Recover Deleted Files on Android

How to recover deleted files on Android: 8 methods

Before you go to the different methods on how to recover deleted files on Android, let me ask you these questions.

How upset would you be if you accidentally deleted photos of your daughter’s first steps?

What about an audio file of the last time you were able to hear your grandmother’s voice?

Maybe you jotted down some notes on your phone about your epiphany regarding the cure for cancer. But then, that same son or daughter got a hold of your phone and thought games were more important.

There are some pretty valuable things on your phone, right?

But now they’re gone…forever?

Not necessarily. Using these methods, you should be able to recover your files in a matter of minutes. We will discuss some of the latest file recovery solutions. We will also address different types of situations, such as data being lost due to reformatting, a virus, a corrupt SD card, or your adorable three-year-old that just blew our shot at beating cancer.

From this point forward, do not save or download anything else aside from the recovery program. You could overwrite the very files you are trying to recover.

Do not turn your device off. We are not trying to be bossy; we are trying to salvage your files.

Do shut off your Internet connection once you have downloaded the recovery program so that no automatic updates take place. Odds are that your files aren’t gone.

But if you deleted them, your phone has designated the location where they are being stored as free space for other files to make their new home. Don’t give them that opportunity. Recover your accidentally deleted files on Android instead.

Sponsored Recover Deleted Files with Droidkit by iMobie

Recover Lost Data with Droidkit

Before we get into the 8 methods below, check out this data recovery tool by iMobie. Droidkit is an all-in-one tool for fixing issues on Android phones and tablets. Its main feature is recovering lost or deleted data.

If you’re using an SD card with your smartphone and you accidentally formatted it, you can use Droidkit as well to recover these files. And even if you don’t have an SD card, you may still recover your data.

There’s no need for you to root your phone with this tool. All you need to do is download the software to a PC and connect your phone. You’ll be guided on the next steps so you can finally recover your data. 

Other notable features of Droidkit include:

  1. Supports all Android device models.
  2. Enables you to preview data so you can select which ones you want to recover.
  3. Allows recovery of all important data including photos, WhatsApp messages, and phone messages.

8 Methods to Recover Deleted Files on Android

1. DiskDigger Photo Recovery

DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android

How can I recover deleted files from Android? Use DiskDigger. This app is available in Google Play. I actually used it last week to help my father-in-law find some lost vacation and family photos.

Rooting is not mandatory, but can make recovery more effective. The free version works for photos, but there is also a paid version for rooted devices that is more comprehensive.

Step 1. Download and install DiskDigger

  • A PC is not necessary to use this app.
DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android
Google Play
  • The free version is great if you are only looking for photos. For other types of files consider paying for DiskDigger Pro.
  • It will need access to your Photos/Media/Files because that’s what we are trying to find.

Step 2. Launch DiskDigger

  • DiskDigger is compatible with both tablets and phones, but only those that use Android 2.2 or greater.
DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 3. Choose Your Scan

  • A Full Scan is only available for phones that are rooted.
  • If your phone isn’t rooted (and it probably isn’t if you don’t know what “rooted” means) select the Basic Scan.
  • You can still root your phone at this point, but it is somewhat of a risk. That process could store files where your deleted files are residing, among other inherent rooting risks.
  • If your device is rooted, DiskDigger should ask you to specify which memory partition it should scan.
DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 4. Choose the Files You Wish to Recover

  • DiskDigger will let you know how many files it found. Tap the OK
  • You can tap each file to select its checkbox, or utilize your menu (represented by three vertical dots) to:
    • Select all photos (upper right-hand corner of app screen) or to
    • See recovery options specific to each file (upper right-hand corner of file icon).
  • Filter your files with the Options button (gear icon).
DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 5. Recover and save the files.

After you tap Recover you will have three choices:

  • Save to an app (Examples of apps would be email or a program like Dropbox)
  • Save to device (Internal memory or SD card)
  • FTP upload This can only be used if you have access to an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server.
DiskDigger - Recover Deleted Files on Android

ALSO READ: How to Recover Deleted Photos from SD Card – Easy Steps to Retrieve

2. Wondershare Dr. Fone

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Dr. Fone for Android works on smartphones and tablets to restore lost or deleted contacts, photos, audio files, documents, etc. It works best with rooted devices. It can recover data in every type of situation we’ve discussed so far.

