How to recover WhatsApp photos and videos

WhatsApp is a communication tool that allows us to chat with any contact – even if they have blocked us – instantly and even make video calls. Gone are the times when alternative versions such as WhatsApp Plus represented a clear improvement over the official version of WhatsApp. Today, the most popular instant messaging app on the planet is packed with features. And without a doubt, one of the most used is the possibility of sending photos and videos to our contacts.

If we are not used to saving these multimedia files, we are in danger of accidentally deleting them at some point and not being able to access them. Now the question is clear: If we delete a photo or video from WhatsApp , can it be recovered? The short answer is “Probably yes”, although depending on our particular case it can be more or less complicated.

I want this to be the most complete guide on the whole network to recover photos and videos from WhatsApp, so I am going to do my best not to leave a single detail up in the air. Let’s go there!

Next, we will see  how to recover deleted WhatsApp photos and videos  using 4 different techniques:

  • Re-downloading the photo / video from the WhatsApp servers .
  • By using recovery apps .
  • Performing a backup restore .
  • Making use of recovery applications for PC / Mac .

A little check before starting photo and video recovery

All the files that we exchange for WhatsApp, including photos, videos, audios, documents and others, are stored in a folder within the local memory of our device . A good habit before you start restoring copies or going into lengthy recovery processes is usually to take a look at this folder. Maybe the file we have 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 into folders: images, videos, audios, GIFs, etc.

To access these folders we need a file explorer . Normally, most mobiles usually bring a pre-installed browser, but if we don’t have one, we can install ASTRO , a highly recommended free manager: easy to use and also has no ads.


ASTRO file manager

Developer: App Annie Basics

Price: Free

We must also remember that if one day our phone breaks, breaks or turns into a brick , we will lose access to the internal memory and with it to all our WhatsApp photos. So that this does not happen, it is advisable to have the backup in Google Drive activated , as well as an SD memory where we can save our favorite photos and videos from time to time to avoid possible irreparable catastrophes.

Saving a backup in Google Drive can avoid many scares. And don’t forget to activate the “include videos” tab!

Restoring photos and multimedia files from WhatsApp servers

WhatsApp has begun to save backup copies on its servers of all the multimedia files that we receive during a period of 3 months . If the deleted image or file is less than 3 months old, we can recover it directly.

For this, these 3 conditions must be met:

  • That we have not deleted the chatwhere we received the image / video.
  • That we have not deleted the message (or speechbubble ) where we received the image / video.
  • That the deleted file was located in the sdcard / WhatsApp /folder   of 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 not have any problems.

If we meet these 3 conditions and the shipment is less than 3 months old, WhatsApp will have a backup of the file on its servers. We will know that it will be available if the thumbnail of the original shipment image appears with a download icon .

To recover it, we just have to click on the blurred image and it will be downloaded to our phone again. As simple as that.

We can re-download the image, since the shipment has not been deleted. Therefore, WhatsApp will download it again from its servers.

Personally, I must admit that in all the years that I have been using WhatsApp, this trick has rarely served me well. Either because I had deleted the chat or message where the file had been sent to me or because too much time had passed for the image to still be on the application’s servers. But don’t worry, 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 for 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 photos and videos deleted 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. On the other hand, Restore Image does not need these permissions to work, which makes it a tremendously useful tool.


Restore Image (Super Easy)

Developer: AlpacaSoft

Price: Free

With this app you can recover your deleted photos and videos in a simple way

The alternative: try MobiSaver

If we do not get results with Restore Image we can also try to install the MobiSaver app . Today it is the app with which I have obtained the best recovery results.


EaseUS MobiSaver-Recover Photos & Contacts

Developer: EaseUS Data Recovery Software

Price: Free

It is capable of restoring files deleted from the internal memory of our Android , filtering and leaving aside the 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 phones 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 can 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 what it shows.

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 installation process WhatsApp will ask you if you want to recover old messages . All you have to do is say yes for WhatsApp to recover a backup. The backup will allow us to recover our old chats, as well as to recover WhatsApp photos and all the videos that this backup copy contains.

Remember what we mentioned 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 to “Chats -> Backup” and activate the ” Include videos ” tab .

That said, WhatsApp makes backups in the cloud of all our conversations and files for a period previously established by us (we can choose between daily, weekly or monthly copies). Besides 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 perform the process step by step in THIS POST .

Install WhatsApp again to recover a backup of your messages and files

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 «.

