How to Recover Photos from a Lost iPhone

imyfone app

“My iPhone was stolen a month ago. I have set up “erase content” and iCloud block via the Find My iPhone app. I am just wondering if I will be able to retrieve the photos I have on my stole iPhone via either Photo Stream or an iCloud restore. I have a new iPhone now and I wanted to know if there was a way for me to get my photos back. My MacBook is logged into my iCloud account. Can I access the photos on my MacBook?”

The most common questions we get from our users have to do with whether it is possible to recover pictures from a lost or stolen iPhone. Like we told or user above, there are several ways you could attempt to get the photos back. We are going to share with you these ways one after the other in this article.

Assuming You Have Enabled iCloud Photos

It is absolutely possible to get the photos back on to your device if you had enabled iCloud photos. This is because iCloud Photos allow you to sync photos on all devices that use the same Apple ID. If you had enabled iCloud Photos or had an iCloud backup of your photos, you can try one of the following solutions to recover the photos;

Option #1 Use D-Back to Extract Photos from iCloud Without Restoring

One of the easiest ways to recover your photos is to use iMyFone D-Back. This data recovery tool is instrumental in helping you selectively recover data from an iCloud account. It essentially allows you to easily gain access to your iCloud account and then select the photos you would like to recover.

Windows version    Mac version

To use D-Back download and install the program to your computer and then follow these very simple steps;

Step 1: Launch D-back and from the main window, select “Recover from iCloud Backup” and then click “Start” to begin. You will be prompted to sign in to your iCloud account to gain access to the backup files. Once signed in, select the relevant backup and then click “Next.”

sign in to your iCloud account

Step 2: Select “photos” as the type of data to recover in the next window.

Select photos

Step 3: The program will analyze the selected backup for the missing photos and display them in the next window. Select the photos you wish to recover from the list and then click “Recover” to save them to your computer. You'll need to purchase a license to recover the photos to your computer.

Preview photos from iCloud

Option #2 Download iCloud Photos to Mac Computer

You can also download your iCloud photos on your Mac. Here’s how to do it;

Step 1: Open Photos on your Mac `and then click “Photos” from the top menu.

Step 2: Click on “Preferences” and then click on “iCloud” in the next window. If you have never used Photos on your Mac, you need to sign in to continue.

Step 3: Enable “Download Originals to this Mac.” Close “Preferences” once the update is complete.

Step 4: Now select “Photos” and then select the photos you want to download to the Mac. You can select multiple photos by holding Command can clicking on each image you want to download.

Step 5: Click “File > Export >Export Unmodified Originals if you want to download the original photos you shot or “Export Items” if you edit the images and you want the current photos.

Step 6: Click “Export” and you’ve recovered your photos from iCloud which you can now transfer to your computer if you need to.

Download iCloud Photos to Mac Computer

Option #3 Download iCloud Photos to Windows Computer

You may also download the iCloud photos to your Windows computer. In this instance, you will need to download iCloud for Windows if you don’t already have it. Go to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204283 and click “Download” to install it on your computer and then follow these simple steps to download iCloud Photos to your PC;

Step 1: Launch iCloud for Windows and then sign in using your Apple ID and Password.

Step 2: Click on the “Options” button next to Photos.

Step 3: Make sure that iCloud Photo Library is enabled and then click “Done.”

Step 4: Click “Apply.”

Step 5: Now from the “Start” menu select “iCloud Photos” and then click “Download Photos and Videos.”

Step 6: Check the box next to the year whose photos you want to download or select “All.” Click on “Download and iCloud will begin downloading the photos to your computer.

Download iCloud Photos to Windows Computer

Option #4 Restore from an iCloud Backup

And of course you could also restore your iCloud backup to your device if you want to recover your photos. But restoring the device from iCloud may mean that you lose all of the new data on the device. The following is how to restore data from an iCloud backup file;

Step 1: If you had already set up the device, you will need to erase all contents and settings first. To do this go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This should take you to the setup screen.

Step 2: Follow the setup assistant prompts until you get to the Apps & Data Screen and then choose “Restore from iCloud Backup.”

Step 3: Sign in to iCloud and select the most relevant backup. Stay connected to the Wi-Fi network until the process is complete.

Restore from an iCloud Backup

Assuming that You Have Backed Up Your Device in iTunes

If you had a backup of the photos on iTunes before you lost the phone, there are two ways you can get the photos back;

Option #1 Use D-Back to Extract the Photos from iTunes without Restoring

The best way to recover the photos from an iTunes backup is to use iMyFone D-Back, a data recovery tool that can be used to extract data from an iTunes backup file without having to restore the device. The following is a simple step-by-step tutorial to help you use D-Back to extract the photos you need;

Windows version    Mac version

Step 1: Download and install the program to your computer and then open it. From the main window, select “Recover from iTunes Backup” and then click “Start.” You should see a list of iTunes backup files on that computer listed in the next window. Select the most relevant one and then click “Scan.”

Select iTunes Backup

Step 2: Select “Photo” in the next widow and then click “Next” to continue.

select file types

Step 3: From the results page, select the photos you would like to recover and then click “Recover” to save them to your computer.

Preview File from iTunes Tab

Option #2 Restore from an iTunes Backup

Of course you could simply restore the iTunes backup. Although, it is important to note that you may lose all the new data on the device after a restore. Here’s how to do it;

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your computer and connect the iPhone to the device using USB cables.

Step 2: Select the iPhone when it appears in iTunes and then click on “Restore Backup.”

Step 3: Select the most relevant backup and then click “Restore.” You may be required to enter your password if the backup you selected was encrypted.

It is important that you keep the device connected to the computer until the process is complete. Once the backup is restored, you should have the photos back on your device.

Restore from an iTunes Backup