Dr. Fone works on Windows, Mac, and Android platforms. You can try it free, but you will have to pay if you want all features and functionality. You can use it to recover deleted files on an Android that is unrooted, but it will be more effective on rooted devices.

Step 1: Download and Install Dr. Fone for Android

  • You will need to install it to your PC, not your Android device.
  • It’s OK to allow to make changes to your computer. You want it to.
  • You will have to agree to its terms and conditions.
  • It is optional, but it might be a good idea to register.
Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 2. Connect your Android Device to Your Computer

  • Use a USB cord, like the one that came with your phone or tablet.
  • Ensure that your Android has at least 20% battery life.
  • Note that Dr. Fone also has options for external SD cards and broken phones.

Step 3. Start Dr. Fone and Begin the Scan

  • Click on Data Recovery to allow the software to analyze your device.
  • If you are using a rooted device, grant the program Superuser permissions.
Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 4. Enable USB Debugging

Dr. Fone has a feature that teaches you how to enable USB Debugging on your smartphone.

As you can see in the picture below, Dr Fone detected the Redmi Note 8 Pro since the USB Debugging hasn’t been enabled. It offered step-by-step screenshots on how to enable USB Debugging for Redmi and Xiaomi phones.

Just follow the instructions to continue to the next steps.

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 5. Select the Device to Connect

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 6. Allow Your Phone to Install the Connector App

Again, Dr. Fone will again give you instructions on how you can allow your phone to install Dr. Fone’s Connected app via USB.

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 7. Select the File Types You Want to Recover

You can select all files types to recover or choose specific types of files. Then, click on Next.

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 8. Wait for Dr. Fone to Recover Your Files

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Dr. Fone – Root access is not obtained.

If you get this pop-up message after the scan, you may need to root your phone.

Dr. Fone - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Must Read: How to Root Android – Everything You Need To Know

3. Recuva

Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Recuva offers both a free and paid version of its app as well. The free version actually works nicely though. However, if the files have been overwritten, even good software may have a hard time restoring them.

This is another way you can recover deleted audio files on Android. You can also use this method to recover deleted files from Android phone SD card. This is an easy and effective way as to how to recover deleted files on Android.

Step 1. Download and install Recuva.

You will need to download Recuva from their site to your computer.

  • While this type of file has potential to harm your computer, this one shouldn’t, so tell your computer to keep the file and allow it to make changes.
  • You will have options about whether you want to have a desktop shortcut for Recuva.
    • Select what you are interested in and click on Next.
  • Click Finish when you are through.
Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 2.  Connect Your Device to Your PC.

  • If the files you want to recover are on a SD card, you may need to mount the SD card if you aren’t using a card reader.
    • From “Notifications” tap USB Connected.
    • Select Connect USB Storage.
    • On your computer, choose Open folder to view files.

Step 3. Run Recuva

  • Now you will see a wizard here to help you through the process. You don’t have to use it, but it is very helpful.
Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 4. Select the Type of File You Would Like to Recover

  • Click on Next. Then, choose All Files to show all files or conduct a narrower search.
Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 5. Choose the Location You Want Recuva to Scan

Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 6. Click on Start

  • Check the box next to Enable Deep Scan to be more thorough.

Step 7. Select the file(s) you want to recover.

  • Advanced Mode can make it easier to find the files.
  • Keep in mind that even if a file is displayed, it may not be recoverable.

Step 8. Click Recover

  • Try to save the files on a different device (such as the PC) than the one on which they were lost.
Recuva - Recover Deleted Files on Android

ALSO READ: 6 Best Android Data Recovery Software (Free & Paid)

4. EaseUS MobiSaver

EaseUS MobiSaver - Recover Deleted Files on Android

EaseUS MobiSaver might be one of the best Android recovery apps out there. You can use is to recover deleted files, corrupted storage, and bugs.

It’s efficient and you won’t need a computer to recover your files. It’s available on the Google Play Store for free. You may also upgrade to get the most out of this recovery app.

If you want to use EaseUS to recover lost files, I suggest you read this review and the steps how to use it. You’ll also find the steps on how to use it properly to recover files effectively.

