4 ways to recover deleted photos in Windows 10/8/7

If you deleted a photo and realize you need to get it back, what will you do? In this article, we will introduce you 4 ways to recover deleted photos in Windows 10/8/7. The best solution is to download this free deleted photo recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery.

By Katrina | Posted to Data Recovery Tips, updated on June 17th, 2019 |

Our life happens in a flash, but memories are forever. Thanks to the coming of digital life, we can take a picture of the moments that are unique for us, such as the ceremonies of birth and birthdays, marriages and anniversaries, holidays and so on. Photos can connect us to our past, remind us of people, places, feelings, and stories. In a word, photos play an important role for everyone, especially for some full-time photographers.

However, accidental deletion happens to all of us and can be a great blow. Deleted photos by mistake and wonder how to recover recently deleted photos from SD cards? You are at the right place. Go ahead!

Table of contents
1. How did you delete photos in Windows 10?
2. Can I recover recently or permanently deleted photos in Windows 10?
3. How to recover deleted photos from Windows 10 computer?
4. Best free photo recovery software
5. Bonus: How to recover deleted photos on Android?
6. Conclusion

Accidentally deleted photos from SD card in Windows 10, help!

Picture this scene. You traveled to Sri Lanka island with your families or friends and captured hundreds of pictures. One day, when you checked how much space left on your Canon Rebel T6, you found it almost full. In order to free up space, you removed the SD card and plugged it in your Windows 10 computer to deleted some files.

"Delete. Delete. Sh*t. No, I didn't mean to delete that last one!" That's it! After you deleted a folder which you considered as useless, then you immediately realized that it contained important photos you took on that vacation.

Unfortunately, it happened so suddenly before you can upload those photos on social media or back up them on an external storage device. Such a heart-stopping moment! All these lost photos include memories of your past good days and deceased friends. These files are unique and never be recreated again.

"Can I recover deleted photos?", "How do I retrieve deleted photos?" you may ask.

Well, no matter how you delete your photos, there is a great chance to restore files easily and many ways to get them back. These methods will depend on how you deleted them and which device you deleted them from. We have summarized some methods to recover deleted files in this article.

Recover deleted photos in Windows 10

How did you delete photos in Windows 10?

Accidental deletion happens every second in Windows 10/8/7, but users will do it in a number of ways:

  1. The simplest way to delete a photo is to right-click its name or icon and choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu. If you have done this before, the good news is that files deleted in this way have not been permanently removed from your SD card or computer. Just like the recycle bin in your kitchen, the stuff you toss in your computer's Recycle Bin doesn't disappear immediately. You can still easily undelete/restore those photos within a few clicks.
  2. If you deleted a photo in a hurry, you may select it and press the "Delete" key directly. Dragging and dropping a file or folder to the Recycle Bin does the same thing. In this way, you can still find deleted photos in the Recycle Bin.
  3. If you use the advanced technology to delete a photo by pressing "Shift + Delete" combination, the file will be directly deleted bypassing the Recycle Bin. That is to say, it's impossible to undelete files just by using a Windows system. So when you use this shortcut, please make sure you are deleting the right content.
  4. After moving photos to the Recycle Bin, you select a deleted photo in the Recycle Bin and hit "Delete" on your keyboard. Or you right-click the icon of the Recycle Bin and then tap "Empty Recycle Bin". That way you have to get rid of all your deleted items permanently. Keep in mind that you can't undo this action but assume what you want to delete.
  5. Virus infection can delete or corrupt files on your computer. According to statistics, more than half of the computer users have the experience of being attacked by virus and malware. Some high-risk viruses, such as Wannacry virus, will slow down your system performance and delete all your important files, or make data inaccessible or hidden. To avoid virus attack, please don't click on links on malicious sites in email messages or messages in social networks. Don't insert an infected USB flash drive in your computer.

Can I recover recently or permanently deleted photos in Windows 10?

When you delete a file from hard drive, you might think it is gone forever. However, even if you delete it from the Recycle Bin, there is still an opportunity to recover them successfully. What happens to deleted files? And why can you recover some of them?

Firstly, you should understand the Windows file deletion. When you store a file, Windows will keep a record of where the file's data begins and ends on a hard drive through a pointer. When you delete the file, Windows only removes the pointer and mark the file as "deleted", nothing else. The deleted file is no longer presented on your hard drive. Meanwhile, the sector occupied with the contents of the deleted file is now available for use. But the actual data is still there until the disk blocks it used are eventually taken up by other files.

