How to Recover Deleted Photos & Video from iPhone & iPad the Easy Way
Accidentally deleting photos from an iPhone or iPad happens and it’s not a fun feeling to know that you may have lost a photo or group of images you wanted to keep. Fortunately the latest versions of iOS support an automatic recovery process that allow you to restore deleted pictures, directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The photo recovery feature is fairly forgiving, giving you a reasonable timeline where restoring a lost picture is possible.
Recovering Deleted Photos in iOS
The photo recovery feature works to undelete any picture or video on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 or newer, assuming it hasn’t been permanently deleted already or expired. Here’s what you’ll want to do to restore one or many of your deleted pics:
- Open the Photos app as usual, and choose the “Albums” view
- Scroll through the list of albums and select “Recently Deleted”
- This album shows all photos and videos that are possible to recover, each picture thumbnail includes a day number on it indicating for how long that particular photo can be recovered – you can recover either a single photo or video, or multiple photos and videos:
- Recover a single deleted photo / video: choose the picture to view it as normal, then tap on the “Recover” button and confirm the recovery – this moves the photo from deleted and restores it to your normal albums and Camera Roll
- Recover multiple deleted pictures / videos: choose the “Select” button and tap on all of the photos and/or videos to recover, then choose “Recover” to undelete that media
- Return back to the normal “Albums” or “Photos” view in the Photos app to find your undeleted pictures and videos as usual
The latter multiple recovery option is great if you or someone else inadvertently removed large amounts of pictures, deleted a few, or even many like what is possible through the bulk delete photos by date trick.
I Accidentally Deleted a Photo / Video from My iPhone, Can This Help Me?
Yes, almost certainly! That’s the whole point of this easy photo and video recovery feature really, but know that your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch must be running iOS 8 or newer for this feature to exist on your device. That means any new phone or purchase will have the feature, but older ones may not. So if you or a loved one accidentally deletes an important picture or even 100 of them, you can recover them easily and without hassle.
Up until newer versions of iOS introduced this built-in simple recovery feature, the only other option was to perform use backups to recover photos made through iTunes by extraction or restoration through iTunes or iCloud. While that is still possible, the built-in Recovery feature should make it considerably less necessary.
There are a few exceptions to the recover feature working, with the most obvious being that if a picture was permanently deleted through the “Recently Deleted” album, a picture or video extended beyond the recovery period (typically 30 days), or if the iPhone or iPad has no available storage space left.