How to recover deleted photos from Lumia 950 and Windows 10 devices

The Lumia 950 is the herald of the Windows 10 mobile, the era of one platform for all, naturally, what you lose from one device, you may stumble upon on another. Windows 10 phones like the Lumia 950 has its backup feature turned on by default, once you powered up the device and signed in with your Microsoft account, the automatic backup is initiated, text messages, apps, setting information, photos and videos are eligible data that get constantly uploaded and updated in your OneDrive cloud, if you accidentally deletes the wrong photos, you can retrieve them by simply restore the phone to a version of its previous states.

To restore the Lumia 950:

Warning: restore a backup needs to hard reset the phone, this means you might lose certain text messages, music you’ve downloaded, photos and videos captured and settings you’ve changed since the last backup. If you’re not willing or unsure about this method, you can try recover deleted photos locally from the memory card.

Tip: to restore a backup requires the download of the most recent backup file from the cloud, it will consume considerable amount of data, so you may want to connect to a Wi-Fi network before proceed, otherwise, the set up will use your cellular data.

  1. Before anything else, make sure you have eligible backup, check the date it’s last updated to determine if it contains the lost pictures.
  2. Hard reset your phone, the reset will wipe the phone to the same state it was when you first turned it on. In the App list, tap Settings – About – Reset your phone. A warning will appear, tap yes then yes again. The phone will be reset to its original state.
  3. Set up the device, after you signed into the device, you will be prompted to restore your phone, tap the backup you want to use, then tap Next.
  4. Wait for the setup to complete, then tap Next, you may be asked to enter your password, or verify your account, do as you please.
  5. Tap Done.

Well, some of us prefer to turn off the auto backup for the sake of cleanness, or a sense of control. Auto backup inevitably, no matter how trivial it is, is a background running process that takes up considerable runtime memory and drains battery life, if you actively switched the settings of photos backup to Don’t upload, and later on find yourself in a remorseful situation, this is what we can do to recover the deleted photos

To recover deleted photos from Lumia 950 and Windows 10 mobile devices locally with computer-based file recovery program:

  1. Take out the micro SD card from the Lumia phone, and use a SD card adapter/USB card reader to connect the card with your computer, through either the SD card slot or the USB socket, depending what type of adapter you’re using.
  2. Download the photo recovery software, the software is computer-based program that is available on both Windows and Mac, if you’re reading this article on your Lumia 950, time to find a computer.
  3. Start the photo recovery software, if the memory card is properly attached, the software will detect the storage and prompt to ask for the confirmation to work on the media drive, click “scan”.
  4. The scanning process could be lengthy if the card is packed with contents, the program will round up all the data it manages to find, not only your mistakenly deleted pictures, but all the files that have ever lived on the card and is recoverable. The scanning result will be a massive amount of jumbled files that requires some serious sorting before them starting to make sense.
  5. Recover all the files to a place on your computer’s hard drive, the Windows file explorer, with its various searching parameters (type, size, extension…) and viewing mode (thumbnails and details), you will be able to locate your mistakenly deleted pictures quickly.

Frequently asked questions

How to create a Windows phone backup?

Various things can be made to a backup on the Windows phone, not only media files, but also the apps you’ve installed on your phone, the call history, settings from around your phone, the calendars… with the auto backup turned on, your phone will make a fresh backup periodically when it’s connected to the Wi-Fi and plugged into a power source.

To turn on backup on a Windows phone

Go to settings – Backup.

Tap Photos + videos and the items that you want to include in a backup file, choose the settings for each type of files.

Note: you will need a Wi-Fi connection to automatically upload your files to the Microsoft cloud.

Why some of my recovered files are corrupted, only partially visible?

With the files deleted, the memory space of these files are now regarded as blank by the operating system, which will utilize the space whenever it needs to. If new data were written on the deleted files memory space, the deleted files could be damaged even after recovery.

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