How to Restore an iPhone? Data Recovery from Mobile Phones

We have been dedicated to data recovery from Apple, Android, and other mobile phones for a long time, specializing in cases that regular services cannot handle. How to restore an iPhone? Take advantage of our free diagnostics.


Data recovery from mobile phones and tablets - Android, Apple and more

Whether it's a device failure, user error, or mechanical damage, we handle both simpler and more complicated cases that others could not handle. We offer data recovery for Android, Apple and other devices.


Guide Contents:

Do you have a broken, twisted, or drowned mobile phone? Sometimes the hardware or software of the phone can fail due to a manufacturing defect and suddenly your photos, contacts and other content become inaccessible. Recovery of accidentally deleted photos and other data may not be straightforward for mobile phones. We also receive phones after previous interventions by another service that did not manage to recover data, or after unprofessional lay interventions. Data recovery from mobile phones is a specialized field that requires many years of practice, professional knowledge, endless patience, and a bit of alchemy. We are here to help you solve these problems and recover your valuable data.

What you should do in case of mobile phone failure - first important steps

  • Stay calm.
  • A phone dropped in water requires immediate action - proceed here.
  • Avoid amateur attempts at data recovery.
  • Contact us - +420 608 177 773

Estimated price list, symptoms, causes, and procedures according to the type of damage to the mobile phone

Electronics failure, phone won't start

Mobile phone electronics failure can be caused by a manufacturing defect, humidity, fall, impact, use of non-original parts or accessories, or unprofessional intervention. Sometimes the defect is relatively easy to solve, other times a complete reconstruction of the motherboard is necessary. More information about mobile phone electronics errors and their impact on data recovery can be found here.

Estimated price: 2,500 - 18,000 CZK
More information about defects in mobile phone electronics
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Mechanical damage

Fall, impact, broken display, bent body of the entire device… Mechanical damage can also be caused by unprofessional procedure. The problem is sometimes solvable by replacing the display, other times a complicated intervention is necessary. The issue is discussed in more detail here. For a more accurate identification of the defect and the possibilities of data recovery, take advantage of our free and non-binding diagnosis.

Estimated price: 3,000 - 18,000 CZK
More information about mechanical damage to mobile phones, its causes, recommendations
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Water Damage, Drowned Phone

In case of moisture intrusion into the mobile phone, it is important not to hesitate. Turn off the phone and, if the phone construction allows, remove the battery. Under no circumstances try to charge or turn on the phone.

The speed of the next steps can play a significant role. The faster you entrust us with the phone for diagnosis, the more likely you are to prevent extensive oxidation and serious damage.
If you hesitate, contact us for a free consultation.

Estimated price: 3,000 - 18,000 CZK
More information about phone damage caused by water, possible consequences, and how to prevent them
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Failure after Update

Did the phone report full memory before failure, but it should not have been full? Contact us.

The mobile phone does not boot, does not turn on, or remains "stuck" at startup after attempting to update. It could be a simpler software defect, but the cause could also be damage to the memory chip or failure of another hardware part of the phone. You can try basic procedures yourself, however, increased caution is needed and do not experiment! If you need help, contact us.

Estimated price: 2,500 - 18,000 CZK
More information, DIY solution options, what to avoid
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Phone/Tablet gets "stuck" at startup

Did the phone report full memory before failure, but it should not have been full? Contact us.

A "phone freeze" at startup could be a consequence of the above-mentioned failure after update, but it could also be the result of phone hardware failure or another software error. You can try data recovery yourself, but be careful and do not experiment!

Estimated price: 2,500 - 18,000 CZK
More information, DIY solution options, what to avoid
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Deleted Data

Recovery of deleted data from current mobile phones often poses a significant or insurmountable problem. Current versions of operating systems (Android, iOS, and others) may have a recycle bin for deleted data, similar to what we know from computers. As a first step, therefore, check the bin. If you do not find the data in the bin, then the chances of recovery are already small. More information about what the phone internally does with deleted data and what you can try yourself can be found here.

Estimated price: from 1,500 CZK
More information, DIY data recovery options, what to avoid
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Data Recovery from Device Memory Card

Data recovery from SD cards and other types of memory cards has its own section. To recover data from memory cards of all types and brands, continue here.

Phone Reset to Factory Settings

When a factory reset is performed, i.e., resetting the phone to factory settings, it is not just the data that gets deleted, but most importantly, the master key, the main key to encrypted user data, is reset. Apple and Android store the master key differently, but with current devices, the result is the same - data is completely devalued and subsequently completely erased.

