How To Recover Deleted Photos From WhatsApp?
If you are a regular WhatsApp user, then it is very likely you would have been in a situation where you accidentally delete an image and then instantly regret it. Once an image is deleted from the WhatsApp chat it doesn’t show up in your conversation and might be a little difficult to get back. Luckily, there are a few ways of getting back a lost image that you have sent on WhatsApp, most of the time, the images are not completely deleted from the file system at least for a few days and there are a few ways of getting back the lost images.
Highlights of the Story
- WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging platform that allows you to share images, videos, documents and other file formats to your contacts
- In regular use, sometimes these files might be accidentally deleted, and they do not show up in the conversation after that
- There are multiple ways to recover these lost files from the WhatsApp conversation if you act in a timely manner
If you are a regular WhatsApp user then it is likely you already know most of the features of WhatsApp, however, when you lose an image or other document file from a WhatsApp conversation it might seem unnecessarily difficult to get it back. When a user deletes an image from a WhatsApp conversation then the file doesn’t show up in the conversation and by default might not be seen in the Gallery app on your phone either. If you find yourself in this situation then there are multiple ways of getting back the image that you have accidentally deleted.
WhatsApp stores all the messages and images locally unlike other platforms that store a copy of these messages on their servers. While this ensures the privacy of the user by preventing any copies of the messages on the cloud, it also means that recovering an image is now more difficult if deleted accidentally. Sometimes users end up deleting the messages or images from the app or in other cases we end up losing them while switching between phones or during a factory reset.
In applications such as Instagram, all the messages are relayed from the cloud server, however, with WhatsApp if you do not have an automatic cloud backup enabled, you might as well lose all your important messages and images. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this and minimize the risk of losing all the images, some of these solutions mentioned below require you to take precaution before you lose the data while other methods help you recover them after the loss.
Method 1: Try requesting the media from other participants of the conversation
Recovering a lost media might sometimes be easier than you think, the first step in this process is to check and see if there is anyone you were talking to that have a copy of the message with the lost media that was attached in the conversation. If you have uploaded an image and then deleted it for yourself there is a good chance the recipient or multiple members in case of a group char have the image on their phone despite you deleting it for yourself.
You can simply ask the other user to forward you the image or even save it on their phone and send it using apps such as Google Drive or Google Photos for longer and safer storage of the media file. When you select the trash icon and then tap on the “Delete For Me” option the user who has received the image file from you will retain the file and won’t lose access to it, this means the file can be easily retrieved from them if you feel a need for it.
Method 2: Restoring a WhatsApp Backup
While the above-mentioned method is extremely easy, it is not always possible to ask other users to send it back to you, and in some cases they themselves might have deleted the image too. The next simplest method to recover a lost message or image is through the backup, WhatsApp supports backup for both Android and iOS versions of the application.
These backups are stored in Google Drive and iCloud respectively. If you happen to have a backup take place between the time that you sent the message and its deletion, then you can easily go back to the backup section and restore the latest backup from the WhatsApp app.
To do this, first, navigate to the Settings section of the WhatsApp application and open the Chats tab, here look for the Chat Backup option and tap on it. You will see information including details about the latest backup and how often the back up is scheduled to occur. If you have deleted the picture after your last backup, then go ahead and uninstall the application and reinstall WhatsApp, during the setup process chose the option to restore the backup from Google Drive or iCloud based on your operating system.
You can go ahead with the regular uninstall process and then reinstall a fresh copy of the latest version from App Store or Google Play Store and confirm your mobile number again, you should now see a prompt to restore the data from a backup if it is located. Accept this option and then WhatsApp will restore all your messages that were stored on your phone during the time of backup.
PS: While this option is simple and works well for most users, it is important to note that you might lose all the messages exchanged since the last backup took place.
Method 3: Check the WhatsApp media folder on your phone
This step is exclusive for Android users as iPhone users do not get access to browse their file system. By default, WhatsApp stores every image that you send and receive in a folder and you can erase an image from chat and still have it on your phone in this folder in many cases. Download a file explorer app if your phone doesn’t come with a default application ad navigate to the WhatsApp folder in your root storage. Now look for the Media folder and then WhatsApp Images folder inside the Media folder.
Here you should see all the images you have received in WhatsApp, there is also a sent folder inside this folder which contains all the images that you have sent. While it might look like a tedious task to look for an image among thousands of images, this method does have a high success rate and is certainly worth a try.
Method 4: Using a Recovery Application
A simple Google search for help recovering WhatsApp images will show you dozens of programs that promise a solution. This might sound exciting and you might feel that this is a ray of hope, but the reality is grim as most of them do not work.
Just like the recovering deleted text messages, the vast majority of these recovery apps might not turn out very helpful. Recovering WhatsApp images is a little different than recovering text messages, but the software used has some major issues. They need root access on Android and require you to make a payment before putting it to work. These recovery programs are mostly similar and claim to recover your messages by installing desktop software and connecting your Android smartphone.
When you run the application, it will either show no results, ask for root access, or ask you to pay before performing the action.
With the above methods mentioned, the only reliable way of recovering deleted media from WhatsApp is by having a proper backup beforehand. WhatsApp does not keep any chat history on the servers so you can not contact the company for recovery of lost messages or files. Most file recovery programs such as Recuva do not work either, these apps can not scan modern smartphones to recover files as they do not use USB Mass Storage Protocol.
Once a message is deleted, the only way to recover it is if you have a backup on your phone, in this case, you can easily restore it by using the WhatsApp reinstall method mentioned above. Without a backup, restoring a message is a hit or miss and recovery apps can not make it appear out of the blue and this is why it is important to keep a backup of your smartphone at all times.
The Delete for Everyone feature allows WhatsApp users to delete chat or media sent to someone by mistake, but sometimes there remains no option when media files and chat messages get deleted unintentionally. No doubt the users don’t delete the media files from the gallery but still the data is not there and the possibility of losing important messages, pictures and videos remains always there.
For avoiding such circumstances, apart from using the conventional methods, the 3rd party application WhatsRemoved+ proves beneficial and saves the media files and chat messages by following the notifications and monitoring the date of the user, the application is available for Android phones only.
Steps to recover the deleted media
- Go to the Google Play store and download WhatsRemoved+ from it.
- Accept the permissions as per your requirement after installing it on your smartphone.
- Select WhatsApp from the list of applications displaying on your screen followed by clicking yes option along with Save Files and then Allow.
- After following the above steps, a copy of your media files, chat messages will be saved in this application and you can retrieve it anytime as per your requirement.
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