  • Local: Backups are stored in the folder ” WhatsApp / Databases / ” with the nomenclature  db.crypt12 (with variants for each of the copies from previous days).

msgstore.db.crypt12 is the most recent copy. The rest are from the previous 6 days.

  • On Google Drive: Google Drive saves a backup copy of WhatsApp in the ” Backups ” folder under the heading ” Backup WhatsApp “.

As you can see, here is the last copy, and it is today at 4 in the morning.

If when reinstalling WhatsApp we have not managed to recover the photo or video that we have lost, we will proceed to reinstall the backup copies made in previous days (perhaps at that time WhatsApp still had the document that we long for).

To reinstall old backups, please take a look at the post we mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, where we explained everything step by step.

Recover Deleted WhatsApp Photos and Videos from PC / Mac

We have not had any luck with Restore Image or with the backup and we still cannot recover any photos or videos ? Relax, we can try more things. There’s still a few more bullets in the chamber. There are desktop applications for Windows, Linux or Mac that perform deep search 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. Take it into account!

To recover photos, videos and files with Recuva, we must  extract the phone’s microSD memory and connect it to a PC. To connect the memory to the PC we must use an adapter of the MicroSD-SD or similar type. Once the system recognizes the SD, we will launch Recuva and ask you to search our card.

Recuva allows you to filter your search by file type (photos, videos, etc.)

These types of recoveries usually take 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 a photo stored in the internal memory of your phone for a long time. 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 one 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 cheaper versions are around $ 40. You have to need a photo or video a lot for us to pay such an amount.

Are Dr. Fone and Mobisaver really effective or are they just a scam?

If you are looking online for 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 photos or videos. 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 searched people’s opinions, and although most indicate that they have 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 it will be necessary to trust. In any case, from the outset it would be necessary to take it very, very cautiously.

UPDATED : I have finally gotten 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 permissions on Android as an essential requirement . Warning for navigators: In most devices, rooting usually requires the previous formatting of the terminal, so, unless we already have the phone rooted, doing root will only help us to 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 Android in general. It is even more effective than the app version of MobiSaver for mobile phones.

Therefore, YES, MobiSaver works (let’s see if in a while I can try Dr. Fone and I also confirm its effectiveness first-hand).

One last try: Try to recover the document from WhatsApp Web

This little trick has recently appeared on several websites. It basically consists of accessing the web version of WhatsApp from a PC (or from another phone) and looking there for a copy of the lost photo or video.

  • We access in the PC browser.
  • Now, we go to the mobile, open WhatsApp and click on the top drop-down, choosing ” WhatsApp Web.”
  • Next, we scan with the mobile the QR code that appears in the browser.
  • Once we have WhatsApp activated and synchronized in the web version, we just have to look 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 chat or WhatsApp message where the photo was, it is more difficult for it to appear.

Do you use the WhatsApp application for PC?

In addition to WhatsApp Web, if we have a Windows PC or a Mac we can also install the version of WhatsApp for desktops. In this case, the program does not have any hidden folder where the photos sent to us are stored. Instead, when we download a photo, it is saved on the computer’s hard drive.

Therefore, if you use the WhatsApp program for PC, take a look at the downloads folder. Hopefully, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Waiting! Have you changed your mobile recently?

If the image or video you have lost is a bit old it may still be on your old phone . If you have renewed your smartphone in recent months and once you downloaded that photo on your old mobile, it is probably still there.

If you charge the phone’s battery and try to open the WhatsApp that you had installed, you will see that a message pops up indicating that WhatsApp is no longer active. However, you can go into the ” Local / WhatsApp / Media ” folder using a file explorer to check if the photo is still there.

Also think that if the photo you took with that phone it could still be in the Image Gallery, or even in the “Downloads” folder. Take a good look at your old terminal before giving up!

What do you think of these recovery methods? Here is a short video from our YouTube channel on the subject:

Preventive methods to recover WhatsApp photos and videos

Another very useful way with which we can recover our WhatsApp photos and videos 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 simply by looking in 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. Frankly recommended.


Dumpster Recycle Bin

Developer: Baloota

Price: Free

Recovering WhatsApp photos and videos is easier with root permissions

To finish, comment that if our phone or tablet is rooted it will be much easier to recover the lost files . Recovery apps and programs are much more effective on a device where 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 make the device unusable. Therefore, before venturing into such a process it is important that we be 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 next article .

If you found this post interesting and / or it has helped you to solve your problem, I would appreciate it if you could help me spread it on your social networks, on Telegram or tell a friend that you have discovered a pretty nice website called Thank you and until next post!


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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