Kim Barloso

How to get a photo back on Instagram: the best ways to restore a post


Many people upload the most valuable photos to Instagram that they're definitely not ashamed of. If you are reading this text, this is probably your case too. Alas, due to ridiculous accidents, photos disappear without a trace (seemingly). More often than not, it's due to account deletion or blocking. The saddest part is that along with the account, priceless memories are gone.

Can the situation be resolved with an optimistic outcome if the Instagram postings disappear? It depends on the circumstances. We will take a look at all the scenarios for Instagram photo recovery that exist at the moment.

Content :

  1. Default photo recovery
  2. Check for deleted photos in the archive
  3. Find and recover photos on your phone
  4. Use recovery software
  5. Recover Instagram images via Google
  6. Check the internet archive
  7. Make a backup of valuable photos
  8. Frequently asked questions

1. Instagram has no Recycle Bin / recovery features

The first thing to understand is that Instagram doesn't have any obvious recovery options. The online service does not provide recovery options. There is no recycle bin as on Google Photos.

Although photos and videos are stored on Instagram server even after deletion indefinitely ("for the purpose of legal obligations"), according to the rules, it will be possible to restore them only by court decision.

Respectively, if you need to provide photos as evidence, proof, contact through tech support to Instagram. But this is an extreme case. If you do not have proper documentation, tearfull letters to tech support will not convince Instagram staff to send you a backup.

2. Check the Instagram archive

In 2017, Instagram has a new feature - archive records (how to use it?). It is useful because:

  • you will be able to hide any photos and stories from sharing
  • there will always be an opportunity to recover a priceless photo.

Roughly speaking, Instagram archive can be compared to the Trash - a temporary storage of /files. Until you clean it out, your photos will be available for quick recovery to your feed. Accordingly, that once you delete a photo from your Instagram archive, you definitely can't restore it.

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Tip : Always use archiving instead of directly deleting photos if you want to get rid of something, even if you think you'll never need the photo. No one knows what you will be interested in a year or five years from now.

3. Retrieve photos on your phone

It's reasonable to assume that photos can be stored on your mobile device before you publish online and afterwards (unless you've deleted them). There are only a few sources in total where you should look for copies of photos. These are:

  • The Android Gallery
  • The DCIM/Camera folder
  • The Downloads folder
  • Other user directories where you store your photos

For a quick search we suggest using any file manager with easy sorting, filtering and flexible search.

4. Connecting recovery software to the case

We can forget that the photos were stored on Instagram server - in fact, online images can no longer be returned. But you can try the traditional method of restoring local /files. How to do it:

  1. Remember where the photos were located (see above),
  2. Install photo recovery software,
  3. Scan where you stored the deleted /files,
  4. Save all the images found.

If the photos were deleted from the phone internal memory, chances to find something are only by fresh traces. In extreme case DiskDigger utility for Android will help.

5 Restore photos via Google account

Many android users store photos on Google Photos or Samsung's proprietary service without even knowing it. Thus, it makes sense to check if you have photos backed up in the online cloud.

To do this:

  1. Go to Google Photos from your account;
  2. Check the contents of any published albums, if any;
  3. Check the Trash if any of what has been uploaded on Instagram.

6. Look up Internet Archive

The Internet Archive service comes in handy if you need to look up an old version of any website. With Instagram, this method will also work.

  1. Go to the home page //
  2. Enter your Instagram account address in the text field
  3. In the calendar, select the snapshot date to view

As of 2017, Internet Archive stores over 300 billion pages, but the "time machine" is not available for all Instagram accounts. Often the service produces a blank page instead of images. However, there is no more workable alternative to this service yet.

7. Back up your most valuable photos

Read an excerpt from Instagram rules:

Instagram is not a backup storage service, so you are advised to keep a copy of your photos and videos.

Although it sounds like a cop-out, it is actually worth heeding the recommendation. Always back up your most important /files - including Instagram photos. There are two options for storing copies of images:

  1. Install the Backup and Sync app
  2. To sync your Gallery with Google Photos.

Yes, backing up your photos will take you 10 minutes, but it will insure against trouble. Afterwards, you will restore your photos from Instagram, Camera and other apps and services without any problem, even if you lost access to them.

5 ways to backup on Android

Frequently Asked Questions

I accidentally deleted 2 photos from Instagram. How can I restore along with the comments?

The post can only be restored if it has been placed in the archive and is still there. Otherwise, both the photo and comments are deleted. You can ask your audience if someone has managed to save the picture on their phone.

My girlfriend and I recently broke up. I got angry and deleted the photos on my Instagram. Is there any way to restore those photos with likes and comments without reposting?

Instagram has no Recycle Bin, and once deleted, the photos disappear from the server. Tech support will not help in any case. Try another way: install the DiskDigger application and use it to recover the photo to your sd-card or to the internal memory of your mobile device.

I published a post with a photo and a text on my birthday. Now I can't find it - probably deleted it. Help me find and restore!

Maybe the post has been moved to the archive by mistake? Check in the Stories Archive. If neither the post nor the picture is there, refer to, with the closest date on the timeline as possible.

Instagram deleted my post with the picture because someone complained about it, to piss me off or just for fun. But I didn't violate community norms!

Log in to your account through the Instagram app. When you log in, a message will appear telling you that your profile has been blocked and "if there's been an error, let us know". Click on the link and make a request to unlock it. After a while, you'll get your access back and can get your photos and other data back.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso