How To Permanently Delete Photos From Android

Deleting Function

Surely you don’t want to keep all the photos you take or receive from friends and family on your phone. You can easily delete them by hitting the delete button, but that doesn’t make them non-recoverable. The question we are tackling today is how you can permanently delete photos from your Android phone.

Quick Answer

Go to the “Trash” folder in your phone’s Gallery app. Locate the photos you want to delete permanently. Here, hit the “Delete Permanently” option.

But beware, photos deleted this way are recoverable via advanced retrieval techniques. So, if you want to be absolutely sure that your data isn’t accessible to anyone, you will need to use an erasing third-party software.

In this article, I’ll take you step-by-step through how you can permanently delete photos from your Android phone using different techniques. 

Method#1: Using the Trash Bin

In some of the older Android phones, photos get deleted forever when you hit the delete button. But, in most newer models of Android phones, the photos are moved to a “Trash” folder, where they are kept for 15 to 30 days (depending upon your Android model). After this period, they are deleted permanently. 

Follow these steps if you want to delete photos permanently before this period.

  1. Go to the photos you want to delete in the Gallery app. Hit the “Delete” button (with a bin icon).
  2. Locate and open the “Trash Bin” folder in the “Folders” tab of the Gallery.
  3. Navigate to the photos you want to delete permanently. Select these photos, and hit the options button.
  4. Select the “Delete Permanently” option from here.

It will permanently delete the photos from your Android. The method may work a bit differently or may not work at all for your Android because of the vast differences in the Android system.

If you use Google Photos instead of a Gallery App, here are the simple steps you need to follow to delete photos permanently from your Google account.

  1. Open the Google Photos app and navigate to the “Library” tab. 
  2. Go to the folder where the photos you want to delete are located.
  3. Select these photos and hit the bin icon located at the top-right corner of the screen.
  4. Go back to the “Library” tab. Hit the “Bin” folder.
  5. Select the photos you want to delete permanently. Hit the “Delete” option appearing in the lower-left corner.

It will delete the photos permanently from your Google account.

Method#2: Factory Resetting

If you want to delete all photos and other files on your phone, a factory reset is an ideal option for you. It deletes all the files previously saved on the phone and resets the phone back to the factory version. It’s a great option if you are pondering selling your phone to an unknown person.

Almost all Androids have unique procedures for resetting. Here’s how to factory reset a Samsung Android.

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the “Personal” header.
  3. Select the “Backup & Restore” option.
  4. Select the “Factory Data Reset” option.

The factory reset can take up to an hour. Make sure you have connected your phone to a power source during the process. Although a factory reset deletes all data from your Android, someone can still recover the data using advanced retrieval tools.

Method#3: Using an Erasing App

The above methods will make the photos inaccessible by any layman’s techniques. However, someone can still recover them by using advanced retrieval tools

If you want to be absolutely sure that your photos are irretrievable, you can try using a data-erasing app. Such apps encrypt the data in your phone, so it cannot be decrypted.

Shreddit is an excellent app in this regard. It allows you to delete your photos and erase the data from the phone’s memory using different shredding algorithms. You can either wipe specific files, the empty space, or all the space using it. 

If you’re planning on recycling your Android phone and want to be sure that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, you should give Shreddit a try.


In short, you can delete photos from your Android permanently in your Gallery app by moving the photos to the “Bin” folder and subsequently removing them from the Bin. If you intend to clear the phone of all sorts of data, a factory reset is what you’re looking for. Also, if you are really concerned about your deleted data’s safety, you can wipe out your device using third-party tools like Shreddit.

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