Best iPad Data Recovery Software

I tested 42 data recovery software products and found Tenorshare UltData to be the best option for recovering iPad data.

I’ve been working in the tech industry for the last few decades and regularly help people with computer disasters, including lost data.

iOS recovery software runs on your computer, not your device. You give it access to your iPad by connecting it with a USB cable. This allows for the best chance of data recovery, but also makes scans significantly slower.

Tenorshare is the best data recovery tool for iPad because it supports the widest range of mobile data types, performs the fastest scan, and recovered the most data in my test.

But every situation is different. So I’ve also reviewed the best data recovery application in every category.

Let’s get started.

7 Best Data Recovery Tools for iPad

Here are seven effective and usable data recovery applications for iPad.

1. Tenorshare UltData (Best Overall)

Tenorshare UltData is the best choice for iPad data recovery. It scans for most types of iOS data and does so quickly. It’s also among the most successful apps I tested at recovering data. Read my full review.

The app doesn’t require any technical knowledge, and scans are performed in three simple steps. It also scans for just about every type of data you’ll find on your iPad.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes and note attachments
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Voice memo
  • Books
  • App audio
  • App documents
  • Call history
  • Messages and message attachments
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger and attachments
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Kik
  • Safari history

Data types not supported:

  • Safari bookmarks

I haven’t yet discovered an iOS data recovery app that achieves 100% success. In a test I performed on a range of iOS data recovery applications, the best result was the successful recovery of just three out of six deleted items.

That’s what Tenorshare UltData achieved (along with the following three applications). In this case, the contact, Apple Note, and photo were recovered.

It didn’t recover a calendar event, voice memo, or Pages document, even though it supports those types of data. To be fair, no other app I tested was able to locate the calendar and Pages document.

It’s also the fastest application that I tested. It scanned my 256 GB iPhone 7 in just 49 minutes, which is several times faster than some of its competitors.

Tenorshare UltData for iOS is a subscription that costs $55.95/month or $59.95/year. A lifetime plan costs $69.95.

2. Disk Drill (Best for Both Mobile and Desktop Recovery)

Disk Drill is a popular and effective desktop data recovery tool that also lets you scan mobile devices such as the iPad. It effectively gives you two apps for the price of one. Read my full review.

This tool is suitable for both experienced and inexperienced computer users. If you’re unfamiliar with data recovery, you can get started with three simple steps. If you’re more experienced, you’ll find plenty of ways to customize it to your liking.

Disk Drill’s main focus is on recovering data from Macs and PCs, so lacks some of the features offered by other apps in this roundup. It also scans for far fewer types of iOS data.

But the company does offer a web page that helps you achieve the best results when recovering data from your iPad.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • App documents
  • Call history
  • Messages
  • Safari bookmarks

Data types not supported:

  • Note attachments
  • Reminders
  • Music
  • Voice memo
  • Books
  • App audio
  • Message attachments
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger and attachments
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Kik
  • Safari history

Like our winner, Disk Drill successfully recovered three of my six deleted files: the contact and Apple Note (every application I tested managed to recover both of these), and also the photo, something only half the apps tested were able to pull off.

The scan was only a little slower than UltData, taking 1h 10m to scan my 256 GB iPhone 7.

Data recovery from iPads is only possible with the Mac version at this time, and it will be added to the Windows version in the near future.

Disk Drill for Mac Pro costs a one-time fee of $89, and you also get access to the app with a $9.99/month subscription to SetApp.

3. EaseUS MobiSaver (Also Great)

EaseUS MobiSaver was also able to recover half of my deleted test files but took much longer to do so. Read my full review.

MobiSaver is suitable for casual home and office computer users. You can restore your data by following three simple steps. It scans for more data types than Disk Drill, but not as many as Tenorshare UltData.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Voice memo
  • Call history
  • Messages
  • WhatsApp
  • Kik
  • Safari bookmarks

Data types not supported:

  • Note attachments
  • Music
  • Books
  • App audio
  • App documents
  • Message attachments
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger and attachments
  • Viber
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Safari history

In my test, MobiSaver was able to recover three of the six items I deleted. Like other data recovery apps, that includes the contact and Apple Note, and it’s the only tool I tested that was able to recover the voice memo.

However, in my test, the scan took longer: 2h 34m. That’s significantly longer than UltData and Disk Drill, but much faster than PhoneRescue and Dr.Fone that we’ll cover below.

It lets you select the types of lost data you wish to scan for, which could save a significant amount of time.

EaseUS MobiSaver for iOS Pro costs a one-time fee of $59.95 for Windows and $79.95 for Mac. There’s also a free version, but it’s quite limited.

4. Wondershare Dr.Fone (Effective, but Slow)

Wondershare Dr.Fone is slower than any other tool in this roundup. But it did recover three of my six test files, making it one of the more effective applications on our list. Read my full review.

Wondershare Dr.Fone is easy to use and presents the same three simple steps that many of its competitors offer. Quite a few data types are supported, but not as many as Tenorshare UltData.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes and note attachments
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Voice memo
  • App documents
  • Call history
  • Messages and message attachments
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Kik
  • Safari bookmarks

Data types not supported:

  • Videos
  • Music
  • Books
  • App audio
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger and attachments
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Safari history

Dr.Fone recovered half of my test files: the contact, Apple Note, and photo, the same items as Tenorshare UltData and Disk Drill. You’ll maximize your chance of locating your items by selecting “Only display deleted items”.

Scanning my 256 GB iPhone 7 took a ponderous six hours, by far the longest scan in this roundup. As a result, I’d be more likely to choose an alternate tool in the future.

