Thursday, 3 May 2018

How To Recover Deleted Photos From Android Phone?

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Last month, I discovered to my shock and dismay that all the photographs and videos in the 'Gallery' & 'Camera-roll' on my Android Phone were missing. But, the other folders like Screenshots etc. were intact.

I was back from a trip where I had clicked many pics and captured several videos. My phone's memory was almost full. I started getting warning messages. Then, one fine day, they had all disappeared...

I have two mobile phones and as the memory of one phone was already full, I had used this Android phone to save photos especially of the last half of my trip. I felt terrible to find those pictures along with pics taken in the last few months were missing. Perhaps, it is a way in which the Android phone unburdens itself and automatically frees memory by simply deleting the 'Gallery' data?

I was midway in my second April #AToZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z in which I was writing A to Z posts about Odisha, India- including the travel places I had visited. 
My mind was heavy as I had documented my trip by clicking pictures of sign-boards and information-boards. Now, how would I write my posts? 
'Pictures speak more than a thousand words'. 
 "Those pics are important. I have to retrieve them." I requested myself to go for Mission Photos Recovery.
I contacted the phone's registered service-centre. They refused saying that they can only update the phone's software that would erase my existing data. 
I checked with the other phone-service stores. The moment they heard that pics were lost from the 'Gallery' i.e. the internal phone memory, they shook their head and expressed their inability. Had the data been lost/deleted from external storage like SD card, they could have attempted to be saviour.

How to restore/recover/retrieve deleted pictures? 
I started searching online for help.
According to a search-result from Google: 
If you have enabled backup in your phone, they may still be in your Google account. Please check in Google Photos App for this.
The only other possible way of retrieving the Photos would be if you have some kind of Trash/Recycle Bin option in your Gallery from where you deleted it.
But, in my case, I had not deleted my photos. They had just vanished!
I sent my query to all my tech-savvy friends and to WhatsApp groups hoping someone would be able to help.

I found that the issue has been discussed in many forums like this and this & this one on Android Internal Memory on Quora.

I followed the "3 Steps to Recover Files from Android Phone".

I learned that first, we must not use Android phone when files are deleted from the phone. Because new data could overwrite the space of deleted files, which will make deleted files unrecoverable.
As I had not been aware of this, I feared that perhaps the SMS messages etc that I had received might have over-written the space of the deleted files.

Still, armed with my positive attitude, I went ahead in my efforts to restore the deleted photos that were stored in the phone memory.

I tried reading many posts like:

One of the sites that was recommended was not accessible.

I tried some Apps from Google Play Store like the Restore Image App.
Though the App looked good, but it has to be installed on phone using Google Apps. Wouldn't that overwrite the data?
Also, read good reviews of DiskDigger. But, to run Diskdigger, one application of .NET framework was needed and I couldn't run it.
I tried contacting the helpdesk of the Apps. This is what I wrote to them:

Hello,
All pics from my Android Phone Gallery have disappeared from internal memory.
To use your App, do I have to save your App in my phone from where I lost the photos?
But, in that case, App will overwrite on the phone memory?
Won't it make retrieving & restoring media files tough?
Can't I save your App on my computer, connect my phone via USB & then scan it on my phone?

As I didn't hear from them, I tried looking for photo restoring software that could be saved on my computer.
I downloaded CoolMuster Lab Phone on computer and tried it. But, got no result as it showed me my existing Screenshots.
 

Then, from the suggestion from one of my WhatsApp groups, I learned that EaseUS is "very good".
But, it wanted that I should buy the software. The free trial link didn't give any result.

I tried another recommended software- FonePaw, but it wanted me to "root phone" and I was not prepared to take the chance.

Some more Apps that I tried:
iSkySoft- Used this software. But, it showed only the photos already existing on phone.
Wondershare Data Recovery- Used this. Downloaded software, but it did not help.
DrFone for Android- Downloaded the free version. It wanted to root my phone and then restore it to the unrooted version. I wasn't too sure and aborted the operation midway without clicking 'Start'.

DDR Android Data Recovery- Got no result due to demo limitation. Software had to be purchased, something that I did not do.
Did not use this.

By now, I was willing to experiment with anything just to get back my lost photos.
Then, I started trying the Phone Apps from the Google Play Store.

There are many Apps. I patiently tried some recommended ones:
Restore Image- Didn't work for me. It simply showed a few pics, those I already had on phone.
Tasty Blueberry PI - The reviews were striking. Some said App is fake and does not work, while others were full of praises! This did not work for me.
File Recovery App - Showed pics that are already available on phone!

I noticed that most reviews and ratings on Play Store for such Apps are pretty good. Some of the reviewers had faced the issues that I had faced and had shared negative reviews. But, I wonder how users can have such extreme experiences by using the same App! 
Even after trying such a lot, much to my disappointment, I was unable to restore the deleted pics.
Now, the last hope is my tech-smart brother-in-law who has promised to restart the photo recovery mission in our next meeting.
I hope and pray that I will be able to get back those precious photographs.

I will update this post if I get to figure out- "How To Recover Deleted Photos From Android Phone?".  
My request to all is to backup your data regularly and avoid such data-loss heartache and worries.

The above experience meant that I invested a lot of time trying to restore the photos. Thus, I lost precious time and lagged behind in the Blogging Challenge. Many posts were pending. As the pics were not available, I had to write on some different topics for some alphabets than I had initially decided...  
Despite all this, I did not give up. I stayed up late and managed to complete my #AToZChallenge this year. Thank you for all your support.

“Too often we take notes on writing, we think about writing but never do it. I want you to walk into the heart of the storm, written words dripping off hair, eyelids, hanging from hands.”
― Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir


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Have you faced anything like this? Do you know how to recover deleted photos from Android Phone? Did any of the Apps work for you? 
What do you do to keep your phone data safe? 
Do you click photos for documentation and depend on photos to write posts?
Do share in the comments below.

8 comments:

  1. Wow.. you researched a lot to retrieve photos. Mine is android phone too. Earlier I used to set up auto backup to Google photos. Now, that is full. So, I stopped back up. But, Samsung account also takes auto back up. So, using Samsung user id and password, I can get my data if lost.

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  2. useful informative post thanks for sharing

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  3. Very useful and important post !! most of us have face this problem

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  4. Oh wow! This is fantastic! I'm going to bookmark this page. Thanks, Anita :)

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  5. All your efforts went in vain? Poor girl! :(

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  6. You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve truly read anything like this before. So good to discover somebody with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!Wondershare Data Recovery 6.6.1.0

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