Recovering Deleted Photos from iCloud Photos

The sinking feeling of accidentally deleting cherished photos is all too familiar. But fear not, iCloud Photos offers a lifeline! This comprehensive guide delves into various methods for recovering deleted photos from your iCloud backup, exploring Recently Deleted, and even tackling seemingly lost photos. Breathe easy and reclaim your memories with these effective strategies.

iCloud Photos: Your Cloud Photo Sanctuary

iCloud Photos, a built-in Apple service, automatically uploads your iPhone and iPad photos to iCloud storage. This not only frees up device space but also serves as a valuable backup solution for accidental deletions, device loss, or software glitches. However, navigating the recovery process can be confusing. Worry not, this guide equips you with the knowledge to bring your lost photos back.

The Recently Deleted Folder: A 30-Day Purgatory for Photos

Most often, deleted photos aren’t truly gone. They reside in a temporary haven – the Recently Deleted folder within iCloud Photos. Here’s how to retrieve them:

On Your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap on the Albums tab.
  3. Scroll down and locate the Recently Deleted album.
  4. Select the photos you wish to recover.
  5. Tap Recover in the bottom right corner.

The chosen photos will return to their original locations within your Photos library. Important Note: Photos in Recently Deleted are only stored for 30 days before permanent deletion. Act swiftly for a successful recovery!

Recovering from iCloud Backup: A Complete Reset Option

If your photos were deleted more than 30 days ago, iCloud backups might be your savior. However, restoring from a backup entails resetting your entire device to a previous state. Here’s how to proceed (ensure you back up any crucial data before initiating this process):

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.
  4. Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.
  6. During the setup process, select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  7. Choose the most relevant backup containing the photos you wish to recover.

Remember, this restores your entire device to the state it was in when the backup was created. This might overwrite any data or app updates made since then.

Venturing Backups: Advanced Recovery Solutions

Sometimes, photos might not be present in Recently Deleted or iCloud Backups. There are still some options to explore, though success rates can vary:

Third-Party Data Recovery Software: Data recovery software can scan your device’s storage for deleted photos. These tools offer varying degrees of effectiveness and might require a fee. Proceed with caution and research software vendors before using them.

Contact Apple Support: In rare cases, Apple Support might be able to assist with data recovery, especially if a technical issue caused the photo loss. However, their ability to recover data isn’t guaranteed.

Proactive Measures: Fortifying Your iCloud Photos Recovery Chances

Here are some proactive steps to increase your chances of successfully recovering photos in the future:

  • Enable iCloud Photos: Ensure iCloud Photos is turned on in your device settings. This ensures automatic backups to the cloud.
  • Manage Storage Effectively: Regularly check your iCloud storage and upgrade your plan if needed. A full iCloud storage might hinder photo backups.
  • Maintain Multiple Backups: Consider using a combination of iCloud backups and alternative storage solutions like external hard drives for added security.


By understanding iCloud Photos functionalities and implementing the recovery methods outlined above, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing there’s a strong chance of retrieving your lost photos. Remember, proactive measures like enabling iCloud Photos and managing storage effectively go a long way in preventing data loss in the first place. So, capture those precious moments with confidence, knowing iCloud Photos acts as your digital guardian, ensuring your memories are always within reach.


1. What if I never enabled iCloud Photos?

Unfortunately, recovering photos becomes significantly more challenging if iCloud Photos isn’t enabled. Data recovery software might be an option, but success isn’t guaranteed. These tools can be expensive and may not be reliable.

2. Is there a way to preview photos in the Recently Deleted folder before recovering them?

No, Apple doesn’t currently offer a preview option within the Recently Deleted folder. You’ll have to recover the photos to see them again. This can be inconvenient if you’re unsure which photos you want to recover.

3. How can I ensure I don’t lose my photos in the future?

  • Enable iCloud Photos and keep it turned on. This ensures automatic backups to the cloud.
  • Manage your iCloud storage. Regularly check your storage usage and upgrade your plan if needed to avoid backups being stopped due to lack of space.
  • Consider using a combination of backups. Utilize iCloud backups along with alternative storage solutions like external hard drives for added security. This creates a safety net in case of issues with iCloud.

4. Are there any risks associated with restoring from an iCloud backup?

Yes, restoring from an iCloud backup resets your entire device to a previous state. This means any data or app updates made since the backup was created will be overwritten. It’s crucial to back up any important data you don’t want to lose before initiating a restore.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button