I have a picture that I cherish deeply being used as my lock screen. The problem is that the Micro SD card I was using became corrupted at one point and needed to be formatted so the picture was lost. I need to know if there is a location on the files of the phone where I can copy it from. I mean the picture has to be being used somewhere right?

I was using an app called "File Manager" to search through the files and try to find it. If anyone can point me in the right location I would really appreciate it.

Android Version: 4.0.4

  • Did you already format the card? If so, see How to Restore Deleted / Formatted Files on HD Micro SD Card. Another good pointer to start with is our data-recovery tag-wiki. If the file is already deleted, you won't find it anywhere with a file manager. – Izzy Feb 18 '14 at 10:38
  • The recovery methods don't seem to be working. I tried Easeus. Even though the picture is deleted wouldn't the phone save that picture somewhere in order to use it as a lock screen background? – Takoon4 Feb 18 '14 at 17:33
  • I'm not sure how that's handled internally; it might also just save the location (i.e. where to find it). Does the lock screen still display it? Then it might be either in cache, or Android really "keeps a copy" for that. – Izzy Feb 18 '14 at 17:42
  • Yes the lock screen does still display the picture. @Izzy – Takoon4 Feb 18 '14 at 18:46
  • I've just checked an older Nandroid backup which I had unpacked for reference, found no trace. Which leaves the cache (/cache or /data/data/<package_name>/cache) as most likely place, as I didn't extract that. But it's just a guess. // Just cross-checked on my LG O4X, and indeed found an empty wallpaper.png in /data/data/com.lge.lockscreen`; but all those places are only accessible using root-powers... – Izzy Feb 18 '14 at 20:47

From what I can tell from the other answers it sounds like the image you wish to retrieve is also your wallpaper. If that is the case you could use an app I have been working on for this exact purpose, called Get Current Wallpaper.

It will retrieve your current wallpaper, save it to your Pictures folder on your external storage drive and allow you to share it with whatever app you use to share images :)

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  • Cool! Edit: Is there any reason why it is not compatible with Android 2.3? It might not be that, but I can't install it on my phone, an HTC Wildfire S. – Toothbrush Mar 28 '15 at 0:04
  • You are right that it does not support older than Android 4.0.3. You should be able to use this instead (slightly less simple, but will also get your current wallpaper): play.google.com/store/apps/… :) – Jesper Lysgaard Rasmussen Mar 29 '15 at 17:53

A couple of methods come to mind:

  1. You could take a picture of your phone with another camera.

  2. You could do a screen capture of you phone screen using built in functionality of the Android operating system. The method of doing a screen capture is different depending on which version of operating system you have. On my phone, I press and hold the POWER + HOME buttons at the same time and a screenshot is capture and saved to my SD card. Some older version of the Android operating system didn't have the screen capture functionality built in so depending on your version of the operating system, it may or may not be an option for you.

  3. I have written a few Android apps before. I just checked the Android API's and it looks like I could write an app to retrieve the wallpaper image from your system memory and save it to a SD card if you have an SD card in your phone. The app would just read the image and wouldn't change it.

Also, do you have an SD card that is working now?

I understand how frustrating it is to lose an important image and would like to help you get it back if I can.

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  • 1
    It says right in the question that it's 4.0.4. – ale Feb 19 '14 at 19:40
  • Right you are. Just noticed that. – user3329361 Feb 19 '14 at 19:57
  • I do have a micro sd card in it that is working. If you did make an app @user3329361 how would I put it on my phone to use it? would it just be a file that I open from file manager or is there another process I would have to use? – Takoon4 Feb 20 '14 at 7:28
  • I could send you an app install file as an attachement to an email. There is a setting in the Android operating system that enables installing apps from an "Unknown Source". The operating system will install the attached app from the email once this setting is enabled. Some phone service providers prohibit installation of apps that do not come from the Play Store. Does your phone service provider allow installing apps that are not from the Play Store? – user3329361 Feb 20 '14 at 13:00
  • I wrote the app and confirmed it worked on my phone. The app retrieves the wallpaper image and saves it to a file on the SD card. The only user permission is Write External Storage. If you make your email visible in your user profile and let me know, I can email the app to you. – user3329361 Feb 21 '14 at 0:34

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