> Lost files after Android update

Lost Files After Android Update: Here Are Steps to Recover Them

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Caution! Updating Android OS May Result in File Loss

When a new version of Android OS is available, most of you would want to make an update especially when the new version boasts of outstanding features and increased performance, right? There are 2 ways to upgrade your Android device, including Over The Air (OTA) and From Factory Image.

In general, updating Android system over the air will not kill user data, but there are exceptions reported. For example:

"I have a bunch of photos and other files that I forgot to backup before applying the update from Lollipop to Marshmallow, and now they are gone. Do I still have a chance to recover them"

In addition, using an Android factory image to upgrade Android device will wipe all data. If users haven't backed up important files in advance, they have to suffer from data loss.

But luckily, users still have a chance to recover lost files no matter what upgrade method they choose, Over the Air or from Android Factory Images.

In this post, we will show users steps to recover missing files after a Marshmallow or Nougat update as well as instructions to backing up Android phone/tablet to both PC and Cloud.

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First of all, let's see how to do Android data recovery.

Full Guide on Recovering Lost Files After Android System Update

Now matter you are updating from KitKat to Lollipop, Lollipop to Marshmallow, or Marshmallow to Nougat, there are chances to lose important files, but you can try performing operations below to recover lost files.

Method 1: Recover Missing Files from Backup

If you have a backup on SD card, Google, or other places, you can recover disappeared files without rooting your Android mobile phone or tablet. Operations should be simple, so here we do not show you detailed steps. However, if there is no backup, a piece of Android data recovery software is required.

Method 2: Recover Lost Files Using Android Data Recovery Software

Some of you may want to recover deleted files directly on Android device, but actually we suggest doing it on PC, because downloading and installing a program on Android may overwrite lost files, making data recovery difficult.

In this post, we use the freeware MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android to recover files lost due to Android system upgrade, and it is a program running on Windows platforms.

MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android is a piece of data recovery software that could help Android users recover files such as Messages, Contacts, Call History, WhatsApp, photos, and videos from both internal memory and SD card. Almost all devices running Android mobile operating system are supported, inclduing Samsung, HTC, Sony, and so on. For more information about this program, please view Free Android Recovery.

Please download and install the program to your Windows computer, and run it. Then, you'll receive the message below:

recover lost files after android update install software driver

Please click Install button to install the Android USB Driver if you want to recover files from Android internal memory, otherwise the Android device can't be detected by MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android. Of course, if you just need to recover files from SD card of Android phone, you can choose Don't Install. After successful installation, 2 recovery modes are shown:

minitool mobile recovery for android main window

If your lost messages, contacts, photos, or other files are saved in internal memory of Android devices, please choose Recover from Phone. If they are stored on SD card, please select Recover from SD-Card.

How to Recover Files from Internal Memory of Android Devices

After choosing Recover from Phone, please connect your Android device to computer, and then the program will detect the connected device. Then, you'll be prompted to enable USB debugging mode if you haven't enabled it before. Please follow instructions below to enable your Android device's USB debugging mode.

recover lost files from android internal memory enable debug mode

Then, allow USB debugging on your Android device.

In addition, if your Android device hasn't been rooted, you'll be prompted to root it. Please view the post How to Root Your Android Device to get detailed steps.

Kindly Reminder

Rooting is the process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control over various Android subsystems. However, rooting Android device will make your manufacturer warranty null in void.

After successful root, you will get to the 3. Device Ready to Scan window, where please choose types of files you want to recover and select one of scanning modes from "Quick Scan" and "Deep Scan".

recover lost files from android internal memory ready to scan interface

Firstly, you can try "Quick Scan" to see whether lost files are found, since this mode costs much less time. However, if quick scan fails to find needed data, please go back to the Home window and repeat previous operations, and the only difference is that you need to choose "Deep Scan" this time.

Kindly Reminder: Deep Scan may cost much time since it will deep scan internal memory of your Android device. Please wait patiently.

Then, MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android will analyze the Android device:

recover lost files from android internal memory analyze device

After analyzing, it will scan the Android device and list all files it found. Please find and check files that need recovering and recover them to another location.

Note: MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android Free Edition allows users to recover one type of data each time, and the maximum number of file amount is 10. For more details of the Free Edition, please see Limits in MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android Free. If you want to recover more files, you'll need to purchase a license. Purchase here with enjoying discounts.

Now, users should know how to recover missing files from Android internal memory, and next let's see steps to restore data from SD card after an Android Marshmallow or Nougat update.

