How to recover deleted photos from Google Photos

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Philippe Gloaguen

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Google Photos is a service offered by Google itself, which provides a personal library to store photos and videos from a device or from Google Drive.

  • It supports all major photo and video formats currently present.
  • It has various functions, including photo editing and album sharing.
  •  It gives the possibility to create various albums defined in collections, in some cases it is Google Photos, using the place and time of the photos, to create some automatic collections.
  • It has an advanced photo search function, which allows you to divide photos based on the places, people and objects that are present in the image.
  • It gives the user the possibility to create animations, stories, videos and collages with the photos already uploaded.
  • And so much more.

If we have a habit of using Google Photos, it may have happened that we have deleted an image and we want to recover it, or we want to download some content, from Google Photos, to share it with other apps or services, but we don't know how to act.

The purpose of this article is to explain how to recover photos from Google Photos, or transfer them elsewhere.

We will show how to proceed both from smartphone and tablet, and from computer, through the browser, also illustrating how to download a copy of the photos synchronized on Google Photos, with other devices, and how to proceed to download all the photos synchronized with your account Google, even for videos.

How to recover deleted photos from Google Photos recycle bin

If we have deleted some photos in Google Photos by mistake, it is possible to recover them, provided that 60 days have not yet passed since their deletion and that they have been saved in Google Photos with a backup (if these photos have not been saved with a backup, the period is reduced to 30 days).

In fact, Google Photos prevents the deletion of multimedia elements with a virtual recycle bin, which keeps these data for their recovery, within the indicated time limit.

So let's see how to recover deleted photos from the Google Photos recycle bin.

Smartphones and tablets

On smartphones and tablets, you can recover all multimedia files deleted from Google Photos with the Trash section of the app.

To do this:

  • open the Google Photos application to:
  • ,
  • ,
  • tap on the Collection item at the bottom right.

At this point:

  • press on the item Trash located at the top right,
  • all the elements that can be recovered will appear,

After locating the image we are interested in, to restore it:

  • hold your finger on its preview,
  • tap on other photos to reactivate,
  • press on Restore, at the bottom right,
  • press the Allow button: the resumed items will return to the album they belonged to.

You can also:

  • press on the preview of the photo that interests us, to view it in full screen,
  • in the new screen that opens is shown, at the bottom, the period of time left before the photo is permanently deleted,
  • press the Reset button located on the right.

To recover all the media items in the Google Photos Trash:

  • go back to Trash,
  • tap on the word Select at the top right,
  • click on the thumbnail of each photo,
  • press on the Reset all item located at the bottom right.


Google Photos is available from the web, for uploading photos from your PC and viewing synced photos on other devices. In this way: you can have a copy of your multimedia files stored on the cloud, that is, on Google's servers reserved for the Google One platform. The free storage space up to 15 GB, shared between Google Photos, Gmail and Google Drive, can be increased to 100 GB at a cost of 1,99 euros per month (or up to 2 TB for 9,99 euros per month ).

To recover photos from the recycle bin of our storage space:

  • access Google Photos, with any navigation browser,
  • open the,
  • if necessary, type in the username and password of the Google account, which we also use on smartphones and tablets.

After logging in:

  • click on the Trash item from the menu on the left,
  • here we will find all the elements deleted from Google Photos, both from the web panel and from mobile devices. Since data synchronization is active, any operation performed on one device will be carried out on all the others.

Right away:

  • locate the photos to restore,
  • click on the check icon that we find on each preview, so as to select them one by one,
  • press on the Restore item located at the top right.

The deleted files will be available in the respective albums.

To check how much time remains before a photo is completely deleted, just click on its preview; the information will be shown at the bottom left.

How to recover photos from Google Photos archive

By activating the synchronization of Google Photos, all media files can be viewed on any device associated with our Google account.

You can also download a copy of these files, storing them on the memory of a particular device, sharing the downloaded photos on other services and apps.

Here are the directions to do this.

