A reader who's using Samsung Galaxy S3 phone sent me this question:
"I don't know whether I have chance to retrieve the accidentally deleted photos. Since I am always used to rely on my handy Galaxy S3 to take photos, yesterday I took about 100 shots in a friend’s wedding. Today when I was playing with my phone and due to misoperation, I couldn't believe I erased an important album which contained all the wedding photos. Oh my god. Can you tell me if it is still possible to get those precious pics back? They are urgently needed at the moment! Please help!"
After reading the question, I feel the panic she has experienced. Personally I've made several mistakes on my Android phone. One mistake was that I didn't lock my phone and a younger family member took it and erased some photos (I guess he tapped on the wrong buttons).
Anyway, back to the topic, it is still possible to recover some or all of the pics you've removed from the Samsung Galaxy S3. But there is no guarantee that chances can be 100% due to the nature of data recovery.
Why is that? Because the Samsung S3 phone is different from other storage devices. On one hand, it offers users 16-64GB internal memory; while on the other hand a MicroSD card slot is provided. So simply put:
If your deleted photos were stored on the mass memory (MicroSD card), they can be relatively easier to to be retrieved. In general, you only need several steps:
- Connect your phone SD card to a PC or Mac. You may need a card reader to load the MicroSD card first, and insert it into the USB port on your computer.
- Open your web browser and download a free photo recovery tool. If you're on a Windows PC, I recommend Recuva, see tutorial here (or Pandora Recovery is great too). For Apple Macs, check this post for some free Mac file recovery programs.
- Install the recovery program and launch it. Scan your phone sd card and recover those pictures it finds. The whole process should be quite easy.
However, if the erased photos were saved on the internal memory of the phone, things can be a little tricky. As you know, Galaxy S3 does not have UMS mode (USB Mass Storage), so no software is able to recognize the device as a USB mounted device. Therefore third-party programs like Recuva won't be able to pick up the device and allow recovery of deleted images.
But that does not mean you should give up. Here are two solutions:
- If you haven't rooted your Galaxy S3 (what is rooting?), a professional Android data recovery software should help. See this article for a list of best options in 2016.
- If your phone is rooted, check out this post how to enable UMS mode in Galaxy S3 for a step by step guide. After that, try Recuva or Pandora Recovery.