How do you find deleted stuff on iphones?

Quick Answers

There are a few different ways to try to recover deleted items on an iPhone:

– iCloud Backup: If you have iCloud Backup enabled, you can restore your device from a previous backup to retrieve deleted data. This will erase the device and replace everything with the backup data.

– iTunes/Finder Backup: Connect your iPhone to your computer and restore from a previous iTunes or Finder backup to get back deleted files. This will also wipe the device.

– Third-party apps: Apps like Dr.Fone and iMyFone can scan your iPhone and recover recently deleted items without restoring from a full backup.

– Jailbreaking: Jailbreaking gives you filesystem access to search for deleted files using data recovery apps and tools. But it’s risky.

Recovering deleted data is only possible if the space hasn’t been overwritten by new data. The sooner you act, the better your chances.

Using iCloud Backup

One of the easiest ways to retrieve deleted files on an iPhone is to restore from an iCloud backup:


– You must have enabled iCloud Backup on the device before deletion occurred.

– Your device must have enough available iCloud storage space for the backup.

– The device must be connected to the internet during restore.

How To Restore from iCloud Backup

1. On the iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

2. Tap on the desired backup. Tap Restore to initiate the process.

3. Your iPhone will reboot and erase all content and settings. The backup data will then be restored onto your device.

4. Once completed, your device will reboot again and you can check for the deleted data.

Restoring from an iCloud backup will overwrite any data and changes made after the backup was created. So you’ll lose any new data added in the meantime.


– iCloud backups happen automatically when connected to power, WiFi and are quick and easy to restore from.

– All data including notes, messages, photos, etc. will be restored.


– Device will be completely erased before restoring the old data.

– Will not work if you never had iCloud Backup enabled.

– Limited to whatever data was in the selected backup.

Using iTunes or Finder Backup

You can also use a local iTunes or Finder backup to an external hard drive or computer to restore deleted files on an iPhone.


– iPhone must have been backed up locally in iTunes (PC) or Finder (Mac).

– External drive or computer with the backup available.

– Lightning cable to connect iPhone to computer.

How To Restore from Local Backup

1. Connect the iPhone to computer with a Lightning cable.

2. Open iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Select the device icon.

3. Go to Summary (iTunes) or General (Finder) and tap Restore iPhone.

4. Select the backup you want to use and click Restore on the confirmation popup.

5. Your iPhone will reboot and restore from the local backup, overwriting all data.

6. Once the restore completes, check for your deleted data.


– Allows you to pick and choose which backup to restore from.

– Does not count against limited iCloud storage space.


– Device will need to be completely erased first before restoring backup.

– Need access to computer containing the iTunes/Finder backup.

– Manual backups are easy to forget to do regularly.

Using Third-Party Apps

Specialized third-party apps offer the ability to scan your iPhone and recover recently deleted files without restoring the entire device from a full backup.


– Need to install the third-party app on your iPhone.

– iPhone must not have been fully restored or deleted data overwritten.

How To Use Data Recovery Apps

1. Download and install a data recovery app like Dr.Fone or iMyFone on your iPhone.

2. Open the app and grant access to storage data when prompted.

3. Select the type of data to scan for (photos, messages, etc.) and tap Start.

4. The app will scan the iPhone storage for recoverable deleted data.

5. Preview found files, select those you want to recover, and tap Recover.

6. The app recovers your selected deleted files to your iPhone.


– Allows recovery of deleted data without erasing the iPhone.

– Easy to preview found files before recovery.

– Can recover limited types of data like photos.


– Costs money to purchase the paid versions of these apps.

– Recovers limited data compared to full backup.

– Advanced recover options require jailbreaking.

Jailbreaking Your iPhone

Jailbreaking removes software restrictions on iOS, allowing root-level access to the file system for data recovery.


– Compatible iPhone model that can be jailbroken.

– Jailbreak software like unc0ver, checkra1n, etc.

– Free storage space for data recovery apps.

How To Jailbreak and Recover Data

1. Backup your iPhone data first as jailbreaking can result in data loss!

2. Download a jailbreak tool and follow prompts to jailbreak your iPhone.

3. Install data recovery apps like iExplorer or PhoneView on the jailbroken device.

4. Connect iPhone to computer and launch the app. Grant file system access.

5. Scan the full iPhone file system for deleted files to recover.


– Full access to iPhone storage allows greatest chance of recovering deleted files.

– More versatile data recovery apps and tools available.


– Jailbreaking is technically complex, with risks of security holes and instability.

– Could permanently damage device if something goes wrong.

– Apple can detect a jailbroken iPhone was used.

Preventing Data Loss

To avoid needing data recovery in the future, be sure to:

– Backup regularly to iCloud and local iTunes/Finder.

– Double-check before deleting anything important.

– Maintain sufficient iCloud storage for comprehensive backups.

– Avoid unsupported modifications like jailbreaking.

– Use a reputable data recovery app if needed.

– Act quickly if you do delete something important accidentally.


While accidentally deleting data is annoying, there are several options available to recover that lost iPhone content. The optimal solution depends on whether you maintained regular backups, how much data loss is acceptable, and how technically comfortable you are with more advanced recovery methods. Following best practices for consistent backup and deletion of unimportant data will help mitigate risk of permanent data loss.