Best iPhone Data Recovery Software

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

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

Note that iPhone recovery software runs on your Mac or PC, not your phone. It scans your phone via a cable that connects it to your computer. This allows for the best chance of data recovery, but also makes scans significantly slower.

Tenorshare is the best data recovery tool for iPhone because it supports the widest range of mobile data types, performs the fastest scans, and recovered the maximum amount of 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 iPhone

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

1. Tenorshare UltData (Best Overall)

Tenorshare UltData is the best choice for iPhone data recovery. It can scan for the widest range of data types found on iPhones and does so very quickly, and is among the most successful apps I tested at recovering data. Read my full review.

The app is suitable for casual home and office users. It doesn’t require any technical knowledge, and scans are performed in three simple steps. It also supports almost every type of iPhone data imaginable.

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

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a tool that’s able to recover all of my lost data, but Tenorshare UltData is among the best and recovered three out of six items I deleted in a test: a contact, Apple Note, and photo.

It was unable to recover a calendar event, voice memo, and Pages document, even though it supports those types of data. To be fair, no other app I tested was able to recover 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 service that’s skewed in favor of longer subscriptions. The monthly plan costs $55.95 while the yearly plan costs just $5 more, at $59.95. Finally, a lifetime plan is also relatively affordable at $69.95.

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

Disk Drill is a leading desktop data recovery tool that also supports mobile devices including iPhones. It’s fast and relatively effective and effectively offers two applications for the price of one. Read my full review.

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

Disk Drill’s main focus is on desktop data recovery, so it doesn’t have all the features offered by other apps aimed specifically at the iPhone, such as data recovery from the iTunes or iCloud backup of your phone. It also supports far fewer types of data than our winner. 

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

But it did manage to recover just as much data as Tenorshare UltData in my test. It recovered the contact and Apple Note (every application I tested managed to recover both of these), and also 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 iPhones and Android phones is only possible with the Mac version at this time, and it will be added to the Windows version soon.

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

MobiSaver doesn’t require any advanced technical knowledge and is suitable for casual home and office computer users. You can restore your phone by following three simple steps. It supports 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, the scan took longer: 2h 34m. That’s significantly longer than UltData and Disk Drill, both of which took around an hour. But it’s also quite a bit faster than PhoneRescue and Dr.Fone that we’ll cover below.

Before scanning, you’re able to select the types of lost data you wish to locate. This will be significantly faster than scanning for all types of data.

EaseUS MobiSaver for iOS Pro doesn’t require a subscription and costs $59.95 for Windows and $79.95 for Mac.

There’s also a free version, but it’s quite limited. For example, with each scan, you can only recover five contacts and one photo or video. However, if you want to recover notes, call history, calendars, reminders, Safari bookmarks, and timelines, you’re in luck. There’s no limit to the number of those items that can be recovered.

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

Wondershare Dr.Fone scanned my iPhone much slower than any other tool in this roundup. But it was able to recover three of my six deleted test files, making it one of the more effective applications. Read my full review.

Like many of the other apps in this roundup, Wondershare Dr.Fone is designed for those with no technical knowledge. It uses 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

Like the previous three applications, Dr.Fone was able to recover half of the test files I deleted: the contact, Apple Note, and photo, the same items as Tenorshare UltData and Disk Drill.

Once the scan is complete, you’ll maximize your chance of locating your items by selecting “Only display deleted items”. If you don’t, you’ll have to wade through a long list that combines your existing items with the ones you lost.

But scanning my 256 GB iPhone 7 for those files was like watching grass grow. It took six hours, by far the longest scan in this roundup, and the second-longest I’ve ever encountered.

Perhaps my experience isn’t typical and your scan will be faster. However, it’s hard to recommend Dr.Fone over the alternatives above based on speed alone.

This is another subscription application and costs $69.95/year. If you dislike subscriptions, you can purchase a lifetime license for just a little more, $79.95.

5. PhoneRescue

PhoneRescue and the rest of the tools in this roundup were only able to recover two of my six test files. However, it’s a popular tool from a reputable company, and your experience may be more successful than mine. Read my full review.

This app takes you through the recovery process in the now-familiar simple three steps. That makes this app suitable for non-technical users. However, 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

As I’ve already mentioned, PhoneRescue was only able to recover two of the six test files I deleted, a slightly worse result than our winners. But I should point out that that’s not the whole story.

Even though mobile data recovery doesn’t seem as reliable as on the desktop, these apps are actually able to locate quite a bit of lost data. I’ve only been quoting the number of test files I was looking for, not the total number of lost files found.

Each app I tested was able to locate a very large number of potential files, numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands. That’s very promising. It’s just that in my test, most of them weren’t the files I wanted to get back.

Locating the files you want to recover in that long list can be time-consuming. By default, PhoneRescue will display a combined list of existing and deleted files. Make sure you choose “List only deleted items” from the drop-down at the top of the screen.

How long did PhoneRescue take? A very 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 its scans are a little slow. It doesn’t have the same reputation or user base as the other apps listed, but may work for you. Read my full review.

