Can you get your data off a water damaged iPhone?

Getting data off a water damaged iPhone is possible in many cases depending on the extent of the water damage. Quick answers to common questions about data recovery from water damaged iPhones include:

Is it possible to recover data from a water damaged iPhone?

Yes, it is often possible to recover data from a water damaged iPhone depending on factors like how long it was in the water, if power was applied while wet, and how quickly it was dried out and repaired. Even iPhones that won’t power on may have recoverable data.

How can you recover data from a water damaged iPhone?

Some options for data recovery from a water damaged iPhone include:

  • Trying to backup data to iCloud before the phone dies completely
  • Using data recovery software to access the data if the phone powers on
  • Removing the flash memory chip and placing it in a working phone
  • Using a dedicated data recovery service to repair the phone and extract the data

What data can be recovered from a water damaged iPhone?

Many types of data can potentially be recovered from a water damaged iPhone including:

  • Contacts
  • Call logs
  • Text messages
  • WhatsApp and other app data
  • Photos and videos
  • Notes and documents

The chance of recovery depends on factors like the damage level and flash memory type.

Does turning on a wet iPhone ruin the data?

Turning on a wet iPhone can potentially damage it further and ruin data recovery chances. It’s best to dry it thoroughly for at least 24-48 hours before attempting to turn it on.

Can Apple help recover data from a water damaged iPhone?

Apple does not officially support data recovery from water damaged devices. However, some Apple store techs may be able to help backup data if the phone can still turn on.

How much does iPhone data recovery cost?

The cost for professional iPhone data recovery varies widely based on the severity of water damage and data required. Simple software-based recovery can cost $50 or less. Hardware-level repair and recovery at a dedicated lab typically costs $300 to $1000 or more.


Recovering data from a water damaged iPhone is often possible with the right tools and techniques. Quick action to dry the phone and backup or repair it is key. For valuable data, the cost of professional recovery services is usually worthwhile compared to permanent data loss.

Assessing Water Damage on an iPhone

When an iPhone comes into contact with water, it’s important to quickly assess the extent of the water damage to determine the best chances for data recovery. Some key things to look for include:

Water exposure time

The longer an iPhone sits in water, the more damage is likely to occur. A quick dunk or splash has a much better outlook than a phone left underwater for hours or days. Water damage progresses rapidly.

Power status during water exposure

If the iPhone was powered on while exposed to water, the internal components are much more likely to short circuit and suffer damage. Powering off the phone before water exposure helps reduce damage.

Water type

Pure fresh water causes less corrosion damage than saltwater or chlorinated water in a pool or hot tub. However, all types of water pose a risk.

Depth of water

The depth of water the iPhone was immersed in impacts the water pressure it was exposed to. Submersion in even just a few feet of water can push water into components faster than a splash or shallow pool immerion.

Signs of internal water

Signs that water got inside the iPhone include a corroded charging port, moisture inside the camera, fogging or condensation under the screen glass, and water droplets visible internally.

Ability to power on

If the iPhone will not power on at all after drying out for at least 48 hours, the prognosis is worse for data recovery than if it powers on even intermittently.

Battery health

If the battery was already in poor health before water exposure, the phone may not be able to provide enough power to operate normally even after drying out.

Considering these factors helps evaluate the iPhone’s condition and determine which data recovery methods may be most effective.

Drying a Wet iPhone

Proper drying is crucial after an iPhone gets wet. Here are some dos and don’ts for drying a wet iPhone:


  • Power the phone off if possible – This prevents shorts and further damage.
  • Remove the phone from water quickly – Limit water exposure time.
  • Remove all removable parts – Take out the SIM card tray, any cases, etc.
  • Use dry absorbent materials – Bury phone in dry rice, kitty litter, etc. to draw out moisture.
  • Alternate drying materials – Start with rice, then seal with silica packets.
  • Use fans to circulate air – Aim fan over phone to accelerate drying.
  • Be patient – Allow 48 hours or more before attempting to power on.


  • Power on a wet phone – Never attempt to turn on before fully dried.
  • Use heat sources – Avoid hair dryers, stoves, heat guns, etc. as excess heat can damage components.
  • Seal phone in rice long-term – Rice can cause starch buildup and clog ports if left for days.
  • Charge phone while wet – Charging creates potential for shorts and voltage spikes.

Carefully following these dos and don’ts improves the chances of data recovery from a water damaged iPhone. The key is being patient and allowing sufficient drying time before powering on.

