How to Recover Deleted Images From Phone Memory

by Ty Arthur

Your cell phone can be a useful tool for quickly taking snapshots of friends and family. If you've accidentally deleted an important photo, you don't need to lose that memory forever, as it is a relatively simple process to recover lost data. When you delete a file from your phone's memory it isn't actually deleted. You can use a file recovery utility to scan through your phone's memory and recover the lost image file.

Step 1

Use one of the Resources links to access a data recovery program such as Recover My Files or Data Doctor Recovery. Download the program and follow the on-screen installation instructions.

Step 2

Remove the cell phone's memory card. Insert the card into the corresponding port on your computer's built-in memory cards reader.

Step 3

Acquire an external card reader if your computer doesn't have a built-in unit. Attach the card reader to a USB port and then insert the memory card into the reader.

Step 4

Open the data recovery program. Choose the option labeled "Complete Recovery" or something similar. Click "Next."

Step 5

Click the check box that corresponds to the memory card connected to your computer. Click "Next."

Step 6

Scroll through the list of file types that the program can recover. Click the check box labeled "Images" or "Graphics." Select "Next."

Step 7

Click "Start" and wait for the program to search for deleted image files on the phone's memory card. Check through the list of detected files and find the one you want to recover.

Click the file and then choose "Save." Choose the location on your computer's hard drive or on the phone's memory card where you want the recovered file to be saved. Repeat the process with any additional image files you want to recover.


  • Stop taking new pictures or deleting old images from your phone before you attempt to retrieve your lost data. As you change the data in your phone's memory card it overwrites old memory locations. If you overwrite the area that contained the missing photos, they will be lost forever.


  • If your phone saves its images directly to an internal memory instead of to a memory card, you can still retrieve the images. Simply connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable and then follow the same steps.
  • External memory card readers can be acquired through online computer parts retailers or through some electronics and office supply stores.
  • The steps for recovering your lost image files may not be identical for every recovery utility. Check the program's help files if you are using a different program and the options are not the same.


About the Author

Ty Arthur has been writing technical and entertainment-related articles for a variety of online sources since 2008. His articles have appeared on and many other websites. Arthur attended the Great Falls College of Technology and studied both computer science and creative writing.

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