WhatsApp is a communication tool that allows us to chat with any contact – even if they have us blocked – instantly and even make video calls (although there are much better video conferencing apps, WhatsApp is not bad either). But it is not less true that we also use it to send many photos and videos.
If we are not used to saving these multimedia files, we run the risk of accidentally deleting them at some point and not being able to access them. Can you recover deleted photos from WhatsApp? Effectively. And what about the videos? Can they also be recovered? And it is! I want this to be the most complete guide on the entire network to recover WhatsApp photos and videos, so I’m going to do my best not to leave a single detail in the air. Let’s go there!
A little check before starting photo and video recovery
All the files that we exchange through WhatsApp, including photos, videos, audios, documents and others, are stored in a folder within the local memory of our device. A good habit before starting to restore copies or go into lengthy recovery processes is usually to take a look at this folder. Maybe the file we lost is there!
If we work with Android, the folder where WhatsApp photos and videos are stored is located in the following path: «Local / WhatsApp / Media«. Here we will find all the multimedia files classified in folders: images, videos, audios, GIFs etc.
To access these folders we need a file explorer. Normally, most mobiles usually have a pre-installed browser, but if we do not have one, we can install ASTRO, a highly recommended free manager: easy to use and that also has no ads.
We must also remember that if one day our phone breaks, breaks or becomes a brick, we will lose access to the internal memory and with it all our WhatsApp photos. So that this does not happen, it is recommended to have the backup on Google Drive activated, as well as an SD memory where we can keep saving our favorite photos and videos from time to time to avoid possible irreparable catastrophes.
Restoring photos and multimedia files from WhatsApp servers
WhatsApp has started to keep backup copies of all the multimedia files we receive over a 3-month period on its servers. If the deleted image or file is less than 3 months old, we can directly recover it.
For this, these 3 conditions must be met:
- That we have not deleted the chat where we received the image / video.
- That we have not deleted the message (or conversation balloon) where we received the image / video.
- That the deleted file was located in the sdcard / WhatsApp / folder on our phone. This is the folder where all the documents sent to us by WhatsApp are saved by default. If we have not made any changes in this regard we should have no problem.
If we meet these 3 conditions and the shipment takes less than 3 months, WhatsApp will have a backup of the file on its servers. We will know that it will be available if it appears with a download icon in the thumbnail of the original shipment image.
To recover it, we only have to click on the blurred image and it will be downloaded to our phone again.
Personally I must admit that in all the years that I have been using WhatsApp this trick has rarely served me. Either because I had deleted the chat or message where the file had been sent to me or because it had already been too long for the image to still be on the application’s servers. But rest assured, there are more solutions that you can help us solve the problem.
How to recover WhatsApp photos with Restore Image
One of the advantages of using Android is its large market of free applications that provide solutions for practically any need. If you have deleted your WhatsApp photos, you can install the Restore Image app to recover them. It is an application for Android devices whose sole purpose is to locate and recover deleted photos and videos from our messaging applications, such as WhatsApp or Line.
Most applications to recover deleted photos and videos from our phone require root permissions to recover the photos. Restore Image, on the other hand, does not need such permissions to function, making it a tremendously useful tool.
The alternative: try MobiSaver
If we don’t get results with Restore Image we can also try to install the MobiSaver app. Today it is the app with the best recovery results I have obtained.
It is capable of restoring deleted files from the internal memory of our Android, filtering and leaving aside thumbnails and very small files. Its power increases incredibly if we have root permissions, although it is not essential for its use. Note: you can see how to root Xiaomi, Moto, HTC, One Plus mobiles in THIS POST. You can also see how to root Huawei, Samsung, LG, Sony and Nexus devices in this OTHER POST.
If we also get the paid version we will be able to recover many more photos, videos and files, but the free version is usually more than enough in most cases. Recommendation: try the free version first and see the results.
Uninstall the app and restore a backup
If with Restore Image you do not get results and you still do not see how to recover your WhatsApp photos, you can always choose to uninstall and reinstall the application. During the WhatsApp installation process it will ask you if you want to recover old messages. Just say yes to WhatsApp to recover a backup. The backup will allow us to recover our old chats, as well as recover WhatsApp photos and all the videos that such a backup copy contains.
Remember what we said at the beginning of the post: Videos take up a lot of storage space, and therefore are not included by default in WhatsApp backups. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to indicate to WhatsApp that we also want the videos to be copied. To do this, we must go to the WhatsApp settings menu until “Chats -> Backup” and activate the “Include videos” tab.
That said, WhatsApp makes cloud backups of all our conversations and files for a period previously established by us (we can choose between daily, weekly or monthly copies). In addition to that, WhatsApp also performs a daily local backup, every night, for 7 days. Therefore, if the deletion has been recent, you can opt for reinstallation as a way to recover your deleted files. You can see how to carry out the process step by step in THIS POST.
Checking local and Google Drive backups
Local backups are made for 7 days, which means that we will have 7 backup copies stored on our mobile. And in Google Drive too, if we have this option activated -we can check it from «Settings -> Chats -> Backup«.
