How is it possible to recover moved/deleted files?

Hi all,
I’m new in this community and have just experienced following problem.
I wanted to store all my vacation pictures in one move to my Synology drive. Something hung up. As I used move files, they are no longer visible on the FP4 but they never reached the Synology. Ok that’s the fact.
Are there mechanisms to recover the “moved/deleted” pictures? I’ve searched for some SW but most of them wanted to root the phone. Is there any other way?
Best regards

What did you do and how did you do that?

First I used the existing file manager (it is called in german “Dateien”) on the FP4 and selected “share”. But it said only 100 pics can be shared. As I had more than 300 pics I decided to select “move to” and selected Synology Drive as target and created a dedicated sub directory. So I could see that all files one by one where removed from the DCIM directory. Then it took a long time and I did not see any progress. So I opened Synology Drive to see the progress by selecting “background processes”. That showed all files, but none of them was worked on despite the fact that the Synology was running. So I selected the first file to see if there is a problem. Instantly, all background files where gone. Ok that’s where I’m at currently.
Files moved to Synology but the Synology never processed any of it … it’s so sad. :frowning:

How is the synology connected to fairphone?

For this I’ve installed the Synology Drive App. This worked actually very good so far and I’m synchronizing more 2 phones and PCs. Now I lost trust in it … (just for clarification - I checked the “background processes” within the Synology Drive App on FP4).

Hi and welcome to the forum.
Since these are photos, I don’t know whether they might still be visible in the Gallery app recycle bin? Did you check?

Only simple gallery has a trash bin. Not the defaults gallery apps.
And you have to use it to get this advantage.
But he used file app.

For me, I think worst case has happen and all the photos are gone to Nirvana

The default Google Photos app has a trash folder as well. The (old) Files app doesn’t have it indeed. The new one from Android 12 does, which you can also install from the Play store.

Right, I forgot that that goolag things already exist. Sorry… :rofl:

Android is Google :nerd_face: You mentioned the default apps, on Fairphone these are the default apps. Just to avoid a misunderstanding for the topic starter.

Half right
Android is AOSP and goolag is taking this as all the others to build their ROM.
The goolag Android Default Apps are the Gapps as many others using, too.

ASOP is a Google project. Without Google there wouldn’t be Android. And there wouldn’t be a Fairphone either. Anyway this is off topic. Google sucks for their business model, but they do create and support open source projects that wouldn’t exist or be as big without Google. So it’s not all doom stories.


Thanks so far for your replies. On Windows you can do a deep scan to recover lost files. My understanding is, that this is also possible with Android system. And as far as my researches went, there are tools to do this also from Windows PC but I guess one would need root rights. So my concern is, what happens when I root my FP4? Which side effects would that have? What about updates? Can this be reversed after recovering the data?
If the side effects would be too much, I think I would just accept the “nirvana”.
Any thoughts on this?

If your device is unlocked you can just boot (and not install) a patched bootloader. So your device is not changed.
Follow the steps at

and leave our step 5 (installation).
(Just keep in mind: the more you do with the device, the higher the probability that the deleted file data locations are already overwritten by new data)

1 Like

Hi MoD

some info from my side about a few aspects you asked about:

1.) General information about the ‘move-to command’

The move command is technically spoken a combination of 2 basic commands:
Copy & delete a file

Unlike the move command the copy command only copies but does not make any changes to the original file.

Therefore I usually prefer the copy over the move command - even if this means I have to do additional clicks to manually delete a file after I copied it.
Not being click-lazy often saves (file’s) lives :wink:

  1. Risks of rooting

The golden rule is mentioned within a lot of instructions and tutorials:
Do not root a device unless you really understood what your are doing

Some drastic side effect that can happen after rooting a mobile:
Some apps like banking apps may deny any further action/function (even unless you unroot the device later on - all that of course depending on mobile, OS and specific app)
Additionally: The security/safety level of a mobile system can be easily harmed

3.) Recovering deleted files

On Windows machines deleting a file usually does not mean the file becomes instantly deleted on the file system.
Instead just the location (=link) of the file on the file system becomes deleted in the index.

Imagine your file system like a hotel:
The file is a guest in this hotel.
If you want to open the file you ask the receptionist in which room this guest (=file) is located.
If the file is deleted then the guest is still in the hotel (from perspective of a file system) until another guest takes over the same room.
But while the guest may be still there the receptionist doesn’t know any longer in which room. If you can find that room before someone new moves in then you still can find the old guest.

This example also means that the file system may overwrite it at any time in the future in case this apparently empty space is needed. Since this can happen at any time it’s not in all situations possible to ‘recover’ deleted files. In case that space is already overwritten then the data is gone - forever.

What I described above mostly should be the same on linux systems (android & mac are basically also just some sort of linux/unix system).
The tricky thing about it: the file system on a machine is usually a veeeeeeery big hotel with an seemingly endless number of rooms. Unless you don’t know the location of that room (=file) you may spend a lot of time with searching that room.

There are some tools which can recover files by scanning a whole file system on a windows machine. I see this less critical on Windows because Windows systems are far less safe & secure than other systems because most times the user is automatically an administrator by default - which would be similar to ‘root’ on a linux system. Easily spoken: There’s not that much to lose on a Windows system.

I would not recommend any apps/tools that require root for such a job of recovering anything on a Linux/Android/Mac unless you can trust the provider 101%.
Rule of thumb: if you can buy it you can not fully trust it because the provider’s interest is making money - not helping you in an altruistic way. Don’t forget: on Android you often buy something for free by paying with your holy grail - your personal data.
The provider simply could do anything with your system - even without you knowing what is happening in the background. And be sure such black sheep are already out there.

Unless you don’t want to put a higher amount of time into learning how to connect to an Android device via adb and how to use the console/bash/command line tools and their commands -instead of using any application with a user interface- I’d say: better see these files now as lost and learn from this situation by changing your behaviour in the future; for example by not using the move-command - especially if you move something between different devices (or at least make an additional copy of the important files before you move them to another device - and deleting the copy manually afterwards)



Thanks to all for your thoughts and the advises. I’ll remember them in future - for sure!
This topic can be closed from my side. It is what it is …

“Nirwana is the biggest cloudspace - may the data rest in peace”


Nirvarana is where all the past still exists as archive, so if you get there you can replicate.

It’s the black hole and the void that’s the issue as whereas you can enter there’s no getting back.

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.