Is there a free data recovery for iPhone?

Recovering lost or deleted data from an iPhone can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don’t have a backup. Many people search for free data recovery options before resorting to paid software or professional data recovery services. The good news is that there are some free methods you can try on your own to get your photos, messages, and other data back.

Can you recover iPhone data for free?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted data from an iPhone for free using various methods. However, free iPhone data recovery has limitations compared to paid software and services. The success of free recovery depends on your specific situation.

Limitations of free iPhone data recovery

Here are some key limitations to keep in mind with free data recovery for iPhones:

  • Limited data types: Free tools often only recover certain data types like photos, contacts, and messages. Paid software can retrieve a wider range of data.
  • No customer support: You’re on your own figuring out free software with no technical guidance.
  • Lower success rate: Paid solutions invest more into research and development for better recovery capability.
  • Manual process: Free recovery requires more hands-on work compared to automated paid software.

Before you attempt iPhone data recovery

Before attempting free data recovery methods, there are a few things you should do to improve your chances:

  • Stop using your iPhone: Continued usage of your iPhone can overwrite deleted data making recovery harder.
  • Backup your device: If you have an existing backup, restore it to retrieve your data rather than risking unsuccessful recovery.
  • Determine your goal: Figure out exactly what data you need to recover before attempting any method.
  • Check storage space: Make sure you have enough available storage for the data you want to recover.

Free data recovery method #1: Recover from iTunes or Finder backup

One of the easiest ways to recover lost iPhone data for free is to restore from an iTunes or Finder backup if you have one. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes or Finder.
  2. Select your device and go to the Summary tab.
  3. Look for the latest backup. Select it and click Restore to recover the data.
  4. You can also select individual data types to restore like Messages or Contacts.

This will only work if you have an existing iTunes or iCloud backup. Make sure the backup contains the lost data you want to recover.


  • Free using iTunes or iCloud
  • Restores multiple data types
  • Easy automated process


  • Requires a current backup containing the lost data
  • May overwrite existing iPhone data during restore

Free data recovery method #2: Extract data from iCloud

If you have iCloud backups enabled, you may be able to recover deleted data from iCloud for free. iCloud stores your iPhone backups and synced data like photos, messages, contacts, and more.

To view and extract data from iCloud:

  1. Go to and login.
  2. Navigate to settings and select your iOS device.
  3. Browse the various data categories like Photos and Contacts.
  4. Select the data you want and export it to your computer or device storage.

This gives you direct access to synced iPhone data categorized in iCloud. You can view and download specific data as needed for free.


  • Free access to synced iCloud data
  • Extract specific data types
  • Access files directly from


  • Only recovers data synced to iCloud
  • Doesn’t recover unsynced data
  • Time consuming to locate files

Free data recovery method #3: iPhone data recovery software

There are some free data recovery apps and software options for retrieving iPhone data. For example:

Software Details
iMyFone iBypasser Recovers various lost iOS data types. Free version has limited capabilities.
EaseUS MobiSaver Scans and previews found data. Free version recovers limited data.
iSkysoft iPhone Data Recovery Advanced paid software with free demo version.

These programs can scan your iPhone and allow recovery of deleted data. But the free versions typically only work for limited recoveries. They serve more as demos for the paid versions.


  • Recovers a wide variety of data types
  • Previews files before recovery
  • Easy to use interface


  • Limited recovery capabilities
  • May fail to recover data
  • Requires software installation

Free data recovery method #4: Recover from iTunes or iCloud backup on new device

If you’ve lost your iPhone or it’s inaccessible, you can still recover your data for free by restoring a backup to a new device. You’ll need to completely reset/wipe your original iPhone before the new device can access the backup.

To recover data from a backup on a new iPhone:

  1. Erase all content and settings on your original damaged iPhone.
  2. Set up your replacement iPhone as new without restoring a backup.
  3. Connect to iTunes or iCloud and select the backup to restore from.

This will reload your data from the backup to the new device. Make sure to erase your old iPhone first so the backup isn’t locked to that device.


  • Free using iTunes or iCloud backups
  • Recovers data to a new iPhone
  • Simple restore process


  • Requires new iPhone and wipe of old device
  • Backup must contain lost data needed

Free data recovery method #5: Recover data from iCloud website

The iCloud website provides another option for recovering your iPhone data for free. You can access your iCloud backup contents and restore files through the online interface. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to and login to your account.
  2. Navigate to settings and find your iOS device backup.
  3. Select the backup and browse the data categories.
  4. Click the files you want to recover and download them.

This gives you web-based access to your iCloud backup for extracting the lost iPhone data you need. The files you select can be downloaded straight to your computer.


  • Free access to iCloud backup
  • Web interface to browse and select data
  • Downloads recovered files to computer


  • Only recovers data in iCloud backup
  • No option to restore backup to device

Free data recovery method #6: Use iPhone storage tools

Your iPhone has some built-in storage tools that might help recover deleted files in some cases. For example:

  • Recently Deleted: Camera Roll has a Recently Deleted folder holding deleted photos for up to 40 days. You can recover to Camera Roll.
  • Messages: Deleted texts are stored for up to 30 days and can be found by searching for contacts under Messages.

While limited, these tools provide additional free data recovery options before trying third-party software or paid recovery services.


  • Native iPhone tools
  • Recovers recently deleted files
  • Easy to access and use


  • Very limited recovery ability
  • Only recovers certain data types
  • Doesn’t recover older deleted data

When is paid iPhone data recovery worthwhile?

Free iPhone recovery methods have limits. So when is it worthwhile to use a paid recovery service instead?

  • You need to recover a wide variety of data beyond just contacts, messages, and photos
  • Your data was deleted longer ago making free methods ineffective
  • Your iPhone is damaged and inaccessible limiting DIY recovery options
  • You need guidance from data recovery experts
  • You want maximum chance of successfully retrieving lost data

Paid services can give you the experience, capabilities and support to recover data when free options fail. Prices range from $39 for DIY software to over $1000 for professional iPhone data recovery.


While paid solutions provide more power and capabilities, there are many free methods you can try first for recovering lost iPhone data. If you have an iTunes or iCloud backup, restoring from it is your best bet for getting data back at no cost. Software tools and online access to iCloud can also enable DIY recovery success.

Just remember the limitations and lower success rates of any free recovery options. If they don’t work in your situation, seeking professional data recovery services may be the most effective way to retrieve critical iPhone data.