Kim Barloso

How to restore deleted screenshots in Android


A screenshot is a snapshot of the screen of a device (smartphone, tablet, PC, etc.). Anything can be recorded: messages in a messenger, pictures, web pages. The screenshots may be modified in any graphic editor and used in the publications.

Content :

    Where to look for screenshots

    The easiest way to open created screenshots is through the Gallery. If you set the album view you will see the folders with the pictures, including the one with the screenshots. The absence of the album in the list may occur when using the custom firmware.

    The place where screenshots are stored depends to a large extent on the device manufacturer.

    Owners of most Android 4.0 and later smartphones will find the pictures at: Internal Storage → Pictures → Screenshots.

    Older OS versions do not allow to take screenshots using the internal methods and therefore third party software is required. They usually contain images in the ScreenShots folder on the memory card.

    Some phone models create a Screenshots album on removable media as soon as the first screenshot is taken.

    H HTC smartphones send screenshots to the sdcard/DCIM folder, Samsung S3, S4 and Note to a folder with other photos.

    Restoring screenshots with special utilities

    If screenshots are lost, using a functional software, they are easy to reanimate. Many programs designed for data recovery are freely available.

    If you find that you have lost important screenshots, do not create or download new /files: Any such operations reduce the chances of successful data recovery. It is not advisable to save images to the location from which they were deleted.

    Types of recovery applications:

    • Android applications. Some of the most popular ones are DiskDigger for Android, Dumpster, Undeleter, GT Recovery;
    • Desktop applications (run from your computer). Once the Android gadget is connected, they analyze the sd card or the internal memory in search of objects that are realistically recoverable (UltData for Android, Recuva, etc.).

    DiskDigger for Android is an effective application to handle deleted /files

    If you need to quickly restore screenshots on your SD card or phone memory, DiskDigger is an excellent choice. Even a formatted device will do.

    The free version retrieves screenshots from cache, but the quality of the images is often poor. To improve it, you should buy the pro version of DiskDigger and get root access on Android. Super User rights allow the analysis of more folders located in the internal storage of a smartphone.

    After the application has been started a window appears suggesting to select one of the scanning options:

    • simple (works regardless of the root access);
    • full (runs on devices with an extended access).

    The choice of the disc or album to search is only possible on rooted gadgets. The basic scan checks only the cache and produces a list of all /files that can be recovered.

    Selecting the object to scan, the folder with the screenshots, proceeds to the next step - selecting the file type. DiskDigger handles both JPG and PNG formats for free.

    After the user checks the box next to the file type and starts the analysis, thumbnails of the images begin to appear on the screen. The thumbnails are filtered according to size and date of creation.

    To recover deleted screenshots you should:

    • Click on one or more pictures marked;
    • Click the "Restore" button at the top of the program window.

    The final step is to select the location where to save the picture: cloud services, any folder, FTP server.

    How to recover screenshots to SD card using Recuva

    Recuva is not adapted to Android and there is no mobile version. Nevertheless, Recuva will scan any sd-card if you connect your phone to your laptop or computer. Alternatively you can remove a memory card and connect it via a card reader.

    The screenshot recovery process through Recuva:

    • installing the free Recuva program on your computer;
    • activating "Airplane Mode" on your smartphone;
    • connecting the gadget as a USB drive;
    • launching Recuva;
    • select type of /files to be restored;
    • specify picture location (SD card);
    • look through report, select individual pictures;
    • restore object to folder defined by user.

    The utility does not read the internal phone memory; to do this it must be mounted as a separate volume, otherwise it is not visible in Windows Explorer.

    The screenshots marked in the list with a yellow and red circle are corrupted.

    Other applications to recover the screenshots

    To protect yourself against losing the important ones, the Dumpster for Android comes in handy. The menu configures the storage period, folder size, backup to the cloud, etc. Restore photos, images from Recycle Bin for free, other features require a pro.

    UltData for Android will rescue in different situations: loss of images after a software failure, erroneous deletion, etc. The software is chargeable, but there is a trial period. Requires installation on your PC and connecting your smartphone via USB-cable. Scans external and internal memory, recovers any type of /files.

    Recover screenshots from Google Photos

    If synchronization of images from the Screenshots folder with the popular service Google Photos is enabled on the device, it will be quite easy to recover the missing pictures. All the pictures you deleted go to the Trash where they are stored for 60 days.

    How to recover a screenshot:

    1. open Google Photos on your smartphone;
    2. find the Trash icon in the menu and click on it;
    3. select the photo in the list that opens;
    4. retrieve the screenshot by entering the appropriate command.

    The pictures will appear in the folder from which they disappeared, as well as in your Google Photos cloud drive.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I accidentally deleted a screenshot on my Samsung Galaxy S5 mini. I am afraid that installing any screenshot recovery software may overwrite the deleted /files. What should I do?

    1. If the deleted screenshot was stored in the memory card then this problem will not occur - you may insert the memory card through the card reader.
    2. In case of restoring screenshots from the internal memory, install the DiskDigger Software on the sd-card.

    I lost my phone in February. When I bought a new one, I tried to recover the deleted screenshots and other media /files, but nothing helps.

    In this situation, the recovery is possible only with the previously enabled synchronization. If you used Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, Samsung cloud, etc. - look there, including Trash folder. If the /files are not there, it means they are only available on the lost device.

    With the Diskdigger app, I recovered some screenshots, but they are blurry and small. Is there any way to recover them in full size?

    In all likelihood you have recovered thumbnails of screenshots available without root access. In order to recover full size deleted originals, DiskDigger requires root access to Android.

    Can we recover old data (deleted screenshots, photos or videos) after 4-5 times reset to factory defaults during the last 2 years? The problem is complicated by the fact that the /files were (most probably) stored in the internal memory, where file operations and data overwrites are performed all the time.

    The problem is compounded by the fact that the /files were stored (most probably) in the internal memory.

    “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