Do you have a habit of capturing your memorable and important pictures on your device? Ever wondered what if these photos get deleted? Instances may occur when the stored files and folders, like these precious photos, may get deleted from any of your devices, including Windows 11 devices. There are several reasons, such as accidental deletion, formatting, virus attacks, etc., why these photos usually get deleted from your Windows 11 PC.

Luckily, you can restore your lost memories with the right tools and methods to recover permanently deleted photos from Windows 11. Here, in this article, we’ll explore various to retrieve your lost photos and ensure that your memories are not deleted forever.

Common Reasons for Permanent Deletion of Photos on Windows

Before you proceed to apply methods to recover deleted photos, it’s important to find the exact cause of this data loss issue. There are several reasons why pictures usually get deleted from Windows 11 PC. Some of them are:

  • Accidental Deletion: You might have unintentionally deleted photos while organising or cleaning up files on your Windows device.
  • System Errors: System-related issues like software glitches, crashes, or errors can cause corruption or lead to permanent loss of photos.
  • Formatting: Accidentally or intentionally formatting a storage device without proper backup can lead to the deletion of all stored data, including photos.
  • Overwriting: Saving new data on the storage drive where your photo was earlier stored, overwrites it and leads to permanent deletion of the original photos, making recovery difficult.
  • Virus or Malware Attacks: Malicious software, like viruses or malware can corrupt or delete files, including photos, compromising the integrity of your data.

Quick Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Windows 11

Understanding the exact reason can help you to identify proper recovery workarounds for photo recovery from Windows 11 devices. Here are some commonly used recovery methods that you can try to restore photos lost or deleted from your Windows PC:

Method 01: Restore Permanently Deleted Photos Using File History Backups

Before applying any manual recovery method to recover permanently deleted photos from Windows 11 PC, it’s important to check your regular backups. Windows 11 offers a built-in File History backup solution which allows you to create backup of important photos and restore them when issues like data loss occur.

If you’ve enabled File History backup on your device, go through the below-given recovery steps to restore lost photos:

  • Launch Control Panel and go to System and Security.
  • Now, click File History and select Restore personal files from the left navigation pane.
  • From the File History window, select the backup version you want to restore and click the green Restore button to retrieve deleted photos to their original location.

Method 02: Recover Deleted Photos from Previous Versions

Instead of direct photo recovery from Windows 11 devices using File History backups, you can also try Previous versions. This utility creates copies of your files and allows you to restore them when required. For this:

  • Right-click on the folder where your deleted photo was earlier stored and select Show more options > Restore previous versions.
  • Now, from the previous version window that appears, navigate through the available previous versions of files and folders. Choose the desired backup version based on the backup date that you need to restore.
  • Lastly, click Restore to restore selected photos back to your Windows 11 device. You can click on the drop-down button next to the Restore option to save your file either at the original location or a new location.

Method 03: Recover Deleted Photos Using Cloud Backups

Along with the above methods to recover deleted photos using Windows in-built backup utilities, you can use cloud backup services like Google Cloud or Google Drive. Here’s a step-by-step instruction on how to recover permanently deleted photos from Windows 11 using Google Drive backups:

  • Firstly, open any web browser and log in to your Google Drive account.
  • Now, click Trash or Bin folder appearing in the left navigation pane. This folder basically stores all your deleted files, including photos.
  • Locate the deleted photos you want to recover, and select them by clicking the checkbox next to each photo.
  • Click “Restore” to recover the selected photos to their original location within Google Drive.

Method 04: Use Photo Recovery Software to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos

Sometimes, the above-mentioned methods for photo recovery from Windows 11 devices fail to restore your lost or deleted photos. In such cases, you can try using a professional photo recovery tool like Stellar Photo Recovery to restore your lost memories. The software is compatible with both Windows and Mac devices and can restore your lost photos saved on any device in three simple clicks.

The Stellar Photo Recovery tool can recover your pictures, audio, and video files of multiple file formats saved on any internal or external storage drive, SD card, SSD, USB, etc. It allows you to preview the recoverable files so you can select and save only the required files back to your device.

Follow the below-given steps to learn how to recover permanently deleted photos from Windows 11 devices using the Stellar Photo Recovery tool:

Step 1: Launch the Stellar Photo Recovery tool on your Windows device and select the storage location from where you need to restore lost photos.

Step 2: Click Scan and wait till the scanning process is completed.

Step 3: After successful completion of the scanning process, preview the recoverable files and select the photo you need to restore. Click Recover to save selected photos at your chosen location.


Hope the above-mentioned methods to recover permanently deleted photos from Windows 11 devices help you in restoring lost memories. As backups are important to restore your lost photos, try to create different backups of important files and folders on your device. You can use Windows in-built File History or Previous Versions backup and cloud backup locations like Google Cloud, Google Drive, etc. for this purpose. However, if you don’t have any backup, try using professional photo recovery software such as Stellar Photo Recovery. It allows restoring lost photos in three simple clicks, i.e., Select, Scan, and Recover. Must give this amazing software a try!

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.