How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud

If you lost your pictures and are not sure how to recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud. Here, you will learn how to get your pictures back from iCloud using four methods.
How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud

“How do I retrieve photos from iCloud?” is a common question asked on Apple forums, and so we have compiled the best techniques for doing this. We save all kinds of pictures onto iPods, iPhones, and iPads, and if you mistakenly lose these photos, you have an assurance that they are backed up on iCloud.

You know that you still have your deleted photos somewhere in one of your iCloud backups, but you maybe do not know how to recover photos from iCloud. This is why we have made this comprehensive guide showing you four options for getting back your pictures. All of the methods listed here will work correctly, but they all have their Pros and Cons, so take note of that and select the way that works best for you.

Method 1. Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud through Recent Deleted Folder

You do not need to Google how to recover deleted photos from iCloud, because Apple provides the recently deleted folder for that. However, the uncertainty is understandable because this folder is not readily available on your home screen.

When you accidentally delete pictures from iCloud, the photos do not simply disappear into thin air but are kept in the “recently deleted” folder for around a month. To access the recently deleted folder, you have to log in to Follow the steps below to learn how to recover permanently deleted photos from iCloud.

Note: With this method, you can only recover photos that you deleted 30 days ago at the most. After 30 days, the deleted images are removed permanently.

Step 1. Visit from an internet browser and sign in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password.

Step 2. On your dashboard, you will see icons of the Apps synced to your iCloud. From the dashboard, click on “Photos.”

log in to icloud and select photos to recover photos from icloud

Step 3. When you select the “Photos” icon, you will see all the pictures synchronized to your iCloud account. From the top of the menu bar, click “Albums,” and you will now find the “recently deleted” album which we discussed earlier in the introduction.

Step 4. Next, select Options, and you will find the pictures that you deleted. Finally, mark the images that you wish to restore and then click on the “Recover” button to get it back.

Method 2. Easiest Way to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud backup

A second way to recover your lost pictures is by making use of an external program – Tenorshare UltData. This is a comprehensive iOS data recovery solution that you can use for transferring all kinds of data between your iOS device and PC or Mac. I will show you how to recover photos from iCloud using Tenorshare UltData.

>> Get Tenorshare UltData <<

Key Features:

  • Apart from the iCloud backup, Tenorshare UltData can also recover your deleted photos from iTunes backup.
  • Before downloading your deleted photos from the iCloud backup, UltData allows you to preview the items to be sure that the missing pictures are there.
  • You are almost guaranteed to get back all of your lost photos because UltData is proven to offer a 100% recovery success rate.
  • It supports all iOS devices, as well as all iOS software versions, including iOS 13.
  • You do not have to restore every item in your backup or all the deleted photos. This is because UltData gives you the option of selecting the specific items that you wish to recover.

Learn more from our full review of Tenorshare UltData here.

Steps to recover photos from iCloud using Tenorshare UltData:

Step 1. Choose the relevant recovery mode

Tenorshare equipped UltData with different recovery modes to use depending on where you are restoring the images from. In this guide, you should select the “Recover from iCloud Backup File” mode. Then, sign in using your Apple ID and password.

sign in to icloud and select a recovery mode

Step 2. Specify the iCloud backup

On logging in to your iCloud account, it greets you with a list of backups made for your Apple ID. The list is complete with the backup name, date it was created, its size, and version. Ideally, you should select the backup that predates the deletion of your photos. Click on it and hit the “Next” button below.

select the icloud backup to restore photos

Step 3. Choose the file types to download before scanning

After choosing a backup file, the next step is to scan the backup, but before that, you need to tell UltData what file types you want to scan for. Here, since you are looking to recover photos, check either “Camera Roll & Video” or “App Photos,” depending on where you deleted photo was saved. Both options are under the “Photos & Videos” category. After selecting the relevant file types, click the “Next” button to continue.

select file types such as photos to scan in icloud

Step 4. Download the pictures from iCloud

When you click “Next” in the previous step, Tenorshare UltData begins to download the selected files automatically. The time it takes mostly depends on your internet speed and file sizes. On completion of the download, you will be able to preview all the photos discovered and downloaded.

download photos from the icloud backup

Step 5. Preview the pictures from the iCloud backup

The various file types you selected will be shown on the left-hand panel of the UltData window. Click on the “Photos” category under “Media Content Recovery,” and it lists out all the pictures found in your iCloud backup.

