The Truth about iPhone Data Recovery: What You Should Know

broken iphone

An iPhone usually contains important files and precious memories preserved through photos, videos, and music. Unfortunately, this device can get accidentally submerged in water or fall from extreme heights. When this happens, data can get lost for good. 

Thanks to technology, there are now multiple tools available that can recover lost or deleted data. To learn more if these tools actually work and live up to the users’ expectations, keep reading.

The Broken iPhone

An iPhone with a shattered display and faulty touch functionality may still be unlocked. In some cases, the data can still be recovered. This may happen if the Face ID or Touch ID feature is used to unlock the phone, and a trusted relationship between it and the computer was already established.

A recovery tool will attempt to pull the photos or back up the data from the damaged iPhone. Existing pairing records or lockdown files will also be helpful for some of the more advanced data recovery tools.

The Water-Damaged iPhone

Beware of online data iOS recovery tools that claim they can recover data lost due to water damage. A water-damaged iPhone means the sunk device cannot be powered on. While a specialized data recovery center could temporarily revive the damaged device to copy data off the device, no free tool or software available online can do that. 

The data recovery tool downloads information from the user’s iCloud account. This may include synchronized data and backups. However, the problem is whether the user has those backups that can be downloaded or if their iCloud Photos are enabled. Since Apple only offers 5GB of iCloud space free of charge, they will likely have old backups or few photos. 

The Deleted Data

Almost every user file stored in the iPhone is encrypted. This means the system uses file-based encryption with separate encryption keys for files. Additionally, encryption keys are temporarily destroyed once files are deleted. As a result, these files are impossible to recover or undelete. However, some types of data can still be recovered or restored from previous backups. These types of data include:

Photos and Videos: Deleted photos and videos on the iPhone are moved to an album called the “Recently Deleted” folder. They are kept in this album for 30 days. Because of this, these deleted files can easily be restored.

Files in the Files App and iCloud Drive: Files stored in the Files app that get deleted move to the “Recently Deleted” folder. Similar to the photos and videos, they can be restored within 30 days after deletion.

Messages: Text messages and iMessages are stored in the SQLite format. Once deleted, these records are recoverable until the database becomes fully defragmented. 

Notes, Contacts, Calendars, and Call History: Similar to messages, these files are stored in their corresponding SQLite databases. Unless the database has been fully vacuumed, these deleted records can still be recovered.


With iOS data recovery tools making overly ambiguous claims, users usually have difficulty finding a reliable one that can get the job done. Thankfully, you now know the truth about these recovery tools and their capabilities. Now, all that needs to be done is to look for the right tool or service center.

At Finchum’s Computer Services, our highly skilled professionals prevent data destruction with data recovery services. We also offer computer repair, IT services, and web design. Contact us today at 317-847-3279!


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