How to recover deleted photos from HTC 10

HTC 10 is a reliable device that walks unscathed through mortal dangers like water, dust or unexpected falls, but what if the damage is done by human error, is the HTC 10 resourceful enough to survive a system-wide wipe out? Can we fix things right after a mistaken deletion that erased the entire gallery? Well, that depends.

When files are mistakenly deleted from your HTC 10, you will probably find yourself in these three situations, each demands a specific solution.

I.The bittersweet – an unexpected online backup saves the day

With the cloud storage market rapidly deteriorating into this fiercely competitive playground for morally loose tech giants who’re determined to go even further and further to secure users, it has become less of a shock to discover that your deleted private pics keeps on living on some unexpected servers. For HTC 10, the best place to track down a cloud copy is the preinstalled Google photos app. This gallery app is tasked to index and upload the photos on the device to Google drive through its auto backup feature, which is turned on immediately at the very moment you powered up your newly purchased HTC 10 and signed in with a Google account. The deletion only deletes the local copy from the device but doesn’t do anything to its online copy, you can have the deleted photos back by simply restoring the device to a previous state with the online copy.

Other cloud apps may take the initiative of uploading your photos are: Dropbox, OneDrive and HTC’s official offering – HTC Backup.

The hard – recover deleted photos from the SD card if you can’t find an online copy

HTC’s unwavering support for expandable storage is laudable, the SD card is the default place on HTC one for storing photos and videos captured by the camera app, it utilizes the file system type where deleted files can be recovered with relative ease. When the delete button is hit, the operating system’s tasked to mark the memory space where the deleted files were stored as blank to free up memory space, the deletion only renders the deleted files as expendable, but doesn’t exert to permanently erase the data, with proper file recovery software, the deleted photos can be recovered with ease.

The following instruction shows the steps to recover deleted pictures from HTC 10

  1. Download a file recovery software of your preference, to name a few, Photorec, stellar phoenix photo recovery… Photorec is an excellent open-source file recovery software, though the lack of graphic user interface (Windows, buttons, icons…) requires the users to be sufficiently versed in unix command to operate the software, the versatility and depth of Photorec is unparalleled. Stellar phoenix photo recovery is much easier to command, it sports an easy to use interface and provides a straightforward route to the reunion of you and your files.
  2. Take the SD card out from HTC 10, and connect the card with computer via a SD card reader/adapter. File recovery software will automatically pick up the attached storage device and ask for the permission to run a scan, make sure the prompted media drive is the SD card and proceed to scan.
  3. The scanning process varies depending which program you chose, it may take up to hours to complete a deep scan if the card is packed with content, the scanning process not only finds the mistakenly deleted files, but all files on the card that are deemed as salvageable by the file recovery software, that includes pictures captured by the camera app, internet cache images, thumbnails, intact or partially overwritten, all the files will be indexed and evaluated to generate the scanning result.
  4. Check if your mistakenly deleted photos are among the scanning result through the preview window, if you want to go through the recovery, save all the files to your hard drive. You may find it much easier to sort the files with Windows file explorer or Mac’s finder than the recovery program’s built-in file filter.

III. The impossible – if the deleted photos were previously stored on the internal memory, they’re gone forever.

The internal memory is where HTC 10 stores its system core files, any tempering with the internal memory may result to catastrophic failures of the operating system, so the read/write access to the internal memory by third party computer based programs like Photorec are prohibited for security reasons, this, eliminates the chance of us scanning and recovering files from the internal memory. If your deleted photos were previously stored on the internal memory, sadly, they are gone.


It seems to be counter-intuitive to use additional accessory to connect the card with computer, can I just plug the phone in with the USB cable?

Well no, the reason we have to single out the card is because the newest iteration of android system imposes strict control over how its storage should be accessed and interact with. By directly connecting the phone with USB cable, both Photorec and stellar fails to recognize the card or the internal memory as a drive option to work with.

Is there an android app for this sort of thing?

Well, not currently, the key requirement for the recovery of internal memory is the read/write access which is not granted to any third party apps or software.

Also file recovery task requires considerable amount of computing which is too demanding for even today’s android apps.

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