For Windows & iPhone | Where Do Permanently Deleted Photos Go?

Where do permanently deleted photos go? This article lists five solutions to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows/iPhone.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Where do deleted photos go?

Photos show us vivid images to enrich communication ways. Nowadays, phone users usually send their favorite pictures to intimates with phones. At work, colleagues send working materials and essential pictures using PCs.

As you can see, the photos are involved in our life and work. Sometimes, you want to free up the limited storage by deleting photos on your iPhone/PC. But there’re regrets after intentional deletion. So where do deleted photos go? Please read on.

Is it possible to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows/iPhone?

For Windows, after accidental deletion, you can press the “Ctrl + Z” keys to execute Undo Delete performance to get the accidentally deleted photos back immediately. Or go to the Recycle Bin to restore them.


Likewise, if you accidentally deleted photos from an iPhone, you can go to the Recently Deleted folder and retrieve them within 30 days.

But the above methods cannot work for you to recover permanently deleted photos on computers/iPhones. Where do permanently deleted photos go? Please check them out below.

Part 1. How to recover deleted photos Windows 10/11?

In computing, the operating system only removes the deleted files from the file category. Then marks the space as free space to add new data. Therefore, please don’t execute written performances to overwrite the deleted/lost files after data loss.

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted photos from File History

Backups are effective data loss prevention measures. It’s easy for you to find the deleted pictures on the hard drive if you’ve made backups with Windows built-in features.

In this case, let’s perform how to recover permanently deleted photos from File History. Launched in Win8.0 operating system, File History could backup files in Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Desktop folders, and OneDrive offline files stored on your PC.

Open Control Panel > System and Security to turn on File History first, and you can restore the deleted/lost/damaged original files from backups.

Step 1. Open “Control Panel” by typing it in the search bar. Then click the “System and Security” option.


Step 2. Go to “File History” and click the “Restore your files with File History” button.


Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.


Step 4. Restore” your needed photos to the original location.


If you prefer to change the saved path, please right-click “Restore” > “Restore to” to store them.

Method 2. Recover permanently deleted photos with data recovery software

Without backups, using the best photo recovery software for Windows seems like your top choice to recover deleted photos Windows 10/11.

If you don’t know how to select a trustable data recovery tool, you can consider MyRecover. Because this software can keep the original path, filename, and format for the deleted files. With the original filename, you don’t have to open image files to check their contents.

There are other highlights of this powerful and user-friendly software.  

Besides HDD, you can use it to recover deleted/lost files from portable devices such as SSD, USB, and other storage devices.   
Recover 200+ types of data: Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Videos, Audios, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.
Quick Scan and Deep Scan can find all the deleted files and other lost files on your computer.  
During the scanning process, you can search your needed photos by entering the corresponding filename in the search bar.
Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, and Windows Server.

This powerful data recovery software can save you from deletion, disk formatting, and other data loss dilemma. So don’t hesitate to download it now!

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

Step 1. After running the software on your PC, hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. The tool will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. After scanning, you can see all the deleted and other missing files of your selected partition/disk.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted files/Other Missing Files folder, and select the image files you want to retrieve. Then click the “Recover x files” button. Please store them in your specified saved path.


Part 2. Where do permanently deleted photos go on iPhone?

Where do permanently deleted photos go on iPhone? If there is no sign of your recently deleted photos in the Recently Deleted folder over 30 days, which suggests these photos have transferred into the permanently deleted photos.

How to recover permanently deleted photos from iPhone without software? Please refer to the first three methods. The last one closely links to iPhone data recovery software.

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted photos from Google Drive

Google Photos could be seen as one of the most popular photo and video backup apps because Google Drive allows users to store files in the Cloud, sync files across devices, and share files.

If you’ve emptied the Trash or permanently deleted photos from your Trash, where do permanently deleted photos go on iPhone?

With Back up and Sync on, the Trash will keep your deleted photos and videos for 60 days before permanent deletion. If you haven’t turned on Backup and Sync in advance, there’re only 30 days for you to retrieve the deleted photos from the Trash.

After permanent deletion, please reach out to Google’s Support team to restore them because Google still maintains custody of the deleted photos.

Step 1. Open Google Drive, then click “Help” > “BROWSE ALL ARTICLIES” to enter the page of Google Drive Help.

Step 2. After clicking Contact us, and select the “Missing or deleted files” option.

Step 3. Select “Request chat” or “Email support” option to log in, explain the reason why you need Google to restore the photos.


If you want to move your photos to a different Google account, please share your photo library with that account. 

Method 2. Recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud Backup

As the title suggests, if you don’t want to use iPhone data recovery software, an iCloud backup is a necessity to restore the permanently deleted photos from your iPhone.

Moreover, please ensure your desired photos are in iCloud backups because you’re not allowed to access and select files before the restoration process. Please note that your selected iCloud backup will replace all the existing data on your iOS devices.

Tips: With iCloud Photos on, iCloud rather than the iCloud backup will store these photos. With a good Internet connection, these photos will also sync and update to After activating iCloud Photos, if you delete photos on your iPhone, will also remove the same photos from it.

Step 1. Click “Settings” > “General” > “Reset” > “Erase All Content and Settings.”


Step 2. Your iPhone will restart. When it comes to the “App & Data” screen, click the “Restore from iCloud Backup” button.


Step 3. Log in to iCloud with your Apple ID, and select an iCloud backup version from the list of backups.

Method 3. Recover permanently deleted photos from iTunes Backup

Except for the photos stored in iCloud, the iTunes backup nearly covers all the content on your iPhone. But this solution also needs to erase all the existing data on your iOS devices. The following steps describe how to restore the iPhone from iTunes backup.

Step 1. Launch the latest iTunes on your PC. Then connect your iPhone to the computer and click the “iPhone” icon.


Step 2. After clicking the “Summary” tab, select the “Restore Backup” option.


Step 3. Choose a backup including your needed photos, and click the “Restore” button.


Method 4. Recover permanently deleted photos with AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS

If you prefer to keep all the current data on iOS devices, it’s a good choice to recover permanently deleted photos using professional iPhone data recovery software.

With the help of AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS, you can avoid complicated backups. Moreover, you’re also allowed to preview and select partial data before recovery.

For a higher iPhone data recovery rate, you’d better don’t take new photos to overwrite the permanently deleted photos with Wi-Fi on.  

 The data on your iPhone only can be read when it is turned on. 
 Recover Photos, Videos, Contacts, Call Logs, Voice Memos, Notes, Reminders, Calendars, and Safari Bookmarks.
 Support all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models such as iPhone 13/14.
 Be compatible with iOS 10.0 and later like the latest iOS 15/16.
Download Software iOS 10 and later
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS on your PC. Then connect your iOS device to the computer.


Step 2. Trust This Computer” on your iPhone and click “Scan Now” to start the scanning process.


Step 3. Please select some permanently deleted photos you want to “Recover” and wait patiently.


Wrapping up

Where do permanently deleted photos go? This detailed guide lists different solutions for Windows and iPhones. Please refer to the following tips if you want to prevent data loss in the future.

  • Please think twice before emptying the Recently Deleted folder on iPhone or the Recycle Bin on Windows.
  • Use Windows features such as Backup and Restore, or freeware AOMEI Backupper backup Windows files and folders.
  • Use free iPhone data backup and transfer software, AOMEI MBckupper to protect your iPhone data. 
Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.