If you’re somewhat tech-savvy, then you’ve probably heard of Snapchatーa free app that allows you to easily connect with your friends via the sending of photos. Unlike many of the other messaging services available out there, it self-deletes the sent images after a certain period of timeーthus, making it an appealing option for those who would rather not have their pictures “kept” online.
Due to the temporary nature of the photos involved, users won’t have to worry about their images somehow finding their way to, and showing up on the internet. Recognized for its eye-catching yellow logo, Snapchat is easily becoming one of the most-used messaging apps in the world amongst smartphone usersーmost of whom are, according to reported statistics, less than 24 years of age.
Is It Possible to View Old or Deleted Snaps – 2023 Update
Snapchat is known for its self-destructing feature. Basically, anything you send—whether it’s a picture or video—will automatically be deleted once it’s viewed. If anything, it’s a privacy feature; you won’t have to worry about your snaps lingering somewhere on the internet once they’re sent.
But what if you want to look at the snap again? Is there a way to recover these photos and videos from your phone? The answer is yes. In fact, there are several ways that you can do this—it’ll just take a bit of time and effort.
In terms of how to do it, it depends on your phone. More specifically, it depends on whether you’re using an Android or an Apple device. For those who are interested, keep reading to learn more!
Restoring Deleted Snaps on iOS Devices
There are a few ways to recover snaps on iPhones. For example, you can restore your phone with a backup using iTunes or you can use a third-party recovery tool. We’ll be going over all of these options in detail below.
Option 1: Recovering Deleted Snaps on an iPhone with Tenorshare UltData
For this method, you’ll need Tenorshare UltData, a recovery software that’ll scan your phone for recently deleted data. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, connect your iPhone to your computer via USB.
Open UltData and click on “Recover Data from iOS Devices” on the left-hand side of the screen. Next, you’ll want to tell the software where to scan. Select ‘Snapchat’ under ‘Third-party App Data’ and press the blue ‘Scan’ button at the bottom to begin the recovery process.
Once the process is finished, a list of recoverable files will come up along with a thumbnail image. If it was able to recover any snaps, you’ll see them here.
Choose the snaps/files that you’d like to recover (tap on the square at the top left of the preview image) and press “Recover to PC” on the bottom right. Give it a few seconds and the chosen images will automatically be saved to your computer.
Option 2: Recovering Deleted Snaps on an iPhone with iTunes
If you previously backed up your iPhone with iTunes, you can restore the backup to recover your deleted snaps.
Tip: It’s highly recommended that you make another backup before trying this method. That way, if anything happens, you can restore the previous data on your iPhone.
Start by launching iTunes on your computer. Make sure that your iPhone is connected via USB and click on the small phone icon at the top left. Under ‘Settings’, select ‘Summary’ and click on the ‘Restore Backup…’ button on the right-hand side.
Choose the backup file that contains the deleted snaps and press the ‘Restore’ button again. Keep your iPhone connected to your computer and wait for the recovery process to finish before disconnecting.
Note: You can also recover lost photos and videos from iTunes backup using Tenorshare UltData
Option 3: Recovering Deleted Snaps on an iPhone with an iCloud Backup
This method is similar to the one outlined above. Instead of restoring your iPhone from a backup on your computer, however, you’ll be restoring it from an iCloud backup.
Tip: This method requires you to erase all data and settings on your device so be sure to create a backup beforehand.
Navigate to ‘Settings’ on your iPhone. Select ‘General’ and scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings.’ Depending on your iPhone, this can take several minutes.
Once the process is complete, you’ll be able to set up your device as a new iPhone. Follow the prompts on the screen and tap on the “Restore from iCloud Backup” option. That’ll restore your previous data.
Restoring Deleted Snaps on Android Phones
There are a few ways to recover deleted snaps on Android devices, which we’ll be going over below.
Option 1: Recovering Deleted Snaps on Android With Cache Files
The great thing about Android phones is that they keep a cache memory for every app that you use—including Snapchat. So if you accidentally deleted your snaps, you can recover them from the cache.
Start by opening File Manager. Click on the ‘Android’ folder and open up the ‘Data’ folder. You should see another folder named ‘com.snapchat.android.’
Select that folder and you’ll see the ‘Cache’ folder where your photos and videos are stored (you may have to go into the ‘received_images_snaps’ folder). From there, you should be able to get the snaps back to your Android device.
Option 2: Recovering Deleted Snaps on Android With Google Drive
If the snaps aren’t in the cache folder, you can try to recover them from a cloud backup (most Android phones have auto-sync enabled so your photos will automatically be sent to the cloud).
To do that, you’ll want to sign in to your Google account. Tap on the most recent backup folder and all of the photos that were saved during the last backup, including the ones you uploaded to Snapchat, will come up on the screen.
Choose the ones that you’d like to restore and they’ll automatically be saved to your phone.
