Find lost photos & videos

When you turn on backup, your photos are stored in photos.google.com.

Learn other ways to find your photos.

Important:

Step 1: Check your account

Some photos can seem to disappear because you’re on a different account.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top, check that you’re signed in to the account that you backed up photos to.

Step 2: If you tap “Free up space” on Google Photos

Important: Before you delete photos from your device, make sure you let Google Photos back up your photos first. Learn how to turn on backup.
If you tap “Free up space” on Google Photos, the photo or video may be deleted from your device. However, you can find them in the Google Photos app. Learn what happens when you free up space on your device.

Step 3: Check if your photo is deleted

  • If your photo is still in trash, you may be able to get it back. Learn how to restore a deleted photo.
  • If your photo is in trash for over 60 days, the photo may be permanently deleted.
  • If you use another photo app or gallery, and delete photos there, you might delete your photo before Google Photos can back up your photo.

Try other ways to find your photos

Check if backup is on
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Make sure you’re signed in to the right account.
  3. Tap your account profile photo or initial to find your back up status.

If backup is on

  • Your photo may still be in the process of backing up. If your device says it’s “Waiting for Wi-Fi” or there’s a number, it may mean that your photo isn’t backed up yet.
  • Make sure the file sizes of your photos or videos can be backed up. Learn more about file sizes that can be backed up.

If backup is off

Important: Before you delete photos from your device, make sure you let Google Photos back up your photos first. Learn how to turn on backup.
If you delete a photo from your device, you may not be able to recover it. Google Photos doesn’t back up photos right away.
Find a screenshot or an archived photo
If you can't find a screenshot or a photo you don’t regularly view, it may be in your archive. Learn about your archive.
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Make sure you’re signed in to the right account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Library and then Archive.
Search for a photo or video

Important:

  • Make sure backup is on. You can only search for backed-up photos. Learn how to turn on backup.
  • If you suddenly lose photos, they may have a different date.
  • Photos taken before 4 AM are sorted into the previous day.
  • If you download or scan a photo from a device with different date and time settings, the timestamp may be wrong. Learn how to change timestamps on photos.

Search for a photo or video

Search for the right dates or keywords to find a lost photo or video. Sometimes, when you scan or download a photo from a device with the wrong date and time settings, the timestamp is different. Learn how to change timestamps on photos.
To find a recently added photo or video: 
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the bottom, tap Search .
  4. Type Recently Added
  5. Browse your recently added items. 
If your item isn't in Recently Added, you can search for a person, place, or object in the photo:
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Search .
  3. Type what you want to find, like “dogs,” “New York City,” or if you tag your photos, someone’s name.
If you can’t find a photo with search, try to:
  • Search with a different keyword.
  • Search again in 3—5 days. It can take a while for photos to be searchable.

Check your photo stacks

If you can't find a photo, it could be in a photo stack. To find all photos in a photo stack from a grid:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Tap a Photo stack .
  3. Tap Stacks grid .

Tip: In the grid, to take actions on a group of photos, you can select multiple items. Learn more about how to stack similar photos.

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