How to Recover Deleted Files in Android

With smartphones becoming an ever-present part of the daily lives of billions of people around the world, one would think that most smartphone users are wise enough or have the technical knowledge to back up their data. On the contrary, studies have found otherwise. Cybersecurity and antivirus firm Kaspersky says that only 50 percent of people back up their devices. This shows that the majority of smartphone users are likely to be left with an empty bag if their phones are stolen, damaged, or infected by a virus.

If you are an Android phone user, how would you recover your data? Android data recovery can be accomplished in different ways. The following are some of the tips and tricks in recovering data on your Android smartphone, if you’re not confident in doing this, submit the device to Lost Memories for a free of charge Android Data Recovery assessment.

Guidance on how to recover deleted files from Android phones

Use Google Photos

If you have installed and used Google Photos by storing your photos, then you can recover deleted images.  Upon opening the app, look for the Trash or Bin tool then tap and hold on the image you want to restore before tapping the restore arrow.

However, there are several limitations to this hack. One, you can only recover images that were deleted in the last 60 days. Also, you can only access this tool if you have the cloud back up switched on.


Use Google Drive

You can also turn to Google Drive to recover your lost file. On a computer, sign in to your Google Drive account and then browse through the files stored on it.  If you have a new Android phone, you can retrieve your old photos by installing the Google Drive app.

Deleted files can also be recovered by opening the app menu, choosing Bin and tapping the restore icon that looks like a clock. Google keeps deleted files for a limited time, usually for months.

However, then again, you should have been using this file storage and synchronization service from Google to be able to do these things.


Recover saved games

For getting back saved games that you’ve accidentally deleted, your best port of call is the developer of the game – whether it’s a software studio or a one-man operation, there should be some kind of support option for enquiring about your options regarding recovering saves.

If the game doesn’t include any built-in recovery tool, and the likes of data recovery tools such as DiskDigger and Recuva can’t help, you might be out of luck – in the future, sign into Google Play Games (if the option’s available) to keep your saved games in the cloud and synced between devices.


Recover deleted emails

In theory, getting back deleted emails on your Android device shouldn’t be much of a problem: virtually all Android email clients will keep messages in the cloud and include some kind of ‘recycle bin’ option that enables you to restore deleted messages for a certain period.

In Gmail, for example, tap Bin from the app menu to see recently erased messages; in Outlook for Android, there’s a ‘Deleted Items’ folder that works in much the same way. Look inside your email app of choice, and you should come across a similar feature for recovering your deleted messages.


Recover deleted music on an Android device

If you’ve erased files directly from the local storage on your Android device then off the shelf data recovery tools might assist, however; using these increases the chance of permanent data loss, otherwise, check inside the app you use to manage your tunes. Of course, with streaming services all your tracks are stored in the cloud anyway.

Google’s Play Music, the default player on Android, lets you recover deleted tracks for up to 28 days, but you need to go to the web interface to do it. Meanwhile, Spotify lets you bring back deleted playlists, but again, you need to go to your account on the web.


Recover downloaded files

The ‘Downloads’ folder is one of the few places in Android where you get direct access to the file system – if you’ve erased something from here, and Android data recovery apps can’t find it, then you’re probably out of luck regarding getting it back unless it’s submitted for professional data recovery services.

If you’re using a third-party file manager you might be okay: ES File Explorer includes a recycle bin feature under the Tools menu, but not all of them do. Check the help pages that go with your file manager of choice to see if the option’s available.


Recover deleted contacts

Assuming Google is managing all of your Android contacts – and it probably is – getting deleted ones back isn’t difficult. You need to go to Google Contacts on the web, click ‘More’ and then choose ‘Restore contacts.’ This lets you roll back to a certain time point.

Otherwise, make sure you’ve not just hidden them – open up the app menu, choose ‘Contacts to display’ and you can select which of your contacts are on show, and from which apps. Pick All contacts from the list to see everyone in your digital address book.

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Prevention is better than cure

Turn on your backups

Prevention is better than cure, according to most people, so putting backups in place is the best way of ensuring you can always get deleted files from your Android device back again. Not much use if your files are already gone, admittedly, but it’s worth mentioning it for the future.

Apps such as Dumpster act as a recycle bin for your phone, for instance, but it needs to be installed before you do any erasing. Also, Android itself can back up much of your data if you go to Backup & reset in Settings, and some third-party app data is included as well.

3 + 4 =

The team did everything in its power to retrieve my data. The files had been overwritten, but they did everything possible and were so quick with the work. Highly recommended!
Jennifer Moyes

Wedding Photographer, Jennifer Moyes | Wedding & Events Photography