How to Recover Deleted Photos on Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 and More

While Google has done an excellent job of adding the much-needed “undo” button to many aspects of Android in case you accidentally delete or swipe a notification, we’ve all probably accidentally deleted a photo or an entire gallery. The guide below will give you a few different ways to follow to recover deleted photos from your Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 or almost any other Android smartphone.

That uh oh feeling and instant anger you get when you delete an entire photo gallery of an event, party, or holiday is something I’ve experienced before. Thanks to a recent unfortunate accident as I described above, I had to use some of the following software.

Don’t worry though, because you can actually recover deleted photos or even text messages from your Android smartphone as long as you act fast. Time is of the essence in this error case, so read on for all the details.

Much like data recovery tools for computers, the most important thing is to make sure you act fast and don’t overwrite deleted content. Once an image, video, or text message is deleted, it technically stays on the micro SD card or internal storage until you overwrite the deleted file and use the space. There are multiple tools to recover them, so don’t worry.

Two services I’ve heard good things about and use myself for Androidand Android Data Recovery. These two tools are very easy to use and support most files, not just images. This means you can recover almost anything if you act fast. Dr Fone seems to only support Windows, but there are many similar tools for Mac users as well.


The first step is very important. You will want to turn off WiFi, Data, no photos or just put the phone in airplane mode. Do nothing that will essentially overwrite or overwrite deleted files. From here you need to download the aforementioned software and get started.

On first start-up, you will be asked to connect your smartphone to your PC using a micro USB cable, the cable that comes out of the box will work fine. Or any USB to micro USB will work. You need to enable USB Debugging located in the developer options menu.

The guide above explains how to get developer menu options. Start by going to Settings > About Phone and tap the Build number about 5-7 times until it says you are now a developer. Now at the end of the settings there is a developer options option, tap on it and then enable USB Debugging. Dr. You will see a notification at the bottom of the Fone program that USB Debugging is enabled and turned on.

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USB debugging

From there you will have to connect the USB and accept the RSA Key, then scan the files. Everything is pretty easy from here, just select the files you want to recover. There are multiple options for those interested, but we focused on the photos.

Screenshot 2015-01-26 12.28.09 PM

To make things even easier once you have selected the content you are looking for (we chose photos or “Deleted Files”), you will be able to preview the files before initiating the actual data recovery on your Android device. It even has a selective mode where you can go in and restore the specific files, photos or videos you’re after if you’ve backed up some of them and are only looking for certain pictures or text messages.


From here on, you’ll leave all the hard work to Dr Fone. Dr Fone may reboot your smartphone and show some strange things on the screen, but don’t touch anything and let it complete the process and recover your photos.

Once Dr Fone finishes this process and finds any data that has not been overwritten, you will be able to select anything you want, or even all of them, then just tap the “Recover” button on the bottom right as you can see. from the screenshot above. If you’re lucky, you haven’t updated any apps, browsed Facebook, or done anything that will overwrite your photos and permanently delete them. This is where luck comes in and hopefully Dr Fone or Android Data Recovery tool is found and can restore your pictures.

There is a guide above so this will never happen again. There are multiple ways to have your Android smartphone or tablet automatically (and for free) backup all your photos as you take them. This means that if there is the unfortunate event that you delete pictures in the future, they will be backed up to Google Cloud, Dropbox or any of the other backup tools mentioned in our link above.

These programs are growing in popularity these days and you may have to try the 30-day free trial or pay to actually get your deleted files. However, it’s worth it for many reasons, especially if you accidentally deleted a bunch of family photos or something valuable that you want to get back.

There are of course a few free options as well, and many require root access (like jailbreak) for Android; this is not something that many average users are aware of. If you’re an average customer looking for data recovery, these two options are some of the best in the business. Good luck!

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Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.