Today I copied the constance of my phone (every folder that shown up when pluged into pc) direct to my external hard drive. This seemed to happen in seconds. I looked in the folders and they were empty. So I thought it's only copied the folders and no files. I put the empty folders in the recycle bin. I looked on my phone and it had no photos at all. I then restored the files from the recycle bin and put them back on my phone. This took a bit of time. Once done I looked on my phone and only so many photos has gone back. The pictures folder was empty and all the main photos not there.
I would be very grateful if someone can help.
If you had set your phone to auto back up then you could try using that back up.
There are some software recovery tools but as I've not used any then I cannot recommend one.
As a side note after I once lost some of my photos due to a Sd card corruption I now as a learning curve I auto save my photos to Dropbox.
Other vault options are available.
I hope your succesful in retrieving your photos.
Daily Driver > Samsung Galaxy s²² Ultra 256Gb in Phantom Black.
The advice I offer is my own and does not represent Samsung’s position.
I'm here to help.
Photos you lost are not really wiped from the memory instantly. Instead, the part of your memory is marked as unused. The 1s and 0s from the original data are still there, but as soon as you write any additional data (install/update apps, receive media in messengers etc. pp.), it will possibly be overwritten. In this case, recovery is incredibly hard to impossible.
Don't use your phone for now if possible. If the data was not overwritten yet, chances are you can still restore it! The best, most professional way to try things would be making a complete backup of your files.