How To Recover Data From A Dead Phone

Accidentally killing your phone can obviously be heartbreaking - especially if you have owned the cute little thing for quite a while and many lovely memories are associated with it. However, you could be especially distraught if that device contained precious data.

Such data could include photos of your wedding day or child when they were a baby. Alternatively, it could be that work-in-progress novel you hoped would make you a bestselling author, or intricate notes for that next invoice you were about to send.

Whatever the data, you might be eager to know how to recover data from a dead phone. Here are some avenues that are worth exploring.

Was the data backed up?

Even if your repeated attempts to get the phone working again come to nothing, you could find that the data was backed up to an external source you can still access. That source could be your PC when you synchronised the phone with it, or a cloud service like iCloud or Google Drive.

It's worth double-checking, as you may have inadvertently agreed to automatic backups when you were initially setting up your phone. If you did, recovering the data can be straightforward.

Do you see on a PC?

If you have scoured all of the places where that data could possibly have been backed up, then things get trickier. It's possible that when you connect your supposedly dead phone to your PC, the PC still recognises it, treating it like a USB flash drive that you have just plugged in.

In the event of this being the case for you, it might not be too hard for you to retrieve the data, provided that you use a built-in file explorer tool to click through to the device and then your data.

What if I still can't find the data?

In this situation, it looks like you have no option other than to rescue that data straight from the phone itself. Should you take a damaged device into a repair shop for inspection, you could discover that it is only the battery that has actually died. In that case, having the battery replaced could enable you to return to using the phone just like you had done before.

Sadly, there remains a chance that your phone could be repaired to the extent that a PC can recognise it again, but not to such an extent that you can see your data - perhaps because the phone was wiped clean during the repair process. In the event of this, you might still be able to salvage something by using what is called data recovery software, which is intended for use in recovering what has just been deleted.

How does data recovery software work?

Typically, on a modern type of storage drive, a file isn't entirely gone once it is deleted; what has instead happened is that the space has been designated as free for something else that could soon arrive. You should therefore act quickly to recover the file before something genuinely replaces it.

Data recovery software takes advantage of this peculiarity. You can benefit from installing such software on a desktop computer that can detect the phone. The options for Windows users include the well-regarded Recuva, DMDE and PhotoRec, while Mac users should seriously consider Disk Drill, MiniTool Mac Data Recovery, and Prosoft Data Rescue.

Once you have installed one of these pieces of software, you can use it to scan your phone and see if recently-deleted but recoverable files can be detected. If scanning with one program doesn't bring up the data you want, try another program.

If that coveted data does show up, you can see whether the software can successfully rebuild it. However, before initiating that rebuilding, you should close any other software that is open and restore the data to somewhere different to its original location. Both of these moves can help to prevent the data getting overwritten and so jeopardising the recovery effort.

Do Androids dream of recovered data?

If the desktop-focused data recovery software doesn't work, you could try such software that is intended specifically for use with your type of phone - whether it be an Android device or an iPhone. This software could be more useful if you have the former, as we will explain.

You will, however, need your Android device to be rooted. The precise method for rooting an Android phone can depend heavily on the model, so we will resist detailing any specific methods here. To get underway with the recovery process, install something like EaseUS Android Data Recovery or Fonepaw Android Data Recovery to your desktop computer.

If the data was saved to a memory card, a rooted device won't be necessary; just attach the card to your computer before using one of the aforementioned desktop-specific software products.

How to recover data from a dead iPhone

On your desktop computer, you could also install programs for bringing back data from an iPhone; this software includes dr.fone iPhone Data Recovery. However, due to how locked-down the iOS file system is, this software can access only particular kinds of data.

For that reason, if the specific data you want doesn't fall into any of those categories, you might have to accept that the data is gone for good...unless you can turn to a data forensics expert who can utilise an alternative solution.

Of course, if you do succeed in rescuing the data, there would still be the question of what to do about the dead phone. Having it replaced cost-effectively can be easier when you have the right insurance policy in place – and finding the right such policy can be easier when you turn to ourselves here at Protect Your Gadget!

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