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How to Recover Deleted Files on Android
Losing important photos, videos, documents or other files from your Android device can be extremely frustrating. Perhaps you accidentally deleted a file or even a whole folder. Or maybe your device became corrupted or started malfunctioning, causing data loss. Fortunately, there are various methods you can try to recover deleted files on Android.
Can You Recover Deleted Files from Android Internal Storage?
The first bit of good news is – yes, it is often possible to restore erased files from your Android device’s internal storage. When you delete a file normally, it is simply marked as deleted in the file table rather than being totally erased from the storage. The area it occupies then becomes available to overwrite with new data.
As long as the original deleted file area has not been overwritten, data recovery software can scan the device, find these marked but intact deleted files, and restore them. However, the chances of successful data recovery diminish over time as more new data occupies those areas. So it’s important to stop adding any new files and act quickly if you need to undelete anything important.
Factors That Affect Recovering Lost Data from Android
There are several key factors that determine your chances of retrieving deleted files from internal or external storage on an Android device:
Time since deletion – As mentioned above, the less time that’s passed since a file was erased, the higher the odds data can be fully recovered before overwritten.
Device activity – Using the device as normal adds new data that can overwrite deleted files. Minimizing usage right after data loss preserves deleted data.
External storage – SD cards maintain deleted files longer since they are used less frequently than internal storage.
File types – Simple document files occupy less space than videos or photos, slowing the chance of overwriting. Complex media may only be partially recoverable later.
So stopping all device activity right after deleting files, working from a storage card if possible, trying to restore simpler file types first, and using data recovery tools quickly all increases your recovery success.
Best Data Recovery Software for Android Devices
Professional data recovery services can retrieve lost files from Android, but they typically charge several hundred dollars. Fortunately, there is Android data recovery software available allowing you to restore deleted files yourself for free or a more affordable one-time purchase.
These are the 5 best Android file recovery apps:
- Disk Digger – Top-rated free undelete app recovering lost photos, videos, documents and more. Easy to use with no root required.
- EaseUS MobiSaver – Free version restoring limited number of photos, pro version with full capacity and extra features.
- Dumpster – Simple recycle bin app to retrieve recently deleted files. Easy to use.
- Dr.Fone – Android Data Recovery – Advanced paid software with excellent recovery for all data types.
- Jihosoft Android Phone Recovery – Solid recovery capability for photos, messages, contacts, call logs and documents. Free trial available.
Let’s look at how to use DiskDigger’s free Android file recovery capabilities.
Step-by-Step Guide to Retrieving Deleted Files with DiskDigger
DiskDigger makes it easy to recover deleted photos, videos, audio recordings, documents, archives, and other files from Android internal or external memory without rooting:
- Download and install DiskDigger from the Play Store on your Android device.
- Open DiskDigger and grant it requested permissions. Tap through the disclaimer to start basic photo recovery.
- Select the storage location (internal or SD card) to scan for deleted files. Tap ‘OK’ to begin the scan.
- DiskDigger will scan the drive and list recoverable images. Photos display thumbnail previews.
- Tap on images to select for recovery. Use the buttons at the bottom to select/unselect all files.
- When finished choosing the images to restore, tap the ‘Recover’ button at the top right.
- Select a destination folder on your device or app like Google Photos to recover photos into. Hit ‘Recover’ again.
- DiskDigger will restore the deleted image files! Open the destination folder to confirm.
Repeat the process to rescue other deleted file types like video, audio or documents in the other DiskDigger sections. Just select the appropriate tab at bottom and repeat file selection and recovery.
With repeating scanning and file recovery cycles, you should be able to restore a great number of deleted items from Android internal or external memory with DiskDigger at no cost without advanced skills needed.
Recovering Data from External SD Card
Recovering deleted files from a removable micro SD card on Android offers additional data recovery possibilities:
External SD cards maintain deleted data longer before overwriting since accessed less frequently than internal phone storage used actively by device apps and features.
After losing files or entire folders on the card, immediately remove it from the device if possible to avoid overwriting.
