The data you currently have on your iPhone is extremely important. You need your contacts to communicate with your business associates. You need your work emails for planning. Losing your iPhone pictures is not an option either. For example, you may need them to remember the nice time you have when you first visit New York. The fact that you need your data to stay on your iPhone means that you take care of your iPhone. However, what if you lose the data as a result of circumstances that are out of your control? These do happen. Maybe you allow your kid to toy with your device and he delete important notes, text messages, and contacts. Or maybe you deleted the data yourself by mistake.

If you happen to lose any of your important data, the first thing you will think about is how you can recover this data. In this guide to iPhone data recovery, we will help you gain all the iPhone data recovery knowledge you need.

Part 1: What is Data Recovery iPhone?

Data Recovery iPhone refers to the process of retrieving or salvaging lost, inaccessible, damaged, formatted, or corrupted data on your iPhone storage. iPhone data will require recovering if it cannot be accessed via the normal way. You may need to recover your data from your iPhone after you have lost it either via physical damage or logical damage. We expound on these data loss situations below:

Physical Damage

In this case, your data will get lost as a result of the storage components available on the iPhone getting damaged physically. For example, if your iPhone falls from the third floor, it might get crushed in such a way you cannot access your data normally. Another example is that if your iPhone falls into the swimming pool. The water might damage the iPhone so that accessing the data normally won’t be possible.


Logical Damage

Logical damage refers to a situation where the data loss has not been caused by a problem in the storage hardware. Examples of logical damages include overwritten data, formatted data, deleted data, media errors, corrupt file systems, etc.

delete iphone contacts

Part 2: iPhone Data Recovery Techniques

Irrespective of whether your data has been lost due to physical damage or logical damage, the data can still be recovered. In this iPhone data recovery knowledge guide, we will show you the techniques you can apply in both the physical damage and logical damage below:

Physical Damage Data Recovery Techniques

If the iPhone data loss is as a result of physical damage to the iPhone storage hardware, the iPhone data recovery technics involved will revolve around repairing the iPhone hardware.

After the iPhone hardware has been repaired, a disk-imaging procedure can be used to recover the readable data available on the surface of the storage component. After the disk-imaging procedure has successively acquired the readable data available on the storage component, the data is saved on a reliable medium and then safely analyzed for any logical damage. The data collected is used to reconstruct much of the original iPhone file system.


Logical Damage Data Recovery Techniques

In case of logical damage, software level solutions are applied. These will help locate and retrieve deleted/formatted/overwritten data and also correct the corrupt file systems to make them readable by the iPhone. Let’s take a scenario for data lost through deleting. We explain this scenario below:

Even after a file has been deleted or maybe dragged to the trash, it still exists on the disk. This file will be completely erased when new data overwrites it. Your iPhone will mark the storage space where you deleted the file as “empty”. The storage space will, therefore, be available for new data to be saved. If new data is actually saved in this space, the deleted file is gone forever. In the majority of the cases, it takes some time for new data to be saved in this space.

iPhones use a database known as the SQLite. When you delete a specific data, say a contact, the contact is simply moved from “Allocated” to “Unallocated” space. However, the contact will still be available in the database. You just won’t be able to see it. In the future, when you create new data, the iPhone will first fill the “Unallocated” space with the new data. When this happens, the deleted data gets overwritten and hence removing it from the disk.


Part 3: Is It Possible to Recover Deleted iPhone Files? Yes or No?

When going through this guide to iPhone data recovery, you may wonder whether it is actually possible to recover a file you have deleted on your iPhone. After all, you cannot see the deleted file. The answer to whether it is actually possible to recover the data you have deleted on your iPhone is dependent on several situations. We have outlined these situations in this data recovery iPhone knowledge guide below:

Situations with Higher Recovery Chance

If any of the following situations sound familiar to you, there is a very high possibility that the deleted data can be retrieved:

  • Your files are deleted within the past few days.
  • You have not used or turned off the iPhone since the data got deleted.
  • Your storage hardware is healthy and it does not show any signs of failing.
  • Your disk has plenty of storage space. Say, over 20% of your storage space is free when you lost the data.

Situations with Lower Recovery Chance

In the scenarios outlined below, your data may still be recoverable, but there is also a chance that you amy lose them for good:

  • The files are lost a very long time ago.
  • You keep using your iPhone after the data loss occurred.
  • Your iPhone storage space is full. You constantly need to delete your old files to create room for new files.
  • Your storage hardware is corrupted or it is showing signs of failing.
  • The files you wish to recover with big size. For example, videos.

Situations with No Recovery Chance

If you are in any of the situations outlined below, there is a chance that your data cannot be recovered:

  • You choose to reset and format your iPhone completely.
  • You use a third-party software to erase your iPhone data.
  • Your iPhone is totally broken that you cannot trust computer on it and you do no have any backups at all.

