Decipher Forensics Exposes that Snapchats are Actually Saved on Your Phone

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Decipher Forensics, a digital forensics firm in Orem, Utah, has released new research on how to retrieve expired Snapchat photos.

This research will help law enforcement officials retrieve what has been believed to be unrecoverable

Decipher Forensics has released its preliminary results of its research into the Snapchat app. Snapchat claims that pictures and videos sent through its application are “shared, enjoyed, but not saved” ( However, Decipher Forensics says they are not deleted and can be retrieved.

Snapchat is one of the most popular mobile applications among teenagers and young adults, moving over 150 million photos a day. The app lets users send pictures and videos with a time limit of when they will delete from the receiver's phone, allowing pictures to be sent with little to no fear that it will end up anywhere else. The application cannot stop someone from taking a screenshot, however, the app will let a sender know if the recipient has taken a screenshot. Decipher Forensics, a computer forensics company located in Orem, Utah, has taken it a step further though.

Examiners at Decipher Forensics have discovered that Snapchat doesn't actually delete the pictures like it claims. In fact, these pictures can be retrieved, and Decipher Forensics believes that these pictures can even be tied to the sender and when they were sent.

The research done by Decipher Forensics shows that the app only adds a .NOMEDIA file extension to the picture, making it so that it is not view-able on the phone. However, this new file extension does not stop someone from pulling the file off of the phone and looking at it on a computer.

"This type of information can be very valuable in any investigation, especially one involving exploitation of a minor," said Richard Hickman, a lead examiner involved in the research. "This research will help law enforcement officials retrieve what has been believed to be unrecoverable."

The average person cannot turn on their phone and find these pictures though. It takes special forensics software at this point. Digital forensics companies like Decipher Forensics have the available tools to find these pictures and provide them to clients. Decipher Forensics is offering not only to law enforcement, but to the general public, its services in retrieving Snapchat pictures. Anyone interested in retrieving Snapchats from their phones should contact Decipher Forensics at (801) 980-1018, or by visiting

Decipher Forensics has published details of the preliminary results of its research at

About Decipher Forensics

Decipher Forensics, a digital forensics firm that was founded in 2011, provides expert witness, digital forensics, and data recovery services to those who need it.

Decipher Forensics has experience in Windows, Linux, Mac computers, as well as Android, iOS, Blackberry, and many other types of phones. Based in Utah, Decipher Forensics can bring their expert services to anyone, anywhere in the world.

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