Although the chance of successful data recovery is very high, it cannot guarantee that you can retrieve all your accidentally deleted files. Here are some cases you should take into account before recovering deleted files:

  • The final result of data recovery depends on the remainder of the data which is not overwritten yet. If the deleted files have been partially overwritten, they can be partially recovered. If these files have been overwritten entirely, neither can a professional data recovery program nor a data recovery service company recover them at all. So, once you delete a file from a hard disk, you should stop using the drive as soon as possible, such as saving any new files and editing an existing file. In that way, you can protect the deleted files from overwriting.
  • If you deleted photos on the disk's system partition (for example, on the desktop or the C drive), you should shut down the system as soon as possible. Then you can perform deleted file recovery in WinPE environment. Alternatively, connect the hard disk to another computer for data recovery.
  • It's impossible to recover lost data from an SSD with TRIM enabled. TRIM is an excellent and necessary feature to speed up data writing. But this feature also causes some disasters. When you delete any data from a TRIM-enabled SSD, the drive will clear all the sectors immediately and permanently. Unfortunately, the new generations of SSDs commonly comes with TRIM feature enabled. As a result, the chances for SSD data recovery is out of the question.
  • Use a professional data recovery tool right now. The safest way is to recover deleted photos with a reliable data recovery tool. Those data recovery tools are designed for different data loss scenarios. They always recover your data in the read-only mode, eliminating the chance of data corruptions.

So you've accidentally deleted a precious photo or a whole album of photos in Windows 10. But it doesn't mean they will go forever and you still have different methods to get back deleted photos. Let's get started.

How to recover deleted photos from Windows 10 computer?

Windows has some built-in features which can help to restore deleted photos. The following are some effective tricks to recover deleted files without software:

First of all, you can look through the infographic:

Recover deleted photos in Windows 10 infographic

Method 1: Restore deleted photos from Recycle Bin in Windows 10

By default, if you select some files and press the Delete key, Windows will temporarily store them in the Recycle Bin. These files aren't permanently deleted from your hard disk, they are just moved to a different place. You are allowed to restore them from the Recycle Bin. But this method works only when you have not emptied the Recycle Bin or not using "Shift + Delete" keys in Windows 10. Follow the guidance below:

  1. Step 1: To recover deleted photos in Windows 10 from the Recycle Bin, you need to open the Recycle Bin on your computer by double-clicking its desktop icon, or right-click on it and select "Open" from the context menu.
  2. Step 2: Find the photos you have deleted. For the convenience in searching and selecting the files you need, you can sort them by various filters: Name, Date Deleted, Original Location, Size, Item Type, etc.
  3. Step 3: Right-click on the selected photos and choose "Restore" in the context menu. Or click on Restore the selected items button which you can find in the Recycle Bin tools tab. All selected photos will be recovered and placed to their original locations where they were stored before.

Recover deleted photos from Recycle Bin

Note: If you simply deleted photos without emptying the Recycle Bin, but you didn't see your deleted photos in the Recycle Bin. This is because:

1. You deleted photos from SD cards, external drives, such as external hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc. Those photos will get deleted outright, skipping the Recycle Bin.

2. If you have turned on "Delete files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days" under "Settings", then you moved photos to the Recycle Bin more than 30 days ago. Those photos will be automatically removed permanently from your computer.

Method 2: Recover permanently deleted photos from File History backups

Can't find the deleted files you want in the Recycle Bin? You are able to restore them by using the File History feature if you created before. Here is how to get deleted data back:

  1. Step 1: Open the "Control Panel" and click "File History".
  2. Step 2: In this window, click on the "Restore personal files" option in the left menu..
  3. Step 3: In the "File History", you can view your files according to the backup time. Select the file you accidentally deleted, then right-click the green button and select "Save as" to recover deleted files Windows 10.

Recover deleted photos from a File History backup

Method 3: Recover deleted photos from Previous Versions

Another way to recover deleted photos in Windows 10 is by using Previous Versions, which are also called shadow copies. Previous Versions are copies of your files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point. The following steps will help you to recover deleted photos using this method:

  1. Step 1: Open the File Explorer and find the file containing deleted photos.
  2. Step 2: Right-click on the folder and select "Restore previous versions" in the context menu.
  3. Step 3: Now the list of files that you can restore will be listed. You can preview the file before restoring to.
  4. Restore previous versions
  5. Step 3: Choose the version you would like to restore and click "Restore".

Best free photo recovery software

If you don't back up files with File History or find deleted photos in Previous Versions, then a bunch of photo recovery software can help you recover deleted files.

