How to recover deleted photos and videos on Google Photos

No one doubts that cloud storage has brought many advantages. We can access our photos, videos and other documents from any device and place, which is great; but it also has its drawbacks. One of them is file recovery, since as we do not have a physical hard drive to analyze, we cannot use any recovery software or install any app that helps us scan the storage unit and restore deleted files.

So what can we do? In the case of Google Photos, luckily we have a tool called "Paper bin", which for practical purposes works exactly the same as the classic Windows recycle bin. In this way, we can recover any photos or videos that we have mistakenly deleted in our Google Photos account. Although it is not convenient to get too excited, since as we will see below, this tool also has its limitations. Let's see how it works.

When we delete a photo, it is not deleted, it is moved to the trash can.

How to recover deleted photos and videos on Google Photos

When we delete a document from Google Photos it is sent to the trash, where it is kept for up to 60 days. Once those 2 months of rigor have passed, the image or video in question is permanently deleted from Google's servers. If we are still within the allowed dates we are in luck, since the system allows us to recover the lost file relatively easily.

From the web version

  • Open Google Photos from the browser and log in with your user account.
  • Once inside the application, in the left side menu click on "Paper bin”.

  • Here you will see a list of all the photos and videos that have been deleted in a period of less than 60 days. Locate the file you want to recover and click on it.
  • This will show us the full size image. If you look closely, in the upper right margin you will see a button that says "Restore”. Click on it.

  • The file will automatically be recovered and will reappear in your Google Photos library along with the rest of the documents. Note: if you still don't see the recovered file in your library, press F5 to refresh or reload the Google Photos page in your browser.

From the Google Photos app

If we are using the Google Photos app for mobile devices, the steps to follow are very similar, with some slight variation in the procedure.

  • Open the Google Photos app, and in the lower menu, click on the "library”.
  • Then enter "Paper bin”And locate the photo or video that you deleted by mistake.
  • Click on the image or video to see it in full size. You will see that at the bottom of the screen a button of "Restore”. Select this option to recover the file.
  • If everything has gone well, the application will show a brief message indicating that the document "has been restored”.

What if the image was deleted more than 60 days ago? Can you still recover?

Not in theory. Once 60 days have passed after the document was deleted, there is no way to restore the file manually. However, Google support has a small window of time after permanent deletion during which the file can still be recovered from their servers. To do this, we must make a recovery request and wait for Google's technical team to approve our request.

To request this recovery we must enter Google Drive, and from there follow these steps:

  • Click on the assistance icon that you will see at the top of the screen (icon with a question mark) and select “Help”.
  • This will open a new window. Click on "Delete and restore files in Google Drive" and then hit the blue button "Contact”.

Once filled the help request formIf we meet the requirements and the files are still recoverable, Google support will launch a recovery process on our cloud storage unit.

If none of this works, we can always choose to run a file recovery program on the device we originally used to upload the document to Google Photos (either mobile or PC).

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