How to Recover Files from SD Card of Android

To make SD card data recovery, please choose Recover from SD-Card. Then, connect the SD card to computer via card reader or computer built-in card slot and click "Next" to continue. Of course, you can also use the Android device as a card reader to connect SD card to computer if possible. After inserting the SD card to computer, just click "Next" to continue.

recover lost files from SD card after android update connect SD card

Then, select the target SD card to scan and click "Next". After that, MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android will analyze the SD card:

recover lost files from SD card after android update analyzing SD card

Just wait patiently. Once analysis is completed, the program will scan all files saved on the SD card automatically. And after scan, all found data will be shown. At this time, please look for and check files you want to recover and click "Recover" button.

recover lost files from SD card after android update save recovered files

At last, save selected files to a specified location.

recover lost files from SD card after android update choose a save path

Now, SD card file recovery after Android Marshmallow or Nougat update is completed, and you can have a try.

Nevertheless, if MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android can't help you find lost files from SD card, try MiniTool Power Data Recovery whose Damaged Partition Recovery module may give you big surprise.

After connecting the SD card to computer and running Power Data Recovery, users will see 5 functional modules shown below. Please choose Damaged Partition Recovery module to continue.

recover lost files from SD carfd after android update use power data recovery

Then, select the SD card and choose "Full Scan", which may take a long time if your SD saves lots of files. However, if you just lost specified types of files, such as photos, word documents, and videos, click "Settings" button to choose to scan these types of files only.

recover lost files from SD card after android update choose specified types of files to scan

After successful, all files the program found will be shown. At this time, please give check marks on files which need recovering and save them to other locations.

However, if both MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android and Power Data Recovery failed to find your files, probably they are overwritten already. No data recovery solution is able to recover overwritten files.

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So far, steps to recover files after Android update have been shown, and next let's see some tips on updating Android phone or Tablet.

3 Essential Tips on Updating Android Device

tip Tip 1: Backup Important Files of Android to PC or Cloud Before Update
Though in most cases users will lose nothing when they are updating Android from Lollipop to Marshmallow, Marshmallow to Nougat, etc., it's still necessary to backup crucial files, because any accident could emerge during this process. If you do not know how to backup, please refer to the following instructions.

  • Backup Android to Cloud
  • Some versions of Android OS provide users with the function to backup apps, messages, contacts, and other files from device to cloud, and you may find this feature from Settings > Backup and reset or Settings > Privacy. For more details, you can refer to the post How to Back Up an Android Phone on the Google Cloud.

    Alternatively, you can backup your Android device to PC.

  • Backup Android to PC
To backup messages, contacts, call history, WhatsApp, photos, videos, and other files from Android device to PC, you need a third-party program, and MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android is worth trying.

To backup files from internal memory of Android to PC, please choose Recover from Phone module. To backup files from SD card of Android to PC, please choose Recover from SD-Card. Of course, you can also download MiniTool Partition Wizard and use its Copy Partition function to backup SD card to PC, which is simpler.

tip Tip 2: Take out SD Card Before Android Update
There is a case showing updating Android OS could make files saved on SD card lost, so you'd better take SD card out before doing the update, which is the simplest way to avoid SD data loss. However, if you used Link2SD to increase internal memory of Android, it might be not a wise choice to take out SD card during upgrade. In this case, it's still necessary to backup SD card to PC or cloud.

tip Tip 3: Steps to Update Android System
After a backup is created, you can update Android from Lollipop to Marshmallow or from Marshmallow to Nougat without worrying about data loss. But how to upgrade?

How to Update from Android Lollipop to Marshmallow

We have said there are 2 methods available for doing the update, including upgrade Over The Air (OTA) and update from factory image, but we highly suggest choosing the former, because it is the simplest one and will not bring data loss in general situations.

To update Android system over the air, please keep your Android phone or tablet network connected during this process. Then, navigate to Settings > About device > Software update to check for the latest version of Android system. If there is, download and install it. Then, your device will launch into Android Marshmallow.

upgrade Android Lollipop to Marshmallow

How to Update from Android Marshmallow to Nougat

Steps to upgrade Android 6.0/6.0.1 Marshmallow to Android 7.0 Nougat or higher version are similar to those for upgrading Lollipop to Marshmallow. Please refer to those steps to do update.


No matter which action you want to make, backup Android to PC/Cloud, update Android from Lollipop to Marshmallow or from Marshmallow to Nougat, or recover lost files after Android update, you could find useful information from this post. If you think our post is useful, please share it with your friends, followers, or other people to help more people. Should you have any question, please feel free to contact us.

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