How to Recover Deleted Photos in iOS 8

If you accidentally deleted some photos off of your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8, it’s now easier than ever to recover them, and frankly, iOS 8 marks the first time that iOS users can actually recover deleted photos without restoring from a backup.

iOS 8 launched to the public last month with a handful of new features and changes over iOS 7. One of those changes was the disappearance of the Camera Roll and the substitution of a Recently Added folder and a Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app.


The Recently Deleted folder is put into action when a user deletes a photo. The deleted photo automatically gets put into the Recently Deleted folder, meaning that it’s not truly deleted from your iPhone or iPad after you delete it.

Read: 15 iOS 8 Hidden Features

Many users have taken to the internet to express their displeasure and some are even wondering if it’s possible to delete the Recently Deleted folder altogether.


While this feature may be useful for some iOS users, it can be seen as a nuisance for a many iPhone and iPad owners. Plus, there isn’t a way to disable the feature, leaving only one option for those who want to permanently delete photos off of their iOS 8 devices every time.



However, it’s easy to see why a feature like this is worth having in iOS, as it prevents users from accidentally deleting photos, and if they do delete them, they’re easily recoverable. It’s essentially like having a Recycle Bin right on your iPhone.

Users have up to 30 days to recover deleted photos from the Recently Deleted folder until they officially get deleted permanently, so if you deleted any photos within that time frame that you would like to recover, here’s how to do it.

How to Recover Deleted Photos in iOS 8

If you deleted a photo in the Photos app and aren’t sure how to get it back, it used to not be possible in iOS 7 unless you had a backup in iCloud or in iTunes. However, that’s no longer the case, as you can now recover deleted photos even without a backup.


Open up the Photos app and tap on Albums in the lower-right corner, you’ll see two folders appear. One is a Recently Added folder and the other is the Recently Deleted folder. Any photos you take will automatically appear in the Recently Added folder.

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On the other hand, deleting a photo will automatically move it to the Recently Deleted folder, still keeping it on your iOS 8 device and accessible if you need it. Open up the Recently Deleted folder to view all of your deleted photos over the past 30 days.

Upon opening up the folder, you’ll see your deleted photos and each of them will have a number on them in “days.” If a photo has “19 days” stamped over it, that means the photo will be automatically deleted in 19 days, giving you that amount of time to recover the photo if need be.

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If you see a photo that you want to recover, tap on Select in the upper-right corner of the screen and then tap on the photos that you want to recover. Then tap Recover in the lower-right corner and confirm the action when the pop-up appears.

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Those photos will be moved back to the Recently Added folder, where they’ll be stored until you delete them again.

This new feature in iOS 8 can help many users get saved from certain disaster, and while we do see the point of the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app, the fact that users can’t have this as an option and disable it if they want to seems like a rather large oversight on Apple’s part.


In any case, you can provide Apple feedback about this, and hopefully the company modifies this feature in its next major update to iOS 8 to give users a choice.