How to Find Lost Photos on Computer?

10 minutes read

Have you lost photos on your computer? Wondering how to recover lost files from the Computer? Then this article is for you. In this article we will discuss how to find and get back lost photos on a Computer without any hassle. If you are looking for quick photo recovery then we recommend you to make use of Remo Recover.

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After performing basic checks such as file searches or modifying file or folder attributes, if you still can't locate your photos, we understand how that would make you feel.

No doubt photos are crucial and there is nothing more painful than losing them. But many of us tend to lose photos on Windows or Mac either due to accidental deletion or technical errors. Fortunately, finding lost photos on a computer is not so complicated after all. Just scroll down and refer to this article to know real-time scenarios that result in the loss of photos and how easy it is to find and recover them.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why did my pictures disappear from my computer?
    1. Scenario 1: Accidental or intentional causes.
    2. Scenario 2: Technical errors.
  2. How to Restore Lost Pictures on a Computer?
    A) Recover Lost photos Using CMD
    B) Find Lost Photos in Recycle Bin
    C) Recover Lost Photos using Remo Recover
    D) Recover Lost Photos without software

Why Did my Pictures Disappear from My Computer?

There are various reasons that can lead to photo loss on PC. But we have divided them into two major scenarios. This is just to make you easily understand the reasons behind how someone can lose photos on the computer.

Scenario 1: Accidental or Intentional causes

  • Mistakenly deleted photos on PC.
  • Photos lost after formatting the hard drive.
  • Permanently deleted photos with no backup.
  • Emptied Recycle Bin or Trash.

Scenario 2: Technical errors

  • Saved pictures on a corrupted drive.
  • Ejected SD card forcefully from the digital camera.
  • Photos lost from damaged hard drive.
  • Lost pictures after upgrading Windows OS.
  • Lost photos after factory reset on Windows PC.
  • Photos lost after system restore.
  • Interruptions while transferring photos to another location or drive.

How to Restore Lost Pictures on a Computer?

1. Recover lost Photos using CMD

(Recommended if you want to find lost photos after interruptions or from a corrupt drive)

Before initiating this process remember that using CMD to find lost photos might be risky. Due to the fact that making any mistakes will permanently erase the data. If you are a novice user, you can directly make use of the best photo recovery software like Remo Recover. It can help you securely recover lost photos under various data loss scenarios in a few clicks. 

The instructions on recovering lost pictures using CMD are mentioned below.

  • Go to Start and search for cmd 
  • Right-click on cmd and select Run as administrator.
go to the command prompt
  • In the cmd window, type the command chkdsk ‘disk letter’ /f and press Enter.
type the commands

Eg:  chkdsk D: /f (D is a disk letter from where I want to find lost photos)

  • Type letter and press Enter
  • Type the “drive letter” and press Enter
  • Finally, enter the command attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* and press Enter key
  • Now, wait till the process completes and check your drive to find recovered photos in a newly created folder

With the help of this method, you can repair hard drive errors and recover lost photos. Under any circumstances, if this technique does not work for you, scroll down and use the below methods.

2. Find Lost Photos in Recycle Bin

(Recommended if you have accidentally deleted photos)

This method will help you recover lost photos from your PC that you have unknowingly deleted. On Windows PC, Recycle Bin is a folder that saves a copy of any deleted file or photo. Using this folder, you can locate all your lost pictures and restore them to their previous locations.  

  • Open Recycle Bin.
  • Find and select the lost photos that you want to recover.
  • Right-click on the selected lost photos.
  • Click the Restore option.

In case, if you have not found your deleted photos on Recycle Bin, then this could be due to permanent data loss scenario. In such cases, utilize the below reliable method.

3. Check your Email or Cloud Storage

If you have recently emailed the pictures to yourself or uploaded them to a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox, you can try to download them again from those sources.

4. Use System Restore

If you have a restore point created before the pictures were lost, you can use the built-in System Restore feature to restore your computer to an earlier state. This will undo any changes made to your computer since the restore point was created, including the deletion of pictures. 

  • To use System Restore, go to Control Panel 
  • Click on System and Security 
  • Go to System and select System Protection
  • Click on System Restore, and select a restore point to use.

5. Search for the Pictures

Use the built-in search function in Windows to look for lost pictures. Type the name of the picture or a keyword in the search box in the taskbar, and Windows will search your computer for files that match your search term. If you find the pictures, you can copy and paste them to a safe location.

6. Recover Lost Photos using Remo Recover software

(Highly Recommended under various data loss scenarios like permanent deletion, formatting, corruption, lost pictures due to interruptions, etc.)

Utilize Remo Photo Recovery software to restore lost images within a few clicks. Integrated with advanced scan engines, this software can easily detect and recover more than 500 media formats such as photos (JPEG, PNG, GIF), raw images, videos, audio files, and many more. With the help of its Deep Scan option, you can perform sector-by-sector scanning and restore lost photos from corrupt, formatted, or inaccessible drives.

Steps to Recover Lost Photos:

  • Download and install Remo Recover software on your computer
  • From the main screen select the drive from where you want to recover lost photos and click on the Scan button.
go to the screen and select the drive
  • The data recovery software will scan and display recovered lost pictures or images.
go to the tree structure
  • Take advantage of the Preview option to verify recovered files. Just double-click on any files that you want to preview.
preview the recovered files
  • Select the lost pictures that you want to restore and click on the Recover button.
  • Mention the location where you want to save the recovered lost images and click on the OK button to start the data saving process.
save the recovered images

Additionally, This process not only recovers deleted photos but also restores pictures that became inaccessible due to technical errors.

7. Recover Lost Photos from Laptop Without Software

This method is useful to recover lost pictures on a PC if the File History feature is activated on Windows. This Feature helps you recover deleted or lost photos on your computer for free.

  1. Go to the folder or drive on which you lost photos on your computer
  2. Click on the Home tab located in the Menu bar and select the History option
  3. Now, you will find the list of backup versions. Select the one in which all your lost photos are located and click on the Restore icon to recover your lost photos
recover lost photos using File History for free


We hope this article helped you retrieve the lost pictures on your computer. To avoid situations like this, ensure that you take precautionary measures such as scanning your device for viruses and malware attacks, and make use of backup utilities or an external backup to keep your memorable pictures safe at all times.

If you were unable to find the lost photos make use of reliable tools like Remo Recover to recover lost photos on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions:  

1. Can I Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from my Phone?

Your phone's images can be recovered after they have been permanently deleted, but how well they are recovered will depend on a number of factors. What to think about is as follows:
1. Time since deletion
2. Storage type
3. Recovery software
4. Backup

2. Are Permanently Deleted Photos Really Gone?

When you permanently delete photos from your device or cloud storage, they are not immediately removed from the device's memory or storage. Instead, the space they occupied is marked as available for use by the operating system, which means that the photos can be overwritten by new data over time, permanently deleted photos are not entirely gone, but their recovery is not guaranteed. 
But with Remo Photo Recovery you can recover permanently deleted photos with simply steps and procedure.

3. Why are my Permanently Deleted Photos not Coming Back?

If your permanently deleted photos are coming back, it could be due to a few different reasons:
1. Syncing with cloud storage
2. Restoring from a backup
3. Corrupted storage

4. What are the Other Search Methods to Find Lost Photos on Windows?

In order to find the missing pictures, manually search through your disks and directories in File Explorer (Windows Explorer). Keep in mind to also check the subfolders.
For picture files, Windows creates thumbnail previews, which then caches. You can check to see if your missing photographs have thumbnail previews by navigating to the thumbnail cache folder "C:Users[Your Username]AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsExplorer".

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…