How to recover deleted data on an Android phone?

If you have deleted any data mistakenly on your android smartphone and are looking for ways to recover it, read this article for different ways to restore lost or deleted data on both rooted & non-rooted Android devices.

Often we tend to delete any file from our smartphone by mistake. There are occasions when a system error also consumes some of our important data. These data can be any important information or files such as contacts, messages or photos. Chances are that if you are reading this article, you might have lost some data on your phone. If that is the case, then we can guide you and tell you exactly how you can recover your data on Android.

The odds are that you have an unrooted Android smartphone and some important data to recover. If that data was stored on external storage, there are many recovery options. This is because external storage such as an SD card can easily be mounted on a computer and scanned using specialized recovery apps on Windows. But the same is not the case with the internal storage on Android. There are many recovery apps on Android too but most of them are effective only on rooted phones. And, not everyone prefers to have their phone rooted. So, we will be covering methods of quickly recovering lost data on both rooted and non-rooted Android phones.

How to recover data on non-rooted Android device?

First, let us talk about recovering lost data on non-rooted phones. Thankfully, there are still some useful apps that work without root on Android. These apps can recover most of the important data that was accidentally deleted from the phone's internal storage. Our first choice of an app would be Dumpster that works as a Recycle Bin for Android. This app is available on Google Play Store under the Productivity category and downloaded over 20 million times over a short period. It is a free app by Baloota but contains ads and in-app purchases. The file size is around 14MB and various in-app purchases range from ₹ 50.00 – ₹ 15,000.00 per item.

Dumpster recycling bin for Android provides an easy way to restore or recover a deleted photo or video. Besides, it allows to backup all important files such as app data or media files. Similarly, these back-ups can also be instantly restored without any loss of data.

Once installed, the Dumpster app on the first run shall open up a welcome screen.

The Dumpster is totally free and can be downloaded on phones with Android 4.0.3 and above. Once you install this app and run it for the first time, it will show "Dumpster is empty, Delete something and it will show up here". On tapping the menu icon, it slides a sidebar having options like Empty Dumpster, Settings, Deep Scan Recovery, themes, share button, help, upgrade & about.

To start with, just go to Settings and you will have the options to choose what you want Dumpster to save. These options vary from images, video, audio, documents, other files, and apps. If you tap on images, you will be surprised to see so many image types are supported by this app. Same is the case with videos and all the other options. In addition, it has options for Auto Cleanup which can be set for different periods such as 1 month, 1 week or 3 months. It is set to 'Off' by default. You can also enable a lock screen to deleted items safe. Finally, there is also an option to turn off the ads and banners in the app which can be seen as "Disable Special Offers".

Out of all the different options available there, you can choose any of them as per your requirements. You may or may not need the app options selected as it can easily be downloaded again through Play Store. But after all, it's your decision to make.


So, the first time when you are going to use it there will be nothing to show up. After that, once you start deleting any file you can head on to Dumpster app and it now shows all deleted files chronologically. Interestingly, it retains the folder from which it was deleted so that you can identify each file more conveniently.

Further, each of the deleted files listed on Dumpster app for Android also shows its metadata. You will be able to see the original location, file type, total size and the date & time when it was deleted. Below these metadata, there are three options such as Restore All, Delete All and Share All. We were impressed by how neatly all the files were organized by its different type and restoring them was a piece of cake.

This app basically acts like a Recycle Bin for Android and won't be helpful in restoring file data prior to installing Dumpster. Dumpster for Android is free but a premium upgrade can get you lock screen access. Apart from this, you can also remove all ads and get other premium features likely to be pushed in the future as well. So, to summarize it all the Dumpster app can store the deleted files within the app as the file gets deleted from its original location. If you need it back, just visit the app and restore the selected file in a few screen taps.

Having this app installed and configured according to our preference, there will be nothing to fear about losing our important data due to accidentally deleting them.

How to recover data on a rooted Android device?

For a rooted device, there are more effective options than that of non-rooted ones. For instance, we would like to share an app called Undeleter Recover Files & Data by Fahrbot PRI. This app is basically for rooted devices using Android. It can scan and restore deleted files from both internal as well as external storage. It is available for free at Google Play Store but displays ad that can be turned off by purchasing its unlocker. It has a deep scan feature that can recover different file types including pictures, videos, document, zip archive etc.

This app is specially meant for Android smartphones having root access. It can recover different types of file data such as deleted SMS and call logs.

It also restores Whatsapp data but these data when restored will be in HTML format as it cannot merge third-party catalogs. But still, we found it useful to have these important data recovered with ease. It also has a shred function that can permanently delete any file beyond recovery. This is a helpful feature and can be quite useful at times. On a non-rooted device, this app can scan app caches to find any images stored by various apps or received on social media apps.


After installing this app, you will be welcomed by a message stating how the app works and requesting permission to check root access on the device. On tapping next, it will test for root access for a few seconds and confirm with a success message on a rooted device. It next asks for permission to analyze available storage volumes.

It will show different volumes of storage available under Restore files such as Internal Storage and SD Card. Whereas, under Restore Data it will present a list of applications to restore data from. There will also be a Shred Data option towards the bottom that is helpful for deleting private and sensitive data on phone. Without this feature, there will always be a concern that such data may be restored by someone when the phone is lost and lands on wrong hands.

Once restore type is chosen, e.g. Restore Data option followed by Internal Storage type, there will now be an option to choose the preferred scan type. The available options are Journal Scan, Deep Scan or Generic Scan. Under generic scan, you can choose the file types that you want Undeleter to scan in the internal storage of the Android phone. After you scan using Undeleter, it will show a list of all deleted files it was able to discover arranged in categorized tabs such as All, Images, Video etc.

The Deep Scan and Journal Scan on Undeleter app on Android works on similar fashion and helps recover lost files.

Our conclusion

The apps mentioned above are quite good in its own capacity that can effectively recover lost files. There may be a lot of options such as recovering android data from a PC, but when it comes to smartphone apps these two recovery tools are quite popular. Not to forget, these are free as well and premium features are purely optional.

Similar apps like DiskDigger for Android also works well on both rooted and non-rooted android phones. In fact, DiskDigger Pro is a more easy tool to recover photos on your Android Phone. It is as simple as Scan and Restore. Further, it provides different options for file recovery. The recommended option is to save the file on an app such as Google Drive, Dropbox etc. Alternatively, one can also save recovered files on a custom location on the device or upload it to an FTP server. This will, however, require access to an FTP server in order to work. While using a PC to recover files, Recuva and Wondershare Dr. Fone are some of the effective tools.

So readers, have you used any file recovery app on your Android phone? Do share your experience and feedback on which file recovery tool works best on an Android phone and your opinion on our recommendation above.


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