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How to Recover Deleted Photos from the Recycle Bin After Empty

by Aishwarya

A few days back, I came across a guy named John who’s quite passionate about photography. Even though he isn’t pursuing photography as his career, I can say he has a good collection of brilliant and soulful pictures. I can think of those pictures being one of his prized possessions. 

But yesterday, I learned that he accidentally deleted one of his photo folders. When I asked him if he had checked his Recycle Bin folder, he told me that is empty. Therefore, he was so messed up and fanatically exploring recovering deleted photos from an empty Recycle Bin. 

I shared a few solutions with him, after which he got his photos back. If you too have lost your favorite pictures from an empty Recycle Bin, check out the tried-and-tested methods that can help you get back your pictures easily. Let’s start without further ado!

Best Methods to Recover Deleted Photos from an Empty Recycle Bin

I’m sharing all the DIY methods to recover deleted pictures. Read the instructions carefully mentioned with every efficient and quick photo recovery method.

Method 1: Recover photos from Backup

If you’ve used any of the following methods to keep a backup of your photos, it’d be pretty easy to recover deleted photos from an empty recycle bin. 

  • Backup Storage Media Drive, 
  • Backup & Restore Feature 
  • File History feature, 

1. Steps to Recover Photos with Backup Drive

If you take backup of your system files on an external storage media, you have to connect the media drive to your system and follow the given steps:

  1. Find the photos that you want to restore.
  2. Right-click on those photos and copy-paste them to your system. 
  3. You can also drag and drop the pictures to the desired location in your system. 

And, you’re done! 

2. Steps to Recover Photos with Backup & Restore utility

Backup & Restore is a Windows built-in backup utility that, if enabled, creates a copy of your files created on your system. If you too have kept this utility enabled, follow the given steps to get back your photos:

  1. Connect an external storage media to your system.
  2. Go to Control Panel > System & Security > Backup & Restore (Windows 7).
  3. You can also click Restore files from the backup mentioned under it.
  4. Next, choose either Restore my files or Restore all users’ files.
  5. Select the photos you want to retrieve, click Browse for files or Browse for folder, and click Next.
  6. Choose the external storage media drive to store the photos. Now, check the storage drive if you’ve recovered all the pictures. 

3. Steps to Restore with File History Feature

If the File History feature was enabled before you lost files from Recycle Bin, you could retrieve the photos with the following steps:

  1. Open Control Panel and go to File History.
  2. Next, click Restore personal files.
  3. Locate the backup and open it. Then choose the photos and folders you want to retrieve and click Restore to.
  4. Next, choose the external storage media to store the photos.

Method 2: Recover photos using the Windows File Recovery tool

If you don’t have any backup, you can try the Windows File Recovery tool. It’s a command-line program that restores permanently deleted files for free. The program comes with three modes of operation, including – Default, Segment, and Signature.

The tool is primarily designed to work with NTFS drives, but you can also recover photos from hard drives with FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems. For photo recovery from NTFS drives, you can choose Default or Segment modes, but you’d need to select Signature mode to recover photos from other file systems. 

Limitations with Windows File Recovery tool:

  • It is a command-line tool that restores files for free but, you’d need to run multiple syntaxes and different commands to choose the modes of operation and retrieve files, making it a little bit complicated for non-technical users.
  • The tool only supports Windows 10, version 2004 and above. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run on older Windows versions. 
  • The recovery results could be corrupted or incomplete.

Method 3: Use a Dedicated Photo Recovery Software

There is one more reliable way to recover deleted photos from an empty Recycle Bin. You can choose a dedicated photo recovery tool or software such as Stellar Photo Recovery. It is a DIY software that can restore pictures stored on your Windows system and shot with any DSLR, Android, iPhone, webcam, CCTV, etc. The software restores photos with their original name, date, and time. Follow the given steps:

  1. Download and run Stellar Photo Recovery on your Windows system.
  2. Choose the location from where you lost the photos in the first place on the home screen and click Scan.
  3. Once the scanning is completed, select the photos you want to restore and see their preview.
  4. Once satisfied with the recovery results, click Recover to proceed.
  5. Now, click Browse to choose the location where you want to store the photos. (Always select an external storage media drive to store the images.)
  6. Finally, click Start-Saving to save the pictures. 

To Wrap Up:

And, that’s all! All the above methods discussed in this post can help you recover deleted photos from an empty Recycle Bin. If you have a backup, follow the steps to restore deleted photos using the backup drive, Backup & Restore and File History utility. If you don’t have any backup, you can use the Windows File Recovery tool. But it is a little complicated for non-technical users because of its non-graphic user interface. 

Hence, I’d suggest you go with a dedicated photo recovery software such as Stellar Photo Recovery. It is a DIY photo recovery software that can get back your photos lost due to deletion, drive formatting, corruption, or even malware attack. You only have to follow the steps correctly, and you’ll have your prized photos back easily. 

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