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How to recover photos on iPhone without backup

Elena Spencer Updated on Apr 18, 2023 10:36 AM

I've accidently deleted a group of pictures on my iPhone and I didn't realize that some of them had not backed up either with iTunes or in iCloud. Is there any way to restore these photos from iPhone itself?

Losing photos on the iPhone is such a frustrating situation that no one hopes to encounter. When it happens, first, one thing you should note: to increase the chances of recovering pictures straight from iPhone without backup files, you'd better use that iPhone as little as possible or turn it off, since the photos are not really gone but stay intact and wait to be overwritten. Performing any task, like adding new photos to iPhone, may write to the space and the deleted photos are gone forever.

That is to say, if you cannot find and restore the photos from "Recently Deleted" album in Photos app, it's best for you to stop using the iPhone in no time. Unless you're sure that the pictures are embedded within iCloud backup before deletion, it would be risky to perform the restoration process on iPhone.

Recovering iPhone Photos Without Backup Files

Mostly, Apple provides you with offline and online ways to back up and restore your data including photos: using iTunes, or iCloud. But, if you are now reading this article, you must have come up empty and hope that you can get back the photos from iPhone memory without a backup file. Thankfully, there's still a good chance those pictures can be retrieved by using a third-party file recovery application named iOS Data Recovery.

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It is primarily a solid service for recovering photos as well as other contents on iPhone with no backup files needed. It builds with advanced scanning engine that is able to run a full-scan through the iPhone's memory and show you the files that you can get back. Also, it provides you preview and search functions, allowing you to restore files either individually or in batches.

The following tutorial includes the precise instructions on restoring photos on iPhone without making backup files before. Let's start to see how it gets the job done.

How to Recover Photos from iPhone without Backup File

Step 1: Connect iPhone to computer

Once you install the application and run it on your computer, the startup interface will appear.

In the absence of iPhone backup, you can only retrieve lost pictures from iPhone's memory. To do this, first choose "Recover from iOS Device" mode on the left side of the interface, and then grab a USB cable to attach your iPhone to the machine.

How to get back photos from iPhone without Backup

Once done, the software will automatically look for your connected iPhone and show you its image, name as well as current generation on the right pane.

Step 2: Scan the iPhone memory for deleted photos

At this stage, select what data type you want to scan and recover. In this example, choose "Camera Roll", "Photo Stream" and "Photo Library" options and then click the Scan button at the lower place to begin a deep scan of your iPhone.

Just wait while the software scans your iPhone's memory for stuff and you can track the progress of the scan in the window.

Recovering deleted photos on iPhone without backup files

When the scan completes, the program brings up an intuitive overview of all types of files. And multiple categories listed on the left side guide you to locate the exact files quickly.

Step 3: Choose the deleted photos for recovery

Now, it's time to choose what you want to restore. Now that you want to recover iPhone pictures, simply click "Camera Roll" category (or "Photo Library", "Photo Stream", "App Photos" category) under "Media" section from the left pane, then check the photos to be restored on the right pane.

If you're only interested in browsing and restoring deleted pictures, you can go to the top of the right pane and switch the "Only display the deleted items (s)" option to ON.

How Can I Restore Pictures on an iPhone without Backup

[Also see: How to recover photos on lost iPhone without the iPhone]

Step 4: Start retrieving photos straight from iPhone without backup file

Once your pictures are selected, press the Recover button at the lower right corner, this will introduce a pop-up window for designating the location where the recovered photos are saved. You can choose a new path on your computer or just use the default output folder.

Retrieving Deleted iPhone Photos without Backup

Finally, hit the Recover button in the pop-up window to initiate the iPhone photos recovering process. This may take some time depending on how many pictures you've selected.

Once finished, open the destination folder on your machine and check up the pictures from there.

Watch Video: Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone without Backup

Restoring Photos from iCloud Backup

If you do have the backup of iPhone on iCloud, it is possible and easy to restore photos on iPhone from iCloud backup.

  • Tap on Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Contents and Settings.
  • When you get to the "Apps and Data" screen, tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Enter your Apple ID and password.
  • Select the backup you want to restore photos from.

It should take a while to restore your photos from iCloud backup.

get photos without iCloud backup.

Retrieving Pictures from an iTunes backup

If you choose to back up your iPhone using iTunes and store the backups on your computer, you can connect your iPhone to iTunes and use it to restore photos from a backup.

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes.
  • Click on the device icon when it displays in the iTunes window.
  • Go to Summary tab and select Restore Backup...
  • Select a backup from a list of archives available, click Restore.

restore iPhone photos from iTunes backup


There's a lot more about restoring photos on iPhone without backup files available by using iOS Data Recovery. Overall, the software is user-friendly that guides you through an effective recovery process. Remember, backing up data on iPhone is of importance for every Apple user to save from data loss.

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