Have you ever tried to manually clean up the photo library on your iPhone? For many, it can be overwhelming. But for everyone, it’s time-consuming. If you’re anything like me, when you do it, at a certain point, you just switch into autopilot mode and aren’t paying full attention to what you’re doing. The only problem with that is it leaves a lot of room for mistakes.
So, if you’ve ever accidentally deleted a picture on your iPhone, you are probably wondering, “Where do they go?” In this article, I’ll answer that question and show you how to find deleted photos on iPhone. Keep reading and let’s get into it so that we can hopefully give you some peace of mind when you recover those priceless memories.
Where are deleted photos on iPhone
The good news is that when you delete a photo on your iPhone, it’s not immediately lost to the ether. iOS has a security measure in place to help save you from yourself: instead of deleting photos permanently, it moves the pictures to a special album called Recently Deleted. The album acts as a temporary storage area, just to make sure you really want to delete your photos before permanently erasing them.
So, when you hit that delete button, iOS moves the picture into the Recently Deleted album. Then, the photo will sit there for 30 days before iOS purges it for real this time.
By no means should you rely on your Recently Deleted album for any type of storage or organizational methods. It should be reserved purely as a last-case scenario. But understanding how iOS handles your deleted photos can offer you some peace of mind should you accidentally remove something from your library. Plus, it’s good to know if you’re trying to declutter your photos to free up space, why you’re not seeing your free storage increase as you delete more pictures.
How to find deleted photos on iPhone
Alright, now that you know about the Recently Deleted album, you’re probably wondering where it is. It’s right where you would expect a photo album to be. Follow these steps to see how to get recently deleted photos on iPhone:
- Launch the Photos app.
- Tap Albums.
- Then, scroll to the bottom of the page to tap on Recently Deleted.
As you read earlier, this is where your pictures will stay for 30 days. You’ll notice a countdown on each thumbnail to tell you how many days each of your photos has left before being deleted. However, if you don’t see the specific image you’re looking for, then it’s safe to say it’s been longer than 30 days since you deleted it.
Recovering photos from the Recently Deleted folder
Finding your Recently Deleted album is half the battle. Once you’re in there, then you’re able to actually recover your pictures by following these steps:
- Open the Recently Deleted album by using the step above.
- Tap Select.
- Now choose the picture(s) you want to save.
- In the bottom-right corner, hit Recover.
- Confirm your selection by tapping Recover Photo or Recover [x] Items.
When you’re finished, the Photos app will then move your pictures back into their original location in your photo library.
Tip: To retrieve all of the pictures in your Recently Deleted album, once you get to step 3, you can tap Recover All in the bottom-right corner instead of having to select them all individually.
How to recover permanently deleted photos on iPhone
As I mentioned earlier, if you can’t find the pictures to recover in the Recently Deleted album, then that means it has already been permanently erased from your phone. While there is no default way to recover them in iOS, all hope is not lost.
You can enlist the assistance of a third-party recovery app that can help you with it. For a more thorough guide on how to recover permanently deleted photos on iPhone, you’ll want to check out this article.
Preventing permanent deletion of photos on iPhone
When it comes to your priceless memories, it’s better not to rely on using safety measures like the Recently Deleted album. There are other things that are more reliable that can help you safeguard your pictures:
- Regularly back up your iPhone. Cliches are cliches for a reason. Backing up your phone is a tried and true method that will save you every time. You can back up your phone by connecting it to your computer using the Finder or iTunes. But it’s iCloud that truly makes it easy. As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power, your iPhone will back up every night on its own.
- Use a photo storage service. These days, there are so many cloud-based services dedicated specifically to photo storage. Obviously, a component of iCloud is the iCloud Photo Library, but you can also look to services like Google Photos and Amazon Photos if you’re looking for something similarly automated.
- Be cautious when deleting photos. If you’re here because you accidentally deleted an important picture, then I don’t need to tell you this. But it’s true. Whenever you’re dealing with important data like pictures, videos, or anything else, you should take extra precautions before you just hit that delete button.
- Use a cleaning app to help you declutter. When cleaning up my photo library, I try to only use an app like Gemini Photos. Not only does it make the process so much faster, but I’m more aware of what I’m getting rid of and less likely to delete something accidentally.
Just because you’ve deleted a photo or video from your iPhone doesn’t mean that it’s instantly gone forever. Hopefully, while you were reading this article, you were able to follow a few of the steps to figure out how to access deleted photos on iPhone. And remember, regularly backing up can be your friend, saving you from this exact situation in the future. If you know you’re not going to remember to do it consistently, look into an option like iCloud, which will back up your iPhone every night without you even having to think about it.