What to Do When You Lose Data on Your Android Phone

Whether it’s through a glitch, a forgetful moment, or just bad luck, you may find yourself in a situation where you accidentally delete data from your Android phone. Even though the operating system itself is secure, deleting data from your phone will inevitably lead to some files being lost.

Now what? You can’t just walk into your favorite electronics store and ask for that data to be restored. Luckily, there are ways to do Android phone data recovery that won’t cost you a penny. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place before you accidentally delete data from your Android phone, though. Here’s what to do when you lose data on your phone.

Create a Back-Up

Creating a backup of your data is the first thing to do when you lose phone data. If you don’t have one already, create a backup of your data. There are two options for backing up your data:

1) You can back up all the files on your phone by plugging them into your computer and then selecting “backing up” from the “backup and restore” menu. This will take time if you have a lot of data on your phone, but this is an option if you don’t want to use another app.

2) The second, more time-efficient option, is to download an app that specifically backs up all the files on your phone in one click like Google Drive or Carbonite.

Format Your SD Card

Formatting your SD card is the first thing you should do when you lose data on Android. Formatting your SD card doesn’t delete the data on your SD card, but it does overwrite existing data. This will prevent any other files from being overwritten by a new piece of information.

Restart in Safe Mode

Restart your Android in safe mode to protect your data from any third-party apps. Safe mode will only allow you to use the phone’s basic functions, so anything that is not necessary for that task will be disabled.

To restart your Android in safe mode, turn off your device and turn it back on while holding down the volume down button. A list of options will appear including safe mode at the bottom.

Delete the Trash Can

When you delete files from your phone, they’re moved to a trash can. If you empty the trash can, then those deleted files are gone for good. If you want to recover data from your Android phone, delete the trash can first.

Find Where the Data Went

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out where it is that the data went. If you deleted the data while on your phone, then it’s likely still on the phone itself. However, if you deleted the data while connected to a desktop or laptop, it may have been synced with a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Once you find out where the data went, take note of what kind of files are lost. Some files can be recovered via Android’s built-in tool for recovering deleted files, but some can’t be recovered this way. This means that when recovering your data from an Android phone, you should also recover any data that was synced with a cloud storage service as well.

Off-Site Backups

The first step you want to take when you lose data on your Android phone is off-site backups. Many people make the mistake of relying entirely on their phones to back up all their data. This can be a really bad idea if you’re not using an external storage device or cloud storage service for backups.

When you use a backup service that stores files in the cloud, your data will be safe from loss due to glitches and bugs. You’ll also have access to that lost data as long as it wasn’t deleted off of your phone permanently.

Off-site backups are especially important for anyone who relies heavily on Gmail, Google Drive, WhatsApp messages, and other types of communication that can only be accessed through the internet. Remember, once you delete those messages from your phone they are gone forever.


When your phone is having issues, there are a few things you can do to try and salvage the data. Formatting your SD card will help to clear up any problems. Restarting in safe mode can often fix any issues you’re having with your phone. Deleting the trash can help too. Lastly, it’s a good idea to have off-site backups so you don’t lose any more data.


But if these steps don’t work, then you may have lost your data for good. This is a very tough pill to swallow when it happens. But instead of giving up and moving on, try these few steps before completely giving up. You may be surprised by what you find.