Last updated: Jan. 11, 2017
There are a number of reasons why data on your iPad can get lost — accidental deletion, failed iOS upgrades, factory settings, and device damage, and so forth. Fortunately, it's still possible to recover these deleted or inaccessible data (photos, videos, notes, etc.) with an iPad data recovery software.
You may have found some programs claiming to be able to recover lost iPad files. But do they work as they advertise? We're determined to find out which one(s) work and offer the best value. Five main components make up a great iPad data recovery tool in our opinion, and those are 1) security, 2) quality, 3) compatibility, 4) usability, 5) support.
Here are the top three best iPad data rescue software that stood out and won our trust. We'll cover in details about how we tested and why we recommended them.
QUICK PICKS: 3 BEST CHOICES
Windows & macOS
Windows & macOS
Windows & macOS
**Below, you'll find our expert reviews, but you can also click the links above to jump into the reviews to get the software.
Best iPad Data Recovery Software: What to Look for in 2017?
As we said, a wide range of iPad recovery programs exist in the market, but knowing which one is the best for your situation can be challenging and confusing. Many of them claim they include many useful features and functionalities, however, you may don't need them, or they don't work out as they promised. Here are some key criteria we used to narrow down the best software for your selection.
- Security: as always, this is the number one thing we test (and you should care). Any iPad data recovery software that run on a PC or Mac must be 100% clean — free of viruses, malware or spyware. We first download each program and upload the file to Comodo Valkyrie for initial analysis. Then we use MalwareBytes to scan and make sure they do not contain any malicious processes.
- Recovery Methods: a great iPad recovery software should be able to handle various iPad data loss situations — whether the device can be detected or not. To test this, we explore and see if a piece of software contains these recovery methods (or modes): Direct scan, extract iTunes backup, extract iCloud backup. "Direct Scan" mode tends to find more trashed items as it requires you to connect your iPad to a computer. "Extract iTunes" and "Extract iCloud Backup" are best for when your iPad is damaged or stolen, but they often tend to find fewer files.
- Compatibility: we evaluate whether the software has both a Windows and Macintosh version because you'll rely on a computer to run the software and for connecting your iPad device. Also, we check if the program supports all iPad models (e.g. Air, Pro, Mini, 4, 3, etc.) and iOS versions (including latest iOS 10). Because we don't have all different types of iPads at hand, hence we refer to the official websites of respective software providers to look for such information.
- Ease of Use: ideally any software designed for general consumers like us should be user-friendly — as reflected in software UI/UX, text instructions and durability (less crash and fewer bugs). We test this mainly based on our instincts, and we are quite confident about our judgments, especially considering there is a good range of alternatives for us to compare.
- Technical Support: DIY data recovery usually requires a decent amount of computer expertise, iPad data recovery is no exception. A great software offers support in ways like tutorials, email support, live chat, or even phone calls. Bottom line — whenever you have a question during your using of the software, you should be able to reach out to the provider for help.
The Best iPad File Recovery Tools We Found Out: 3 Great Options
Please note: the software recommended below have been tested by our team, and they are all clean and free of security threats. Also, they are relatively easy to use and you don't need much technical expertise to use any of them.
Billing itself as "the world's 1st iPhone and iPad data recovery software", Wondershare Dr.Fone does a great job in recovering data from iPads with its comprehensive recovery solutions. We are happy to recommend it in the first place. With Dr.Fone's three powerful recovery modes: Scan Device, Extract iTunes, Download iCloud; you can virtually restore any data from your device and never have to panic about data loss caused by various reasons.
Highly recommended by CNET and PCWorld as well, FoneLab is another great iPad recovery software that claims to be able to recover up to 19 different types of files from any iOS-based devices. Specific file types include pictures, movies, songs, contacts, notes, and more. What we like most about the program is the scanning process is very fast which means you'll see your lost data in just a few steps — less panic.
Like its name indicates, MobiSaver is a tool developed to save data from mobile devices — iPads included. The program is efficient in handling various iPad data loss circumstances from accidental deletion, sync error to device issue. It also provides a standard three recovery modes that allow you to recover as much data as possible. The software supports all iPad models and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Disclaimer: our iPad recovery software reviews are based mainly on 1) our own experience in testing and using each program available on the market, 2) the information provided by each developer as available on its website, 3) the expertise of iOS experts with whom we consult, and 4) the feedback from users for which the products they've tried. As such, please note that the above recommendations are our opinions, and they do not intend to serve as official guides for you to choose the best software for retrieving your iPad data. We also highly advise you to do your research or contact related software experts to assist your data recovery efforts.
Andreas is an Apple and Microsoft fanboy who works with his Mac and lives with a PC at home. While he is not reading technology journals, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends or hiking in the wild.