Can file recovery software recover files after an iPhone has been restored to factory settings?

Yolanda Machado March 14, 2012
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Can a program like Recuva recover videos and pictures from an iPhone that has been restored to factory settings? Recuva will currently not read my phone because it needs to be restored due to the fact that Apple techs can not get it out of DFU mode no matter how hard they try.

The restore is my last resort and will work but I want to try to recover the videos and pics I haven’t backed-up before doing a restore and if that is not a possibility I want to know if they could be found afterwards. I’m too scared to restore and lose them!


  1. Mike
    March 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Technically possible but unlikely that a file recovery software is able to recover data from an iPhone [or even access it for that matter].

    As far as I know the only way to access the actual file system is if the device is jailbroken and running an SSH server.

    Otherwise all access to the "file system" is done via software and the iPhone USB driver. I'm not sure any tool will be able to recover data via this "soft-access".

    I believe restoring is a one way ticket ~ not sure the internal flash will have any information left after a restore.

    The only other place to find data are backups made via iTunes or if it was set up in the iCloud.

    • YolandaBurney
      March 16, 2012 at 1:12 am

      I did the restore and made sure I checked the photo stream button in I cloud settings this forensic data recovery programs worked an I lost everything but I will never let it happen again....lesson learned! Backup backup backup!!! Thanks everyone

      • Lesiad
        August 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

        Which data recovery programs did you use? I am in the same boat and desperately trying to get my stuff off of my iphone. So sad! I am hoping one of the recovery programs will work.
        Thanks so much!

  2. Tim Brookes
    March 15, 2012 at 4:41 am

    It will be difficult but it's not impossible. Data is still there, even when you've formatted until it is overwritten. Deleting or formatting usually means marking the area as "write-able" rather than actually getting rid of whatever's there.

    My main worry would be that by doing a restore on your iPhone the firmware might overwrite some of your data when it is transferred to the device. Did you install iOS 5? Did you sign up for iCloud? If you did then your pictures should at least be safe as they upload to the iCloud servers almost immediately after you take them. 

    To access them you'll either need to turn iCloud on in Mac OS X or download the Windows iCloud software from Apple's website. Videos (due to their size) are not included in this unfortunately, but you could always try running file recovery software anyway.

    If you can't get your phone to do anything and it won't show up in Windows then you might as well restore. Losing videos is better than a useless phone, right? I'd suggest before downloading any apps or syncing iTunes that you run that recovery software though!

    Good luck


  3. Anonymous
    March 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    well if its formatted then hard will be recovery of files.