How to Recover Data from a Dead or Broken iPhone

iPhones are fast, efficient, and sturdy. They are some of the most sought-after and exclusive smartphones in the market today. Taking into account the diverse range of applications and functionalities that they can support, they also become repositories of:

  • Images in various formats
  • HD quality video clips
  • iTunes purchases
  • SMS/text messages
  • WhatsApp data
  • Files and Word documents


Apple devices possess ample processing power and are ideal for multitasking, design savvy users.

However, there is something that can render even a device as robust as an iPhone practically useless – physical trauma. Accidents do happen. Mobiles fall to the floor. Screens crack. And in some cases, the whole device just shuts down or ends up dead.

Losing all critical data in one go is not only highly inconvenient, but it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Is there any solution how to recover data from a dead or broken iPhone especially if backups have not been taken?

Thankfully, there is an answer to this dilemma! Dr. Fone from Wondershare is a unique application that has the capacity of probing the closed iOS of an iPhone and retrieve files even if the device has been badly impacted by a fall or a dunking in the swimming pool.


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Before Going into the Specifics of a Scan, Please Note:

Dr. Fone is compatible with:

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6(s) and iPhone 6(s) Plus
  • iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 4

What will be discussed in this tutorial applies to all the models above.


A scan can’t proceed unless the iPhone is in DFU mode or Device Firmware Upgrade mode. The process of activating DFU involves a sequence of given steps and precise time durations. If you are not aware of how you can enter into this mode, Dr. Fone makes it easier for you by offering a step-by-step animated guide.



Scanning the Dead or Broken iPhone Device for Data Recovery:


Without Dr. Fone, this wouldn’t be possible. But the recovery program renders this seemingly impossible task simple and achievable in just 5 steps.


1.     Connect the damaged phone to a PC or laptop that has Dr. Fone installed on it through its USB cable and launch the program. Don’t worry if the iPhone is completely unresponsive. This will still work.


2.     From the welcome screen, choose the first option – Recover from iOS Device.



3.     Click the green Start Scan button and wait for Dr. Fone to recognize the device make and model.


4.     Once this is done, the actual scanning kicks off. The screen changes to present one that has a progress bar to the top. There are two additional buttons ‘Pause’ and ‘Stop’ that can be used to halt the scan midway or to terminate it prematurely. This is generally leveraged in cases where the iPhone has only a few files worth recovering. Let’s discuss an example to illustrate this further.



The directory to the left of the screen has a large number of nodes. Each node stands for a particular data format and the exact number of files from each category that can be recovered. If you are only looking for images and know for a fact that there are 10 images in the phone, then you can ‘Stop’ the scan as soon as the number next to the node ‘Camera Roll’ reaches 10. You don’t really require any other data and allowing the scan to continue will just take more time.


5.     When the scan completes, a display screen comes on. You can examine the files of various data formats by clicking its appropriate node. Individual files are chosen through checkboxes. Bulk selection can also be made. The search bar to the right allows you to search files by name or keyword. The On/Off slider filters the information on the screen to display only what has been accidentally deleted.




By hitting the blue Recover button, you can save the chosen data directly to the hard disk of the computer. After which, you can reload it to your new or repaired phone.



Two Other Recovery Modes:


Dr. Fone can also retrieve data from iTunes backup files or from iCloud backup files and add them directly to the device body. However, the purpose of this tutorial is to illustrate how to recover data from a dead or broken iPhone in the event that back up has not been consistently taken. If backups are up to date, you can just directly add files from these backup platforms to your new device, even without Dr. Fone.


Dr. Fone makes data recovery from a dead or broken iPhone child’s play!


To summarize the simple process:


1.     Connect the device to a PC/laptop with Dr. Fone installed on it.

2.     Choose the Recover from iOS Device mode.

3.     Initiate the scan and allow it to run its course.

4.     Select the individual files that you need and save them to the hard disk of your computer.



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