How do I recover deleted voice recordings on Android?

With the rise of smartphones, many users now record voice memos, interviews, lectures, and other audio content directly on their Android devices. However, it’s easy to accidentally delete these recordings if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are several options for recovering deleted voice recordings on Android.

Recovering lost recordings is useful for many reasons. You may have deleted a recording that contained important information for work or school. Or maybe a long interview was accidentally erased before you could save or back it up. Voice recordings often capture unique live moments that can’t be recreated if they’re deleted.

The good news is that with the right tools and techniques, it’s often possible to get your recordings back. While recovering deleted data may seem daunting, this guide will walk you through the various methods you can try to restore your lost voice recordings on Android.

Check the Recycle Bin

Android has a built-in recycle bin where recently deleted files are temporarily stored before being permanently erased. This includes audio recordings deleted in apps like Voice Recorder. The recycle bin makes it easy to quickly restore accidentally deleted recordings.

To access the recycle bin on Android 10 or newer, go to the Files app and look for a tab called Trash or Recycle Bin. On Samsung devices, open the Gallery app, tap More > Settings > Gallery settings and go to the Recycle Bin tab [1].

Browse the contents of the recycle bin and look for your deleted recordings. Tap and hold to select them, then choose Restore to move them back to the original folder. However, keep in mind that items are automatically cleared from the recycle bin after 30 days or when storage space runs low. So recover your recordings as soon as possible.

Use a File Recovery App

When a file is deleted on Android, it is not immediately wiped from the storage device. Instead, the link to that file is removed from the file table, freeing up space to be over-written in the future. Until that space is overwritten, file recovery apps can scan the raw storage and restore deleted files.

Two top file recovery apps for Android are Dumpster and File Recovery. Both apps are highly rated on the Google Play Store and offer options to scan for and restore deleted audio recordings.

To use Dumpster or File Recovery to find deleted recordings:

  1. Download and install the recovery app.
  2. Open the app and grant it access permissions.
  3. Select the “Audio” or “Music” file type option.
  4. Tap “Scan” or “Search” to start scanning internal and external storage.
  5. Browse the scan results and select the deleted recordings to restore.
  6. Tap “Recover” or “Restore” to save the recordings to a new location.

These apps provide an easy way to recover deleted audio files as long as the storage space has not been overwritten. But for best results, use the app soon after deletion occurs.

Try Your Cloud Storage

If you had automatic backups enabled, deleted recordings may still be available in your cloud storage. Cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox keep deleted files in their trash for a certain time period before permanently erasing them.

To check if your deleted recordings are in your cloud trash:

  1. Open the app for your cloud storage service on your Android device.
  2. Go to the trash or recycle bin section.
  3. Look for any recently deleted audio files.
  4. Tap and hold to select them, then choose “Restore” to move them back to cloud storage.

For Google Drive specifically, deleted files stay in the trash for 30 days [1]. Open the Google Drive app, tap the hamburger menu icon, choose Trash, and look for your deleted recordings. Select and tap “Restore” to recover them.

Act quickly if you need to restore a deleted recording, as cloud services will permanently erase trash contents after a certain number of days.

Connect to a Computer

Connecting your Android device to a computer can allow you to use file recovery software on the computer to scan the phone and restore deleted files. Here are the steps to recover deleted files using a computer:

  1. Install a data recovery program like Recuva on your Windows PC or Data Rescue on your Mac.
  2. Connect your Android phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  3. Open the file recovery software and scan the connected Android device.
  4. The program will search for deleted files that can be recovered.
  5. Select the deleted files you want to restore and click “Recover”.
  6. Save the recovered files to your computer.

Using dedicated file recovery software on a desktop gives you the best chance of restoring deleted files from Android internal storage or SD card. Just make sure to connect the phone properly so the PC can access its contents.

Check Your File Manager

Some Android file managers like ES File Explorer create backups that could contain deleted files. You may be able to restore deleted voice recordings by accessing these backups.

