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How to Recover Deleted Photos on an iPhone or iPad

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

It can be a very frustrating or even heartbreaking experience to lose your images. Missing photos and videos can be lost forever from your iPhone, iPod or iPad. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to protect those precious memories.
File Recovery.

1 Recover Files and Photos from iCloud

If the file you are looking for was stored in an iCloud-backed folder, you can restore them through the iCloud web interface.

  1. Open your preferred web browser, and visit icloud.com.
    Safari browser with address entered and highlighted.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
    Apple ID sign in prompt.
  3. Select Settings.
    iCloud web dashboard with Settings highlighted.
  4. Select Restore Files under Advanced at the bottom.
    iCloud settings with Restore Files highlighted.
  5. Look through the list of files. If you see your missing file, place a check mark next to it, then select Restore File.
    File restore with file checked and Restore File highlighted.

It can take a few moments for your computer to download and restore the file. Please be patient.

2 Recover Recently Deleted Photos

Your Photos App keeps your recently deleted images and videos for 30 days. You can recover them as long as it is within that 30 day time period.
  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Albums folder
  3. Scroll down and select the Recently Deleted album.
    Recently deleted album selection
  4. If you see an item you were looking for select it.
    Selecting a deleted image
  5. Select Recover at the bottom.
    Selecting recover
  6. Select Recover Photo.
    Recovering the photo

3 Look for Photos in the Hidden Album

In the Photos App you can hide photos you don't want to show up regularly in the app. You may have hidden one and now want it back. We can show you how to unhide it.
  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Albums folder
  3. Select the Hidden album.
    Hidden selection
  4. If you see the item you are looking for, select it.
    Hidden Album with image highlighted.
  5. Select the Menu icon at the bottom.
    Image display with Menu icon highlighted.
  6. Select Unhide.
    Photo menu with Unhide highlighted.

4 If My Files Couldn't Be Saved

Unfortunately, it does not appear that the missing files in question are able to be recovered using traditional means. At this time, the only option for recovering your lost files involves contacting a data recovery firm.

Professional data recovery firms can salvage and repair data that has been otherwise lost forever. Of course, in some situations, data recovery won’t always be possible. Sometimes a system can be too corrupted or damaged to retrieve missing data. The methods used to recover lost data depend on how the data was lost in the first place. One of the major factors involved in data recovery is cost. Costs involved for data recovery services can carry a tremendous range (hundreds to thousands of dollars) and will vary based on a large number of factors involved with your data loss case.

Contacting a data recovery firm is completely optional. Some find that data recovery services are not the best fit based upon what information was lost. That being said, only you can know what your data is worth to you. Reaching out to a data recovery firm in your area to determine whether or not your data can be saved and what it may cost to do so will help determine if this option is a good fit for you.

If you intend to pursue professional data recovery services, it is extremely important you stop using your device. Shut it down and do not turn it back on until you have spoken with the professional data recovery service you have chosen.

Continuing to use your device in any way can destroy the data permanently, without any chance or hope of recovery.

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It can be a very frustrating or even heartbreaking experience to lose your images. Missing photos and videos can be lost forever from your iPhone, iPod or iPad. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to protect those precious memories.
File Recovery.

If the file you are looking for was stored in an iCloud-backed folder, you can restore them through the iCloud web interface.

  1. Open your preferred web browser, and visit icloud.com.
    Safari browser with address entered and highlighted.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
    Apple ID sign in prompt.
  3. Select Settings.
    iCloud web dashboard with Settings highlighted.
  4. Select Restore Files under Advanced at the bottom.
    iCloud settings with Restore Files highlighted.
  5. Look through the list of files. If you see your missing file, place a check mark next to it, then select Restore File.
    File restore with file checked and Restore File highlighted.

It can take a few moments for your computer to download and restore the file. Please be patient.

Your Photos App keeps your recently deleted images and videos for 30 days. You can recover them as long as it is within that 30 day time period.
  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Albums folder
  3. Scroll down and select the Recently Deleted album.
    Recently deleted album selection
  4. If you see an item you were looking for select it.
    Selecting a deleted image
  5. Select Recover at the bottom.
    Selecting recover
  6. Select Recover Photo.
    Recovering the photo
In the Photos App you can hide photos you don't want to show up regularly in the app. You may have hidden one and now want it back. We can show you how to unhide it.
  1. Open the Photos App.
    iOS Photos.
  2. Select Albums.
    Albums folder
  3. Select the Hidden album.
    Hidden selection
  4. If you see the item you are looking for, select it.
    Hidden Album with image highlighted.
  5. Select the Menu icon at the bottom.
    Image display with Menu icon highlighted.
  6. Select Unhide.
    Photo menu with Unhide highlighted.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that the missing files in question are able to be recovered using traditional means. At this time, the only option for recovering your lost files involves contacting a data recovery firm.

Professional data recovery firms can salvage and repair data that has been otherwise lost forever. Of course, in some situations, data recovery won’t always be possible. Sometimes a system can be too corrupted or damaged to retrieve missing data. The methods used to recover lost data depend on how the data was lost in the first place. One of the major factors involved in data recovery is cost. Costs involved for data recovery services can carry a tremendous range (hundreds to thousands of dollars) and will vary based on a large number of factors involved with your data loss case.

Contacting a data recovery firm is completely optional. Some find that data recovery services are not the best fit based upon what information was lost. That being said, only you can know what your data is worth to you. Reaching out to a data recovery firm in your area to determine whether or not your data can be saved and what it may cost to do so will help determine if this option is a good fit for you.

If you intend to pursue professional data recovery services, it is extremely important you stop using your device. Shut it down and do not turn it back on until you have spoken with the professional data recovery service you have chosen.

Continuing to use your device in any way can destroy the data permanently, without any chance or hope of recovery.