Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

When someone steals your phone, it’s like stealing your memories. Your phone contains your photos, notes, and contacts. The data on the phone is more important than the phone itself. At that moment, you wish to have your photos back even if you can’t get your phone back. So, you wonder if it’s possible to retrieve pictures from your stolen phone.

There’s no way you can retrieve photos from a stolen phone without some backup plan in place. Only if you have synced your photos with cloud storage services like Google Drive or iCloud can you restore your photos. Without backup, your photos are lost forever.

stolen phone

Keep reading to discover some alternative ways to retrieve your photos even if someone stole your phone. Unfortunately, you can’t get back your data unless you’ve made backups.

However, there might be a little hope if you follow the suggestions below.

Can You Retrieve Photos From A Stolen Phone?

When you store your photos on your phone, it’s near impossible to retrieve them. Whether you’re using your phone memory or an SD card for storage, your photos will remain there forever.

Since you don’t have access to your phone, you can’t access your photos. The only alternative is when you have connected your phone to Google Drive, iCloud, or other online storage services.

How Do Google Photos work?

When you’ve connected your phone to your Google account and enabled auto-sync, your photos get uploaded to your storage automatically. So, every time you take a photo or shoot a video, it gets synced to your Google Drive.

If you’ve enabled this feature, you can access your Drive from another device and retrieve your photos.

Other cloud services work the same way. For example, you can connect to iCloud with your iPhone and sync your photos automatically.

That way, you can access and retrieve your photos from any device even if someone steals your phone.

Most devices upload media files over Wi-Fi connection by default. So, there’s a good chance that your photos are stored safely in the cloud. Unless you’ve disabled this feature, there’s still hope to retrieve your photos.

You can also auto-sync your photos with Dropbox, OneDrive, and Mega. If you have any cloud service enabled on your phone, try to access them online and retrieve your photos.

What Can You Do If Someone Steals Your Pictures?

The first thing you should do in case someone steals your pictures is changing all your passwords.

It’s because the person who found your phone might log in to your accounts. If the person can access your pictures, it means they can do whatever they want with it. They can delete, make copies, or publish them without your permission.

Also, if you have the auto-sync feature enabled, they can access your storage and delete the pictures. If that happens, you won’t be able to retrieve the pictures from another device.

If you have any sensitive financial information stored on your phone, call your bank immediately. Inform them that your credit card information is lost. Make sure they cancel your credit cards in case the thief decides to steal your money too.

Try To Locate Your Phone

If you have enabled a security feature on your phone like the “Find My Device” feature, you may be able to locate, lock, or erase your phone. You can locate your phone from a web browser or search “find my device.”

However, if the person turns off location access on your phone, it’d be hard to locate it. Plus, you need to set up Find My Device in advance. If you forgot to set up some security measures, you won’t be able to locate your device.

You can follow the same steps with a stolen iPhone.

You may also want to check out your Google Location History to find the place where you lost your phone.

Let the Law Enforcement Agency Know

If you still can’t, try calling your phone and ask the person to return it. In some rare cases, the person will agree to return your pictures if you offer a reward. If that didn’t work, report the whole incident to a law enforcement agency.

In fact, calling law enforcement should be the first thing to do when someone steals your pictures. You should also call the law enforcement because the person might use your device in committing another crime. The law enforcement agency can trace the phone and link you to the crime.

So, you need to clear your name by reporting that your phone was stolen.

If you lost your phone in a public place, try reporting to security officers. Most public places have surveillance cameras and they can find who stole your phone.

Furthermore, if someone stole your pictures and published them online, you can file a DMCA takedown notice. If they publish the pictures on social media, you can report them directly.

If it’s on a website, you can contact the webmaster and ask them to take the pictures down. You can also report them to a law enforcement agency if they didn’t comply.

protect phone

How To Protect Your Phone From Theft?

The only reliable way to retrieve your photos from a stolen phone is not getting your phone stolen in the first place. However, such misfortunes happen when you least expect them. A Thief always steals small things they can sell quickly.

Phones are easy to misplace, forget, and lose because they’re small devices .

If you tried everything, and still couldn’t retrieve your photos, get a new phone. It’s hard to lose your phone, but maybe you can learn from the experience.

When you get a new phone, make sure to follow these tips to avoid getting your new phone stolen in the future.

Know Your IMEI

Every phone has a unique 15-digit serial number called the IMEI. It’s like your phone’s fingerprint that can’t be forged, altered, or changed in any way. You can find it printed on the phone box or by dialing *#06%#.

Other phones have a MEID number. Either way, it’s best to copy and store this number somewhere safe, just in case. Plus, if you report a stolen phone to the law enforcement agency, you’ll need to tell them your IMEI.

If they find it, they can identify it’s yours and return it to you. You may also want to report a stolen phone to your carrier with the IMEI, so they could put it on a blacklist. That way, the thief can’t put another SIM card on the phone.

They can’t use your stolen phone or sell it because it’ll reject any foreign SIM cards.

Backup Your Pictures Regularly

Make sure you sync your device to the cloud. So, whenever you take a photo, you upload them to the cloud promptly. You can also take it a step farther and backup all your data to the cloud.

As an extra step, you can use your PC or Mac to create and store several backup files of your data. There are a few software that will allow you to do regular backups on other devices.

Activate The Location Access Feature

When you’re visiting a new place, traveling, or don’t feel safe, activate your location. Use apps like “Find My Device” or “Find My iPhone.” Configure them and be ready for situations like that.

If possible, install other protective apps. One app can send you a notification whenever a different SIM is inserted into your phone. Do it, don’t be lazy.


You now know how to retrieve your pictures from a stolen phone. You know what to do if your phone is stolen. You also know how to secure your phone.

Security measures are almost forgotten nowadays even when they’re simple to take. When you practice them, you can save yourself a lot of grief. So, never hesitate to take these precautions whenever possible.