To restore from an ES File Explorer backup on your device, open the app and tap on the menu icon in the top left corner. Select ‘Tools’ and then ‘Restore’, which will show you any available backups. Tap on a backup file to restore and you can browse the contents and restore deleted files.

Another popular file manager, File Commander, also includes a recycling bin you can check. Open the app and select the Recycle Bin tab on the bottom. Here you can tap and hold on deleted files to restore them.

Checking the backups and restore features of your device’s file manager app can potentially recover deleted voice recordings and other files. Just be sure to act quickly before those backups are overwritten with new data.

Try Data Recovery Services

As a last resort, you may need to use a professional Android data recovery service if you’ve exhausted all self-help options. These services use specialized software and techniques to recover deleted data and can salvage files when DIY solutions fail.

However, professional recovery services can be expensive. Costs range from $100 to $300 per hour based on the complexity and size of the data being recovered. For example, recovering data from a 3TB hard drive could cost over $2,000 or more at some providers.

Before choosing a paid service, research the provider’s reputation, capabilities, and costs. Look for certified companies with a high success rate. Get an estimate of the total cost upfront before agreeing to have your device serviced.

Pros of professional recovery include access to advanced tools and expertise, higher chance of recovering data, and hands-off convenience. Cons are the high costs and risk data may still not be recoverable if devices are severely damaged.

Overall, only use professional recovery as a last option when you badly need the data and DIY solutions have failed. But compare costs versus value of your data when deciding if it’s worthwhile.


Data Recovery Prices

Prevent Future Deletion

One of the best ways to prevent losing important voice recordings in the future is to regularly back them up. Copy or move recordings you want to keep to cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox, or connect your Android device to a computer to transfer files over. Having recordings in multiple places means there is still a copy if one is accidentally deleted.

You can also adjust your Android device settings to help avoid accidental deletion of recordings. Under Settings, look for an option like “Protect Files” or go to App Settings and find the Voice Recorder app. See if there is a setting to “Prevent app data from being cleared” or “Disable app deletion.” Samsung devices have Secure Folder and App Lock features to protect files. Third party apps like Folder Lock can password protect recordings.

While not foolproof, being proactive about backups and adjusting file protections can help reduce the chance of losing important voice recordings due to accidental deletion.

Recover Deleted App Data

Note that recovering app-specific recordings is different than recovering files from general storage. Each app may save its data in a proprietary format and location. To restore app-specific recordings that were deleted:

First, check if the app has a built-in setting to recover deleted recordings. For example, in the Samsung Voice Recorder app go to Settings > Restore to restore deleted recordings.

Alternatively, you may be able to restore app data from a backup. On Android, backups can be created in a few ways:

  • Your device manufacturer may include backup software.
  • You can use the built-in Android Backup Service to back up to Google Drive.
  • Third-party apps like Helium can create backups.

To restore app data from a backup:

  1. Connect your device to the computer where the backup is stored.
  2. Launch the backup tool and locate the backup.
  3. Select the app data you want to restore.
  4. The tool will walk you through restoring the backup to your device.

This should recover any deleted recordings or data associated with that app. Just keep in mind you can only restore data from backups that exist – if you don’t have a backup there may be no way to recover deleted app recordings. See this guide for more details on restoring app data from backups.


In conclusion, there are several potential methods to recover deleted voice recordings on Android devices.

We covered checking the Recycle Bin, using file recovery apps, accessing cloud storage, connecting to a computer, checking the device’s file manager, and professional data recovery services. Each of these options offers a chance to restore deleted recordings.

With a bit of effort, deleted recordings can often be recovered. To be safe, users should regularly backup important voice recordings they want to preserve. Storing them in multiple locations like the cloud or external storage can prevent permanent data loss.

By understanding these recovery techniques, Android users can have peace of mind knowing that accidentally deleted recordings are not necessarily gone forever if proper steps are taken quickly.

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