How do I recover a failed video on my iPhone?

Recovering a failed or corrupted video on an iPhone can be frustrating, but it is possible in many cases. There are a few different methods you can try to get your lost videos back.

Check Recently Deleted

The first thing to try when a video won’t play or seems to be corrupted on your iPhone is to check the Recently Deleted album. Any media that is deleted on an iPhone gets stored in this album for up to 30 days before being permanently erased. To access it:

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Tap on Albums at the bottom
  3. Scroll down and tap on Recently Deleted

If your missing video is in here, tap on it and tap Recover to restore it back to the Photos app. This should work as long as the video hasn’t been in Recently Deleted for over a month.

Try a Third Party App

If the video is not in Recently Deleted, your best bet is to try a third party iOS data recovery app. There are a few good options available:

Disk Drill

Disk Drill is an excellent recovery app for iPhone that makes it easy to restore lost or corrupted media. To use it:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill from the App Store
  2. Open Disk Drill and grant access to your photos
  3. Tap Recover and select the video or camera roll recovery option
  4. Allow the app to scan your device for recoverable files
  5. Preview found videos and tap the restore button to save them back to your camera roll

Disk Drill has several advanced scanning algorithms that improve your chances of recovering even severely damaged video files.

iMyFone D-Back

Another good option is iMyFone D-Back. It works similarly to Disk Drill:

  1. Get D-Back from the App Store
  2. Launch the app and choose the Video Recovery option
  3. Allow D-Back to scan your iPhone storage for lost videos
  4. Preview recoverable video files and select those you want to restore
  5. Choose a destination to save the restored videos to on your iPhone

iMyFone D-Back claims a 97% video recovery rate, so it can often restore even badly corrupted videos.

FoneDog Toolkit

FoneDog Toolkit is another highly rated iOS video recovery app. It works in a similar way:

  1. Get FoneDog Toolkit from the App Store
  2. Open the app and tap Recover from iOS Device
  3. Select Video recovery
  4. Allow FoneDog Toolkit to scan for recoverable videos
  5. Preview found videos and choose those to restore

FoneDog Toolkit features advanced video analysis algorithms for identifying and restoring damaged video files stored on an iPhone.

Try Video Repair Software

If third party recovery apps don’t work, your last resort is to use video repair software on a computer. This allows you to take a corrupted video file from your iPhone and fix it on your Mac or PC. Some good options include:

Remo Repair MOV

Remo Repair MOV specifically repairs damaged MOV and MP4 video files. To use it:

  1. Install the software on a Mac or PC
  2. Connect your iPhone and transfer the corrupted videos over
  3. Add the video files to Remo Repair MOV
  4. Click Repair to fix the file errors
  5. Save the repaired video back to your iPhone

This type of deep video repair can fix many different types of corruption issues.

Wondershare Video Repair

Wondershare offers a Video Repair tool with similar capabilities. The steps are:

  1. Download and install Wondershare Video Repair on your computer
  2. Add corrupted videos from your iPhone to the program
  3. Click the Repair button to start fixing file errors
  4. Preview the videos and save the repaired files back to your device

Wondershare claims to support repair for MOV, MP4, and other video formats.

MiniTool Video Repair

Finally, MiniTool Video Repair is another program worth trying. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Get MiniTool Video Repair on your Mac or PC
  2. Import damaged videos from your iPhone
  3. Select the video repair module
  4. Click Repair to fix corrupt video files
  5. Save repaired videos back to your iPhone

MiniTool says their software can fix various video errors like sound issues, pixelation, freezes, and more.

Prevent Future Failed Videos

To avoid having to recover failed videos in the future, here are some tips:

  • Update your iPhone to the latest OS version for stability improvements
  • Don’t interrupt video recordings or downloads
  • Maintain free storage space on your device
  • Back up your videos regularly to iCloud or iTunes
  • Avoid exposing your phone to extreme heat or other damage

Following these best practices will minimize video corruption issues going forward.

Recover Deleted Videos

If a video was deleted from your iPhone, here are the steps to potentially get it back:

  1. First check the Recently Deleted album as covered above – this is where deleted videos go initially
  2. If not there, use a third party recovery app to scan your iPhone storage and find deleted videos that can be restored
  3. Alternatively, restore your phone from an iTunes or iCloud backup taken before the video was deleted

Act quickly if the video was mistakenly deleted, as the more you use your phone the more likely the video file will be permanently overwritten.

Repair Corrupted Videos

For videos that are present but won’t play properly, try these steps:

  1. First see if the video plays properly on a different device, to isolate the issue to your iPhone
  2. Check for a poor network connection interfering with video downloads or streaming
  3. Force quit and restart the Photos app or reboot your iPhone
  4. Offload the video to a computer and use repair software to fix file corruption issues before moving it back

Repairing the actual video file is the most effective solution for playback issues localized to your iPhone.

Recover Disabled Videos

If your iPhone says a video file is disabled and won’t let you access it, do this:

  1. Try restarting your iPhone to clear any temporary glitches
  2. Connect your phone to iTunes and see if iTunes can access and restore the disabled video
  3. Use a third party repair tool to remove any DRM protection that is causing the video to be disabled
  4. Restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup made before the video was disabled

Anti-piracy protections sometimes cause videos to be disabled on an iPhone. Professional repair software can often remove these restrictions.

Avoid Future Video Failures

To avoid video failures in the future, here are some tips:

  • Don’t interrupt video recording or downloads
  • Maintain adequate storage space on your iPhone
  • Back up videos regularly to iCloud or iTunes
  • Update to the latest version of iOS for stability fixes
  • Avoid exposing your phone to excessive heat, cold or moisture

Being careful when working with videos and maintaining proper storage conditions can help minimize corruption issues.

Recover Videos after Update Failure

If videos become inaccessible after a failed iOS update, try these steps:

  1. Force restart your iPhone – hold power and home button together until Apple logo appears
  2. Connect to iTunes and restore from a backup made prior to the failed update
  3. Use a third party app to scan iPhone storage and recover missing videos after the restore
  4. Check iCloud Photos to see if your videos uploaded there automatically

With effort, you can often get videos back after even a serious failure during an iOS update. Prevent future issues by backing up regularly before updates.

Find Missing Videos after a Restore

If videos go missing after restoring your iPhone from a backup, you still have options to try getting them back:

  • Scan your iPhone with a data recovery app to retrieve missing video files that may still be present
  • Check your iCloud Photo Library for videos that synced there before you restored
  • Restore your iPhone again using an older backup that still contains the missing videos
  • Use video repair software on your computer to retrieve video fragments that may still be on your phone

Provided the video files haven’t yet been completely overwritten, recovery is often possible even after a restore.


Recovering lost or corrupted videos on an iPhone is often possible with some effort. First check the Recently Deleted album and any backups. For more serious situations, use professional iOS recovery software designed to find and restore damaged video files. With the right tools, you have an excellent chance of getting back your failed videos.