How can I recover my deleted mobile data?

If you have accidentally deleted important data from your mobile device, don’t panic! There are several potential ways to try to recover deleted data from your Android or iOS device.

Can I recover data after factory reset?

Yes, it is possible to recover data after a factory reset in some cases. A factory reset erases all data and settings from the device and resets it to default factory conditions. However, data is not immediately erased from the device’s memory when a reset is performed. With the right recovery software, there is a chance of recovering deleted data as long as it has not been overwritten by new data.

How does data recovery software work?

Data recovery software works by scanning the internal memory of the mobile device to locate and rebuild deleted data that has not yet been overwritten. This includes photos, messages, contacts, and other files that were erased. The software searches for file signatures that indicate a deleted file is still present.

What are the best data recovery apps?

Some top data recovery apps for Android and iOS include:

  • DiskDigger
  • EaseUS MobiSaver
  • iMyFone D-Back
  • FonePaw Android Data Recovery
  • MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS

These apps allow you to efficiently scan your device and recover various types of lost and deleted data. Many work without root or jailbreak access required.

Can I recover data without backup?

Yes, it’s often possible to recover deleted data from a phone even without a backup. As long as the space has not been reallocated and overwritten, data recovery tools can scan the device and rebuild files that were erased.

However, it’s always recommended to regularly back up your mobile data. Backups give you a greater chance of recovering more data compared to scanning a device after data has been deleted.

How can I recover contacts after factory reset?

To recover deleted contacts after a factory reset:

  1. Download a contacts recovery app like DiskDigger or FonePaw Android Recovery.
  2. Allow the app to scan your device for recoverable data.
  3. Preview and select the contacts you want to restore.
  4. Export the recovered contacts back to your device or cloud account.

As long as the contacts have not been overwritten, there is a good chance the data can be rebuilt by a recovery app.

Can I recover permanently deleted photos?

It is often possible to recover photos even after they have been permanently deleted from your device’s gallery. As long as the storage space has not been overwritten, data recovery software can scan the phone and rebuild deleted photo files.

For the best chance of recovering deleted photos:

  • Avoid capturing new photos or installing apps, as this can overwrite deleted data.
  • Use a dedicated photo recovery app immediately after deletion.
  • Allow the app to thoroughly scan the phone’s storage to rebuild deleted photos.

How can I recover WhatsApp messages after deletion?

To recover deleted WhatsApp messages:

  1. Stop using WhatsApp immediately after noticing deleted messages.
  2. Download and install a WhatsApp recovery app.
  3. Allow the app to scan your phone’s storage for recoverable WhatsApp data.
  4. Preview and select the chat messages you want to restore.
  5. Save the recovered messages to your device.

Refraining from WhatsApp use until running a recovery scan gives you the best chance of retrieving deleted messages before they are potentially overwritten.

Can I recover data after rooting my Android phone?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted files after rooting an Android phone. However, rooting makes data recovery a bit more complex. Once rooted, it’s recommended to avoid using the device entirely and connect it to a computer running data recovery software.

The rooting process can overwrite deleted files, so avoiding further usage preserves recoverable data. Recovery apps that work via USB connection provide the best chance of retrieving deleted data from a rooted device.

How can I recover music files after deletion from my iPhone?

To recover deleted music files from an iPhone:

  1. Avoid adding new files to prevent overwriting the deleted music.
  2. Connect the iPhone to a computer and use iPhone data recovery software.
  3. Allow a deep scan to locate recoverable music files.
  4. Preview found files, selecting the music files you want to restore.
  5. Recover and export the music back to your iPhone or computer.

As long as the deleted music files have not been reallocated, specialized iOS recovery software should be able to find and rebuild them.

What determines the success rate of data recovery?

Factors that influence the success rate of recovering deleted mobile data include:

  • How quickly recovery is attempted after deletion.
  • Avoiding further usage and overwriting deleted data.
  • The recovery method used (app vs. software).
  • How thorough the scanning process can search the device.
  • The types of data attempting to be recovered.

Performing recovery immediately while avoiding overwriting gives you the best chance. Advanced data recovery software also improves success rate for restoring deleted files.

Is it possible to recover data after a device resets itself?

It’s possible but difficult to recover data after an Android or iPhone resets itself, often due to a serious software glitch or hardware malfunction. Since the device reset itself, there is greater risk of data being corrupted or overwritten.

However, data recovery apps or software that work via USB connection can scan a reset device and rebuild recoverable data. Success depends on how well the phone avoided overwriting files during the reset process.

Can factory reset data be recovered from internal memory?