It' highly recommended to use iBoysoft Data Recovery, the best free deleted file recovery software. It can help you restore photos deleted from hard disks, external hard drives, memory cards, USB flash drives, etc. No matter how photos have been deleted by the Shift + Delete key or virus infection, they can be recovered quickly and efficiently. No matter what you have deleted, such as photos, word documents, emails, videos, music files, this powerful program allows you to restore them within a few clicks.

Best free SD card data recovery

  • Recover deleted photos and videos from SD card which used in Androids, iPhones, and digital cameras.
  • Recover deleted photos due to accidental deletion, mistaken formatting, virus attack, and system crash.
  • Supported image formats: JPG, PNG, Exif, TIFF, GIF, BMP, PPM, PGM, WebP, SVG, etc.
  • Support OS: Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.

Read-only & risk-free

Besides deleted photos recovery, iBoysoft Data Recovery work perfectly in formatted drive data recovery, RAW partition data recovery, corrupted drive data recovery, formatted drive data recovery and more. Even when your PC won't boot, it can get lost data back. It is compatible with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.

Video tutorial: How to recover deleted photos in Windows 10?

Simple steps to recover deleted photos with iBoysoft Data Recovery:

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer. Please don't download the software on the partition that contains your deleted photos.

Step 2: Double-click the icon of iBoysoft Data Recovery to launch it and choose the drive where you deleted your photos.

Recover deleted photos with iBoysoft Data Recovery

After choosing the hard disk, iBoysoft Data Recovery will start searching for all deleted or lost photos. You will see a progress bar with the elapsed time and the remaining time. You can stop progress whenever you want to.

Recover deleted photos with iBoysoft Data Recovery

Step 3: Preview the scanning results, choose the photos you want to get back and then click the "Recover" button.

You are able to select to show deleted files at the bottom left and filter the scanning results by file name, file size, created time. Moreover, the program allows you to preview the recoverable files by double-clicking them.

Recover deleted photos with iBoysoft Data Recovery

Tip: If you don't find the deleted files, please go back to the home interface. Select the drive and make sure the Deep scan button at the left bottom is ticked. Then click the "Next" button and try again.

Step 4: After that, have a check to ensure you have recovered all lost data.

Bonus: How to recover deleted photos on Android?

Deleted photos from your Android phone and want it back? Don't panic! There are a few ways you can try to recover deleted photos on Android.

1. Recover deleted photos from the Cloud

Many photos apps and Cloud services you can use to automatically back up your photos in the background. If you have enabled such kind of backup service, chances are that you can restore them. Here are how to restore deleted photos from there most popular cloud services - Google Photos, Dropbox, One Drive.

How to recover deleted photos from Google Photos?

If you've installed Google Photos on your phone, any photo you delete on your Android's gallery app will stay in Trash for 60 days. To retrieve those deleted pictures from Google Photos, you need to open the Google Photos app, tap Menu and select "Trash" or "Bin" at the top left. Touch the photo you want to recover and tap "Restore" at the bottom.

How to recover deleted photos from Dropbox?

On Dropbox, deleted files remain available for 30 days. To restore deleted photos from Dropbox, you need to find a computer. Use a web browser to log into your Dropbox account. Click the "Files" menu and then choose "Deleted files". Locate the photos you want to restore and click on the Restore button.

How to recover deleted photos from OneDrive?

For Microsoft's OneDrive, it will keep deleted files up to 30 days. To recover deleted photos from OneDrive, open the app and go to "Me > Recycle Bin". Select your photos and tap the Restore icon.

2. Recover deleted photos from your phone's SD card

If your phone has a micro SD card, iBoysoft Data Recovery can also help you recover deleted photos from Android. What you should do is to plug the SD card out of the Android phone and connect your card to a desktop computer. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery and then follow the tutorial above.

While if your phone doesn't have a micro SD card, you can't use iBoysoft to scan your phone for deleted photos. Beacase Android doesn’t use the old USB Mass Storage protocol anymore. In this case, you can only rely on some other data recovery applications, such as DiskDigger.


No matter how reliable data storage devices you use, data loss problems can happen at any time due to wrong user actions, malware effects, power failure, etc. Fortunately, some modern tools enable users to get their data back. With iBoysoft Data Recovery, you won't be bothered about how to recover deleted photos in Windows 10 anymore. In addition, it also supports data recovery from formatted, corrupted, RAW, inaccessible disks.

If you have any questions or wishes, contact us via email below this article and we will answer them for sure.