How to Recover Overwritten Photos

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

It happens to everybody at least once, you accidentally delete a prized photo or file. And now there is the possibility that it has been overwritten. Now there is very little possibility of recovering a file or photo that has been completely overwritten, there is still hope for those that have been only partially overwritten. These solutions will work for files and photos that have not been overwritten as well.

Find a file recovery program. (There are several free ones available at "Pandora Recovery" is a good one to use. If you are able to, download the program file to the second hard drive or flash drive.

Install the recovery program, make sure to follow the prompts the installer gives you, again if possible try to install somewhere other than where the deleted file(s) are located.

Next, run the recovery program, making sure to follow the program's instructions.

Once you have located the deleted file or photo, have the program attempt to recover it. Again, if the program allows you to, direct the program to write the recovered file to some place other than the drive the deleted file(s) are located on.


There are many different file recovery programs available. Each one has its strengths and it weaknesses. You may have to try more than one to find one that works for you needs. To help avoid lost of valuable and important files, always make sure to backup the files. If you do not have an external device onto which you can backup your files to, you can always email the files to yourself. This works great if you have an email account with large storage capacity such as Gmail.


The advice given here is primary for computers running Microsoft Windows. And although there are ways to recover files from computers using other operating systems, there is no guarantee that these instructions will work.

Items you will need

  • File Recovery Program

  • Second hard drive or some form of memory [Example: flash drive] (if possible, additional hard drive will give you a place to install program without risk of overwriting files).