Yes, there is potential to recover deleted data from a phone’s internal memory after a factory reset. Recovery software can scan internal storage and rebuild deleted files that have not yet been overwritten.

For best results, avoid using the reset device until recovery is attempted. Connecting the phone to a computer and scanning with data recovery software provides the most thorough search of internal memory to find recoverable factory reset data.

Is it better to recover data from iTunes or iCloud backup?

It is generally better to recover deleted iOS device data from an iTunes backup rather than iCloud if you have the choice. iTunes backups provide:

  • A complete mirror copy of device data for a given backup date.
  • Faster, unlimited data transfer speed.
  • Support for recovering many types of lost or deleted files.

iCloud limits how much data can be recovered. An iTunes backup gives wider access to recovering lost iOS data when needed.

Can I recover data after OS update or version upgrade?

It is possible but tricky to recover data after a major OS update or version upgrade on an Android or iOS device. Since large system changes can move around data, recovery is hit-or-miss.

Your best chance is to connect the device to a computer immediately after the OS update and perform a scan using data recovery software before attempting to use the device. This gives the software the best chance of rebuilding recoverable data before potential overwriting.

How can I recover text messages after a factory reset on my iPhone?

To recover deleted text messages after an iPhone factory reset:

  1. Avoid using the reset device to prevent overwriting data.
  2. Connect it to a computer and open iOS data recovery software.
  3. Allow a deep scan to locate lost SMS/iMessage data.
  4. Preview and select the text conversations you wish to recover.
  5. Save the messages to your computer or export back to the device.

As long as messaging data has not been reallocated, specialized recovery software should be able to rebuild and restore deleted texts post-reset.

What are the risks of overwriting deleted mobile data?

The main risk of overwriting deleted mobile data is it becomes unrecoverable. When new data occupies areas of memory where deleted files existed, it erases traces that recovery apps need to rebuild and restore them.

Using the device after deletion, capturing new photos, installing apps, or shooting videos can all lead to irrecoverable overwriting. Avoiding these actions until recovery is attempted maximizes recoverability.

How soon can deleted data be overwritten?

Deleted mobile phone data can start becoming overwritten in as little as an hour of using device. Overwriting increases the longer you use the device after deletion occurs.

On newer phones with solid state memory, overwriting happens faster compared to older models with rotational drives. Attempting recovery immediately gives you the best outcomes.

Can I recover permanently deleted files from the trash/recycle bin?

If a mobile file was permanently deleted from the trash or recycle bin, recovery becomes more difficult but is sometimes possible. The best chance involves:

  • Avoiding further device use to prevent overwriting.
  • Using data recovery software rather than mobile apps.
  • Scanning the phone’s internal raw storage/memory.

Advanced recovery tools may be able to locate traces of permanently deleted files. But overwriting can render them unrecoverable, so time is of the essence.

Should I root or jailbreak my phone to recover data?

Rooting or jailbreaking provides full access for certain recovery methods. But it also carries risks of irreversibly overwriting deleted files in the process.

It’s often better to attempt recovery on a non-rooted device using data recovery software that scans internal storage via USB connection. This avoids tampering with the OS in a way that damages recoverability.

Can I recover data after a system crash?

It is possible but challenging to fully recover data after a serious system crash or failure event. The abrupt shutdown poses a greater risk of data loss or corruption.

To attempt recovery, avoid booting the device after the crash. Connect it to a computer and allow recovery software to scan for and rebuild possible files. But crashes carry higher risk of unrecoverable data loss in some cases.

Is overwritten data guaranteed to be unrecoverable?

For all practical purposes, mobile phone data that has been directly overwritten with new data is unrecoverable. Once the original files’ magnetic traces or flash storage bits are overwritten, they are essentially destroyed.

Advanced forensic-level techniques claiming to recover overwritten data are expensive, unreliable, and limited. So realistically, overwriting translates to permanent data erasure on phones.

Can I recover data without specialty software?

It is very difficult and unlikely to successfully recover mobile data without using specialty data recovery software or apps in most cases. DIY recovery attempts often fail because:

  • Limited access to fully scan internal raw storage.
  • Inability to rebuild and recover deleted file systems.
  • No tools to bypass locked devices or operating systems.

Software with advanced recovery algorithms offer the only reliable way for most users to get back lost mobile data.


Retrieving deleted files and data from a mobile device is often possible if the right recovery methods are used properly and in a timely manner. Avoiding usage of the device after deletion, using data recovery apps or software, and allowing thorough scans to maximize recoverability based on the situation.

With proper care taken, there is a good chance of salvaging deleted photos, messages, contacts, and other data from smartphones. Just be sure to act quickly before anything has a chance to be overwritten.