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A sudden disappearance of "old" pictures


Feb 7, 2022
Hello, yesterday I checked my phone's gallery just to see something and then I realized that all the images that dated before December 2020 on my phone have suddenly disappeared. I honestly tried everything that I could in order to restore them, whether it was restarting the device, cleaning the gallery's cache and restarting and I even searched for file with the name ".nomedia" in order to delete it but failed to do so. I would gladly appreciate any help at all since these "old" images were about 90% of the photos that I had on the phone I wasn't planning on losing them anytime soon, and some of them are very important for my studies. P.S, I've also tried checking google photos but the app just shows the images that are also shown in the gallery. I never deleted them and also haven't downloaded any malicious software to the device.
Thanks in advance.
Some devices have a 'smart' feature that deletes things once a certain amount of time goes by.

Check in settings, storage, internal.
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Unfortunately, if this is the case, the pics are gone.
I really do appreciate the help, although my device does not have such a setting as showed in your picture, I suspect that I found the problem, apparently all the photos that disappeared are on the OneDrive cloud but I cannot view them on my mobile device even when I enter the OneDrive app but on my laptop I can still view them, currently, I am to figure out how to get all these pictures from my OneDrive on the laptop to the OneDrive on my mobile device although I use the same OneDrive account on both devices, I'm open to any suggestions. P.S. thanks again
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