How to Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone or iPad Easy Way

What do you do when you lose a ton of data – notably, photos – from your iPhone? That’s right, you run back to iTunes to cling to that dear old backup that you hope has some of the photos that you so badly want back.

Recovering deleted photos from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is not an easy task. Actually, it’s possible only if you’re very lucky. Still, there’s no other way out but to try various methods. Let’s take a look at all the possible ways in which you can try recovering deleted photos from your iPhone or iTunes.

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1: Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone and iPad Using iTunes

If you sync your iPhone with iTunes every once in a while, there’s a strong chance that the last backup that iTunes took of your iPhone has those special photos that you want back. In case you regularly backup your iPhone with iTunes, you probably have the photos.

You can try restoring from the latest backup to get the photos back. To do this:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the computer

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Step 2: Open iTunes

Step 3: In iTunes 11, enable the sidebar through View -> Show Sidebar

Step 4: Right-click on your device and press ‘Restore from backup…’

Recover Deleted iPhone Photos using iTunes

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Step 5: Choose the latest backup and proceed.

By the time the restore is done, your Camera Roll might mostly have the photos you’re looking for. But there are things you should note:

  • If in case you clicked a lot of photos after the last backup (and it is these photos that got deleted), there’s no way you are going to see these photos in the iTunes backup.
  • If you’re restoring your device, note that the contacts, mail and other stuff that iTunes syncs/manages for you on your iPhone will also get restored to the version of the backup. Make sure you’ve synced your device and backed up other data.

2: Recover Deleted Photos from Photo Stream / iCloud

Photo Stream got a shot in the arm with iOS 5 and 6. Quite a lot of configurable options make Photo Stream a viable option for a backup besides a good place to share your photos. If you had enabled Photo stream, every one of the pictures you clicked are sent to your iCloud photo stream. The photo stream serves as an online repository where most of your photos exist (not intended as a backup, but can be used as one).

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If you’ve got Photo Stream enabled in iCloud (on your iOS device: Settings -> iCloud -> Photos  -> Switch ON ‘My Photo Stream’), may be the photos you are looking for are already there.

On your iPhone or iPad:
Step 1: Open the Photos app

Step 2: From the menu on the bottom, tap on ‘Albums’

Step 3: Choose the ‘My Photo Stream’ album

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Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone

Step 4: Check to see if your photos are in this album.

3: Third-party Software

Using a third-party software can be costly but that’s the only option left in case everything else fails.

These softwares basically follow a simple pattern:

  • You put your iPhone in DFU mode and connect it to the computer
  • Open the software, which recognizes your device and then goes into the file system
  • Deleted photos are often deep within the file system and will be overwritten after sometime. In case you are looking for deleted photos soon after they were deleted, chances of finding them through the third-party software are high.

Popular softwares:

It all boils down to doing regular backups. Weekly backups are the norm but you can do it more often too. Here are some tips:

  • Backup your iPhone in iTunes weekly once. If you click photos a lot, increase the backup frequency.
  • Make use of iCloud. Enable Photo Stream and make sure photos you click are on Photo Stream so you can recover in case you lose them from your Camera Roll.
Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.


  1. When you use ‘Restore from backup…’, your new photographs and new text messages, and so on, then there is no backup file will again be deleted. Before using, you should do something about it.

  2. If you have no backup of your phone then there is no way for you to recover the deleted photos, sorry it’s gone.

    • But I read some of the data recovery program claims that they could restore lost or deleted files directly from your device like Dr. Fone. Is it true?

      Recently I tried Myjad iTunes Backup Extractor, but this also need to have an iTunes backup.

      Is there any program which can surely recover deleted photos directly from iPhone?

  3. I used iStonsoft iPhone/iPad/iPod data recovery program to restore my lost messages, contats, it really works!

  4. Since the iPhone 4S, recovering deleted photos on the iPhone has become virtually impossible. So we need some apps to help. Myjad iTunes Photo Extractor could work well(I have not tried it yet)

  5. Oh, I used Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery and all my lost photos are back like a dream! Hope you unfortunate guys who suffer iPhone photos loss can also recover lost pictures. We cannot bear the loss of precious pictures, and great memory.

  6. actually that didn’t work for me not at all,But I use ifonebox and it was stunning,my photos are back now.

  7. What if you have a situation where Restore did not work. I do. The ipad mini says it is disabled, connect to itunes. When connected, it says that it is locked! I have tried using Recovery/Restore but after it completed, the ipad mini still malfunctions. It does not allow you to start the device. The slide image keeps dancing around the screen. The opening page keeps changing in size and the keyboard types on its own! What can be done to fix this????????


  8. I was able to retrieve deleted pictures without icloud or restore back up! I went to the Photo app(not the camera) and then clicked on albums. I was surprised to see an album labeled deleted photos. I was able to retrieve the deleted files with no problem. There is a date on each deleted file to let you know how many days you have left until it is gone forever. I did not have the pictures iclouded.

  9. MobiKin Doctor for iOS is also a professional and popular iPhone data recovery tool on the market. It offers you two modes to get back your data.


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