I recently did a backup on my phone and then proceed to delete all my photos, contacts etc. after the backup was completed. Another backup never took place after this and when I went to restore my information to a new iPhone all my pictures and contacts were gone but all my apps were still there. I went to my iCloud account and it show that I have no photos as well. Is there any way I can get at least my photos back? I’ve tried restoring older backups but no photos or contacts are on any of the backups. And yes my I set my settings to upload my pictures and contacts to my iCloud during backups.


2 Answers 2


iCloud is primarily a syncing mechanism and not a backup solution. What this means is iCloud gives you access to all your files, pictures, contacts, etc. on any device that's logged-in with the same Apple ID.

The pictures and contacts are stored in iCloud and your other devices access it from there. When you deleted the info from iCloud directly, you deleted the source files and not copies of the files.

However, there is something you can try. iCloud provides a 40-day grace period in which you can recover deleted photos and 30-day grace period for other types of files. See this site for more detailed info.

Restore deleted photos

  1. Log into iCloud from a computer and not a mobile device.
  2. Go to Photos.
  3. If the sidebar is not already visible, click the Open sidebar button on the top of the screen.
  4. In the sidebar you should see a menu item named Recently Deleted. Click on it. enter image description here

  5. You will see any recoverable images along with the days remaining until the image is permanently deleted.

  6. Click on any image (or album, if available) you want to restore and click the Recover button on the top-right of the window.
  7. Click Done.

Restore deleted files

  1. Log into iCloud from a computer and not a mobile device.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Advanced section. enter image description here

  4. Click on Restore Files.

  5. You will see any files eligible to be restored
  6. Click to check off the boxes to the left of the files you want to restore or click Select All if you really need to restore everything.
  7. Click Restore Files. enter image description here

  8. Click Done.

Restore deleted contacts

Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 in 'Restore files' above.

  1. Click on the Restore Contacts tab at the top of the window.
  2. Select the contacts you want to restore. Important: the restored contact will replace the contact on all devices signed-in with this Apple ID. enter image description here

  3. Click Done.


Turn off photos on iCloud, Log out the icloud on the phone, then log in, when logging in, switch “On” photos.

  • How does this solve the problem described in the question?
    – nohillside
    Nov 17, 2018 at 14:29
  • If the user does this, the photos will be restored back to the phone.
    – Pachino
    Nov 17, 2018 at 14:31
  • From where? According to the question, "I went to my iCloud account and it show that I have no photos as well"
    – nohillside
    Nov 17, 2018 at 14:31

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