Tutorial: How to Restore Photos If Not Backed Up

This post mainly gives you three effective methods on how to restore photos if not backed up. If you have accidentally deleted your important photos, you can choose one method to get them back.


By Ellie / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How can I recover photos without backup?

“My little son accidentally deleted some of the photos on my laptop. Can I get my photos back if they were never backed up?”

The answer is YES. You’re able to recover deleted files without backup, not only photos. Besides, your photos are recoverable no matter if they are deleted permanently or not, you just need to find the right way.  

3 options on how to restore photos if not backed up

In this part, 3 options on how to restore photos if not backed up are offered to help you get back your deleted photos.

Option 1. Get back accidentally deleted photos from the Recycle Bin

If you haven’t emptied your Recycle Bin, then in most cases, you are able to recover deleted photos not backed up from the Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Double click Recycle Bin on your desktop to open it.

Step 2. Look for the photos that you just deleted. Restore these files by right-clicking them. Your photos will then be restored to the location where they were before they were deleted.

Click Restore

Option 2. Restore permanently deleted photos via data recovery tool

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin or used Shift + Delete to permanently delete the photos, you can recover them using professional data recovery software such as MyRecover.

Step 1. Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

Select Location to Scan

Step 3. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the photos you want to recover.

Scanning Drive

Step 4. Select the photos you want to restore. Click Recover xx files.

Select Deleted Photos to Restore

Option 3. Recover photos without backup using CMD

Utilizing Windows File Recovery, a Microsoft command-line tool that enables data recovery via the Command Prompt, is your final option on how to get photos that were not backed up. Please be aware that in addition to these, this tool only works with Windows 10 versions 2004 and up.

Preparation work before using Windows File Recovery:

To use this tool, check out your File System first. Go to This PC > right-click on the drive that contains the photos you want to restore before > click Properties.

Check File System SD Card

In addition, you need to use recovery mode and switches to get back your photos. To decide which mode to use, refer to this table.

File system Scenarios Mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS Corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Switches are used to filter the scanning range, thus can save the scanning time.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recover specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFSSegment
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFSSegment

Step 1. Download and install Window File Recovery on your computer from Microsoft Store and then open it.

Install Windows File Recovery

Step 2. Open Powershell or Command Prompt (run as administrator). In the Command Prompt, enter commands in the following command format:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

For example, if you need to recover deleted photos from C: drive to D: drive, then the command will be like:

winfr C: D: /n *.png


How to recover iPhone photos if not backed up

Is it possible to recover iPhone photos if not backed up? YES! You can first check your Recently Deleted album. If the photos you’re looking for are not there, you are recommended to use an iPhone data recovery tool.

Let’s look at how to recover photos from iPhone if not backed up using the professional iPhone data recovery tool AOMEI Phone Data Recovery.

Download FreewareiOS 10 and later
Secure Download

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS on your PC. Connect your iPhone to the computer properly.

Connect iOS Device

Step 2. Then click Scan Now.

Start Scan Now

Step 3. All recoverable data will be listed in the left column. Go to Photos, and select the photos you want, then click Recover.

Click Recover

Bonus tip: Backup and restore photos via AOMEI Backupper 

If you’re afraid of photo loss, you’d better use AOMEI Backupper, the free professional backup and restore software that allows you to back up all your data in just a few simple clicks and then restore files from backup whenever you want.

Part 1. Data backup

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper for Windows on your computer. 

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Under the Backup tab, select the Disk Backup option.

disk backup

 Step 3. The Task Name can be set to help you distinguish backups from each other. Click Add Disk to choose the disk.

Add Disk

Step 4. Select a location for the disk image by clicking the folder-shaped button. You can create a disk-to-disk backup, or backup to a USB flash drive, CD/DVD, NAS device, or network drive, among other options.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. Click Start Backup to carry out disk backup and wait until the operation is complete. Click Finish to exit the interface.

Backup Finish

Part 2. Data restore

Step 1. Click Restore and then Select Task.

Select Task

Step 2. Choose the backup containing all the data you need and then click Next.

Select Image

Step 3. Select files or folders you want to restore and then click Next to continue.

Select Folders Files

Step 4. Select Restore to original location or Restore to a new location to store the files. Then, click Start Restore to restore files from backup.

Restore to Original Location


This post mainly gives you advice on how to restore photos if not backed up and recover iPhone photos if not backed up. Besides, a professional data backup tool is also introduced to help you prevent photos from losing again.  

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.