For current devices, all user data is internally encrypted. Often, even data stored on the SD card in the device (if the user has enabled content encryption). More information about the encryption of mobile phones and tablets content is here. Generally speaking, after resetting the phone to factory settings, the data is unrecoverable. If your mobile phone is of an older manufacturing date or if you want to learn more about the issue, continue here.

Estimated price: contact us
More information - phone/tablet reset to factory settings
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Forgotten PIN, Password, Gesture

For all current devices, a forgotten PIN is a problem that does not have a simple solution, or rather the problem may currently be unsolvable. Data in the device is internally encrypted, and the PIN or other user password is part of the key.

For all modern devices, a forgotten PIN is a problem that does not have a simple solution. In most cases, it can happen that the problem will be unsolvable. Data is internally encrypted in the device, and the PIN or other user password is part of the encryption key.

For older devices and some modern devices with Android OS, it is possible to access data even in case of a forgotten PIN, but the options are limited. For more information click here.

Estimated price: contact us
More information - data recovery from phone - forgotten PIN
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Other Failures

Specific user or application error, the consequence of improper root/jailbreak application, battery damage, the consequence of high temperatures... Faults and problems that do not fall into another category.

Estimated price: from 1,500 CZK
More information - other failures of mobile phones and tablets
Free diagnosis, consultation, pickup

Electronics Failure, Phone Does Not Start

The term "mobile phone electronics" is very general. Inside smartphones, there is a motherboard (PCB), which contains the most important components of the phone, such as NAND flash memory and the processor (CPU). Apple phones differ from most others in the complexity of their design, and their PCBs are equipped with several additional, unique components for the device. Without these components, it is not possible to recover user data.

From the perspective of mobile phone data recovery, these components are the most important. Along with the user's password (PIN, gesture...) they form the key to the data. Other components of the mobile phone are replaceable, but if these key components are damaged, it can mean a significant problem.

The above applies to current devices, which represent the majority of our orders. Below you will find more details about Android and iOS operating systems since their introduction, data encryption has been integrated as standard. Use our free diagnostics to determine the possibilities of data recovery from your mobile phone or tablet.

The causes of PCB (electronics) damage can vary - from manufacturing defects, through moisture to mechanical damage. Sometimes an apparently unrelated component, such as an audio chip, wifi module, camera, or speaker, can affect the overall functionality of the device. Other times, a short circuit in the main power circuit can cause a problem, which may require complex and extensive repairs to identify and remove the main defect.

Photo of open Android + open iPhone

Phones with Android system are very widespread and there are many brands and types. This brings a wide range of different modifications and technological solutions, which need to be dealt with in the case of serious electronic defects. The method of data recovery also varies depending on the Android system version. From Android 5.0 Lollipop (released in 2014), user data in the phone can be internally encrypted, from Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015) data is encrypted by default in all devices with OS Android. The key to them is a combination of PIN and Master Key, which is stored in the secure zone (TrustZone) in the processor (CPU). This fact directly affects and limits the possibilities of data recovery from Android mobile phones with seriously damaged electronics. Data recovery from such devices is largely a work with the phone's hardware and software, and cannot be done without knowledge of this field and professional equipment.

Internal phone encryption is described in more detail here.

Apple phones with the iOS system are, as is usual with this manufacturer, more complex (compared to Android). On the other hand, it is still a single manufacturer, so data recovery procedures and work with the device's hardware are more unified. With older devices (iPhone 3G) with iOS 3 and lower, the device data was not encrypted, and if at least the device's memory chip was in order, it was possible to recover the data. However, iPhone 3GS with iOS 4 and higher brings internal data encryption, which is usually not a major obstacle assuming the user knows the password (PIN). This is valid up to iOS 8, where file-level encryption (File-Based Encryption, FBE) was introduced for the first time. The first devices with iOS 8 were iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but iPhone 4s and newer could be updated to iOS 8 and thereby activate this encryption.

Photo of one or 2 properly disassembled iPhones

Newer devices have encryption methods that combine multiple elements in the device, and these together form the password to unlock user data. Data recovery from these Apple devices thus becomes a combination of complex work at the hardware and software level.

Internal phone encryption is described in more detail here.

Take advantage of our free consultation, diagnostics, pickup
Price list for data recovery after electronics failure

Mechanical Damage to the Mobile Phone

Dropping the phone, impact, device bent or even run over by a car, or phone damaged as a result of unprofessional interventions - these are typical cases of mechanical damage to mobile phones that we encounter. In less serious situations, the problem can be resolved by replacing the display or less complicated repair. In worse cases, however, a complete reconstruction of the phone's electronics is often required. Regardless of the degree of damage, to recover data it is essential that the key components remain functional - NAND flash memory (contains user and system data), processor (CPU) and, in Apple devices, the NFC chip and EPROM. In older mobile phones, data can be read directly from the memory chip. This option, however, ended with the advent of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, or iOS 8.0, around the turn of 2014/2015.

