The Best iPhone Data Recovery Software (That Actually Work)

Mobile   •   Updated on March 31, 2022

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2022 for freshness and comprehensiveness. 

Smartphones have become the norm in today’s age, and iPhones are the vanguard at the front. A lot of people are using iPhones, and there is a very good chance that you too are also carrying one.

Things like family pictures, work-related documents, contacts, and more are always on your iPhone. So, losing any data due to a single mistake can get really frustrating, to say the least. That’s where iPhone data recovery softwares come in to save the day.

If you, too, have lost some data like a silly old me and are currently trying to restore deleted or lost data from your iPhone, this is the article you need.

Note: Though we talk about iPhone Data Recovery below, you might also be interested in taking a look at some of our other lists of iPhone Managers that show how you can backup your iPhone, transfer data or repair your iPhone’s system.

Backup vs. Recovery

“Backup and Recovery” are terms that are often used interchangeably. They go hand-in-hand, but there’s a difference that makes both of them quite unique and useful. Backups are copies of crucial files preferably stored in a secured environment. This helps you keep a copy of your data on a server (Cloud Storage) or storage device (Physical Drives) so that you can instantly get your data back if you ever lose anything.

However, “Recovery” is the process of restoring backups to regain the data that has been lost, corrupted, or accidentally deleted. Hence, people often confuse backups and recovery by using them interchangeably.

Imagine you’re working on a document, and your computer crashes before you can save it. Well, now you don’t have any way of getting that file back, or do you? This is where you will need to turn data recovery apps to help you find and recover the file you have lost.

There’s a subtle difference between both the backup and recovery processes, and you may need them at any given time. There are many backup and recovery solutions on the internet, but not all are built equal. So, make sure to choose from reputable and tested sources to ensure that you have a great backup and recovery expereince.

RELATED: Ultimate Guide – How to Back Up Your iPhone

What is an iPhone data recovery tool & what does it do?

An iPhone Data Recovery Tool is an app that helps you recover lost data from your iPhone. Imagine that you’re going through your files and mistakenly end up deleting an official bank statement you really needed.

Well, you can do two things and get the file back. Either you contact your bank and get them to send the statement again (it might even take days and even cost you some money) or use the smarter method and use an iPhone data recovery app that helps you get your file back in minutes.

So, I went ahead and tested more than 30 iPhone data recovery apps on the internet and compiled a list of the best ones that you can use. Jump right in and try the apps mentioned below.

Top iPhone data recovery software

1. Ultdata: A reliable contacts/WhatsApp messages recovery tool

Ultdata from Tenorshare is one of the most reliable tools that I’ve come across to recover deleted WhatsApp messages and contacts from an iPhone. It can recover data using iTunes and iCloud backups or even by scanning your iPhone.

However, the best thing about it is the easy-to-use interface. I was able to get up and running with Ultdata within 3 minutes. It scanned my iPhone in under 5 minutes and recovered most of the data in just one go.

Follow the video below, and you’re sure to get your data back. However, note that if you don’t have a backup and deleted the file ages ago, then recovering it might be challenging.

Another thing that we prefer about it compared to our other picks is its pricing plan. Apart from the yearly and lifetime licenses, you can also buy a monthly license on the cheap for $45.95. This means that you can try to recover your deleted files on the cheap and then unsubscribe.

It works across Windows or macOS and supports the latest Windows 11, or macOS Monterey builds.

2. D-Back: Smartly recover lost data from iPhone without backup

You screwed up! You didn’t make an iCloud or iTunes backup and lost a file by accident. What should you do now? The best solution for recovering data without a backup that I came across is D-Back from iMyFone.

iMyFone is another huge name when it comes to software for iPhone. They offer many tools such as lock removers, iOS repair programs, activation bypass tools, and an iPhone data recovery tool.

The scan tool works smartly as it scans through an iPhone in just minutes and allows you to recover deleted files with great accuracy. I was able to recover most of my lost data with messages and photos, giving me the best success rate.

The only downside is that there are not a whole lot of features to choose from. But, if you want a basic data recovery program that gets the job done, you can hardly go wrong with this one.