- Locally: Backups are stored in the “WhatsApp / Databases /” folder with the msgstore.db.crypt12 nomenclature (with variations for each of the previous days’ copies).
- In Google Drive: Google Drive saves a WhatsApp backup in the “Backups” folder under the heading “WhatsApp Backup”.
If by reinstalling WhatsApp we have not managed to recover the photo or video that we have lost, we will proceed to reinstall the backups made in previous days (perhaps at that time WhatsApp still kept the document that we long for).
To reinstall old backups, please take a look at the post we were talking about a couple of paragraphs ago, where we explained everything step by step.
Recover deleted photos and videos from WhatsApp from PC / Mac
We were not lucky with Restore Image or with the backup and we still cannot recover any photo or video? Take it easy, we can try more things. There are still a few more bullets left in the bedroom. There are desktop applications for Windows, Linux or Mac that perform deep searching and recovery processes. Of course, these tools can also serve us perfectly to recover the photos and videos that we had stored on our Android, even if we have not received them by WhatsApp.
As a user I usually recommend the Recuva application, which has a free version that is great and very easy to use. Anyway, with Recuva we can only recover WhatsApp photos if we had them stored in the SD memory of our phone. Keep that in mind!
To recover photos, videos and files with Recuva, we must extract the microSD memory from the phone and connect it to a PC. To connect the memory to the PC, we must use an adapter of the MicroSD-SD type or similar. Once the system recognizes the SD we will launch Recuva and ask you to do a search on our card. This type of recovery usually takes time, so we will have to give the application several minutes to complete the file search.
How to recover WhatsApp photos with Dr. Fone or Mobisaver
None of these methods have worked for you? In this case it is possible that it was some photo stored in the internal memory of your phone from a long time ago. How can we then recover files stored in internal memory? In situations like this, if we do not have the phone rooted we can find several alternatives that promise to recover deleted photos and videos from WhatsApp, such as Dr. Fone or Mobisaver.
We are talking about desktop applications: we just have to connect the phone via USB to the PC and launch any of these applications. The recovery process is practically the same as that of the previously mentioned Recuva. What is the problem? That both applications are paid, and their cheapest versions are around $ 40. It takes a lot of a photo or video for us to pay such an amount.
Are Dr. Fone and Mobisaver really effective or just a scam?
If you are searching the internet how to recover deleted WhatsApp photos, many pages recommend Dr. Fone. The problem is that even if you download the free version, it does not allow you to recover any photo or video. It is a trial version that does not recover anything.
As I was quite interested in knowing the true efficiency of this application, I have sought people’s opinions, and although most indicate that it has not been able to recover anything, it seems that the paid version does work. Unfortunately I am not in a position to pay for the license to check it – at least for now – so we will have to trust. In any case, it should be taken very cautiously from the outset.
UPDATED: I have finally got a license and have been able to try one of these famous desktop applications: MobiSaver. The great downside of this program is that we need to have root permission on Android as an essential requirement. Warning for navigators: In most devices, rooting usually requires prior formatting of the terminal, so, unless we already have the rooted phone, root will only help us complicate things and make recovery even more difficult.
Once this barrier is overcome, the application conscientiously recovers a large number of deleted images, photos and videos, both from WhatsApp and from Android in general. It is even more effective than MobiSaver’s own mobile app version.
One last try: Try to retrieve the document from WhatsApp Web
This little trick has recently appeared on several websites. Basically it consists of accessing the web version of WhatsApp from a PC (or from another phone) and looking for a copy of the lost photo or video there.
- We access https://web.whatsapp.com in the PC browser.
- Now, we go to the mobile, open WhatsApp and click on the top dropdown, choosing “WhatsApp Web”.
- Next, we scan the QR code that appears in the browser with our mobile phone.
Once we have WhatsApp activated and synchronized in the web version, we only have to search for the photo or document and see if it is still there.
This method works especially well if the file was deleted from the phone’s image gallery. If what we did was delete the WhatsApp chat or message where the photo was, it is more complicated for it to appear.
Preventive methods to recover WhatsApp photos and videos
Another very useful way with which we can recover our photos and videos from WhatsApp is by using the Dumpster application. Once installed, it fulfills the function of the classic Windows recycle bin on our Android system.
That is, if we delete a WhatsApp file, instead of being permanently deleted it will go to the Dumpster trash, and we can easily recover it by simply searching the trash.
Anyway, if we have already deleted the photo / video, it will be useless to install Dumpster afterwards, since it is a preventive tool. If you want to avoid problems in the future, here is the link to the application on Google Play.
Recovering photos and videos from WhatsApp is easier with root permissions
To finish, comment that if our phone or tablet is rooted it will be much easier to recover lost files. The apps and recovery programs are much more effective on a device in which we have administrator permissions and we can perform much more effective searches. One of the clearest examples is the previously mentioned MobiSaver, which only works with root. In this case it is not an option, but an indispensable requirement!
Rooting a terminal is a very delicate process in which if something goes wrong we can lose data or even disable the device. Therefore, before venturing into such a process, it is important that we are very clear about what we are doing at all times. It is best to find a specific rooting method for our exact terminal model. They are the ones that work best. If not, we can always take a look at the following article.
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