Google Play

5. FonePaw

FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Another software that you can use to recover deleted files is FonePaw. It has a free trial version you can download from their website. But you can also buy the FonePaw Full Suite to maximize the full performance of the software.

However, just like Dr. Fone, this software can recover deleted files effectively on rooted phones. It’s best to root your phone first before using this software.

Step 1. Download and Install FonePaw on your PC

  • Visit the website to download the free trial version of FonePaw. Then, install the software.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 2. Connect Your Device to the PC

  • Remember to allow file transfer from your device to your PC and vice versa using a reliable USB cable.

Step 3. Launch FonePaw

  • FonePaw will look like the photo below.
  • There are three modes that you can use:
    • Android Data Recovery
    • Broken Android Data
    • Android Data Backup and Restore
  • If you want to recover deleted files, choose Android Data Recovery.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 4. Enable USB Debugging Mode

  • Like Dr. Fone, FonePaw will give you instructions on how to enable USB Debugging Mode.  Just follow the instructions and you’re good to go.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 5. Choose the File Types

  • You can choose what kind of files you need to recover. Once you’ve selected, click on Next.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 6. Wait for FonePaw to Finish Scanning Your Device

FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 7. Choose the Files You Want to Recover

  • The files are segregated according to file types. Choose the ones you want to recover and click on recover on the lower-right corner of FonePaw.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android
  • If your phone is already rooted, you can click on Deep Scan beside the Recover button.
FonePaw - Recover Deleted Files on Android

6. WonderShare RecoverIt

RecoverIt - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Another great product from WonderShare is RecoverIt. It doesn’t only recover deleted files on Android phones, but it can also retrieve files from computers and other removable storage media.

The interface is simple and user-friendly. Another great thing is that WonderShare continues to update this software to keep up with the latest technological advancements of different devices.

If you want to use RecoverIt, it’s best to understand through this article how to use it efficiently.

RecoverIt - Recover Deleted Files on Android
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7. MiniTool Mobile Recovery

MiniTool - Recover Deleted Files on Android

One way to recover deleted files without root is when the files you want to retrieve was saved on your SD card. If this is the case, MiniTool Mobile Recovery is software that can do the job.

Step 1. Download the MiniTool Installer from the Website

MiniTool - Recover Deleted Files on Android
  • MiniTool is free to download from their website. Once you’ve downloaded the installer, install it on your PC.
website button

Step 2. Launch MiniTool Mobile Recovery

  • The MiniTool program will look like this.
MiniTool - Recover Deleted Files on Android
  • You can choose from two kinds of recovery options:
    • Recover from Phone – Your phone needs to be rooted before using this option.
    • Recover from SD Card – You’ll need to remove the SD card from your device and use a card reader.
MiniTool - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Step 3. Select the Inserted Card

  • Choose the correct drive letter of the card reader where you have your SD card. Then, click on Next.

Step 4. Wait for MiniTool to Scan Your SD Card

  • If you have many files on your SD card, it will take the program some time to scan and look for your deleted files.

Step 5. Choose the Files You Want to Recover

  • After the scan, choose the files you need to recover. MiniTool has an organized way of presenting the recovered files. Use the left panel in the program to look for specific file types.
  • After choosing the files, click on the Recover button. You’ll find it in the lower-right corner of the program.

ALSO READ: How to Recover Corrupted SD Card

8. Hire Professional Data Recovery Services

When all else fails, you can hire professional data recovery services to retrieve important files. These companies have more advanced technology and tools to successfully recover deleted, corrupted, and other lost data.

Most of these companies offer confidentiality agreements before going through the process. This will protect you and your personal files from being used by other people.

Here’s a list of reputable data recovery services that you can hire.

Secure Data

Secure Data Recovery Services - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Secure Data has tons of 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. They can retrieve data from both Android and iOS devices.

They even offer their services to devices that have undergone water and fire damage.

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DriveSavers Data Recovery Services - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Another data service company you can hire is DriveSavers. They specialize in recovering lost data from computer drives. But they also offer their services for Android and iOS devices.

You can get a free estimate on how much it’ll cost to retrieve your files by calling them. You can visit their site for more details.

