Find lost photos & videos

When you turn on back up and sync, your photos are stored in photos.google.com.

Learn other ways to find your photos.

Important: If your Google Photos account is inactive for 2 years or you're over your storage limit, it may impact your content. Learn how your Google storage works.

Step 1: Check your account

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

  1. On your computer, open photos.google.com.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top right, click the profile picture.
  4. Check that you’re signed in to the account that you backed up photos to.

Step 2: Search for lost photos

If you suddenly lose your photos, they might have a different date. 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.

  1. On your computer, open "Recently Added" in Google Photos.
  2. If it’s not there, search for the photo and use the right dates or keywords. At the top, select Search and type what you want to find, like “dogs,” “New York City,” or if you tag your photos, someone’s name.
  3. If your search comes up empty, try other keywords or search again in 3–5 days. It can take time for photos to be searchable.

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 back up is on
  1. On your device, make sure you’re signed in to the right account.
  2. At the top, you can find your backup status.

If backup is on

  • Your photo might still be in the process of backing up. If you receive “Waiting to back up” or a number on your phone, some photos aren't backed up yet.
  • Make sure Google Photos can back up the file sizes of your photos or videos. Learn more about file sizes.

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 photos from apps like Facebook or Instagram
If you can't find a photo in Google Photos, it might be in your device folders. You can only find your device folders on your phone.
  1. On your device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Library and then Albums.
  3. Under "Photos on device," check your device folders.
If you back up device folders, you can find photos from other apps on photos.google.com. Learn how to back up your device folders.
Find 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 computer, open photos.google.com
  2. On the left, click Archive.
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