How To Access Expired Photos In Snapchat [Tutorial]

Update: A new and updated article has been posted here: Save Snapchat Snaps

Accessing your photos in Snapchat can be done in several ways. But first, you'll have to understand the concept of how photo messaging works in this much-talked-about social application.

Unlike conventional photo/video sharing apps, Snapchat does not store or keep track of all the photos and videos (called snaps) that you've shared with your friends. When you send a snap, you're provided with the option of setting a time limit on how long it gets displayed on your friends' phone. And when your friends have viewed it, the snap disappears -- that is unless they had taken a screenshot of the snap. All snaps die after a certain period of time.

That being said, we'll take a look at how you can access photos sent to you by your Snapchat friends even after they have expired. We'll also show you how you can access and store photos of yourself that you've sent to your friends. The truth is: Snapchat photos aren't really dead in the true sense of the term. They're only hidden, not deleted and you can access them whenever you want to if you know how.

How To Access Expired Photos In Snapchat

The underlying principle behind Snapchat and why it's gaining such popularity, even if slightly notoriously, is 'fleeting messages' -- photos dying within few seconds after you have viewed them. So it is Snapchat's policy to try to prevent people from accessing expired photos.

There is no definite procedure to access expired photos in Snapchat other than the use of apps built for such activities. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can save and access expired photos:


SnapHack is a $0.99 app that lets you save and look at old Snapchat messages anytime. It works by gaining access to hidden Snapchat files that are ignored by the operating system. Future versions of SnapHack will enable forwarding of old Snapchat messages, according to its developer.


Dumpster is an Android app that saves accidentally deleted files on your phone -- acting as a backup service. It was reported that this app saves Snapchat videos after they expire and can easily recover such videos. All you have to do is turn on Dumpster and tap on the expired video file to play it.

Take a screenshot

Snapchat photos are normally displayed for 10 seconds on your screen before it disappears. The best and the surest way of being able to access your snaps after they expire is by taking a screenshot. Most phones are equipped with a one-click or shake screen capture functionality. You can easily capture your phone screen within the 10 second window so that the screenshot is saved as a normal picture file on your phone.

How To Save And Access Your Own Photos In Snapchat

In order to be able to access your photos even after you have sent them to your Snapchat friends, you need to save the photos to your phone. This functionality is provided in Snapchat. However if you did not save your photos to your SD card, there is no way of recovering them after they're sent or expired.

When you take a picture using Snapchat, you will see a downward facing arrow (a download icon) that allows you to save the picture you just took to your SD card. This icon is available on the bottom left section of the screen after you have taken the picture. Saving your picture before you sent it out is good practice as there is no way of accessing it once it is sent.

It should be noted that Snapchat does not allow sending pictures from your phone gallery. This is to ensure that every snap you send to your friends is always fresh and is the latest picture of you.

An updated version of this article is posted on our new website: How to Save & Recover Snapchat Photos, Videos or Stories.