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Are your files and photos really gone after being deleted? Well, let’s find out.

In premise, when you delete something, it’s not really gone. How come? Well, you can’t get rid of something that is integral to the function of the storage drive.

Not the files, but the data they are using to be stored. A file is only “deleted” after that sector/data set has been re-written by something else.

This can happen automatically over time, or manually within an instant. In any case, in this article, we will cover what happens with deleted photos and files, as well as how to recover them on your devices.

So keep reading to learn more.

What Happens With Deleted Photos & Files?

Your device keeps track of where files are on the storage drive via pointers. Each folder, file, the photo has a pointer assigned to it that tells your operating system where the file data begins and ends.

When you delete the file/photo, your operating system removes the point and marks the sector as available. From the system’s perspective, the file is no longer present on the storage drive, and the sectors are considered as free space.

However, until your operating system or you write new data over the sector with the contents of the file, it is still recoverable. A file recovery software can scan your storage drives for deleted files and bring them back to life.

And if the file has been partially rewritten, the program can only recover the part of the data that is present.

Why Aren’t Deleted Files Gone Instantly?

If you’re wondering why this system exists, it’s actually quite simple. Deleting the pointer and making the space available is vividly quick.

In contrast, actually removing the file by overwriting the data takes a long time. For instance, when deleting a 5 GB file, it would be practically instant. However, to actually erase the contents, it would take several minutes, or just as long as it would take to write 10 GB of data on your device.

To save time and improve performance, your operating system does not erase the contents of the file when it’s deleted. Therefore, deleted photos are not really deleted.

If you want to erase the contents of the file when deleted, you can use a file shredder software. However, none of this applies to SSDs. When using a TRIM-enabled SSD, the files are removed immediately and cannot be recovered.

Data cannot be overwritten via flash cells. The contents must be erased first before overwriting. Your OS erases the content immediately to improve performance. If it had not done this, the flash memory would have to be erased first before being written. This would make an SSD significantly slower, and that’s the opposite of what an SSD is for.

To Recover Deleted Files

If you’ve deleted a file and you need to return it, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you must recover the deleted photos and files as soon as possible. As your OC continues to write to your drive, the chances of overwriting your deleted files are significantly increased over time. If you want to fully recover a file, do it immediately.

Next, only make use of as little hard drive as possible. The best way to recover a deleted file is by turning the computer off after deletion, inserting the hard drive into another computer, and using that OS to recover it.

If you attempt to install a file-recovery software after deletion on the same hard drive, the installation might rewrite the file you want to recover.

Most OS doesn’t come with built-in recovery scanners, but there are many third-party tools that you can install in advance to make sure that you are ready for these moments.

How to Recover Deleted Photos From iPhone?

If you are looking to recover deleted photos from iPhone, it’s quite simple. For a limited time, usually 30 days, you can recovery your photos quickly.

Simply go to the Photos app, scroll to the bottom, and choose the Recently Deleted Folder.

Now locate the photos you want to recover, select them, and tap on the Recover button. It’s that simple.

You can also recover any deleted photos via an iTunes backup if you’re still using it. Connect the iPhone to your computer and open iTunes up.

Click the device when it appears, and select Restore from backup. Choose the backup that you believe to have the deleted photos. Click on Restore.

The next approach is to use iCloud. Simply go to your Settings, then to iCloud, and click on Manage Storage.

There will be a Backups option, verify you have the appropriate backup. Now go to General, then to Reset, and click on Erase all Content and Settings.

On-screen following, click on Restore from iCloud backup. Sign in with the appropriate Apple ID, and select the backup that you want to use.

If none of this works, try this.

How to Recover Deleted Photos From Android?

The process for Android is simple if you always use your Google account to link it with services. This is usually done when setting up the phone. You can recover photos from the Google Photo app, this will only work for less than 60 days since you have deleted the file, and placed it into the trash.

It cannot be done if the Trash has been emptied, or the file has been permanently deleted before a backup.

Open the Google Photos application, navigate to the menu, and click on Trash. Click and hold the photo you want to recover, and then click on Restore. This will place the photo back to the storage folder.

Recovery Done Right

Now that you know what happens with deleted photos and files, you are well on your way to ensure that you can recover them when you need to. As long as you do it fast and properly, you are able to recover whatever you need.

If you’re interested in similar articles, feel free to check out the rest of our tech-related articles.

Allena Dominus

Started the career as a Product Manager, I now reveal the ins and outs of the digital world, online privacy, IoTs, and the trends shaping the technology industry and much more.

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