How to Recover Deleted Files on Android

Many users inadvertently delete important contacts, photos, applications or other data from their phone. In most cases, deleted information can be recovered using built-in tools or third-party applications.

Using standard recovery tools
You can recover lost information using built-in backup functions, as well as cloud storage.

Android backup
Almost all the latest Android smartphones have a backup function. This method is relevant only if you have already created backups before. The function works in a similar way to restore points in Windows – it rolls back the state of the data to the moment when the backup was made.

You can create a new backup through the “Backup and reset” item in the main settings of the smartphone. You must select “Local Backup” and start the copy creation process. In some phones, for example, Xiaomi, it is also possible to set up automatic creation of copies on a schedule.

6.67 “Xiaomi Mi 10T Smartphone 128 GB Black 44 999 *
Using this method, you can recover only certain data, namely:

System settings: Wi-Fi hotspots, calendar data, desktop data, directory, camera settings, gallery and so on.
All applications and data to them.

To restore, just select the desired copy and click on the “Start restoration” button. You can specify what to restore specifically and what to leave unchanged.

The main disadvantage of this method is that it does not allow recovering custom photos, videos, and other documents. But the method is great in cases where, due to a virus or a critical failure, you had to reset to factory settings.

Using a Google account
Most smartphones come with the full suite of Google apps preinstalled, which means you can take advantage of backup services.

To save your data in the cloud, you need to enable the function in the same section – “Back up and reset”. Users just need to log into their account and set “Enabled”. You should also activate the “Auto recovery” toggle switch.

The data will be automatically restored to your phone as soon as you connect to your account. This method is relevant for recovering the following information:
















contacts and text messages;
Wi-Fi networks and their passwords;
Gmail settings;
applications and their data;
language settings;
date and time.
Use the Google Photos app to back up your photos and videos. It can be downloaded for free from the Play Market. To turn on syncing, just click one button in your Google Photos account settings.

All photos deleted from the device will be automatically saved in the Google Photos basket, from where you can restore them. Google also saves photos taken by other applications, but this time directly on the site.

“Important! Files are stored in the trash for 60 days, after which they are permanently deleted! ”

This method is only relevant if Google sync was activated before you deleted an important photo, video or contact.

Using third-party applications
For Android, you can download special applications that will search for deleted photos, videos and other files. If you do not have superuser rights, then applications perform a limited search examining the available memory (usually on an SD card ) for cached versions and thumbnails.

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In order for the application to scan absolutely all free space, including system memory, and search not only for photos, it is necessary to obtain Root rights and grant them to the selected program.

DiskDigger photo recovery
Simple and handy application for finding deleted files. In limited mode, without superuser rights, it only searches for photos. It works extremely quickly and is able to find up to several thousand photos. Sorting and Selective Restore is available, specifying the source where the file was found. If you have Root rights, you can run a full scan that detects videos and documents.

The app is free and contains no ads.

Data recovery
If you need to recover not only images, but also videos, music, documents, you can download Data Recovery software . Its capabilities are quite modest and boil down to the analysis of the cache. Without the premium version, there will be a huge amount of ads in the application, and there is also a limitation on file recovery.

On the other hand, Data Recovery will be useful if you need to recover one or several recently deleted files without unnecessary complications.

All Data Recovery
The software works without Root rights and allows you to recover video, audio and photos. Fast and deep scanning is available in the program. By analogy with other software, it analyzes the cache of various applications and thumbnails, so it makes sense to install it if other programs for some reason do not work or do not find the files you need. The interface also allows you to search for duplicates and the largest files.

The main drawback is the huge amount of advertising. If you turn off the Internet, you can get rid of it, but the deep search function will not be available.

Data recovery with PC software
The most effective search for deleted files can be done using special applications for the computer, which, when connected to a smartphone via USB, scan the memory. Here, a prerequisite is obtaining Root rights on a mobile gadget.

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First, you need to enable “Developer Mode”. This is done in the “About phone” section. Click the number of times on the line “MIUI version” or “Build number” depending on the phone. After that, the corresponding item will appear in the advanced settings. In it, you must activate the “Debugging via USB” and “Install from USB” block.

Let’s take a look at file recovery using FonePaw Android Data Recovery as an example , which can be downloaded for free for Windows and MacOS. The software is in English, but the interface is as accessible as possible and does not require deep knowledge from you.

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The full version is paid, but the developers submit a demo for 30 days. After installing the program on your computer, follow the simple instructions:

Run the application and connect your phone to the computer via USB. In the pop-up message, confirm that you trust this computer and select USB mass storage mode.
As soon as the phone is recognized, you must select the Android Data Recovery item.
Next, check the boxes on the items that you want to restore.
FonePaw will ask you to install the add-on. You need to give permission on your smartphone.
The search will start in the gadget’s memory. The process for 16 GB phones takes on average 15-20 minutes, for 32-64 GB gadgets it can take up to 2-3 hours.
At the end of the search, select the desired category on the left side and check the boxes on the files that you want to recover. All that remains is to press the Recover button.

Standard search is available for all phones, but it is similar to the applications we described earlier. To scan the entire space, you need to perform a deep search (Deep Scan), which is available only with Root rights. If they are absent, you will receive a corresponding warning.

The main advantages of FonePaw include wide support for devices: Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Motorola, ZTE, Huawei, Asus and others. The software correctly reads memory from gadgets running Android versions from 2.1 to 10.0.

If the program could not detect your phone or does not work correctly, then you can take a closer look at several alternatives:

Tenorshare UltData is a functional software in Russian that supports more than 500 smartphone models. Allows you to recover files, even if the phone does not turn on the screen or there is a glitch in the OS. The developers also have a version for iOS data recovery.

dr.fone is a powerful tool for more than just data recovery. The software is capable of making backups, opening superuser rights and even removing the screen lock. Similar to the described options, you will need Root rights to scan the entire space.

Disk Drill is a professional data recovery tool for computer drives and Android smartphones. Works with AT, exFAT, NTFS, HFS + and even EXT2 / 3/4 file systems. Deep scanning requires superuser rights.

Even if you have deleted important photos, videos or documents, there is always a chance to recover them using specialized applications. To increase the chance of success, be sure to make regular backups, and if you find a “loss” immediately proceed to restore. The fewer memory overwrites performed after deletion, the higher the chances of recovering the file.