Before you learn how to recover photos from Snapchat —and know the cases where that’s possible—it’s important to keep in mind when Snapchat deletes snap and chat content to see if you can still recover them. Below, understand how the dynamics of the social network works, it is ephemeral to the point of erasing everything in a few hours.
According to Snapchat, “erase is the default.” This means that most messages sent through Snapchat automatically disappear as soon as they are viewed or their lifetime expires. However, each message type has a different policy, including snaps, chats, stories, memories, and other types of media.
Servers erase everything
Snapchat’s servers — according to the social network — are programmed to automatically delete all Snaps after they’re seen. This cleaning also includes all snaps not opened after 30 days. The same goes for media sent to a group chat and not open after 24 hours. In short, the application says:
However, you can try searching for temporary files and other copies on your phone.
1. Try to access Snapchat data (.nomedia)
If you used the gallery photos from your Android or iPhone, you can connect your smartphone to your computer using a USB cable and then try to locate the files.
You can use file manager on Android or iOS or data recovery software on your computer. The important thing is to find a way to open the data folders of the device.
Some paths you can use:
- Apps > Snapchat > Archives
- Internal storage > search for “Snapchat” (see data)
This may vary slightly depending on your device.
You will also find a folder “com.snapchat.android”.
There will be some folders and subfolders within the folders. If you do not find the files first, in the paths above, you need to find the files that have the extension “.nomedia”.
These files are not accessible (to open) when you try to access them over the phone. You need to choose all the files with this extension and remove the extension “.nomedia” by renaming them and should see the thumbnails of your snaps.
2. Try to access the Snapchat cache (Android)
On Android, the system keeps the cache memory of apps in the phone’s or SD card memory—if you use one. But cache files will also be invisible in folders accessing through Android. You can try to recover Snapchat photos by caching the app, but using your computer.
The path will be com.snapchat.android > cache > received_image_snaps or some other like that. Look for cache inside the Snap folder.