All Challenges about iPhone Data Recovery

Recovering data from your iPhone does come with some challenges. Generally, the main challenge will be being uncertain whether the data can actually be recovered or not. As we have already seen, there are situations where you won’t be able to recover your iPhone data while there are situations where you can recover the data. So data recovery iPhone is probabilistic and no one can guarantee that they can recover data from iPhone 100%.

Part 4: What Can and Can’t an iPhone User Do after Data Loss?

In order to avoid uncertainties while trying to figure out whether you can recover your iPhone data or not, there are things you need to do and those you have to avoid doing after losing your data. We will outline thm in this iPhone data recovery knowledge center:

What iPhone Users Cannot Do after Data Loss


Using the Device Further

After you realize that you have already lost your data, you will have to stop using your iPhone immediately. Using the device will create new data. This will overwrite the deleted data which may cause you to lose it forever.


Losing your important data can be stressful. However, you will need to try and stay calm. If you panic, the chances of making irrational decisions skyrocket. Panicking may lead you to do things which might cause permanent data loss.

Turning on/off the Device

Attempting to turn on/ turn off your device yourself even if the data caused by a physical damage is not a good idea unless you know what you are actually doing. You may end up damaging the device even further and hence making your data impossible to recover.

Using Questionable DIY Methods

Chances are if you search online for how to recover lost data on your iPhone, you will find thousands of guides. Some of these will propose questionable DIY methods. Unless you can fully trust a DIY recovery tool or a recovery method, our advice would be to avoid the DIY method. Questionable tools can damage your iPhone and even make the data 100% irrecoverable.

What iPhone Users Can Do after Data Loss


Stop Using the iPhone immediately

As we have mentioned earlier, continued device usage will generate more data and hence increase the chances of overwriting the lost data. Stop using the iPhone immediately you realize you have lost your data until you recover the data.

Assess the Situation

This will help you determine what happened. Determining what happened will come in handy when you are trying to determine the next course of action. If possible, take some notes indicating what happened to your iPhone before the data loss.

Check for Backups

When checking for backups, do not use your iPhone. Use a separate computer or device. This will help avoid creating data on your iPhone which could overwrite the lost data. If a backup for the lost data is already available, you may not need to worry about recovering the lost data.

Talk to a Specialist

If you have absolutely no experience in iPhone data recovery, talking to a specialist can come in handy. It will help you figure out what you are supposed to do next.

Part 5: Three Options for Data Recovery iPhone

When recovering your iPhone data, you get to use three major options. You can recover the data directly from your iPhone, you can recover the lost data from your backup to your computer, and you can recover the data from the backup to your iPhone. For any of these options to work, there are things you need to have beforehand and conditions which have to be satisfied. We outline these prerequisites for each option in this guide to data recovery iPhone:


Recover Data Directly from iPhone (to Device/Computer)

The first thing you will need is the iPhone from which data you wish to recover. If the iPhone is not being used since the data was lost, there is a high likelihood the deleted data may still be available on the device. The next thing you need to have is a software you can use to locate the deleted data in the “Unallocated” space and retrieve it back to the “Allocated” space. Generally, there should be two options for you - software or apps, but due to the Apple’s rule there is no truly iPhone data recovery app for now. So the software need to be installed on your PC. This means that you will need a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the PC and make sure that your device can be recognized successfully.

Recover Data from iPhone Backups (to Computer)

If you constantly back up your device using iTunes/iCloud or any other backup method, the backup you created after losing your data should contain your deleted data. However, even if this backup is restored to the iPhone, the deleted data will still be invisible. You can recover the lost data from your backup to your computer. What you need is access to the backup that you think might have the deleted data. There are some software that are capable of recovering data to your computer, and the computer itself.

Restore Data from iPhone Backups (to Device)

As we have mentioned above, if you have a backup created soon after losing your iPhone data, it may  contain the data you want. But, simply restoring the backup to your iPhone will not allow you to view the data. It will still be placed in the "Unallocated" region. Therefore, you will need a software that can move the deleted data from the “Unallocated” region to the “Allocated” region of the backup file so that it can be viewable when you restore it on your iPhone.

Part 6: iPhone Data Recovery Company & Software

After deciding which iPhone data recovery option you would like to use among the three outlined above, the next thing you will need to find is the best place where you can get help near you. In this iPhone data recovery knowledge base, we will show you the best companies and software which can help you recover your iPhone data.

iPhone Data Recovery Company Near You


If you need iPhone data recovery services near you, these top 5 data recovery companies will help you get your data back on your iPhone where you can view it:

SalvageData Recovery

This company is among the top-rated data recovery companies. It has a great evaluation process and it has invested in making their customer service fantastic. The company will assign a single specialist to you. The specialist will work with you until your issue is solved. The company has an online presence with a 24/7 online chat for its customers.


