How to Recover Deleted Pictures from iPhone

Mistakenly deleting photos we care about happens more often than it should. Here’s how to recover deleted pictures from iPhone 5, 6, or older whether you backed up your data or not. These solutions will not 100% guarantee the recovery of your vacation photos, but they will do as much as it can be done to retrieve them.


How to Recover Deleted Pictures from iPhone with Backup

If your past you thought about the future you and backed up your iPhone, recovering deleting pictures will be a child’s play. Here’s how to do it:

How to Recover Deleted Pictures from iPhone with iTunes

If you automatically or manually sync your device with iTunes, you might be able to get your lost pictures back by following these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC with the USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes and give it a few seconds to recognize your device.
  3. Click on View -> Show Sidebar to get access to more options.
  4. Right click on your iPhone and choose Restore from Backup…
  5. Choose the last set of data you backed up and restore it.

Note: Please keep in mind this recovering method will revert your phone to the old settings and restore every data to the version you backed up.

How to Recover Deleted Pictures from iPhone with iCloud

If you have iPhone 5 or 6 and you enabled your Photo Stream in iCloud, you are in luck: your cloud photo stream will act as a backup for your precious pictures. Here’s how to restore them:

  1. Open the photos App.
  2. Navigate to Albums from the bottom menu.
  3. Select the My Photo Stream
  4. Look for your lost photos and move them to another folder for convenience, if you want to.


If you do not have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud but want to do so, here’s how: On your iOS device go to Settings -> iCloud -> Photos -> My Photo stream and switch it on.

How to Recover Deleted Pictures from iPhone without Backup

The only way to recover lost pictures from an iPhone that was not backed up is to install a third-party software program. Here are a few:


Pricing: $45.95 for Windows, $49.95 for Mac

No matter if you use a Mac or a Windows PC, the steps to recovering your deleted photos are the same:

  1. Download and install the software. Note that, for a one-time use, you can also download the free trial.
  2. Run the program and connect your device to your PC through the USB cable.
  3. Unlock your iPhone with your passcode (if you have one) and select Trust This Computer.
  4. Once you see your device has been recognized by your PC and the software, you can click Start.
  5. Choose a data category from the next screen. The software will analyze it automatically.
  6. Once the scan is complete, you can save all the found photos on your computer or only select some of them by clicking Restore. To make things easier, you can also select Only Display Deleted Items.

iMobie’s Phone Rescue

Price: $49.99 / personal license, $69.99 / family license

  1. Install and launch Phone Rescue on your PC.
  2. Connect your device, unlock it, and tap on Trust this Computer.
  3. When the iPhone is recognized by the system, choose the option Recover from iOS Device, then click on the Next button.
    • Note: Some devices also have the option to recover from the DFU mode. To enter the DFU mode from your iPhone, you will need to follow some extra instructions that will be listed within the software.
  4. Wait for the software to scan your iPhone, then select the Only list deleted option to make it easier to navigate through your files.
  5. Select the files you want to retrieve and click on the Recover

iMyfone’s D-Back iPhone Photo Recovery 

Pricing: $49.95 for Windows and Mac

  1. Install and open the D-Back iPhone Photo Recovery software.
  2. Connect your iPhone, unlock it and select Trust this computer.
  3. Choose the type of files you want to recover – in our case, photos – and click on Scan.
  4. The software will display all the retrieved pictures. To ease up your work, you can choose the Only show deleted files option from the drop-down menu on the top-left part of the screen.
  5. After you selected your desired pictures, click on the green Recover button on the bottom right corner of the screen.


A deeper look into your iPhone using the DFU Mode

However, keep in mind these software programs are not magical; They simply access data that is either hidden or inaccessible manually. Your photos might be kept in your iPhone’s memory for some time after you deleted them, but still take up space that will be needed sometime in the future. Therefore, if you deleted your photos a long time ago or wiped your iPhone’s memory clean recently, chances are they will not be able to help you no matter how much you pay.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.

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