When it comes to recovering deleted or lost iPhone files, there are usually two solutions: check if you have backups, use an iPhone data recovery software. While the former sounds a no-brainer and you’ve probably checked but you don’t have a backup. Then your last option is to try an iPhone data recovery tool.
There are many tools in the market boasting their capability of recovering iPhone data. That’s why we’re determined to test which software works as it says. And we narrow down the best iPhone data recovery software, so you don’t have to waste time searching around.
Who Should Get This?
Although backups are always the most efficient way to avoid iPhone data loss, life is usually unpredictable especially in the digital age when you have so many digital devices. You may firmly believe in your iPhone’s reliability and ignore the significance of data backup. Don’t forget that backups can sometimes be gone as well. If that happens, you’re leaving your countless photos, videos, and contacts at risk.
Here is a list of scenarios that you may need to use third-party recovery software to get back your lost iPhone data:
- You accidentally deleted some photos and couldn’t find them in “Recently Deleted”.
- You lost some data after an iOS system update.
- Your iPhone is locked, and you can’t remember the passcode.
- You decided to jailbreak your iPhone but failed, and some data got wiped (note: iOS jailbreaking is illegal in some countries, don’t do that).
- Your iPhone is water damaged or physically damaged, and you can’t turn it on.
- Your iPhone is lost or stolen.
Best iPhone Data Recovery Software: What to Consider in 2020
Our reviews are primarily based on the following five criteria: 1), security; 2), quality; 3), compatibility; 4), usability; 5), support. While it’s hard to use standardized data metrics to measure each software and some factors may have more weight than others, we decide not to make things over complicated.
Is the software safe to download?
It’s important because any downloadable software on the Internet should not contain any viruses or malware. We first download the installation file of each software and upload it to Comodo File Analysis to check if it contains viruses or malicious processes. Once we confirm it’s clean, we then install it on our PC (Windows 10) and MacBook Pro (macOS Mojave) for further evaluation.
Is it powerful to handle different data loss situations?
The best iPhone data recovery program should be able to deal with all kinds of data loss whether it’s accidental deletion or device inaccessibility. Fortunately, it’s easy to identify based on the recovery methods the software offers. Usually, a good program contains three recovery modes: direct scan, extract iTunes backup, recover from iCloud backup (names may vary slightly for some software). Also, we take into account the number of file types it supports.
Is it compatible with all iPhone models and your computer?
No matter you are using an old iPhone 6 or the latest iPhone X, the software should support your model. Also, since a software program needs to run on a computer, ideally it should come with both a PC and Mac version and should be compatible with the latest operating system. We knock out programs that have compatibility issues.
Is the software easy to use?
A great iPhone file recovery program should be not only powerful but also user-friendly. Usability can be easily evaluated based on human instincts, for example, whether the program has bugs, is it confusing to use, or whether it provides instructions to assist users, etc.
Can you reach out to their support team for questions?
Another factor we take into consideration is to see if the developer provides adequate technical or customer support. This is important because data recovery is a sophisticated business, you may encounter various circumstances when you have no idea about how to proceed. A supportive team behind the product can give you a hand and solve your problems.
Best iPhone Data Recovery Software in 2020: Our Picks
Please note: all the alternatives recommended below have been tested to be virus-free and malware-free and can be run your PC (Windows 10) or Mac (including latest macOS Catalina).
1. Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone
Stellar Data Recovery stands out for its high performance and usability. With three simple but powerful recovery modes: “Recover iOS Device”, “Recover iTunes Backup” and “Recover iCloud Backup,” the software can quickly scan your iPhone, iTunes or iCloud and display all recoverable items in an easy-to-recognize manner. It can recover any kind of media that you might have lost or deleted, including your camera roll, photo stream, videos, and missing photos. You have an option to restore data from encrypted iTunes backup files.
You can also recover all of your messages and attachments from chat apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Tango, Viber, and Kik. Any voice memos that you might have made are recoverable with this software, irrespective of the reason for the loss. Stellar Data Recovery extends its support across multiple iDevices, so buying multiple recovery apps for your different devices is unnecessary. Your iCloud backup files are also recoverable, as this software executes restoration in the least possible time. Best of all, it shows you the number of files you deleted and how many are actually recoverable — we found this super useful. Stellar Phoenix offers 24/7 customer support, and they can be reached via emails, live chat or phone calls.