The full version asks anywhere from $49 to $70, depending on the subscription you’ll get. You can choose from the 1-month, 1-year, and Lifetime licenses. However, there is also a free trial that you can use.

You can use it on Windows or macOS, and it runs on the latest Windows 11 and macOS Monterey versions.

3. Dr. Fone: An all-around iPhone solution

Unlike my other picks, Dr. Fone isn’t just a data recovery program. It’s an all-in-one package. So, if what you are after is a suite of tools that are all gathered in one package, I can hardly think of anything better than Dr.Fone.

You can use the video below to get a quick guide on all the tools for Dr. Fone and how you can use it to recover lost files from your iPhone. It also has a tonne of new features that makes it an all-around solution for your iPhone.

Another thing I love about this app is that despite offering so many features to use, it’s still very simple to navigate through. You usually have to choose between either simplicity or having more features. So, being able to have both is a very rare opportunity.

As you probably already expected, the only downside of this program is that it’s pretty expensive for the full kit. It makes sense, though. You’re getting a lot of things in the full kit, and the kit for iOS devices just comes in at about $99.95 per year.

Dr.Fone, however, offers flexible options when it comes to the pricing plan. You can purchase individual modules by paying a lower fee. For instance, if you just need the iPhone Data Recovery module (iOS and Android), you only pay $39.95.

Pricing may always vary depending on your region and the active discounts. Plus, it runs on Windows 7 or above and macOS 10.8 or above.

4. PhoneRescue: The comprehensive iPhone and iOS data recovery

iMobie PhoneRescue is a great app for recovering deleted messages from your iPhone. It just took me around 15 minutes to connect my iPhone and get the messages back.

However, it did take a little longer to scan through all my files. So, if you have accidently deleted any of those, then I recommend checking out the other apps above.

Plus, you can also use it to extract data from your iCloud account or recover a backup in case your phone refuses to do so. A unique feature that I love is that it doesn’t matter if the iPhone is broken, locked, or even water damaged.

So, as long as your PC can detect it, there’s a good chance that iMobie PhoneRescue is going to be able to restore some of your lost or deleted files.

The full version costs between $49.99 to $69.99 for the 1-year and lifetime versions, respectively. Plus, there is also a free trial so that you’ll be able to see if it works or not. And if you buy it only to be disappointed, which is unlikely, you’ve got about two months to ask for a refund.

It works across Windows or macOS and even supports the latest iOS 15 updates so that you don’t face any compatibility issues.

5. Reincubate: A useful iPhone backup extractor

This app is a profound wonder. While the others on the list help you backup and recover files from your iPhone, Reincubare can even help you edit your iTunes backup. You can view and edit all your backups to customize them according to your liking.

I was able to edit my old backup and add the new messages on it so that I didn’t lose anything while I reset my iPhone. To my surprise, everything worked smoothly, and nothing bugged out.

If you need help with more than just restoring deleted files, then I recommend watching the video below to get a full take on all that Reincubate can do.

You can also use it entirely for free. However, you’ll just be stuck at recovering 4 files at a time. This will definitely take some time but would be perfect for anyone looking for a free app or is on a tight budget.

You don’t have a choice with Reincubate. You just get a 1-year plan that starts from $39.95 to $79.95  according to the number of devices you want to use it on. Plus, it also has a 30-day refund policy which allows you to get your money back if you don’t like using it.

You can use it on the latest versions of Windows or macOS. Also, I recommend sticking with the free version as it offers the best value and won’t take much time if you just have a handful of lost files to recover.

6. FonePaw: A great media files recovery for iPhone

A clean and easy way to recover data from your iPhone without the help of an iTunes backup. If that’s what you want, FonePaw has got you covered.

It helps you recover anything from text messages, photos, videos to documents. The best part about it – the scanning speeds, and it took me just 10 minutes to get everything recovered back on my PC. So, if you too value speed, then use FonePaw.

