on 03 November 18
It can be easy to delete a photo from your iPhone that you actually needed to save. Deleting photos is one of the fastest ways to free up storage space and people are sometimes too aggressive in pruning old photos.
If you've deleted a photo that you need to hold onto, you may be worried that it's gone forever. Not necessarily. Depending on a number of factors, you can save deleted photos on your iPhone.
Here are a few options of how to do this.
How to Save Deleted Photos on the iPhone
Apple knows that we all accidentally delete photos sometimes, so it built a feature into the iOS to help us out. The Recently Deleted Photos album stores your deleted photos for 30 days, giving you time to restore them before they're gone for good.
You need to be running iOS 8 or higher in order to use this feature, but if you are, follow these steps to save deleted photos:
- Tap the Photos app to launch it
- On the Albums screen scroll down to the bottom. TapRecently Deleted
- This photo album contains all the photos you've deleted in the last 30 days. It shows each photo and lists the number of days that remain until it will be permanently deleted
- Tap Select in the top right corner
- Tap the photo or photos you want to save. A checkmark appears on each selected photo
- Tap Recover in the bottom right corner (alternatively, you can tap Delete in the bottom left if you want to delete the photo right away)
- In the pop-up menu, tap Recover Photo
- The photo is removed from Recently Deleted Photos and is added back to your Camera Roll and any other albums it was a part of.
The steps outlined above are great if you've got iOS 8 or higher and deleted the photo you want to save less than 30 days ago. But you've still got a couple of options even if your situation doesn't meet one of those requirements.
These options are less of a sure thing than the first approach, but if you're desperate, they might work.
Desktop Photo Programs—If you sync the photos from your iPhone to a desktop photo management program like Photos on the Mac, you may have a copy of the photo you want. In this case, search the program for the photo. If you find it, you can add it back to your iPhone by syncing it, emailing or texting it to yourself and then saving it to Photos.
Third-Party Recovery Tools—There are a ton of third-party programs that let you dig into the filesystem of your iPhone to find hidden files, browse "deleted" files that are still hanging around, or even comb through your old backups.
Because there are dozens of these programs, their quality can be hard to analyze. Your best bet is to spend some time with your favorite search engine, finding programs and reading reviews. Most of these programs are paid, but some may be free.
Here we recommended Syncios Data recovery: