I get this question from my friends a lot. Lets cut to the chase and go straight to the solution. Whether recovering photos is easy, difficult, or impossible depends on a number of factors. One important factor is where the photos are stored. If they’re on a removable card, such as an SD card, you’re in luck. If they’re in your phone’s internal storage, you’ve got a far more serious problem.
“Either way, the more you write to that storage, the less likely that you’ll ever see those pictures again. So if they are on a removable card, remove the card now. If they’re in your phone’s internal memory, use the phone as little as possible just calls and texts. Keep it that way until you either successfully restore your images or give up. “
If the photos are on a removable card
Download and install Piriform’s Recuva onto your Windows PC. Not to worry its FREE. You probably already have a way to connect your card to your PC. If not, you can buy an SD card adapter.
With the card connected to your PC, Double-Click on the (installed) Recuva software and scan the card (which appears as a portable drive). Recuva will almost certainly find most of your photos, and on your command, copy them to your PC’s internal drive. Note : Recuva can be used to Recover images, documents, videos, pictures, etc
If the photos are in your phone’s internal storage
If your phone is running an outdated version of Android,
- Connect your phone to your PC via your MicroUSB cable.
- Select the USB Mass Storage option on your phone (pull down the notification bar at the top of the screen and tap the USB icon). That effectively turns your phone into an external drive, and you can use Recuva (see above) to restore it.
Unfortunately, Android disabled USB Mass storage with version 4.4.2. There are tools that can scan your phone from your Windows PC and recover files, but they’re not as quick and easy (or as free) as Recuva. Your best bet is probably EASEUS’ MobiSaver for Android. Install this program in Windows, connect your phone, and follow the directions. But it will probably require you to root your phone.
If nothing else works
If neither Recuva nor MobiSaver can restore the files, consider contacting a storage recovery service.
Avoiding this disaster in the future
Take these steps to avoid such disasters in the future:
- Get a Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Photos,One Drive and a host of other free storage platforms and install the app on your phone (Android or iOS). Turn on the Camera Upload feature (you’ll find it in Dropbox’ Settings). Your photos will automatically upload to your Dropbox whenever the phone has a Wi-Fi connection.
- Get in the habit of copying photos to your PC or another storage device as often as possible even when you’re on vacation.
- If you’re using an Android phone, save your photos to the SD card.