This application is suitable for casual users. Your data is scanned for in several simple steps, 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

I haven’t thoroughly tested this app, but others have reported some success. For example, it located some long-deleted files for one reviewer. [1]

However, this application isn’t so well known, so hasn’t been included in any comparative industry tests that I’m aware of. I encountered a few spelling errors while using it, and the reviewer mentioned above found that the official Windows installation file was corrupted and had to download it from a third-party site.

I did use it to scan my 128 GB iPhone 12 mini. That took 1h 36m, a little slower than the fastest apps reviewed above, but still acceptable.

Once the scan had been completed, it displayed both existing files (in black) mixed with deleted files (in red). A checkbox at the top of the screen will display only deleted files. This will help you more easily track down the items you wish to restore.

Jihosoft iPhone Data Recovery requires a one-time payment of $59. Like other recovery apps, the free trial will scan for lost files but not recover them.

7. Syncios iOS Data Recovery

Syncios iOS Data Recovery is another promising data recovery application for iPhones. It’s not quite as fast as the leading apps above, and existing users seem reasonably satisfied. Read my full review.

Although there are versions of Syncios for Mac and Windows, the current Mac version won’t work with recent versions of macOS. The Windows version is easy to use and will scan your iPhone in five easy steps. Quite some 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

Syncios is another app I haven’t thoroughly tested, and current users seem moderately satisfied with it. For example, Trustpilot gave it a rating of 3.5 stars [2] while CNET gave it 3.7 stars [3].

I did do a quick scan of my 128 GB iPhone 12 mini. That took two hours, which is twice as long as the fastest two competitors reviewed above.

The official website states that the normal price for SynciOS Data Recovery is $69.95, but it has been reduced to $39.95 for quite some time. It costs the same for both the Windows and Mac versions, but be aware that the Mac version only works on older versions of macOS that support 32-bit applications.

Guide to Choosing a Data Recovery Tool for iPhones

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

How Is Data Recovery Possible?

Data recovery is possible because when you delete an item from your iPhone, the data is not actually removed. It’s simply marked as deleted so that iOS knows that the space is now available.

In time, it will eventually be overwritten by new information. That means when you lose data, it’s best to act quickly.

Unfortunately, if your data has already been overwritten by new files, there’s no way for you to recover it. Unless you previously made a backup, it is gone forever.

iPhone Data Recovery Is not Guaranteed

Data recovery is never guaranteed, and iPhone data recovery seems particularly problematic when compared with recovering data from Windows and Mac computers.

On the desktop, I was able to recover all recently deleted files with most applications. That’s not my experience when scanning iPhones for lost data.

I scanned my iPhone for six deleted items and the best result I achieved was 50%. That’s disappointing and is an important warning that you shouldn’t set your expectations too high.

However, that’s only part of the story. Besides the files I was looking for, each app also located thousands of other lost files. Perhaps I was just unlucky and you will have more success.

These Recovery Apps Run on Your Computer, not Your Phone

It may surprise you that iPhone data recovery applications don’t run on your phone. They run on your computer and scan your iPhone via a USB cable.

Most applications offer versions for both Windows and Mac, but there are a few exceptions. For example, at this time, the current Windows version of Disk Drill won’t scan your phone for lost data—you have to use the Mac version. This functionality will be added to the Windows version soon.

Another exception is SynciOS Data Recovery. While it offers both Windows and Mac versions, the Mac version is out of date. It’s a 32-bit application, which means it won’t run on the most recent versions of macOS. That makes it useless for most current Mac owners.

Choose a Tool That Suits Your Budget and Experience

You don’t need to be a genius to recover lost data. Almost all iPhone data recovery applications are designed for users without a lot of technical expertise. They allow you to scan for lost data in just a few simple steps.

Also, consider the cost of each tool. How strict is your budget? I’m not aware of a free app that’s worth using, so the tools I recommend in this roundup cost money. Their prices range between $60 and $100, and some are one-off purchases while others are ongoing subscriptions.

Fortunately, they all allow you to scan for lost data for free. You only need to pay for the software once you can see that your lost data has been found.

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

Each app scans only for specific types of data. Make sure the app that you choose supports the right types. If not, it won’t even be looking for your lost items.

For example, most iPhone data recovery apps scan for contacts, notes, and calendar appointments, but very few scan for books, FaceTime Messenger chats, or WeChat data.

But be warned that just because an app will scan for that type of data, it doesn’t mean it will find it. While most apps scan for calendar data, I wasn’t able to recover a deleted appointment with any of the apps I tested.

Consider How Long Are You Willing to Wait

Data recovery takes time, and sometimes a great deal of it. How much time do you have?

Some applications scan more quickly than others, and phones with less storage will be scanned quicker than phones with lots of storage.

Note that a slower scan doesn’t guarantee better results. For example, Tenorshare UltData performed the fastest scan while achieving results as good as any other app.

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. It executes its scans faster than any of its competitors while achieving results that are just as good. It also scans for more data types than any other application. For example, it’s the only one that scans for FaceTime calls.

I also had the same level of success with Disk Drill, EaseUS MobiSaver, and Wondershare Dr.Fone. Keep in mind that their scans were slower and they scan for fewer types of data.

Maximize your chance of success by using several tools. The free trial version of each will show you if your lost files can be found. If not, move on to the next application until you have success.

References