Trying disk recovery methods on both device and computer increases ability to rescue erased files.
So when dealing with a corrupted or wiped SD card on Android leading to serious data loss, take it out immediately if you can and attempt restoration through both built-in device recovery apps like DiskDigger but also advanced computer utilities for an enhanced, multi-pronged file recovery effort from Android removable media.
Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB) Recovery
Employing Android Debug Bridge (ADB) – a developer command-line tool offering advanced management of Android devices and apps – grants extra file recovery powers in Windows.
Follow these steps to attempt deeper-level data restoration from Android through ADB:
- On a Windows PC, download and install ADB tools.
- Enable USB debugging in Developer Options on the Android device.
- Connect Android device to PC via USB and confirm the connection established.
- Open the command prompt, navigate to ADB tool folder and execute:
This confirms the connected Android device.
- Enter this pull command, replacing “filename” with actual file name:
adb pull /sdcard/filename C:/restored/
This copies the specified file from Android SD card to the PC folder “restored”
- Utilize ADB to fully image Android data partitions to attempt recovery through TestDisk or Recuva PC utilities.
While complex, ADB potentially pulls deleted files otherwise unrecoverable, giving an extra chance to retrieve precious lost Android data deemed permanently erased.
Protecting Your Data to Reduce Risk of Loss
Beyond trying to recover deleted files from Android device storage, it’s crucial to enact smart policies and procedures ensuring you both minimize occurrences of accidental deletion while keeping your data backed up to facilitate restores when loss incidents strike:
- Maintain devices with adequate free storage since full capacity increases data corruption and loss situations.
- Refrain from keeping the only copy of anything truly vital solely on a mobile device vulnerable to glitches. Always back up priceless data.
- Activate cloud backup services like Google One to create ongoing archives of important folders and media.
- Manually back up Android data locally to computer storage using ADB or Android desktop clients.
- Store duplicate copies on external microSD cards also since they maintain deleted files longer.
- Install reputable antivirus software guarding against malware causing mass data wipes.
While the following precautions cannot fully prevent Android file mishaps fully, quick backups and reduced usage after data loss incidents equate to enhanced file recovery potential.
Can you recover permanently deleted files from Android internal storage?
Yes, it’s often possible to restore images, documents, and media believed permanently deleted from Android internal storage. As long as the areas they occupy have not been overwritten fully, data recovery tools can retrieve them.
Is it possible to retrieve deleted photos without a computer?
Certainly. Apps like DiskDigger make it possible to scan an Android device’s local storage and undelete erased images without connecting to a PC. While desktop utilities offer enhanced tools, phone apps provide simple DIY photo recovery too.
Can lost data be restored after factory resetting an Android phone?
It becomes very difficult to restore erased files after factory resetting Android since this erases all user data fully. However, back up services may still house files that can be re-synced post-reset. Without cloud backups, factory resets often permanently destroy data though.
Losing beloved photos, important documents or whole folders can be an extremely unpleasant experience. Fortunately DiskDigger, EaseUS and related reputable apps provide free and low-cost professional data recovery capabilities, letting you easily restore accidentally deleted items from Android internal or external memory through straightforward DIY scanning for erased yet intact files.
Quick action is essential for the highest success rates, however, before such deleted data gets overwritten fully by ongoing device activity. So think carefully before factory resetting Android if hoping to retrieve wiped items later – back ups become vital here.
With restored caution, keeping storage utilization lower combined with redundant copies on external SD cards and the cloud, plus leveraging scanning utilities soon after data loss incidents, leads to greatly improved ability to revive cherished photos, videos and application documents otherwise feared permanently destroyed. What was once deleted can quite possibly live again!
Disclaimer: This article offers tips and advice based on my research. However, I cannot guarantee complete restoration of erased files. Please use the best judgment when attempting Android data recovery and back up irreplaceable data often to avoid reliance solely on recovery software. Please contact professionals for assistance if overwhelmed attempting DIY recoveries that may result in further data incidents if not undertaken properly.