How to Recover Deleted Photos from Your iPhone

Accidentally deleted a photo? Don't worry—recovering deleted photos on your iPhone is pretty easy and straightforward when you follow these simple steps.

Need a photo back that was accidentally deleted? Maybe you’re deleting the selfies you’d never post but also accidentally delete a cherished photo with friends or a screenshot of your favorite dinner recipe. We all have these oops moments of deleting the wrong thing and instantly regretting it—or realizing later we wish we had that photo back. The good news is you can follow these steps on how to recover deleted photos from iPhone—but you have to act fast (or at least in a timely manner). Were you deleting photos to free up storage space on your phone? Try these space-freeing hacks instead and you won’t have to worry about accidentally deleting any more pictures.

Step 1: Access your Photos app

The first step of how to recover deleted photos from iPhone is to click on the Photos app. (Open it the way you normally would, to look at photos or screenshots.)

Step 2: Go to the “Recently Deleted” folder

Click on Albums, then scroll down to the Other Albums section. Keep scrolling to find the “Recently Deleted” folder to recover deleted photos. As long as it hasn’t been over 30 days since you deleted your photo, it should appear in this folder. After 30 days, photos are permanently deleted. Keep in mind that if you want to keep your photos but need to hide them from prying eyes, you can hide photos on your iPhone.

recently deleted folder in photos app (iphone)via iPhone

Step 3: Move the photos back to your “All Photos” album

Tap on each photo you want to recover from the “Recently Deleted” folder. Then click “Recover” in the bottom right corner of your phone. If you want to recover all the photos in the “Recently Deleted” folder, choose “Recover All” instead. Confirm that you want to recover the deleted photos.

Step 4: Find your photos in the Photos app

Confirm that all your photos were recovered by looking in the primary album of your Photos app. All the photos should now be restored. Meanwhile, if you want to get rid of clutter on your phone beyond your photos, spring clean your smartphone.

How to recover deleted photos from iPhone that are older than 30 days

If you want to recover deleted photos that are more than 30 days old, you might be able to get them back through restoring your phone to the way it was during a recent back-up. Just beware that all your older files and apps that were on your phone at that time will be restored. Protect your current data and photos by backing them all up to iCloud first, then do a factory reset and restore your phone from the back-up version that will contain the lost photos you need to recover. You’ll find them in the Photos app when your old back-up has been restored.

Contact Apple Support

If you are unable to restore photos from your “Recently Deleted” folder and don’t have a back-up, contact Apple support for help. In some situations, they may be able to help you restore older photos from an iCloud photos account even if more time has passed. Be patient with support staff and know that there are no guarantees on recovering older photos after 30 days have passed. Next, read on to find out 13 things Apple employees won’t tell you.

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Robin Raven
Robin Raven is a travel writer and journalist who often focuses on vegan and animal rights topics. Her work has appeared in Grok Nation, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, USAToday.com, and dozens of other publications.