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Ace Data Recovery

Ace Data Recovery - Recover Deleted Files on Android

Need to recover deleted contacts, photos, videos, documents, and other files from your phone? Ace Data Recovery offers mobile data recovery service just for that.

You can contact them to discuss your lost data issues. It’s best to be prepared to give them information on how the files got lost and what file types do you need to recover. Visit their website for more details.

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A word of caution:

Hiring professional data recovery services may cost a lot depending on several factors. If you don’t have the budget for it, try out the other methods first.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I recover deleted files without rooting my smartphone?

The chances of recovering files from the internal storage of your phone are slim. If the lost files are on an SD card, you can recover deleted files without rooting your phone.

Do I need a computer to recover deleted files from my device?

Most of the effective recovery solutions require a computer. Still, you can try using data recovery apps that you can download and use directly with your phone.

How can I recover files from a smartphone with a broken screen?

You can use data recovery software and connect your smartphone via USB to a computer.


If you are looking for a free app to get your photos back, DiskDigger is hard to beat and very easy to use. My only caution would be to really watch where you put the recovered files, because you may have to go on a treasure hunt of your own to find them if you don’t.  Keep in mind, also, that all files below one gigabyte are sent to the Recycle Bin when deleted. So this would be a good place to resort to and doesn’t even require any app.

If that didn’t work for you, or you need other types of files recovered, look into Wondershare’s Dr. Fone. Although you can try it free, it probably won’t be a lot of help to you unless you are willing to pay for it. You can at least preview what the app can recover before you actually shell out any money.

Piriform’s Recuva actually does an outstanding job with the free version, and you can have even more if you are willing to buy. Recuva’s free version will try to add in more unrelated software during setup if you agree to it, so watch for that and decline it if you don’t want it. The program offered to me was CCleaner, though, which isn’t a bad app for optimization.

Which file recovery app works the best for you? Are there other apps you have found that work just as well or better? Check out the link below and send us your thoughts on all of these topics.

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  1. Finally a site I agree with. I have read some real rubbish today, so it’s a treat to read something useful. I am using a much similar software that owe me very good results. It is Remo Recover Android

    1. The App recommended needs fee! When I lost my Samsung Glaxy S7 contacts, Leadersoft.DR for Android recovered lost contacts easily!

      1. Free is nice, but sometimes the information you are interested in saving is worth WAY more than a couple of dollars.

  2. No matter how you delete your important files, This Data Recovery enables you to recover lost photos, videos, documents and more other files from computer, usb, smartphone, SD card, camera, etc.

  3. FonePaw make a preview of your lost data like contacts and text messages then recover them from Android Device back to your PC. The tool is FonePaw Android Data Recovery.
    Remember do backup your android files for unexpected loss like your case.

  4. Thanks for sharinf, Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android could also help you recover kinds of files from android phone easily, like sms, contacts, photos, documents, and so on, have a try!

  5. I used another Anroid file recovery tool which can easily restore your lost sms, contacts and other files from Android, called MobiKin Doctor for Android.

    1. Hi Adam,
      If you are asking if you asking if your phone needs to be rooted in order to use Dumpster, I am not sure since I have never used the app, but if it is an app for rooted devices you will get a message saying that your phone needs to be rooted in order to use the app. Hope this answers your question. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. =-)

  6. Hi there,

    I accidentally removed my audio files from my misc, would your application be enabled to recover my file?

    1. Hi Henna,
      I don´t see why it shouldn´t work. Please let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  7. Dumpster will not recover files deleted BEFORE Dumpster was installed. But its a great product and works well to recover files my kids delete off my phone! And free too

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for the feedback on Dumpster and glad to see that you´re happy with the app. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  8. To recover deleted files on Android, I recommend Gihosoft Free Android Recovery. I once deleted all photos from my Samsung Galaxy S6 and this free tool worked find to help me get them back.

  9. Thanks for sharing. I think Recuva is a good tool. And I also recommend MobiKin Doctor for Android, it is a professional android lost data recovery program.
    You can use it to recover lost text messages, contacts, photos.
    And hope it helps.

  10. Tried recuva, it simply doesn’t see my phone’s internal memory storage, though visible to Windows itself. So useless for Huawei p20 pro in 2020 with android 10. Dr fone also found none of my recently deleted mp3 recordings.

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