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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Windows Device?

Losing important pictures from Windows devices can be a painful situation, especially if they are permanently deleted. Whatever is the cause for the permanent deletion of pictures on your device, there are always chances to get them back. Before you proceed with any method to recover photos from your storage device, it is important to stop using the device.

Here, in this article, we will explore various methods to help you know how to recover permanently deleted photos on a Windows device without any hassle.

Can I Recover Permanently Deleted Photos?

Many of you must be wondering if it is possible to recover photos that are permanently deleted from a Windows device. The only answer to this question is YES! Once a photo is deleted from your device, it is moved to the Recycle Bin and remains there for some specific days, say 30 days. However, if you delete a picture using the Shift + Del keys, it gets permanently deleted from your device bypassing the Recycle Bin.

There are several image recovery methods available online which can help you to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows device. But before you apply any of these methods, it is important to find the exact cause for the permanent deletion of pictures. Some prominent reasons for the same are:

  • Emptying Recycle Bin: When you empty the Recycle Bin, all its content gets permanently deleted. This can cause permanently deletion of all the files from your Recycle Bin, including your photos.
  • Formatting Storage Drives: If you format your device storage, including hard drive, SSD, or memory card, it erases all the data on that drive, including photos. It is good practice to create proper backup of your important files before you format the drive.
  • Malware and Virus Attacks: Malicious software, like viruses and ransomware, can corrupt or delete files from your device. In some cases, all the files, including your memorable pictures may be permanently damaged or encrypted.
  • Overwriting Data: When you overwrite new data at the same storage sectors from where photos were deleted, it makes the recovery nearly impossible.

Quick Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted Pictures on Windows Device

Whatever is the cause for the loss or deletion of pictures from your Windows device, you can restore them easily. Here are the detailed step-by-step instructions to recover permanently deleted photos on your Windows device:

Method 01: Restore Deleted Photos Using File History Backup

As the permanently deleted pictures are not available in the Recycle Bin, you can try considering backup as the first method to restore lost files. You can use Windows built-in backup option, i.e., File History backup to restore lost files. Here are the steps that you can apply to recover lost pictures on Windows device using File History Backup:

  • Firstly, open the folder on your device from where your picture was deleted. Also, search File History in the Windows search box and launch "Restore your files with File History".
Restore your files with File History

  • Now, search for the photos that you want to recover. Select it and tap the green “Restore” button.
Restore your files with File History

  • From the dialogue box that appears, select "Replace the file in the destination" to recover your deleted files.
Restore your files with File History

Method 02: Restore Deleted Photos Using ‘Previous Versions’

Another method to recover photos using backup is via the Windows’ Restore Previous Version feature. If you have enabled the Previous version feature on your Windows device, you can easily revert the previously saved version of your lost file. Go through the following steps to recover lost files using this method:

  • Launch File Explorer and go to the folder where your deleted pictures were earlier stored. Right-click on that folder and select the “Restore previous versions” option.
Recover Permanently Deleted Photos

  • Now, go through the folder and select the version of the photos you want to restore. Click the “Restore” button to save selected files back to your device.
Recover Permanently Deleted Photos

Method 03: Use Windows Photo Recovery Software

If the above-mentioned manual methods fail to restore permanently deleted photos on a Windows device, then you should try a professional image recovery software. These photo recovery software are designed to restore your lost or deleted pictures with ease. Among several such recovery programs, we recommend using the Stellar Photo Recovery tool. It allows you to restore your images deleted due to any reason, including accidental deletion, virus or malware attacks, device formatting, etc.

There are several amazing features which make the Stellar Photo Recovery tool best for your deleted photo recovery. These include:

  • The software restores pictures deleted from any internal or external storage device, including your HDDs, SSDs, SD cards, etc.
  • Even the software is compatible with several file systems, like FAT16, FAT32, ex-FAT, and NTFS.
  • Support recovery of lost images of multiple types JPEG, JPG, TIFF, GIFF, PNG, etc. Not only this, the software can recover RAW images and video files of several formats, as well.
  • Allow you to preview the recoverable photos, so you can select and save only the required one.

3 Steps to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos Using Stellar Photo Recovery Software:

Step 1: Download and install the Stellar Photo Recovery software on your Windows device. Launch the software, select the storage location from where you need to restore deleted photos and click Scan.

Stellar Photo Recovery Software

Step 2: The software will then start the scanning process. Wait till it gets completed.

Stellar Photo Recovery Software

Step 3: Once the scan is completed, select the required photos, videos, and audio that you want to save. Tap the “Recover” button to save selected files at the desired storage location.

Stellar Photo Recovery Software

Tips for Smooth and Quick Photo Recovery

While the above steps will help you recover your permanently deleted photos, it's essential to follow some best practices to maximize your chances of success:

  • Act Quickly: It is important to apply the recovery process immediately. The better and sooner you act; the easier will be for you to retrieve the lost pictures.
  • Avoid Writing New Data: As mentioned earlier, overwriting the data can make the recovery process quite difficult. So, avoid saving any new files on the drive when you encounter photo loss issue until recovery is complete.
  • Back-Up Your Recovered Photos: It is good practice to create a backup of your important photos on an external storage drive or cloud storage location for easy recovery of your lost photos.


Hope, the above steps help you know how to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows device. With the right photo recovery tools and techniques, you can recover your precious moments with ease. If the manual methods fail to restore your photos, you can try using a professional image recovery software, like Stellar Photo Recovery to get those deleted pictures in a few simple clicks. Remember to act quickly, avoid writing new data, and maintain regular backups of your files to minimize the impact of future data loss.

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