From this screen, you can preview the items to find the exact pictures that you need. Since this page lists both your existing images as well as the deleted ones, click the “Show Only Deleted” option at the bottom to view only the ones you can recover.

preview downloaded icloud backup items - pictures

Step 6. Choose the photos for iCloud recovery

When you preview the pictures and determine which you need to get back, then you can now begin to select them. For additional recovery options, click on the “Output Setting” option on the top right-hand side of your screen.

On this page, you can select the applications for handling the different file types available. However, since you are recovering only photos, you do not need these settings because UltData recovers media files and saves them in their original formats. Below the file format settings is where you can select the location you want UltData to save your recovered photos.

select the file types and export locations

Method 3. Official Way to Restore Photos from iCloud backup

Although the Tenorshare UltData method of how to recover deleted photos from iCloud is, although the easiest, it’s not Apple’s recommended method. In iCloud, you have at least 5 GB of free cloud storage space. This means that if you set it, your device will continuously back up its data onto iCloud automatically.

Therefore, when you lose a picture, you can simply head over to the iCloud backup and get it back with the proper guidance, of course. For this third method, I will walk you through how to get your pictures back from iCloud.

Step 1. Update your device operating system if necessary

If you have a backup on iCloud and want to recover deleted photos from this backup, then the first thing you should do is to update the iOS version running on your device.
To do this, open the Settings app and select “General.” Next, tap on “Software Update.” On selecting this option, if your device is not up to date, the latest version will be displayed here. Tap “download and install update.”

update ios version to the latest

Step 2. Find the recent backup file

Next, you will have to determine the backup file from which to recover the pictures. Bearing in mind when you deleted these photos that you want to recover, you should take note of the backup that was made prior to the deletion.

  1. Open the Settings app on your device and this time, tap on “iCloud.”
  2. Next, select “Storage” and tap “Manage Storage.”

determine the icloud backup file from which you wish to recover the photos

On this screen now, you will find a list of backups, and this list displays the date on which the backup was created. Before going to the next step, I recommend that you back up your device’s data, probably with iCloud.

Step 3. Wipe your device data and settings

Before recovering a backup, you need to wipe your device. To delete data from your iDevice, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on “General.”
  2. From the general settings, select “Reset” and finally, tap “Erase All Content and Settings.”

erase all content and settings from your idevice before the recovery

Your device will now get wiped with every single data saved on it deleted. After that, the device will restart and is set for the photo recovery.

Step 4. Restore deleted photos from iCloud storage

Finally, using your Apple ID and password, sign in to your iCloud account on your iDevice. On the next screen, you will be asked to choose a backup. Tap on the backup we you identified in the first step.

how to recover permanently deleted photos from icloud backup

Give the device a couple of seconds, and it will restart. When the iDevice successfully restarts, you will notice your lost photos back on it, together with all other content of the backup.

Bonus: Get Photos Back from iPhone without iCloud or iTunes Backup

We discussed earlier in this post (Method 2) about how to get your pictures back from iCloud using Tenorshare UltData. In that method, we made use of an iCloud backup. However, if you do not have a backup on iCloud or even iTunes, the same UltData has other techniques for helping you recover your photos.

>> Get Tenorshare UltData <<

recover deleted photos right from your idevice using tenorshare ultdata

Regardless of how you lost the photos, for a while, they will still be saved on your iDevice memory before getting overwritten by newer files. This means that you still have a window of opportunity to get them back. Assuming you still have Tenorshare UltData on your computer, launch it, connect your device, and choose the default “Recover from iOS Device” mode. Follow the on-screen instructions, and you will be able to recover your lost pictures in no time.


This post contains detailed guides on how to restore photos from iCloud onto your iOS device. The article teaches you the official Apple method as well as other working techniques for restoring lost pictures from iCloud.

We made mention of a third-party application, Tenorshare UltData, which lets you select the specific pictures that you need, instead of overwriting your entire device. Also, as a bonus, I’ve shown you how Tenorshare UltData can also get back your photos directly from your device, without needing iCloud or iTunes.

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