The iPhone Data Recovery software can function in one of three ways. It can recover data directly from your iPhone when it’s plugged into your computer, recover data from an iTunes backup file, or recover data from your iCloud backups if logged in.
We reviewed the software to determine if it’s as good as it claims to be at recovering lost information. You can get Tenorshare’s iPhone Data Recovery as a free trial or for $49.95 on Windows and $59.95 on Mac.
Supported Apps for Recovery
A quick note before we get into the process: Tenorshare supports a pretty wide array of apps and services on iOS for its retrieval of data. That list includes stock apps as well as some third-party apps too:
Messages and attachments
Notes and attachments
Third-party app documents
Recover from iOS Device
The recovery process directly from your iPhone or iPad isn’t much different from a tethered sync. Open the Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery application and then connect your iOS device to your computer. The software will recognize the device and prompt you to scan for files and data with recovery potential.
The scanning process took about 20 minutes for me, but your experience may differ. I found out once the scan completed this was likely due to the thousands of recovered photos. Unfortunately, the scan wasn’t able to recover anything else — no browsing history, no messages, no videos, nothing of the sort.
Note: Even though that recovering data directly from your iOS device is the first option to present itself, I had the least amount of success with this option. If you’re really trying to dig into the archives, you’re better off using one of the backup scans as noted below.
Recover from iTunes Backup
If you frequently back up your iPhone to iTunes, this is the option you should probably take for recovering lost data. If you never do, you won’t get much out of it. Skip to the iCloud backup section below.
Clicking the middle tap in the iPhone Data Recovery app offers the ability to restore data from a previous iTunes backup. The software searches your entire computer for backup files. Then you choose one to scan for data and click Start Scan.
I had only backed up through iTunes moments before starting this scan, so understandably the app quickly communicated to me that there was essentially nothing to recover. But again, if you back up frequently, you’ll have more success.
Recover from iCloud Backup
As a nightly iCloud backup user, Tenorshare’s iPhone Data Recovery worked best for me on this setting. It does require that you enter your Apple ID and password so it can log into your account, but once in it found several old backups. I picked out one from September 2015.
After selecting what I wanted to search for and scanning for a couple of minutes, the app found calls, contacts, notes, browsing history and photos.
The data presented was quite comprehensive. Browsing history includes URLs, call history includes everything from contact name to type and duration and notes include the full text without even restoring.
That’s where the fun ends on the free trial, though. To actually restore any data, you need to upgrade to the paid version for Mac or PC. The free trial just pulls all of it out of the archives.
Verdict: Effective, if Pricey
Tenorshare was extremely intuitive, taking just one click to scan and retrieve old files. The interface is easy to navigate and the files found are presented in a clear and organized manner.
That said, you have to be really longing for something you deleted to justify paying at least $49.99 for the software. That’s definitely on the expensive side so it really comes down to you and your priorities. But if you do need a solid app that can deliver on its promise to find old data, Tenorshare UltData does the trick.