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Android Photos Disappeared? Here's How to Fix It up and Recover Lost Photos on Android

Blake Sullivan Updated on Apr 18, 2023 10:23 AM

So, you open Gallery app and find that your Android photos disappeared unexpectedly? You're not the only one who suffers the pain as a wealth of users have reported the problem of photos disappeared from Android phone in the Community:

  • My photos are not showing up in Gallery and I can't view the downloaded pictures, photos captured using Camera, screenshots, etc.
  • My phone randomly deletes my pictures. Though the lost photos come back after restarting, they disappear again after a while.
  • All the old photos disappeared from SD card in my Android and the DCIM folder only displays the most recent picture and videos while the others are lost.
  • Pictures in Google Photos app are missing. I find it neither on Library folder nor Trash folder.

Thankfully, we'll unveil the reasons behind the missing photos issue and get you brushed up with how you can get it addressed and what you can do to recover pictures disappeared from Android. See the navigation bar:

1. All my photos disappeared from my Android! Here's why

2. What you should do to fix photo disappearing issue

3. How to recover photos disappeared from Android Gallery

4. Where did my pictures go on my Android

If you get in a flap about recovering disappeared photos you cherish, just jump ahead to here to download a robust Android photo recovery tool and get back the disappeared Gallery photos, Camera pictures, WhatsApp pictures, contact photographs, and so on using only one click.

Download Now!

for MacOS | for Windows

This all-in-one page can be used to handle the trouble of photo albums disappeared from Android phones and tablets like Samsung, Google Pixel, Huawei, Sony, LG, OnePlus, Motorola, etc.

All my photos disappeared from my Android! Here's why

Pictures that are disappearing or lost without being deleted manually can often indicate a problem with software on your device. It could be Gallery on Android not working, update failure, phone jailbreak, malware infection, third-party software bugs, or more. In some cases, Android missing photos matter might be attributed to a hardware malfunction like broken screen, broken components, microSD card error, etc.

What you should do to fix photos disappearing issue

After figuring out why photos are disappearing from Gallery, now try some troubleshooting steps. First, reboot your device and see if the lost pictures appear in Gallery. If not, keep reading.

Tips: In the following, we're going to use a Samsung Galaxy phone as an example to clarify other fixes on Android Gallery missing photos problem. The steps and button names may be slightly different depending on the Android device manufacturers and software versions.

1. Remove .nomedia files

Sometimes when you can't find the photos in Gallery, they may just look like they disappeared in DCIM or Camera folder. This could occur when the folder contains files with the .nomedia file extensions, which are often used to prevent the media files in the same folder from being scanned and loaded by apps like your Gallery app.

To test if the Gallery pictures or downloaded photos are just hidden due to the .nomedia files rather than get deleted automatically from Android, simply find and delete the .nomedia files on your phone.

  • Unlock your Android device and go to My Files app (or the file manager).
  • Tap the three dots icon in the top-right corner and choose Settings. Then, enable Show hidden system files option and return back to the My Files screen.
  • Select Image category. Then, tap the Search icon, type "nomedia" into the bar and tap Search.
  • From the results, tap the photo(s) with .nomedia file extension and select the Delete icon from the bottom to remove the file(s).

When all the .nomedia files are removed, go back to your Gallery app and it should now show you all the lost pictures on Android phone.

If you can't find any .nomedia file or still, all of your picture on Android are gone, move to next trick.

2. Clear Gallery app cache

Over time, your Gallery app can be overflowing with caches like album art, icons, or other unwanted thumbnail images. All the cached images and files can potentially make your Gallery app corrupted or crashed, ending up with Gallery not showing pictures but displaying grey or black squares only.

If this is your case, fix it up and recover the missing pictures in Gallery from Android by forcing the app to turn off and clearing cache. Here's a short guide on how to do both:

  • Open Settings app and scroll down to find and tap Apps option.
  • Scroll down to choose Gallery from the resulting list.
  • Go to Storage. If your Gallery app is corrupted or frozen, you'll need to tap Force stop to shut it down first.
  • Choose Clear cache button located on the bottom right corner. Then, restart your phone and see if the missing photos appear on Gallery app.

Rest assured that clearing cache in Gallery app won't affect the existing photos and albums.

