Having a water damaged phone that won’t turn on can be extremely frustrating. Your phone likely contains valuable data – photos, contacts, messages, etc. – that you don’t want to lose. The good news is that even if your iPhone won’t turn on, there are still ways to recover data from it.
Can data be recovered from a water damaged iPhone that won’t turn on?
Yes, it is often possible to recover data from an iPhone that has been damaged by water, even if the phone will not power on. The key is to act quickly before corrosion has a chance to set in and cause permanent damage. The longer you wait, the lower the chances of successfully retrieving data from the water damaged device.
Why does water damage stop an iPhone from turning on?
When an iPhone is exposed to water, a couple of things can happen to stop the device from powering on:
- Water can short circuit system components and circuit boards, preventing them from functioning properly.
- Corrosion can build up on electronic components and connections, interrupting the flow of power.
- Sensors that detect water inside the phone can automatically trigger a shutdown to prevent further damage.
Even after the phone has dried out, residue left behind from liquids can lead to continued issues with powering on the device and using components like the screen. That’s why it’s crucial to act quickly when recovering data from a water damaged iPhone.
How to recover data from an iPhone that won’t turn on
If your iPhone won’t power on after being exposed to water, here are a few methods you can try to retrieve data from it:
1. Dry out the iPhone thoroughly
The very first thing you’ll want to do is dry out the iPhone as much as possible. Remove any protective case and use a soft cloth to gently dab or wipe away any excess moisture. Be sure to pat and dry out the charging port and headphone jack as well. Allow the phone to sit for at least 24 hours in a dry environment to give it the best shot at powering back on.
2. Connect the iPhone to power
After thoroughly drying out the device, the next step is to connect it to power. Plug your iPhone into a wall charger using the provided charging cable and let it charge for several hours. If the phone was only mildly exposed to moisture, this may help revive it to get it to turn on again. Leave it on the charger for up to a day if possible.
3. Place the iPhone in rice
If drying out the iPhone and charging it still doesn’t allow it to turn on, place the device in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice. Make sure the phone is fully buried and surrounded by rice on all sides. The rice will help absorb any lingering moisture. Let the phone sit in the rice for at least 24 hours. The rice trick works best if you do it immediately after water damage rather than days later.
4. Use data recovery software
Your best chance for retrieving data from an iPhone that won’t turn on is to use data recovery software or seek help from data recovery services. Options like Apple’s iTunes app, Dr.Fone, and PhoneRescue can pull data files directly from an unresponsive iPhone when it’s connected to a computer.
Data recovery apps allow you to enter different data recovery modes to scan for and extract data like photos, messages, contacts, and docs from an iPhone – even if the screen is damaged or the phone is stuck on the Apple logo. This is really the only sure-fire way to recover data from an iPhone that just won’t turn back on.
5. Take the iPhone to a repair shop
As a last resort, you can take your water damaged iPhone to a professional phone repair shop. They will open up the device in a clean room and remove the memory chip. The chip can then be placed in a reading device to retrieve the data. This route can be expensive, but may be able to recover data when all else fails.
Tips for recovering data from a water damaged iPhone
Follow these tips to improve your chances of successfully recovering files and data from a water damaged iPhone that won’t turn on:
- Act quickly – The sooner you can dry out the phone and attempt data recovery, the better.
- Don’t try turning on the phone – Attempting to power on a water damaged iPhone can short circuit it.
- Backup beforehand – Regularly backing up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes ensures you have a copy of its data.
- Remove accessories – Take off any cases, covers or screen protectors on the iPhone before drying it out.
- Avoid heat – Don’t try to dry out the iPhone using heat sources like a hairdryer which can damage components.
- Avoid wireless charging – Water damage may disrupt wireless charging sensors – use wired charging instead.
- Stay patient – Attempting data recovery can be a lengthy process. Don’t get discouraged if it takes some time.
Can you recover data from a water damaged iPhone without backup?
You can recover some data from an iPhone without a backup if the phone still powers on and allows data transfers. But for a water damaged iPhone that doesn’t turn on, a backup is essentially required to recover most data. Without one, any files and data stored locally on the device may be unrecoverable.
That’s why it’s critical to regularly back up your iPhone before water damage occurs. iCloud and iTunes backups save copies of your iPhone data that you can restore from if needed. Encrypted local backups are best as they also include sensitive info like passwords that may not sync to iCloud.