Backing Up Data From a Wet iPhone

Before attempting any repairs on a water damaged iPhone, a top priority should be creating a backup of data while the phone is still somewhat functional. Here are some backup options:

iCloud Backup

If the iPhone still powers on, immediately put it in Airplane mode and connect to WiFi to create an iCloud backup. This syncs data like contacts, messages, notes, photos etc. to the cloud.

iTunes Backup

Connect the iPhone to a computer and create an encrypted iTunes backup. This copies app data, settings, media and other files to the PC or Mac.

Extracting Data Directly

If the phone won’t power on fully, specialized data recovery software may be able to extract some data files directly from the storage while connected to a computer.

Choosing What to Backup

If storage space is limited, prioritize backing up key data like contacts, messages, photos, and important app data. Non-essential media can be left behind.

Creating a quick backup before water damage worsens can help ensure critical user data isn’t lost if the phone ends up completely dead.

Using Data Recovery Software

If an iPhone experienced minor water exposure and still powers on fully, data recovery software should be used to extract data before attempting any repairs.

Recovery Software Options

Some top data recovery programs for iOS devices include:

  • EaseUS MobiSaver
  • FonePaw iOS Data Recovery
  • iMyFone iPhone Data Recovery
  • Tenorshare UltData
  • iSkysoft iPhone Data Recovery

These work similarly by scanning the iPhone’s storage and extracting data like messages, contacts, photos, app data and files that can be previewed and selectively recovered.

Connecting The iPhone

The iPhone will need to be connected to a Windows or Mac computer, usually via USB. Lightning to USB camera adapters can be used if the charging port is damaged.

Recovering Data

Once scanned, the software will display categories of recoverable data that can be previewed and restored to the computer. Critical data should be recovered before attempting any repairs.


iOS data recovery software has some limitations:

  • May not work if iPhone is dead or damaged
  • Doesn’t repair damage or fix issues
  • Success depends on damage level

But overall, data recovery software provides the best way to extract data non-invasively from an iPhone before attempting repairs.

iOS Data Recovery Software Price Main Features
EaseUS MobiSaver $59.95 Recovers up to 35 data types, easy to use, recovers data directly from iOS devices or iTunes backup files.
FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery $64.95 Scans and previews data, allows selectively restoring messages, contacts, photos and other files.
iMyFone iPhone Data Recovery $49.95 Extracts various data types like WhatsApp messages, photos and call logs. Works even when screen is damaged.

Repairing Physical Water Damage

Beyond software data recovery, physically repairing water damage is key to restoring full iPhone functionality and getting a functional backup. Some repair options include:

Opening and Drying Internally

For minor exposure, opening the phone, disconnecting and drying out components can enable extraction of data using repair tools.

Component Cleaning

Submerging in alcohol, corrosion removal agents or ultrasonic baths can clean corrosion from internal components and extend function.

Board-Level Repair

Damaged ports, connectors and chips on the logic board may need microsoldering repairs to function properly again.

Full Unit Swaps

Severely damaged iPhones may require transplanting the motherboard or storage chip into an intact donor phone to access data.

Professional Data Recovery Services

For challenging water damage, professional data recovery labs use specialized tools like dustless clean rooms and advanced component repairs to regain access to data on dead devices.

While expensive, professional iPhone data recovery services often provide the highest chance of success on severely water damaged devices.

Costs of Water Damage Repair

Repair Type Average Cost
Level 1 – Cleaning corrosion $50-$100
Level 2 – Component repair $150-$300
Level 3 – Board repair $300-$500
Level 4 – Unit swap $400-$600
Professional data recovery service $500-$1000+

Preventing Water Damage to iPhones

While recovering from iPhone water damage is possible, prevention is always preferable. Here are some tips to help avoid water damage to your iPhone:

Use a Waterproof Case

When going near water, always use a waterproof case or enclosure to protect your iPhone fully.

Avoid Using Phone in the Rain

Rainwater can easily infiltrate ports and seams, so avoid using your iPhone in wet weather when possible.

Keep Away From Sinks and Baths

It’s easy to accidentally drop your phone in water near sinks or tubs, so keep devices away from these hazardous areas.

Turn Off Before Possible Water Exposure

If you’ll be doing an activity where your phone could get wet like boating or swimming, power it off preemptively to reduce damage if an accident occurs.

Avoid Charging Near Water

Only charge your phone in dry locations to prevent electric shock circuits and damage if moisture is introduced.

Inspect Seals Regularly

Check that rubber gaskets and seals around ports haven’t become cracked or weakened over time, allowing moisture ingress.


Water damage presents a major threat to iPhone data, but recovery is often possible with the right approach. Quickly drying the phone, backing up data immediately, and using data recovery software can allow extracting data non-invasively. For more severe water damage, component-level repairs and professional data recovery services provide the best options for restoring access to irreplaceable data. With proper preventative measures, the risk of water damage ruining iPhone data can also be greatly reduced.