I am trying to retrieve some videos that I have lost from my mobile phone (BQ Aquaris E4).

I used Ctrl + X to cut them from my mobile phone to my computer and I stored them in a folder. Then, I cut another three videos from my mobile phone to my computer and by mistake I used Ctrl + Z, so I undid the changes. The videos were stored in the mobile phone memory, not in a SD card.

I do not know why, but the folder in which I stored all the previous videos dissapeared and now I cannot get the videos back.

I tried with a lot of programs but all of them needed that my mobile phone would be rooted and I do not know if the problem it is about the mobile phone or the computer.

Is there some program that I can use in which I won't need root the mobile phone to get my videos back?

P.S: Please, do not copy or paste programs that you found on the net. Post them if they have worked for you.

  • I'm afraid there won't be (m)any answers to this, for a simple reason: To access deleted content, an application would need direct low-level access to the file system. While this was possible in the times (before Android 4.0) when USB Media Storage was used, this is no longer the case with MTP. This excludes external tools and only leaves Android apps (see e.g. De-Deletion (Recovering)). Besides: the longer you wait, the lower your chances if you use your device – as space might get re-used.
    – Izzy
    Apr 11, 2016 at 8:26
  • One more pointer is the data-recovery tag-wiki on our Android sister site, where you could ask for general solutions (not software recommendations, but solutions to your issue which might happen to include software, of course). Were your device rooted, I'd even know approaches.
    – Izzy
    Apr 11, 2016 at 8:28
  • @Izzy «this was possible in the times (before Android 4.0) when USB Media Storage was used» my phone runs Android 4.2.1 and USB media storage is available. Could it be possible that you meant "before Android 5.0" or "before Android 4.4"? May 1, 2016 at 16:40
  • Oh: if UMS is available, things are different (for most devices, UMS was replaced in favor of MTP starting with Android 4.0). If the partition where those files were located on is made available via UMS, you could let specific recovery software directly access it. Check with Android.SE's data-recovery tag-wiki. Software to check with is then TestDisk and PhotoRec (start with the latter).
    – Izzy
    May 1, 2016 at 17:32
  • I am not the OP, but if it were me I would definitely start with Testdisk and not Photorec. If the FAT still allows for file system reconstruction, the output would be quite better than with a carving tool. May 1, 2016 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


I tried with a lot of programs but all of them needed that my mobile phone would be rooted

This is for a reason. An Android application cannot get low-level disk access unless it uses root permissions. Regarding computer software, in the past it was possible to "expose" the drives as external USB drives to a PC, hence allowing for ther physical imaging.

This is no longer possible with the latest versions of Android. Even professional digital forensics programs require Android phones to be rooted for physical data extraction.


If you can access the partition via UMS1, I recommend you taking a look at PhotoRec. The software is available for free and cross-platform – so regardless which OS runs on your computer, here's what to do:

  • connect your device via USB in USB Mass Storage mode
  • fire up PhotoRec
  • tell it to scan the connected "drive"

There's a PhotoRec Step By Step guide explaining everything in detail. Make sure to have the program write recovered data to a different drive, or you'll lower your chances to successfully recover as much as possible.

Don't be shocked if there's no GUI – it works in "text mode", but is quite efficient. I've tried it in the past with good results – though my last try is quite some years ago, and was not on a mobile device but a local disk.

1: Though starting with Android 4.0 UMS was replaced by MTP, some devices seem still to offer it – as e.g. Andrea's comment shows.


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