Cracked screen is a very common cause of data inaccessibility. Without a screen, it is not possible to enter the PIN or gesture, allow the phone to communicate with the computer, and data cannot be backed up. Many current phones have glued construction and replacing the screen yourself without the proper equipment and experience is complicated and risky. Even if the phone is only screwed together, unprofessional procedure when replacing the screen can lead to complicated data recovery. You can find out more about possible problems with screen replacement here.

Photo of Android and Apple with a cracked screen

Do not try to straighten a bent phone. Inside the device is the electronics (PCB), which is multilayer and has various chips and other components soldered onto it. Bending the device can cause serious damage to the PCB and attempts to straighten the device can worsen the problem. Use our free diagnostics.

 Photo of a bent MT

Unprofessional intervention can cause serious mechanical damage to the device. Sometimes it takes very little. Especially with Apple phones, many different types and lengths of screws are used. Using a longer screw in the wrong place can cause serious damage to the motherboard (PCB) when tightening. Motherboards are multi-layered and such type of damage makes motherboard repair impossible and the phone is for write-off. If you need to recover data, it means a complete reconstruction of the device using a new (service) motherboard, onto which all important components such as CPU (processor), RAM (operating memory), NAND flash memory (data storage), NFC (in Apple) and EEPROM (in Apple) need to be soldered. Some of the mentioned components are layered and in addition to soldering, they are also chemically fixed. This is already such a complicated procedure that only a few companies in the Czech Republic deal with it.

Mechanically damaged MB iPhone after using the wrong screw - Thai dealt with photos are
The complexity of the procedure - multipin chips and their soldering

Above, we gave one example of possible device damage by unprofessional intervention. Of course, there are many other ways that unprofessional intervention can complicate and increase the cost of data recovery. If you do not want to lose valuable data from the device, entrust the phone to professionals. You have the opportunity to use our free consultation and diagnostics.

Take advantage of our free consultation, diagnostics, pickup
Price list for data recovery after mechanical damage to the phone/tablet

Water Damage, Drowned Phone

A drowned phone and water inside the device doesn't necessarily mean fatal consequences for user data, if the device owner reacts properly and quickly. Subsequent oxidation of the phone components has a significantly bigger impact on data recovery possibilities. If your mobile companion isn't waterproof (otherwise, you probably wouldn't be reading this) and it was damaged by liquid, i.e., most often by falling into a bathtub, toilet, pond…, it's advisable to seek professional help immediately. Many of today's smartphones do not allow the battery to be easily removed, and aside from removing the SIM card and memory card, the user's options for proper drying of the liquid are quite limited. If possible, turn off the phone and do not try to charge it or turn it on.

3x Photos of internal oxidation in the device

Those who wait will experience more extensive damage. Oxidation in the device can gradually damage various chips on the motherboard as well as the motherboard itself, and data recovery from a mobile phone can become significantly more complicated.

Free phone diagnostics, pickup, consultation
Price list for data recovery from a water/oxidation damaged device

Failure after OS update / phone freezes at startup

These two problems can sometimes be related, and some data recovery procedures are the same. It could be a hardware error of the device, which you cannot fix by yourself. Sometimes it's a software error, and then a "home data recovery" could be a solution.

Failure after an operating system (OS) update is a common problem that our customers come to us with. A mobile phone or tablet is a small computer, and regular updates to the operating system (most often Android or iOS) are almost a necessity. In an ideal case, everything happens automatically, the user only minimally intervenes in the update process. However, not everything always goes according to plan and the phone stops communicating with the user, user data becomes inaccessible.

The phone/tablet gets "stuck on the logo" at startup. This may be a situation after an incorrect OS update, but it can also happen without an apparent cause.

In a better case, the user has backed up important data, in a worse case, something also failed here, and it is necessary to find a way to recover data from the mobile phone or tablet.

■ What you can try yourself ■ UpdateFailureSelfMade ■ … to be added later, I am writing a separate article about hard reset …
When to rather entrust your device to professionals
Did the phone/tablet report full memory before failing, even though there was no reason for it?

■ UpdateFailureSelfMade ■
What you can try yourself … to be added later, I am writing a separate article about hard reset. Complete this section…

Try restarting the device. It may not necessarily be a fatal error, and the device may start working normally after the restart, completing the update. However, the device probably cannot be restarted in the usual way and will require a hard reset (forced restart, force restart). This process ends all running tasks and may enable the device to function as expected, allowing the update to be repeated and completed.

