How to Recover Pictures Deleted from Years Ago

Is it possible to restore years ago deleted pictures, photos? Yes. You can try to bring the lost files back from your backup. If you don't have backup, if no new data was written into your storage devices, computer hard drive or iPhone, Android phone, you can effectively restore them by using EaseUS file recovery software.

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"Can I recover 2-year-old deleted photos? Today I found an old SD card that was used on my Canon camera. I checked the card and saw some old pictures, which made me so happy.

Then I noticed that I've deleted a majority of all the photos from the card. Perhaps, there is a way that can possibly recover the deleted pictures from 2 years ago?"

If you are experiencing the same issue or having below questions in your mind, don't worry. This page will include reliable and practical solutions to help you out of the following issues:

This page includes three parts on helping you completely resolve this issue by analyzing the reason why a long time ago deleted data like pictures can be restored, offering solutions to restore years ago deleted photos on Windows PC, external storage devices, and cellphones, tips to protect valuable data.

Overview of Long Time Deleted Pictures Recovery

Note: If you have created a backup of all the lost files, lucky you. You can stop here and directly bring them back from your backup in a minute. 

There are two important factors that may affect the recovery of a long time ago deleted files or pictures. Once you can meet either factor below, you can bring your years ago deleted pictures back:

# 1. Never Emptied Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin is designed to keep all your recently deleted items including documents, pictures, audio and video files for a while and even longer. As long as you don't empty the Recycle Bin, all deleted files will be permanently kept there.

However, there are some cases in which you cannot directly retrieve deleted files from there:

Case 1. Files too large for recycle bin, such as high definition photos and videos exceed the maximum size of Recycle Bin.

File is too large to recycle.

Case 2. Recycle Bin is set to remove files immediately once deleted, not recycling files.

Files are not recycled.

# 2. No New Data Was Written to Storage Devices Where You Lost Files

If you didn't save any new files to a storage device where you deleted pictures or photos years ago, congratulations. You can simply run a reliable data recovery software to fully scan and bring all lost data back.

How to Recover Years Ago Deleted Pictures (3 Ways)

Generally, there are basically 3 practically ways that can help you bring a long time ago or years ago deleted photos, pictures or other files from storage devices. Choose the most suitable method to get your years ago lost photos back now.

Method 1. Recycle Bin Photo Recovery 

Applies to: Simple clicks to bring years ago deleted photos from never emptied Recycle Bin on Windows 10/8/7.

Once again, the precondition of bringing your long time ago deleted files from Recycle Bin is that you have never emptied or cleaned it. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on Windows Desktop.

Step 2. Locate and right-click on the deleted photos, select "Restore".

Step 3. The deleted photos will be restored from Recycle Bin to its original locations.

Undelete photos from recycle bin.

If you have emptied the recycle bin, your last chance is to apply a professional file recovery software as recommended in Method 2 for help.

For a mobile phone user, you may refer to the below two links to bring lost photos on iPhone or Android phones:

Method 2. Use File Recovery Software to Restore Long Deleted Pictures

Applies to: Scan and restore deleted pictures years ago on Windows hard drive or external storage devices with no new data saved in. 

Professional file recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will help recover deleted pictures of png, jpg, jpeg, tiff, BMP and many more picture file formats after a long time on Windows PC, external hard drive, USB or even SD card.

You can first use the file recovery software to recover all lost picture files, and then upgrade to its full version to recover the rest. Android users who save their photos on an external SD card drive can also follow steps below for help:

Step 1. Choose the location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on partition or storage device where you deleted pictures, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the pictures you want to recover.

Wait until the scanning completes, then select the deleted pictures you want to recover. To locate the target photos faster, click "Filter" > "Pictures".

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover the deleted pictures.

Click "Recover" and choose a location on another hard drive to save the desired pictures.

Recover lost data

As for mobile phone users, it's impossible for them not using the camera or photos app to take new photos nor saving new images in iPhone or Android phones' internal storage. Therefore, you can't bring years ago deleted photos from iPhone or Android phone internal storage. 

If you have created backups of those lost photos, you may follow the provided tips in Method 3 for help.

Method 3. Restore Years Ago Deleted Photos from Backup

Applies to: Immediately bring years ago deleted photos from personal backup, Windows or iPhone/Android backup.

# 1. Restore from Personal or Windows Backup

If you have copied or saved your deleted or lost photos, files in a storage device as a personal backup, you may directly connect the device to your PC. Then open File Explorer and find all your lost files there.

If you have created a Windows backup on computer, take the below steps and bring your lost files back:

Step 1. Open "Control Panel", go to "System and Maintenance", select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)". 

Click "Restore my files" to continue.

Restore files from Windows Backup.

Step 2. Click "Browse for files" or "Browse for folders" to select the previously created backup.

Select backup to restore.

Step 3. Navigate a location to save the backup - "In the original location" or "In the following location".

If there's a conflict, choose "Copy and Replace", "Don't copy" or "Copy, but keep both files" according to your needs.

Resolve conflict.

Step 4. Wait for the restoring process to complete.

Wait for the recovery to complete.

# 2. Restore Pictures from iCloud backup

If you are an iPhone or iPad user, you may apply a reliable iOS data recovery software to bring your deleted photos back from iCloud backup with ease. 

# 3. Restore Android Lost Photos from Android Backup

Open "Settings" on Android phone > Tap "Back up & restore" > Choose the backup of your long time ago deleted photos and click "Restore from Backup" to get all lost data restored.

Warm Tip

Even though EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with above-provided methods allows you to recover pictures deleted a year or a couple of years ago, still some risks exist. For example, new data has overwritten the old or files corrupted after data recovery. 

Therefore, if some found photos are half greyed out or corrupted, you may still have to make efforts to repair corrupted data after recovery. The best method to prevent all these problems from happening is to create a full backup of all your valuable photos, pictures to another drive. 

For a Windows user, you may use Windows backup or a reliable file backup software such as EaseUS Todo Backup to back up all desired photos to a local hard drive or an external storage device in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

For an iPhone or iPad user, you may directly use iCloud to save your precious memories there. 

For an Android device user, you can use the Google Drive or Android internal backup feature to fully backup essential files.

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Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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