It has happened to all of us: you enter a WhatsApp chat and some photos inside are blurred or are not directly displayed. If you tap on the photo, it gives an error and tells you that the file “does not exist on your internal storage”. The problem is that the photo was deleted, and WhatsApp therefore cannot show it.
If you have accidentally deleted photos on WhatsApp unintentionally and want to recover them, in this article we tell you everything you can do to recover them. In total, we tell you five ways to recover deleted photos from WhatsApp.
1. Try downloading them again
It is probably the first thing you tried, but it is always a good idea to start with the most basic and simple alternative before going into other more complicated techniques. In some cases, WhatsApp allows you re-download the image after it has been erased, without further ado. To do this you just need to tap on the download button.
This option usually appears when the deletion is relatively recent and the photo is stored on the Facebook / WhatsApp servers. The person who sent it does not need to be online at the moment.
2. Try WhatsApp web
This trick doesn’t always work, but it costs little to try if you’re lucky. In some cases, photos not appearing in WhatsApp chats still appear in the web version, so that you can view and download them.
First of all, you must open the web version of WhatsApp, typing https://web.whatsapp.com/ in the browser on your PC. The web itself in principle only show a QR code, which you will need to scan with your mobile to log in.
Now is the time to go back to mobile. Open WhatsApp and, in the Chats tab, tap on the menu button to choose WhatsApp Web. In the window that opens, press the + button to open the QR code scanner, with which you must point to the code displayed on the WhatsApp Web website.
Once this is done, all your chats will be loaded in the web version of WhatsApp, and in some cases the photos that are deleted on the mobile are displayed. There doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation for why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, so you’ll have to try it out for yourself.
As in the previous case, you will have a better chance of recovering your photo with this method if the photo has been sent and deleted relatively recently. If you are unlucky, you will see a message like the one above, indicating that “the photo is no longer on your phone.”
3. Recover the backup
WhatsApp includes for years the possibility of making backup copies in Google Drive. If you have it activated, this copy includes all the messages as well as the photos and videos included in them. The process is a bit traumatic, so you’d better Please check first if the copy was made after you received the photo, but before you erased it.
To see the date of the last WhatsApp backup, go to the application settings and enter the section of Chats. In it, go to Backup copy and there you can see the date and time the last copy was made.
If you think that the backup may contain the photos you have lost, then you will need to restore the backup. The bad news is that to do so you need to erase your WhatsApp data to start from scratch or, if you prefer, uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp.
When you reopen WhatsApp, follow the setup wizard to add and verify your phone number. At the end of the process, WhatsApp it will detect that there is a backup on Google Drive and it will ask you if you want to restore it. You won’t be able to do it later, so press Restore.
For the rest, you just have to wait. Messages are downloaded first and later the photos and videos arrive, whose download is done in the background. If your backup includes a lot of chats, photos, and videos, it may take a while.
4. Use specialized applications
If none of the above works, you always have the option of calling in the cavalry. The bad news is that WhatsApp saves the photos and videos in the internal memory of the mobile and not on the microSD card, so you can’t take it out and search for deleted files on a PC.
Instead, you’re limited to mobile app search, which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for good apps need root to do a deep search. Without it, the best applications like DiskDigger can hope to do is restore thumbnails, smaller than the original photo.
If you are rooted, recovering deleted photos with DiskDigger for Android is relatively easy. After granting the corresponding permission, you must start the memory analysis. Can take a while, so be patient and keep the mobile connected to the power.
When the analysis is finished, you are shown a preview with all the deleted photos that it has found. You shall select the ones you want to recover and save them, if possible, in a location other than the internal memory (for example, uploading them to Dropbox).
5. Ask the other person for them
Finally, unless you were talking to yourself, the photo or photos that have disappeared should have a copy on the mobile of the person who sent them … or to whom you sent them. Instead of complicating your life with data recovery apps, sometimes it’s easier to just ask for it to be sent to you again.
It can be a bit confusing to describe a specific photo, so it’s easier to use the response function of WhatsApp, sliding the missing photo to the side. Then ask the other person to send you the photo.
Of course this it will not serve you every timeEspecially if they are old photos and the other person has already reinstalled WhatsApp 30 times on 30 different mobiles, but it is worth trying your luck.