It costs $69.95/year, or you can purchase a lifetime license for $79.95.

5. PhoneRescue

PhoneRescue and the following applications were only able to recover two of my six test files. But it’s a popular tool from a reputable company and you may have better success than I did. Read my full review.

Data recovery is achieved in three simple steps, but only about half of the data types supported by Tenorshare UltData will be scanned for by PhoneRescue.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes and note attachments
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Voice memo
  • App documents
  • Call history
  • Messages
  • Safari bookmarks
  • Safari history

Data types not supported:

  • Music
  • Books
  • App audio
  • Message attachments
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger and attachments
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Kik

Although it was only able to recover two of my six test files, that’s not the whole story. It also located thousands of other lost files, as did the other apps in this review.

That’s important to know because it gives hope that you may be more successful than I was. If I was trying to recover different files, the story may be very different.

PhoneRescue initially displays a list of both existing and deleted files, so make sure you select “List only deleted items” from the drop-down.

My test scan took a slow 3 h 30m. Fortunately, you can speed that up by selecting only the types of files you want to locate.

PhoneRescue for iOS is a subscription costing $69.99/year. If you prefer to avoid subscriptions, a lifetime license costs $99.99.

6. Jihosoft iPhone Data Recovery

Jihosoft iPhone Data Recovery is easy to use but a little slow. Read my full review.

This application is suitable for casual users, and quite a few data types are supported.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Voice memo
  • App documents
  • Call history
  • Messages
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Safari data

Data types not supported:

  • Music
  • Books
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Kik

Reviewers have reported some success using the app, but it’s not as well-known as its competitors. I noticed it contains a few spelling errors, and one reviewer mentioned that the official Windows download was corrupted. [1]

It scanned my 128 GB iPhone 12 mini in 1h 36m. That’s a little slower than the fastest apps reviewed above, but it was only scanning half the amount of data. A checkbox at the top of the screen will display only deleted files, helping you more easily track down the items you wish to restore.

It costs $59 and doesn’t require an ongoing subscription.

7. Syncios iOS Data Recovery

Syncios iOS Data Recovery is another promising iOS data recovery application. It’s not as fast as the leading apps but existing users are reasonably satisfied. Read my full review.

The current Mac version is 32-bit, so won’t work with recent versions of macOS. That makes it suitable for Windows users only. It will scan your iPad in five easy steps and quite a few data types are supported.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Voice memo
  • Books
  • Call history
  • Messages
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Kik
  • Safari bookmarks
  • Safari history

Data types not supported:

  • Reminders
  • App audio
  • App documents
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Tango
  • Line
  • WeChat

Current users are moderately satisfied: Trustpilot rates it 3.5 stars [2] and CNET 3.7 stars [3]. A scan of my 128 GB iPhone 12 mini took two hours. That’s twice the time our winners took to scan double the data.

Syncios iOS Data Recovery has been reduced to $39.95 for both Windows and Mac, but remember that the Mac version won’t work on current versions of macOS.

Guide to Choosing a Data Recovery Tool for iPads

Before making your choice, it’s helpful to become familiar with how data recovery is possible and some of the issues that iPad data recovery tools can help with.

How Is Data Recovery Possible?

When you delete an item from your iPad, the data isn’t actually removed. The space it uses simply becomes available for new files and will eventually be overwritten by new information. That means it’s best to act quickly when you lose data.

iPad Data Recovery Is not Guaranteed

Data recovery is never guaranteed, and iOS data recovery seems less effective than recovering from desktops and laptops. The best result I’ve achieved with tools for iOS is 50%. That’s disappointing, and means you shouldn’t set your hopes too high.

But that’s not the whole story. Each app located thousands of other lost files. They weren’t the ones I was looking for, but maybe they’ll be the ones you want to rescue.

These Recovery Apps Run on Your Computer, not Your Phone

iOS data recovery applications run on your computer, not your device. They scan your iPad over a USB cable.

Most offer versions for both Windows and Mac, but there are a few exceptions. Only Mac users can use Disk Drill to scan their iPad, and the current Mac version of SynciOS Data Recovery won’t work on current versions of macOS.

Choose a Tool That Suits Your Budget and Experience

Fortunately, most data recovery applications are designed to be easy to use and don’t require technical expertise. But they do cost money. I haven’t discovered a free iOS data recovery tool I’d recommend. 

The tools I recommend above range between $60 and $100. Some are one-off purchases while others are ongoing subscriptions.

Fortunately, they all allow you to scan for lost data for free, so you pay only once you’re confident you’ll have success.

Choose a Tool That Supports the File Types You Wish to Recover

Each app supports only specific types of files, so choose one that will actually scan for the files you’ve lost. Most will scan for contacts, notes, and calendar appointments, but only a few scan for books, FaceTime Messenger chats, and WeChat data.

Consider How Long Are You Willing to Wait

Data recovery is time-consuming. Some applications scan quicker scans than others, and phones with less storage will be scanned quicker than phones with lots of storage. How much time do you have?

Slower scans don’t guarantee better results. Tenorshare UltData performed the fastest scan while the best results.

Final Verdict

When choosing a tool to rescue your valuable lost data, you want the one that will give you the best chance of success.

I recommend TenorShare UltData, which is both fast and relatively effective. It scans for more data types than any other application. 

Disk Drill, EaseUS MobiSaver, and Wondershare Dr.Fone were just as effective in my test but take longer to scan for fewer types of data.

If one tool is unsuccessful, try another. The free trial version of each application will show you if your lost files can be found. If not, move on to the next one until you locate your lost files.

References