How to recover deleted Android files

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How to recover deleted Android files

We all know the pain of accidentally deleting a file from our phone. You realize what you’ve done late! Maybe it was a picture of a happy memory that you can’t relive now. Maybe it was an important document you needed to work. Either way, losing or deleting a file on your phone is bad, but it’s part of life in the digital age. That’s where our tutorial on how to recover deleted Android files comes into play. There may still be a way to recover that file. Depending on the nature of the file, how you deleted it and how lucky or unlucky you are depending on how successful the recovery was; there are some methods to recover deleted Android files.

How to recover deleted Android files

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that the important file you want to recover has recently been deleted. I hope that after deleting the file you have immediately stopped, because before you do anything else with your phone you need to read this section! The most important thing to do when you need to recover deleted Android files is to stop using your phone right away. Doing so increases the chances of recovering your file, video, photo, song, etc. Everything. See, when you delete a file, the data isn’t actually permanently erased from your phone. This happens because Android marks the space where information is stored as “empty”.

This means that you will not be able to find the file, because Android treats this data as missing. This also means that the slots that once contained the data are marked as ready for overwriting, this should be the space where the new files will be saved. It is only when this happens that the data is actually erased and cannot be recovered. That’s why it’s so important to stop using your phone (including) taking new photos or installing new apps. In fact, I highly recommend that you put your phone in airplane mode – this will prevent the device from downloading emails, WhatsApp photos and updates.

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1. Check the recycle bin. If you’re lucky and haven’t deleted the files, just like a PC, many Android apps have a recycle bin, which means the files aren’t deleted right away. For example, the Gallery app that comes with Samsung phones has a safety net (this explains why deleting photos doesn’t free up space on your device!) To check the trash, you’ll just have to go back to the top level in the Pictures or Albums tab, then tap the menu at the top right. This will open a menu that includes a “Trash” option. Select it and you will be taken to a folder with all your “deleted photos”. Other apps have the option for Android deleted file recovery, such as the popular ES File Explorer file manager. Whatever app you used to delete files, check carefully to see if it has a recycle bin!

2. Check the cloud backup. Google Photos comes with a trash can that stores photos for 60 days, but it works a little differently: backing up your photos to Google Drive. This means that even if you’ve completely deleted a photo via another app, it may still be recoverable via Google Photos. If you don’t see your photo or video in this folder, check the trash can from the hamburger menu on the top left. The files will stay here for 60 days. If you haven’t had any luck, you can try visiting photos.google.com. Also check the Trash folder in the hamburger menu. Even if you’ve removed your photos from the trash in Google Photos, there’s still a chance that these changes haven’t been done in Google Drive yet – so check here too quickly! Something you may not know about Google Drive is that you can actually ask to backup any folder on your device. Just open Photos, go to settings, then select “Backup Device Folders”. This is a useful preventative measure to avoid Android data loss in the future. Of course, many other apps like Gmail will store your files in the cloud by default.

3. How to recover deleted photos from Whatsapp. If it is a WhatsApp photo that you deleted by mistake, there are a number of options to try to recover deleted photos from Whatsapp. First, check out the built-in backup in WhatsApp itself. Go up Settings> Chat> Chat Backup. You should see some information telling you when the last backup was made. If this is recent, uninstall the app and reinstall it from the Play Store. This then offers you the option to restore Whatsapp backups. You’ll also see the option to back up photos to Google Drive, so try searching here too if this option is enabled. But what if you accidentally overwrite your latest backup? What happens if I delete the photo and save a recent backup photo? Even then, there is still hope! This is because WhatsApp will actually keep a number of backup files on your device asking you which photos you want to recover from the server.

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Use the file browser of your choice and then or are WhatsApp> Database. Here you will see a number of files with names like msgstore-2020-01-05.crypt12. Simply find the newest of these and rename it to msgstore-1997.crypt12 (or whatever you like). Now WhatsApp will go to the second most recent backup file to recover deleted photos from Whatsapp! You can also try searching the WhatsApp media folder to see if your photos are there. Remember, WhatsApp stores copies of the photos you send and the photos you receive. So, if you’ve sent someone a photo but then deleted it from your phone’s camera folder, there may still be a copy in the WhatsApp Media folder! Or you could just ask the person you sent it to to send it to you. Have you tried it yet?

4. Try the Android file recovery apps. If none of these steps helped you with Android deleted file recovery, then you will need to start trying third party solutions. Android data recovery apps are sometimes able to recover data that has actually been lost. It works by scanning where the data was stored even when it was marked as deleted from Android. This is where it becomes important to stop using your phone as soon as possible to avoid corrupting the data you are trying to recover. To recover deleted files from Android, you can also try using a desktop computer recovery app first. We recommend Recuva as a good starting point. Install this app and the wizard will guide you through a series of steps to try to recover deleted Android files. This Android deleted data recovery app works better for files stored on memory cards than files stored in phone memory. Try others android app to recover deleted files.

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6. Restore the file. From time to time, you may recover a file, only to find that it is corrupt. For example, you might save a photo and only be able to view the first few lines of the image, or you might recover a video that doesn’t play. In this case, there are actually services that offer recovery of the damaged files. This may be possible depending on how much of the original file is still intact (just a small deviation will make it unreadable by most apps, and this can sometimes be fixed manually). There are also programs that offer this same service, but I recommend that you only work with services managed by real human beings. Otherwise, you risk spending a lot of money on software that ultimately doesn’t work. I once successfully used a service called MP4Repair.org.


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