Then you can restore those photos from the backup directly. Or You got your iPhone stolen, but want to get your photos back. If you have other iOS device like iPad, you can login your iCloud account on it, and restore the photos from the iCloud backup. The photos would be downloaded to your iPad. Here are the steps.
1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Software Update. If a newer version of iOS is available, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install it.
2. Make sure you have a recent backup to restore from.
On your iOS 8 device: Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, then tap a device listed under Backups to see the date and size of its latest backup.
On your iOS 7 device: Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage, then tap a device listed under Backups to see the date and size of its latest backup.
3.Go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap “Erase all content and settings”.
4. In the Setup Assistant, proceed to “Set up your device”, tap Restore from a Backup, then sign in to iCloud.
5. Proceed to “Choose backup”, then choose from a list of available backups in iCloud. Then the data in the backup file would be restored on your phone.
Note: Before the restore from iCloud backup, you’ll have to erase all the content and settings from your iPhone. You may lose your new data and settings.
Method 5: Restore lost photos from iTunes backup (Free)
This method is applicable to all iOS device. If you didn’t disable the automatic sync option in iTunes, it will create a backup every time you synched your iPhone with your computer. You can easily retrieve the photos with those backups.
1. Connect your iPhone to the computer that has your backup file.
2. Run the iTunes. Make sure it is the latest version of iTunes.
3. After iTunes recognized your iPhone, click Restore backup button, or choose File > Devices > Restore from Back up. If you are using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right click the device from the list and choose Restore from Backup.
1. You should always keep your iTunes backup up to date. Or you may lose your new data and settings since the iPhone would be fully erased and go back to the previous status.
2. There is no ways to preview the content in the backup, and you can’t choose to recover part of them. This is the point that I think iPhone Backup Extractor does better than iTunes.
Method 6: Restore deleted photos on the iPhone running iOS 8 (Free)
The latest iOS 8 has a new function on Photo app. You may found there are two new folders named “Recently Added” and “Recently Deleted” under Albums. As the name suggests, the photos you just got is in the “Recently Added” folder while the other folder “Recently Deleted” temporarily keeps the photos you have recently deleted. So, if you have just deleted your photos or images by accident, you can easily recover them. Tap into the “Recently Deleted” folder and choose the one you need. Then tap “Recover”. The photos would be moved to its original place.