3. Other useful solutions

If the pictures missing from Gallery problem persists or comes back, go with these approaches:

  • Uninstall third-party app that you've downloaded recently
  • Back up all the essential data and files then factory reset your Android phone.
  • If it's a hardware problem, seek technical support from your device manufacturer.

How to recover photos disappeared from Android Gallery

There're three ways to get back the disappeared photos taken with Camera or pictures downloaded from other sources if they're gone forever.

1. Photo recovery software for Android

We'll start with Android Data Recovery. It works well with all Android phones and tablets and can scan the entire Gallery and Picture Library to find all the photos disappeared after update, factory reset, accidental deletion, etc. In its straightforward panel that loading all scanned pictures, you're allowed to display the deleted items only, then preview and recover Gallery photos from Android.

Download Now!

for MacOS | for Windows

Well, let us run over the process of recovering lost photos on Android in your PC or Mac. All other personal data and files will remain untouched during the procedure.

Step 1: Open up this phone recovery tool for Android on your computer. From the startup interface, choose "Android Data Recovery".

Step 2: Attach the Android smartphone where your Gallery pictures disappeared with computer via USB cord. Then, tap Allow on your phone when indicated to enable USB debugging mode.

Step 3: Check Gallery and Picture Library for scanning lost phone pictures and click on Next button.

Step 4: Next up, get your handset rooted for a deeper search for the disappeared pictures. Just do that by pressing the Rooting Tools button, downloading KingoRoot software and stepping through the instructions in this article to root your phone.

Step 5: It'll then do a deep scan on your root phone. After that, a list of pictures detected from the Android internal storage will show up. Browse through the photo files and select the disappeared picture(s) you'd like to get back. To confirm, hit Recover button.

The final prompt will ask you where you wish to save the recovered photos. Specify a path and click on Recover button to get back all disappeared photos on Android phone. That's it.

Restore disappeared photos from backups

Another way to go is to restore Android lost pictures from Google Photos. Note that this trick only works when the Back up and Sync function is enabled and the photos has been uploaded and backed up in Google Photos before getting disappeared randomly from Gallery.

  • Open Google Photos app on your Android phone and go to Library tab from the bottom.
  • Go to Trash. The photos and videos that were deleted in the last 60 days will appear on the list.
  • Tap Select to choose the pictures disappeared from phone to retrieve.
  • To restore Gallery photos on Android, choose Restore button.

Few seconds later, you should see the lost camera photos at their original albums in Gallery app.

The backed-up photos in Google Photos are disappeared? This Google Support page has clearly explained how to find missing photos and videos in Google Photos.

Recover disappeared photos from SD card

Aside from the internal storage of your Android phone, you might also store the photos and albums in the DCIM folder, Camera folder or Screenshots folder in the mounted memory card. If the pictures disappeared from SD card or the DCIM folder or Camera folder there are emptied, Data Recovery can be your savior. It supports all the file format of images like JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, RAW, TIFF/TIF, PSD, CR2, NEF, RAF, DCR, WMF, ORF, and so on.

Now, take the SD card out of your phone and connect it to a computer via a card reader. Then, download and install this tool to trigger the SD disappeared photo recovery process:

  • Open the software, then select Image option and the drive for SD card.
  • Click on Scan button. It'll take few seconds to quickly scan your memory card and return a list of recoverable photo files.
  • Select the picture(s) or the image folder(s) you wish to retrieve. You can utilize the Filter button and the search bar to quickly locate the photo(s) and specific folder(s). If it fails to detect the downloaded pictures disappeared on Android, trigger the Deep Scan mode.
  • To recover the deleted photo albums, press the Recover button and designate an output folder to store the retrieved items on your computer.

Where did my pictures go on my Android

If you accidentally deleted a photo from Android Gallery, it'll removed to Trash first. After 15 days, the deleted photo will be erased from the Trash, and your phone will mark it as Deleted at user's side and temporarily store it at the operating system file folder - this is also where your disappeared photos from Android go. Once the new data overwrites the photos, they're gone forever.

If the Camera pictures are missing from Google Photos, odds are that it might go to your device folder.

  • Run Google Photos app on your Android device.
  • Tap Library from the bottom of the interface.
  • Locate the Photos on device heading in the middle and check if the disappeared photos are in the device folders. You can scroll left to right to or tap View All to browse through all device folders.

What should be your next station: How to back up photos on Android phone and tablet safely

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