Option 3: Recovering Deleted Snaps on Android With Dumpster
Dumpster is another option if the previous methods don’t work. The recycle bin for Android, it allows you to undelete files quickly and efficiently.
First things first, you want to download the app from the Google Play Store. Once you’ve done that, tap on the ‘refresh’ button at the top of the screen. That will automatically start the scanning process.
When it’s finished scanning, the recovered files will be displayed in the app, along with a thumbnail image. Choose the files that you’d like to recover (your deleted snaps in this case) and tap on the ‘restore’ button. If you want, you can also tap on the file name to see additional information about the image.
Give it a few seconds and the deleted file will be restored onto your Android phone.
Option 4: Recovering Deleted Snaps on Android with Jihosoft
Jihosoft is a data recovery program that you can use to recover deleted photos, videos, contacts, messages, and more. Keep in mind, however, that it is a paid program. With that said, there is a free trial that you can check out beforehand.
Start by downloading the recovery software (it’s available for both Mac and PC computers). Once it’s installed, open up the program. Select ‘Multimedia’ from the left and choose the photo formats that you’d like to recover. From there, press the ‘Start’ button.
The software will automatically start scanning your Android phone for deleted files. When it’s finished, the scanned results will appear in the window. There will be thumbnails as well so you can easily preview the files before restoring them.
Find the snaps that you’d like to restore, tap on them, and press the blue ‘Recover’ button to restore the files to your computer.
Option 5: Recovering Deleted Snaps on Android with PhotoRescue
PhotoRescue is a free tool that allows you to restore lost data directly to your Android phone. Start by downloading the program from the official website (both Mac and PC versions are available).
Install the software and open it on your computer. Connect your Android phone via USB cable and select the ‘Photos’ and ‘Videos’ categories in the app window. The other categories should be left unchecked. When you’re finished, press the ‘Next’ button on the right.
The program will start scanning your Android phone for deleted files. When it’s finished, the recovered images will appear in the app window. A thumbnail, as well as other information (resolution, file size) will be displayed on the screen.
Tap on the snap image(s) that you’d like to recover (click on the checkbox on the left-hand side of the thumbnail) and click the recovery icon on the bottom right-hand side of the window. The files will then be saved to your computer.
Other Methods That Are Worth Trying in 2023
There are a couple of other methods that you can try that are not specific to iOS and Android devices, which we’ll be going over below.
Submitting a Request to Snapchat
All snaps that you take—both photos and videos—are sent to the Snapchat server. And guess what? You can request this data from the app. With a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to recover all the files that have been deleted.
Start by opening Snapchat on your phone. Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon at the top right-hand corner of the screen and choose ‘My Data’ from the menu (it’s second from the bottom). You’ll have to enter your login details if you’re not already logged into Snapchat.
Once you’ve logged in, you should see all the data that’s available for download (e.g. memories, my lenses, snap map places) from ‘My Data’. Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap the yellow ‘Submit Request’ button.
You should hear from the Snapchat team within one to two days. They’ll send you an email with a download link for all the requested files.
Checking Snapchat Memories
Snapchat Memories allows you to save snaps and stories on the app. If anything, it’s a personal collection of your favorite moments. To access the feature, swipe up from the camera screen. All of your saved snaps will then appear under their respective dates.
If you’ve accidentally deleted a snap, you can check Memories to see if you’ve saved it there. Once you’ve found it, you can restore it by pressing and holding on the snap. A new menu will come up at the bottom of the screen.
Tap on the ‘Export’ button and you’ll be able to save the snap to your phone with the ‘Download’ option. If you want, you can also share it onto other social media platforms.
Originally created by a group of Stanford University students: Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy, and Evan Spiegel, Snapchat actually started out as a school project. Initially called “Picaboo”, the application was started by Spielgel and Brown for a product design class; the idea was simpleーthey wanted to produce a selfie app that allowed for its shared images to be self-deleted (which makes sense as some individuals may not be too keen about having their photos being saved onto the internet).
In April of 2011, Spielgel announced the ideaーwhich served as his final projectーin front of his class. Despite an underwhelming response from his peers, he eventually recruited the help of Murphy who helped to write the application’s source code.
With that, “Picaboo”, as it was called then, made its way to the iOS app store in July 2010ーjust three months after Spiegel first floated the product idea. It wasn’t until two months later, that the application was renamed as Snapchatーas it is known to be today.
Since its inception, Snapchat has evolved to become more than just a photo-sharing app with self-deleting capabilities. Nowadays, users are not only able to send “snaps”ーwhich can be customized with personal writingーbut they’re also capable of sharing storiesーa series of snaps that are posted onto one’s account for their friends to see.
In 2016, Snapchat also introduced a “Memories” feature, which allows individuals to save their snaps and stories into a private album, where they can easily be viewed from the device. Not to mention the addition of Geostickers, which enables its users to send city-specific stickers in both messages and snaps. Search functionality was also added to the app, in 2017 as well as a new global live “Our Story” feature.