It also has all the standard recovery tools as the other apps and allows you to recover data straight from an iTunes or iCloud backup. Plus, it helped me recover 10+ media file types without data loss with my test.

You can get FonePaw with 4 different pricing plans:

  • 1-month license for $44.77
  • 1-year license for $55.96
  • Single user license for $66.47
  • Lifetime iOS Full Suite for $112.48

It works on Windows, macOS and even supports the latest iOS 15 version. However, do note that the Mac version of the app tends to cost a bit more than the Windows version.

7. MobiSaver FREE: The classic free recovery tool

Finally, we get to the best free iPhone data recovery tool. MobiSaver Free is a tool that comes with all the premium features but does it for free.

Yes, you can get the pro version of MobiSaver, but the Free version allows you to restore 5 files at once, which can get you all your files back in about 30 minutes to an hour. Watch the guide below to understand better how to use the app.

There’s nothing special about the app, but it’s free, so we can let that glide. Other than that, if you upgrade to the pro version, you get faster recovery speeds and some extra iOS management tools to keep your device protected.

You can use MobiSaver for free or upgrade to the pro version. However, we recommend using the free version. It even runs on Windows 11 or macOS Monterey and supports the latest iOS 15 version update.

Free vs. paid iPhone data recovery apps

While I have listed some apps as “free” to use, not all iPhone Data Recovery apps on the internet are entirely “free”. Premium apps help you get a better, faster, and overall better recovery experience. However, premium data recovery apps do cost a lot more, so I don’t blame you if you go the free route.

Heck, I did that too. Plus, it allowed me to test all the “free” data recovery apps. Unfortunately, most of the free apps I tested only allowed me to recover once and then locked me out with a pay gate to the premium version. Others were just not safe, and I was spammed by Windows as the apps contained malware.

So, if you too are planning to use a free iPhone data recovery app, I recommend checking the list above or thoroughly researching about an app before you download it. However, if you can afford it, then do use the premium subscription.

Why you might not need a 3rd-party recovery tool

There are many things that might tempt you to get a 3rd party recovery tool. However, this is why you might Not need a 3rd party recovery tool:

  • Didn’t lose any crucial data – If you didn’t lose any crucial data that can be downloaded from the internet in about 5-10 minutes, then I won’t recommend downloading any 3rdparty recovery tool.
  • You already have an iTunes/iCloud Backup – Let’s assume that you have an iCloud/iTunes backup handy. Then, you can just restore it and not use a recovery tool, which would help you save money, time, and storage space.
  • You accidently deleted a photo – Apple has integrated “Trash Folders” in most of their apps. So, if you accidentally end up deleting a photo or a video, you can just go to the trash folder and recover it. However, some apps such as “Messaging” don’t have the trash folder, so you would need to use a recovery tool for it.


Are data recovery programs safe?

Yes. I always make sure that each one of our software picks is free of viruses and malicious intent. Plus, I also ensured that your data remains private as well. All the apps above have been scanned and won’t pose any risk to your computer.

Can iPhone data be recovered?

Your files never actually get deleted. Even after you press the delete button, they are still there, just waiting to be replaced by the next thing you are going to download. So, as long as you haven’t downloaded anything new, there is a good chance that iOS data recovery software will be able to recover your data. That is also why every data recovery program out there recommends that you don’t download or install anything before attempting to recover lost files.

How can I recover deleted iPhone files for free without backup?

Try one of our free recommendations. But, again, if you are trying to recover something important, don’t try to recover them for free. Head straight towards the best premium picks, as they will ensure an easier and faster recovery process.

Final words

Recovering your lost files from your iPhone isn’t that challenging if you have the right tools – iPhone Data Recovery Apps. These apps help you recover anything from a photo to a document with ease.

They basically work with 3 different processes – iCloud backup recovery, iTunes backup recovery, and a scan method that scans your iPhone for all missing files and then recovers them.

I have listed some of the best apps that I was able to find and hope you have an easy time recovering files from your iPhone or iPad.

We’ve also got you covered when you’re Android. Check out our guides for Android Data Recovery Tools (Paid and Free) and Android System Repair Software.

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