With the rapid advancement of technology, making everything more thermally efficient, smaller, and more powerful, it is no surprise that the storage capacity is increasing year by year. Most of us have libraries of pictures and videos, but see no need to delete them permanently since there’s plenty of space to go around. But whether you actively utilize the images or simply keep a collection, losing them is never fun. However, if you used Google Drive or Google Photos and enabled an automatic backup, restoring photos is a matter of a few taps. And even if you don’t have a backup, you still have a fighting chance.
Do I need to root my smartphone to recover deleted photos?
Rooting is primarily required to restore things such as contacts or call history, as well as files that are stored in the internal memory. If your deleted photos were located on an SD card, rooting will not be required. But, should you find the result of the search not satisfying, it is certainly something to consider.
What steps do I need to take to increase the chances of photos retrieval?
It sounds silly, but – nothing! That’s right – any application you install, a file you copy, or an update you download has a chance of overwriting the photos you’re trying to recover. For that reason, focus on trying to retrieve photos until you succeed or decide to give up.
How to recover deleted photos from Google Drive with a backup
Before we start, we need to clarify two things.
- First, we’ll be using Android 10 to outline all of the steps.
- Second, don’t be confused if both Google Drive and Google Photos get mentioned in the article.
Google allows you to enable backing up images to Google Drive, but you can also preview and recover the data on Google Photos because the services work together.
Before you start the backup process, make sure that you are logged in to the right Google account by following these steps –
- Open Settings.
- Go to Google.
- Verify that the right Google account is logged in.
- If not, click on the arrow next to the e-mail address.
- Tap Add another account.
- Enable your Internet connection, and log into the appropriate Google account.
2 methods to enable automatic backup of photos to Google Drive
Once you made sure that you are using the right account, use one of the following two methods to enable automatic photo backup to Google Drive.
Method 1. Using Google Photos
- Open Google Photos. The application should be installed by default with Android, but if it’s disabled, enable and update it through the link.
- Verify that the app is using the right Google account.
- You’ll be prompted to choose either Do not back up or Turn on Backup.
- In case the tab didn’t appear, spot the three lines in the top left corner, and tap on them.
- Tap Back up & sync. Change it to enabled.
- The photos should be automatically backed up to Google Drive in the background when Wi-Fi is enabled.
Method 2. Using settings
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down and tap on Google.
- Scroll down and tap on Backup.
- Ensure that Back up to Google Drive is enabled.
- Again, photos will be uploaded to Google Drive in the background for safekeeping.
How to enable manual backup of photos to Google Drive
Sometimes, a photo or a set of photos simply doesn’t get uploaded to the cloud. If that’s the case, you’ll have to take the reins.
- Launch Google Photos.
- Navigate to the photo you want to backup. Tap and hold for a few seconds, until you see a checkmark. You can also mark more photos for safekeeping.
- Spot the three dots in the top right-hand corner, and tap on them.
- Tap on Back up now.
How to restore deleted images from Google Drive backup
Let’s clarify how Google Drive and Google Photos work. Once you delete photos manually, suffer a virus attack, or accidentally format your smartphone, all of the backed-up files are kept in the Trash folder. But, because Google allows its users to upload an unlimited number of photos, only limiting them to 16 megapixels of the resolution, they only allow them to remain in Trash for up to 60 days. With that out of the way, let’s demonstrate how restoring from a Google Drive works.
- Launch Google Photos.
- Spot three parallel lines in the top left corner, and tap on them.
- Once a menu pops up, tap on Trash.
- A list of photos you erased will appear. Tap and hold to mark one of them, then continue marking other photos by tapping on them once.
- Once ready, tap Restore.
Following the same method, you can also recover deleted videos from Google Photos.
I don’t see my deleted Google Drive photos anywhere
This is commonly for three reasons:
- You emptied your Trash by accident
- You deleted your photos permanently, and they were never uploaded to Google Drive
- It has been more than 60 days since the initial backup of your photos
How to restore photos from Google Drive without a backup
If you cannot restore your images through the steps above, you need to pick one of the applications on our list of the best data recovery software for Android. The odds of retrieval are much slimmer, but far from impossible.
Method 1. Using EaseUs
We can use a data recovery software to try restoring the photos. You can use any software of your choice. For demonstration purposes, we are using the EaseUs Data Recovery. You have to do two things –
- Connect your Android device to your computer or removing the SD card from the smartphone, and using a card reader or an SD Card to USB adapter
- Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer because unlike the smartphone app, it allows you to restore up to 2 GB of photos
Steps to recover Google Drive photos with EaseUs
- Download, install and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
- The Select a location to start recovering window heavily resembles This PC (My Computer)
- Click on the drive that correlates to the connected Android smartphone or an SD card, depending on the method you chose.
- A scan will start. This is a well-known downside of the software – you cannot filter your scan so it might take a while.
- Once the scan is complete, click on Filter in the top right corner.
- Choose Pictures from the drop-down menu.
- Sift through the images. You can double-click on them to preview them.
- Click on Recover in the bottom right-hand corner once you’ve marked the desired images.
Method 2. Using DiskDigger app
If you don’t have access to a computer, there is an alternative. Keep in mind, without rooting your device, the number of images restored from internal memory will be scarce. It is recommended to root your Android smartphone to extract the maximum of it. Follow these steps to restore Google Drive photos with DiskDigger app –
- Download, install and run DiskDigger Photo Recovery.
- Choose a partition where the pictures are located.
- Mark JPG (Images from digital cameras and the Web).
- Tap OK.
- Wait for the scan to finish. You’ll see a thumbnail for every photo, but you can also preview them in half-size.
- Mark the photos you want to recover.
- Tap on the three dots in the top right corner.
- Tap on Recover selected files…
- You can save them locally, or have them automatically uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox, or sent to your Gmail e-mail address as an attachment.