How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on iPhone

Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on iPhone

Losing photos on your iPhone can feel like losing a part of your life. Whether it's a snapshot of a memorable trip, a family gathering, or a funny moment with friends, photos are precious. But what happens when you've permanently deleted them? Don’t panic! There are still ways to get them back. This guide will walk you through various methods on how to recover permanently deleted photos on iPhone. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

Understanding Photo Deletion on iPhone

What Does "Permanently Deleted" Mean?

When you delete a photo on your iPhone, it doesn’t vanish into thin air immediately. Instead, it goes to the "Recently Deleted" album, where it stays for 30 days. If you don't recover it within this period, it gets permanently deleted, making it trickier to retrieve.

Why Do Photos Get Deleted?

Photos can get deleted for various reasons: accidental deletion, software updates gone wrong, or even a mischievous child playing with your phone. Regardless of the reason, the loss is heart-wrenching, but there’s hope.

Recovery Methods

Method 1: Check the "Recently Deleted" Album

Before we explore more complex solutions, let's start simple.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap Albums at the bottom.
  3. Scroll down to Recently Deleted.
  4. Select the photos you want to recover and tap Recover.

This method works within the 30-day window, but what if it's been longer?

Method 2: Restore from iCloud Backup

If you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud, you’re in luck. Here’s how to recover permanently deleted photos on iPhone using iCloud:

  1. Erase All Content and Settings: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. Restore from iCloud Backup: Follow the setup steps on your iPhone until you reach the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
  3. Choose Backup: Select the backup that contains your deleted photos.

Note: This method requires you to have a backup that predates the deletion.

Method 3: Use a Third-Party Recovery Tool

When iCloud doesn’t have your back, third-party tools come to the rescue. Software like Dr.Fone, Tenorshare UltData, and iMobie Phone Rescue can help you recover lost photos. Here’s a general process:

  1. Download and Install: Choose a reputable recovery tool and install it on your computer.
  2. Connect Your iPhone: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
  3. Scan for Deleted Photos: Follow the software’s instructions to scan your iPhone for deleted photos.
  4. Recover: Once the scan is complete, preview and select the photos you want to recover, then hit the recover button.

Method 4: Restore from iTunes Backup

If you’re old school and prefer iTunes, this method is for you.

  1. Connect Your iPhone: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes: Launch iTunes and select your device.
  3. Restore Backup: Click on Restore Backup, and choose a backup that contains your deleted photos.

Keep in mind, restoring a backup will replace the current data on your iPhone.

Tips to Prevent Photo Loss

Regular Backups

The best defense against losing your photos is a good offense. Regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes to ensure your memories are safe.

Use iCloud Photos

Enabling iCloud Photos will sync your photos across all your Apple devices and store them in the cloud, providing an extra layer of security.

Be Careful with Deletions

Before deleting photos, double-check that you’re not getting rid of something you’ll regret later. Create albums to organize your photos better, reducing the chances of accidental deletions.


Can I recover photos that were deleted more than 30 days ago?

Yes, you can still recover photos deleted over 30 days ago by restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup, or by using third-party recovery tools.

Are third-party recovery tools safe?

Most reputable third-party recovery tools are safe to use. Always download software from trusted sources and read user reviews before proceeding.

Will restoring from a backup erase my current data?

Yes, restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup will replace the current data on your iPhone with the data from the backup. Make sure to back up your current data before restoring.

How often should I back up my iPhone?

It's good practice to back up your iPhone at least once a week. However, if you frequently take new photos or add important data, consider backing up more often.


Losing photos can be a nightmare, but knowing how to recover permanently deleted photos on iPhone can turn things around. Whether you opt for the "Recently Deleted" album, iCloud or iTunes backup, or a third-party tool, there’s hope to get back your cherished memories. Regular backups and cautious photo management can prevent future heartbreak. So, take action today, and ensure your precious moments are always safe and sound!


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