Backups are the only sure way to access photos, messages, notes, and other personal data from an iPhone that won’t power on. Cloud backups can sync content across devices while local iTunes backups store data directly on your computer. If your water damaged iPhone won’t turn on, a previous backup is your best hope for recovering data.
Can you recover data if the iPhone is dead?
If your iPhone is completely unresponsive after water damage – the screen is black, it won’t turn on at all, and you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps – the phone may be considered “dead”. But some data can still be extracted even from an iPhone that is completely dead and won’t power on.
When the iPhone is unresponsive, the first step is still to dry it out completely. Allow it a day or two to air dry in rice or sealed in a bag with desiccant packs. This may revive it enough to attempt powering it on again.
If the phone remains dead, you’ll need data recovery software or professional data recovery services. They can connect the iPhone to a computer and enter recovery mode even without turning on the device. The data can then be read from the memory on board.
Performing a backup of your iPhone data regularly provides the very best protection if your phone ends up dead from water damage. With a recent backup, you can fully restore your data if needed.
Best data recovery software for water damaged iPhones
If your iPhone is still not turning on after drying it out completely, moving quickly to use data recovery software gives you the best chance of salvaging your files. Here are some top options:
1. Dr.Fone – iOS Data Recovery
Dr.Fone by Wondershare is one of the most well-known data recovery apps for iOS devices like the iPhone. It can recover over 20 types of lost or deleted data from an iPhone, even if it won’t turn on. Supports the latest iPhone models.
PhoneRescue is designed to get back data like photos, messages, contacts, and documents from water damaged, broken, or non-working iPhones and iPads. Allows recovery even from dead or crashed iOS devices.
3. EaseUS MobiSaver
MobiSaver from EaseUS provides user-friendly data recovery for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. It works even if the screen is damaged or the device won’t turn on after water exposure.
4. iMyFone D-Back
D-Back iPhone data recovery from iMyFone can retrieve up to 12 data types from an iPhone, even if it won’t boot up. Works with the latest iPhone models and iOS versions.
The key when selecting data recovery software for a water damaged iPhone is choosing a reliable and safe product from a reputable developer. Look for positive reviews and be wary of very cheap software options.
Can Apple help recover data from a water damaged iPhone?
Apple does not directly provide iPhone data recovery services. However, you have a few Apple-related options if you need to recover data from a water damaged iPhone.
- Restore from iCloud backup – If you had iCloud backups enabled, you may be able to restore data to a replacement iPhone from your iCloud account.
- Restore from iTunes backup – Connect your water damaged iPhone to a computer and restore from a local iTunes backup if one exists.
- Apple Authorized Service Provider – These third-party repair shops contracted by Apple may be able to recover data from a damaged iPhone.
- Apple Store employee – Make a Genius Bar appointment and ask if an Apple technician can help extract data from the damaged phone.
Apple provides troubleshooting tips for water damage but does not directly offer iPhone data recovery services. Your main options are using a backup or seeking help from an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store.
Does AppleCare+ cover water damage data recovery?
Unfortunately, AppleCare+ does not cover data recovery services for a water damaged iPhone. The extended warranty plan only covers repair or replacement of the hardware itself.
AppleCare+ for iPhone does provide coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage, with each subject to a service fee. So you can get the phone repaired or replaced at a lower cost. But data recovery is not included.
To get help accessing data on an iPhone damaged by water, you would need to rely on your own backups or use third-party software and services. AppleCare+ does not provide any provisions for data recovery from accidental water damage or other issues.
Here are some key tips on recovering data from an iPhone that won’t turn on due to water exposure:
- Dry out the iPhone thoroughly before attempting to turn it on.
- Try connecting the iPhone to power and letting it charge for several hours.
- Use rice to absorb any remaining moisture from the device.
- Download data recovery software to pull data from the iPhone when connected to a computer.
- Take the iPhone to a professional repair shop if all else fails.
- Back up your iPhone regularly so you have a copy of your data if needed.
With the right tools and techniques, you have a good chance of recovering important photos, messages, contacts and other data from an iPhone that has stopped working due to water damage. Just make sure to act quickly before corrosion has a chance to set in.