Smartphones and tablets

On smartphones and tablets, by starting the Google Photos app, you can see:

  • photos and videos on the device memory,
  • media files that have been backed up,
  • synchronization from other devices, displayed on the Big “G” cloud, without the file actually being available in the local memory of the device.

To download a copy of the photos from the Google Photos archive on our smartphone or tablet:

  • launch the Google Photos app,
  • click on the preview of the multimedia element to download,
  • press the ⁝ icon located at the top right,
  • select, from the new screen, the item Download.

This will download a copy of the photo to the local storage of the device, and will be shared in other applications or services.

If one of the photos ended up in the Archive section of Google Photos by mistake, you can retrieve it from the main page of the app:

  • go to Collection> Archive,
  • press and hold your finger on the preview of the photo to be recovered,
  • press the button ⁝ located at the top right,
  • select the item Remove from archive.


By accessing Google Photos from your browser, you can download both single photos and entire albums.

To download a single photo:

  • go on,
  • if necessary, log in by entering the credentials of your Google account in the appropriate fields,
  • in the main storage screen, click on a photo thumbnail,
  • press the ⋮ icon located at the top right,
  • the displayed items, select the one called Download, to immediately download the single photo.

To download an entire album:

  • click on the Album item located on the left in the sidebar, on the main page of the site,
  • select an album from those presented to us,
  • press the ⋮ icon located at the top right,
  • among the items that are shown, select the one called Download all to download the album inside a ZIP compressed archive.

If one of your photos ended up, by mistake, in the Archive section of Google Photos and we want to restore it in our personal space:

  • click on the Archive item on the left,
  • click on its preview to open it,
  • press the button ⁝ located at the top right,
  • click on Remove from archive.

How to recover all photos from Google Photos

There is also another way to download multimedia files from Google Photos to any device: use the Google Takeout service linked to your Google account.

With Takeout, in addition to photos, you can download a copy of all the elements concerning the various applications and services

Google synchronized with our account, for example:

  • appointments recorded on Google Calendar,
  • Chrome favorites and browsing history,
  • Gmail emails and attachments,
  • other.

Here's how to download, on any device, an archive with the elements of Google Photos, both from a computer and from a smartphone or tablet:

  • connect to the home page of,
  • if necessary, log in by entering your Google account login details,
  • the list of all Google services and applications for which you can download data will be shown,
  • click on the Deselect all item at the top right,
  • click on the box next to Google Photos,
  • if we want to include the data of other applications and services in the file to be downloaded, click on the other boxes relating to the latter,
  • to include only some albums, tap on the words All photo albums included (under the heading Google Photos),
  • click on the boxes next to the album names you don't want to include in the file,
  • press the OK button.


  • scroll the page down,
  • press the Next step button,
  • select a method, with which to obtain the file with the copy of the selected elements, by clicking on the item Send the download link via email,
  • choose the option between:
  1. Add to Drive,
  2. Add to Dropbox,
  3. Add to OneDriv,
  4. and so on.

Select the type of file containing the copy we are creating by clicking on the .zip item.
Finally, choose the maximum file size:

  • 2 GB,
  • 4 GB,
  • 10 GB, and so on.

If the file is larger than the size indicated, the copy content will be split into multiple files each with the selected size.

To conclude:

  • click on the Create export button at the bottom.

It may take up to several days to create the copy of the files, depending on their size and quantity. The process will be done automatically by Google.

Once the file is ready, “big G” will communicate it to us with an email to the email address of our account.

To download the file:

  • click on the Download file button contained in the email,
  • or access the archiving service, selected during creation.

How to recover permanently deleted photos from Google Photos

We did not find the photo we were looking for in the Trash section of Google Photos, this means that it may have been more than 60 days from the time of deleting it (or 30, in case the photo was not saved in the account backup Google).

We could also have emptied the Google Photos Trash, or deleted the photo from the Gallery of the smartphone or tablet without first backing it up.

In these cases, photo restoration is not possible.

How to recover videos from Google Photos

The steps required to restore a video, moved to the Recycle Bin, or download it to any device from the Google Photos archive, are the same as those we have already seen previously in our article.

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