2. EaseUS MobiSaver for iOS
EaseUS MobiSaver recovers data from your iPhone or iPad, including your lost photos, videos, movies, messages, and contacts. Using your Windows computer, you can connect your phone to the PC to extract any salvageable data onto your hard drive. You can also use your computer’s iTunes storage to extract backup files. The free version of EaseUS MobiSaver allows you to recover a limited amount of data, such as a few contacts, a photo, or a video file. The premium version allows you to recover all kinds of files without limits.
dr.fone was the 1st iPhone data recovery. It also claims to be the most comprehensive data recovery solution on the market. Initially, the software had different versions for different iPhone models; later they integrated all of them into one. Dr. Fone helps you to recover your data no matter how you lost it. Whether your iPhone was lost, stolen, or damaged, this software provides two methods for you to get your files back. Built with three standard recovery methods: “Recover from iOS Device”, “Recover from iTunes Backup File” and “Recover from iCloud Backup File”, you can either recover data from the iPhone itself or from an iTunes backup. Once you connect your iPhone to a PC or Mac via USB, the software automatically scans for lost files. It can recover your contacts, calendar, notes, reminders, call history, MMS, and SMS messages with attachments.
4. FoneLab iPhone Data Recovery
Allowing you to recover lost or deleted contacts, messages, memos, and media files in minutes, FoneLab gives you fast and reliable recovery options. This software supports three recovery modes. You can recover from the iCloud Backup File, the iTunes Backup File, or from the iOS device. FoneLab is able to recover up to 19 different types of files created on all iOS devices. The software supports file preview — which means you can actually “steal” some of the found pictures after the scan. It also comes with backup functions that enable you to restore items quickly and easily. One unfortunate outcome of using iTunes or iCloud to restore your data is that the services can overwrite the data on your device. FoneLab for iOS can help you get your data back without overwriting anything. This software also has a system recovery feature and a data backup feature that only requires a few clicks to execute. You can use it on a Windows PC or an Apple Mac machine.
5. Leawo iOS Data Recovery
Leawo claims to be able to recover 12 types of data from iTunes or iCloud backup, and it includes four main recovery modes: “Recover from device”, “Recover from iTunes backup”, “Recover under DFU mode” and “Extract from iCloud Backup.” Besides, you can also use the software to backup important data in case of any future data loss. The Leawo support team is available to take email requests, as well as via Skype and phone support during normal business hours.
6. iMobie PhoneRescue
iMobile PhoneRescue efficiently retrieves lost data from Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch in a straightforward manner. Built with NO-DATA-LOSS scanning technology, this software can help you find deleted files and restore them in seconds. It has features to revive your dead iPhone and fix crashes in one click. Without erasing the current data on your device, PhoneRescue can help you retrieve any data from your iCloud backups. With three different modes: “Recover From Device”, “Recover From iTunes Backup” and “Recover From iCloud,” you can use the program to handle almost any iPhone data loss situations. You can select which data you want to restore, even if it’s damaged or encrypted, and discard the rest. Salvage lost messages, photos, notes, contacts, and more.
UltData guarantees a high recovery rate with advanced technology for selectively restoring data from iCloud backup, iTunes, and iOS devices. It only takes three easy steps to get your lost data back. All you have to do is connect, scan, and recover. Not only can you preview all of your contents before restoration, it only takes a few minutes to process. Recover photos, videos, Whatsapp messages, and twenty other file types. What we also like about the software is that besides scanning and recovering lost iPhone files, you can directly sync the recovered data back to your iPhone. This function saves you time, especially when you have recovered lots of items and wanted to use the data again on your phone.
8. MiniTool Mobile Recovery (Free)
MiniTool Mobile Recovery is advertised as the best free iPhone data recovery software available. Not only is it compatible with the iPhone, but it also works on all iOS devices, including iPad, and iPod touch. Compatible with both Windows machines and Mac computers, MiniTool Mobile Recovery can get back your lost or deleted contacts, notes, messages, and videos. Whether your device crashed or was stolen, this software provides an affordable way for you to retrieve important data.
Disclaimer: this iPhone data recovery software review is based mainly on our own experience testing and using products available in the industry, and the expertise of iPhone experts with whom we consult. Meanwhile, we also refer to the information provided on the websites of respective software developers/owners. As such, the above recommendations are our own opinions and we don’t intend to rank which option is the best. We encourage you to do your own research if necessary.
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.