How to Recover Snapchat Memories That Weren’t Backed Up

Losing Snapchat memories can be devastating, especially if they weren’t backed up. Those silly selfies, funny videos, and cherished conversations seem to vanish in an instant. But don’t panic! There are several methods you can try to recover Snapchat memories, even if you didn’t have the foresight to back them up manually. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the ways to resurrect your lost Snaps and get back what is precious to you.

Why Snapchat Memories May Not Have Been Backed Up

Before diving into recovery methods, let’s look at some reasons why your Snapchat memories may not have been backed up in the first place:

  • You didn’t enable backup. Snapchat’s built-in Backup feature isn’t turned on by default. If you don’t enable it in your settings, none of your Snaps and chats will be saved outside of the app.
  • You recently cleared conversations. The Backup feature only saves Snaps and chats from the past 30 days. If you recently cleared a conversation, the related Snaps won’t have been backed up.
  • You disabled backups. Even if Backup was enabled, you may have turned it off at some point. Any Snaps or chats occurring after that point wouldn’t have been saved.
  • You switched phones. Snapchat Backup doesn’t transfer between devices. So any Snap memories only existed on your old phone.
  • You deleted the Snapchat app. If you deleted the Snapchat app itself, any locally-stored Snaps would have been wiped out.
  • You forget to manually save. Snapchat Memories you manually save to your camera roll or other apps won’t be affected. But any unsaved ones are not retrievable through backup.

Snapchat Backup vs. Snapchat Memories

Before we dig into recovery methods, it’s important to understand the difference between Snapchat Backup and Snapchat Memories:

  • Snapchat Backup – Refers to the Snaps and chats automatically saved by Snapchat’s built-in Backup feature. These files are stored on Snapchat’s servers.
  • Snapchat Memories – This encompasses all Snaps and chats you send or receive on Snapchat, whether automatically backed up or not.

The key point is that Snapchat Backup is just one way Snapchat Memories are preserved. Even without backup, some Snapchat Memories can still be recovered, as we’ll explore in the next section.

How to Recover Unsaved Snapchat Memories

If your lost Snapchat Memories weren’t backed up, don’t abandon hope yet! Here are the top techniques for getting back unsaved Snaps and chats:

Method 1: Restore From iCloud or Google Drive Backups

If you have an iPhone, your device may have automatically backed up to iCloud. For Android phones, backups may have been saved to your Google Drive account. Here’s how to check for and restore Snapchat files from these cloud backups:

For iCloud:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups. Select the device backup you want to check.
  • Scan the Apps list on the next screen. If Snapchat is there, the related data was backed up.
  • To restore, tap Restore on this screen. Your device will be restored to the selected iCloud backup date, including the Snapchat Memories.

For Google Drive:

  • On your Android, open the Google Drive app. In the side menu, tap Backups.
  • If your device is listed here, open its folder and check if the Snapchat app data folder exists. If so, Snapchat files were backed up.
  • To restore, go to Settings > System > Backup on your device. Tap the back up you want to restore.

The downside to this method is it will revert your entire device to the date of the backup. But it can be worth it to recover lost Snap memories!

Method 2: Extract Snapchat Data from Local Device Backups

Your device may have also saved local backups to internal storage or an external SD card. You can scour these backups to salvage Snapchat files:

  • On an iPhone, connect to a computer and open iTunes. Go to Preferences > Devices and locate the auto-backup for your device.
  • Search the backup files for a folder called AppDomain-com.toyopagroup.picaboo. This is where Snapchat data is stored.
  • On Android, download a file explorer app. Check your device and external SD card storage for a Snapchat folder. It is usually under the directory Android/data/com.snapchat.android/ or SDcard/Android/data/com.snapchat.android.

Any Snapchat Memories extracted can then be viewed and saved as needed to recover those lost files.

Method 3: Use Data Recovery Software

When all else fails, specialized data recovery software may do the trick:

  • For iOS: Software like iMyFone D-Back and dr.fone can scan your iPhone for residual Snapchat files and recover them.
  • For Android: Apps like DiskDigger Photo Recovery work similarly, digging up Snapchat photos, videos, and chats.
  • For PCs: Programs like iBoysoft Data Recovery can restore deleted Snapchat files from computer hard drives and connected Android devices.

These tools scan every byte of your device or drive to extract recoverable Snapchat Memories. Just be sure to use reputable software from established companies.

Recovering Memories From Friends

If your own Snapchat Memories are unrecoverable, don’t forget your friends! If you sent Snaps to friends, they may still have copies:

  • Ask politely. Explain your situation and ask if they can send or share the Snaps you’re seeking to recover.
  • Offer rewards. Sweeten the deal by offering lunch, gift cards, or other incentives in exchange for their help.
  • Enlist a search party. Post on social media asking all your connections to check their Snapchat Memories for what you’ve lost.
  • Check group Stories. If the Snaps were part of group Stories, the contributors may be able to restore them.

Depending on the Snapchat Memories, your friends may be able and willing to help out. It’s worth a shot before throwing in the towel!

Using Snapchat Data Download to Recover Memories

Snapchat’s Data Download tool offers one last ditch attempt at Snapchat memory recovery. Here’s how it works:

  • Submit request: Go to Snapchat Settings > [your name] > Data Download > Request My Data. It takes up to 24 hours to compile your data.
  • Review content: The ZIP file will contain json files with your Snapchat data, like Friends, Ad Data, Stories, etc. It may have recoverable Snaps and chats.
  • Restore finds: Any relevant Snapchat Memories found can be saved before they disappear again. Screenshot or record video of Snaps and copy/paste conversations.
  • Act fast: Snapchat emphasizes the content in a Data Download expires after 30 days. So move quickly to recover anything valuable.

Data Download should contain Snaps and chats from the past 30 days, unless you cleared them beforehand. While not a surefire route to recovery, it costs nothing to try!

Preventing Lost Snapchat Memories

The easiest way to avoid losing Snapchat Memories is being proactive with backups:

  • Use Snapchat Backup. Enable Backup in Settings and verify it’s actively saving your Snaps.
  • Back up manually. Frequently save important Snaps and conversations to your camera roll or photo albums.
  • Enable other backups. Turn on iCloud, Google Drive, and any local device backups.
  • Copy Snapchat files. Occasionally copy Snapchat data files to a computer or external storage via USB.
  • Avoid mass deletion. Unless necessary, refrain from clearing all conversations, which removes unsaved Snaps.
  • Download your data. Use Snapchat’s Data Download tool to regularly export a copy of your Snapchat Memories.

While nothing is foolproof, combining redundant backup methods will minimize the risk of ever losing precious Snapchat Memories again!

Final Tips for Recovering Lost Snapchat Memories

Reclaiming vanished Snapchat Memories can be a challenge, but these final tips will boost your chances:

  • Act quickly! Your likelihood of Snapchat data recovery decreases over time. Begin rescue efforts ASAP.
  • Enlist tech pros. If DIY methods fail and Snapchats are truly valuable, consult a data recovery service for help.
  • Search thoroughly. When scanning backups and extracted data, look meticulously for any traces of lost Snaps.
  • Don’t despair. Even if some Snapchats are gone forever, you can prevent it going forward with better backup diligence.
  • Cherish what remains. If no other copies exist, the memories evoked by those fleeting Snaps may still linger in your mind.

Stay determined and get creative – you may be able to recover at least some of your most treasured Snapchat Memories. Just be sure to implement a solid backup strategy so you never have to go through this again!

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