Recover deleted files from your smartphone Android

Recover deleted files from your smartphone Android 1 2
Recover deleted files from your smartphone Android 1 2

Dernière mise à jour: 16 mai 2024

Have you ever felt that little rush of panic after deleting a file by mistake on your Android ? A precious photo, a memorable video, perhaps an essential document?

Rest assured, there is a glimmer of hope. Even without prior cloud backup, some simple tools and techniques can help you find your lost files on Android.

Here we present to you one of the simplest and quickest methods to recover your lost data from Android.

Stop using your phone and put it in Airplane mode

Have you deleted an important file from your Android ? Act quickly and follow these essential steps:

  • Put your phone in Airplane mode : This preventative action limits any activity that could overwrite your lost data.
  • Understand how deletion works : Contrary to what one might think, deleting a file does not instantly remove it from your device's memory. Android just indicates the space it occupied as “free”. So although the file appears to be missing, it is still there until new data replaces it.
  • Minimize actions on your phone : Each new action, whether taking a photo or downloading an email, risks overwriting previously deleted data. It is therefore crucial to avoid using your device.
  • Avoid adding new files : To maximize your chances of recovering your data, avoid saving new information.

Check your trash Android first of all

Maybe you haven't really deleted those much-desired files. Like a computer, many applications Android include a trash can. This means your files might just be tossed aside, not permanently erased.

For example, the pre-installed Gallery apps on Samsung and Xiaomi phones provide this layer of security.

This is why sometimes deleting photos doesn't seem to free up space immediately.

How to consult the trash?

Head to the main Pictures or Albums tab. Then click on the menu located at the top right. An option Basket should be there. By selecting it, you will access a directory where the recently deleted items are located.

Restore deleted photos or videos from Recycle Bin
Restore deleted photos or videos from Recycle Bin via @Samsung

Don't forget: other applications, including popular file managers, also have a trash function. So make sure to check every app you might have used during removal.

Google's cloud: a second chance to recover your files

After checking your device's trash, let's take a look at which Google services might be the right recovery solution.

Google Photos, well known for its convenient snapshot management, has a trash can that keeps your photos and videos for 60 days.

The trick? Even if you deleted a photo using another app, because it syncs with Google Drive, a copy may still be accessible on Google Photos.

If your first search within the application turns up nothing, don't forget to explore the trash.

Explore from a browser

No trace of your file in the Google Photos application? Try a new search directly online, by going to

Also consider exploring the “ Basket » from the site menu.

Interaction with Google Drive

It is important to note that sometimes, even after emptying the Google Photos Trash, Google Drive can still keep a copy. Indeed, certain synchronization offsets can work in your favor. So don't forget to check Google Drive at the same time.

Opt for an application to find your lost files

On the Google Play Store, there are many applications that promise to find your files. But be careful, not all of them are good! Some ask for money and don't really do the job.

However, it is possible to find deleted photos or files. We tried several apps to see which ones really work. To test, we took a “test” photo, then deleted it in different ways:

  • From the Gallery
  • By completely deleting it from the Gallery
  • By deleting with the “Trash” function turned off

After all these tests, an application worked really well: Dumpster: Photo/Video Recovery. She managed to find our photo.

dumpster is an application Android with a rather nice interface and allows users to recover deleted files from internal memory.

How to use dumpster to recover your files?

  • First of all, download and install Dumpster from the Google Play Store.
  • When you first start it, Dumpster will ask you for permission to access your photos and other content. Click on To allow to continue.
  • Once launched, the app will start searching your device. It will then present you with a list of files it found.
  • You will see your files sorted into three groups: images, videos and audios.
  • Select the files you want to restore. You can choose one by one or select everything with the Select all option. Once you have made your choice, click on “ Restore"

And there you have it, your files are back!

Files deleted from an SD memory card

In this case, you will only need a computer, and data recovery software such as Recuva.

You put the SD card in a reader and launch the software... After a quick scan on the SD memory card, you will see the missing files and you can recover them. If you are unable to use this software, here is a tutorial that explains step by step how to use Recuva.


You can also install an alternative software to Recuva: this one is called 7-Data Recovery, and it works pretty much the same as the one shown above.

In conclusion: Your files are never really lost

Losing files, photos or videos can be frustrating and sometimes even upsetting, especially when it involves irreplaceable memories.

Fortunately, with current technological developments, there are reliable and accessible solutions to try to find what seemed lost forever.

Whether it's simple checks like your device's trash, the magic of Google's cloud, or the efficiency of apps like Dumpster, the chances of finding your precious files are numerous. The important thing is to react quickly and follow the appropriate steps.