This company has been recovering data for the past 30 years. It is one of the few companies you can trust to help you recover your iPhone data. The company does have a clean room and even a third-party security audit. This means that your data will be both save and reliably recovered.

Security Data Recovery

This company is already certified by Apple which means your iPhone will be safe. The company has been around for more than 2 decades. Security Data Recovery offers customer services on a 24/7/365 basis. The company has locations in the UK, US, Australia, and Mexico. Therefore, your iPhone data will get retrieved relatively near to where you reside.

Gillware Data Recovery

It does not matter which physical damage caused data loss on your iPhone. Gillware data recovery is capable of salvaging data lost as a result of broken platters, water damages, etc. The company has reputable data security. Customer support is offered on a 24/7 basis via email, phone, and live chat.

Kroll Ontrack

This company has been in business since 1985. The company engineers will help you recover your lost pictures, messages, music, contacts, and other files on your iOS device. Kroll Ontrack can recover deleted, damaged files, corrupt files, and more.

iPhone Data Recovery Software


iMyFone D-Back

This tool will help you recover your data from both your iOS device and your backups. With D-Back, you will get to recover all your data including WhatsApp, Viber, Notes, Photos, Kik, WeChat, Contacts, etc. This tool will work on both your Mac and Windows PC. Before recovering your data, you are given a chance to preview it so that you can select exactly what you wish to recover.

Select Loss Situation

Dr.fone – Recover (iOS)

This tool will let you install it on your PC and Mac. You can retrieve messages, contacts, photos, videos, and more. It allows you to recover from both the iOS device and from your backups.

iMobie PhoneRescue

This tool can work on both Mac and Windows PC. It will allow you to retrieve 22 data types on your iPhone. You get to recover your lost data from your iPhone and your iCloud/iTunes backups.

Leawo iOS Data Recovery

This tool will work on both Windows PC and Macs. It will allow you to recover your data from your iOS device, and from iCloud/iTunes backups. It has the ability to recover up to 12 data types. You get to preview your files before restoring them.

Aiseesoft Fonelab

This tool can be installed on both a Windows PC or a Mac. It is capable of retrieving almost every iPhone data type. It is capable of recovering lost data from both iTunes and iCloud backups.

Brorsoft iReFone

You get to recover your data from both your iOS device and your iTunes backup. The tool can recover messages, call history data, images, and more. This tool’s downside is that it is only compatible with Windows PC.

Part 7: FAQ about Data Recovery iPhone


Now that you know that software and companies which can help you recover your data are available, let's answer the FAQs related to iPhone data recovery below:

1. How old can the data be when I want to recover from iPhone?

iPhone data recovery has nothing to do with how long the data you want to retrieve has been lost. As long as your data is not overwritten, it is possible to recover it. However, if you deleted your data just now, the data may not be defined as abandoned data on your iPhone. Therefore, the recovery software you are using may not scan it the very first time.

2. What kind of data is easier to recover from the iPhone?

Generally speaking, performing an iPhone data recovery is not easy. However, there are data types which are relatively easier to be recovered while others are relatively harder. The data that is relatively easier to be recovered is usually the one generated by the official iPhone apps excluding media files and any other huge files like contacts, call history, calendar data, reminders, and Safari.

The data that is relatively harder to be recovered is usually generated by third-party applications. It also consists of multimedia and other huge files. This includes Viber, WhatsApp, Videos, Photos, WeChat, Line, and Kik data.

3. Can you guarantee that I can get the lost data on iPhone 100%?

If the data is not overwritten it can be relatively easier retrieved. However, since there is no guarantee that the data is yet to be overwritten, iPhone data recovery can be considered to be probabilistic. Data can be overwritten when you keep using your iPhone without knowing you have already lost some of your data or by simply turning off the iPhone. For these reasons, there is no iPhone data recovery tool that can guarantee you 100% data recovery. This is why data recovery tools offer a free trial version so that you can confirm whether the tool will be useful before you invest in paying for it.

4. How do I know if the software can find my missing files?

Since most iPhone data recovery tools have a free trial, you can use the free trial to check and see whether the tool can recover your missing files before purchasing. If you are still not sure, you can contact their support email or phone number to help detailed help.

5. Can I recover deleted files back to my iPhone?

Some iPhone data recovery tools have the ability to recover your lost data directly to your iOS device. Other tools will recover the data from your device to a computer to avoid overwriting the data currently available on your device.


If you have been looking for iPhone data recovery knowledge, this comprehensive post to data recovery iPhone will show everything you need or want to know. If you enjoy reading this article, do share it with others. If you have any doubts regarding this topic or any questions regarding iPhone data recovery, do let us know in the comments section.