This method of restart can differ among manufacturers and may also vary among different types of phones of a particular brand. For Android phones, this usually involves pressing a combination of the power button + one of the volume up/down buttons. For iPhones, it's a combination of the power and home buttons, or the volume and power buttons. More information about hard reset can be found in the article Hard reset of Android and Apple mobile phone/tablet. Will it help with data recovery?

For Android, it's good to try to clear the cache (intermediate memory, quick buffer) in recovery mode. The cache is the memory where the phone/tablet stores the most frequently used data for quick access. Web browsers, for example, speed up their operation in a similar way. A mistake in the temporary data stored in the cache can prevent the phone/tablet from starting correctly.

More detailed information about clearing the cache in recovery mode can be found in our article on how to clear the cache on an Android phone or tablet

Updating the iOS operating system is an option offered by Apple, or the iPhone or iPad as a possible solution to the problem of starting the device. Pay close attention to the process and always read warnings carefully. There is an option to try to solve the problem while keeping your data, but also an option that results in data loss, which is resetting the device to factory settings. If you reset the device to factory settings, all data will be lost! More on recovering deleted data can be found here.

Try third-party app solutions. Some third-party apps offer possible solutions if your phone or tablet is having issues after an update attempt. The described methods of performing a hard reset, clearing the cache, updating iOS, and using the applications listed below only solve problems that are at the software level. If the phone's hardware fails, then it is necessary to seek help from a company specializing in mobile phone and tablet data recovery. Contact us, we have extensive experience in the field.

Apple: Wondershare Dr.Fone, Tenorshare UltData
Android: Sand Studio AirDroid, UltFone

Don't you have data backed up in cloud storage? This option is probably the first that comes to mind, and only then other solutions are sought, so we list it here last. If none of the mentioned procedures worked and there's no data to be found in the cloud, it's probably necessary to turn to specialists for mobile phone and tablet data recovery. Contact us, we will discuss the problem and try to solve your data loss issue.

When to Leave the Device to Professionals

If you've tried the procedures mentioned above and the phone still won't boot properly, or if you're unsure about the procedure or simply don't want to experiment with your phone, don't hesitate to contact us.

Especially if your phone was behaving unusually before it failed, such as reporting full memory when there was no reason to do so, then recovering data from the phone or tablet is already a job for a specialized service - a company that deals with questions like "how to restore photos from the phone?" and similar issues on a daily basis.

Photo of a device with error messages

Never attempt to solve a data access problem by factory resetting your device! Although you'll find a lot of information online suggesting that data recovery from a phone/tablet after a factory reset is possible, and you can even purchase software that allegedly does this, the reality is that with current devices, this step leads to the irreversible deletion of data. More information can be found here.

Recovery of Deleted Data from Mobile Phones: Often an Insoluble Problem

Mobile phones use NAND flash memory as storage, which has many advantages, but also disadvantages (especially when it comes to recovering deleted data). One of the disadvantages is the method of deleting data, or rather the functions controlled by the device and operating system, which the user cannot influence. Another obstacle in recovering deleted data is encryption, which is enabled in the device, and this function also cannot be influenced by the user. Therefore, if your device was not manufactured in 2012 or earlier and is not equipped with Android 4.4, iOS 7 or older.

The answer to the question "how to recover deleted photos from the phone?" or "how to recover deleted contacts in the phone?" may not be what the user would like to hear.

Factors Influencing the Recovery of Deleted Data from a Mobile Phone

Data encryption in mobile phones almost certainly prevents the recovery of deleted data from Android version 7 and iOS 8 onwards. From these versions, file-based encryption (FBE) is implemented. This method of data encryption uses a unique key for each file and when the file is deleted, its key is also discarded. Regardless of what happens to the encrypted data afterward, the deleted file is irretrievable. You can read more about data encryption in mobile phones here.

Trim - the write accelerator and destroyer of deleted data: Even if your device does not have active file-level data encryption, the Trim function can take care of its data. The primary purpose of this function is not the destruction of deleted data but to speed up the future writing of new data. NAND flash storage, which is found in all current phones and tablets, allows for fast writing and reading of data. However, deleting and overwriting existing data is not as fast. Therefore, the Trim function was created, which takes care of deleted data when the device is inactive.

A more detailed description of internal functions and procedures: NAND memory consists of memory cells, which represent the smallest unit of a memory chip. Groups of memory cells form pages, which are grouped into blocks. Blocks are organized into planes, and these planes are placed on a die. A group of dies forms a NAND chip. Sounds complicated, right?

Image of NAND die - plane - block - page - cell
Image of cells - pages - blocks - how writing and reading are performed... done for memory cards
Photo detailing NAND in Android and Apple

Writing and reading data occurs at the page level, but changing, overwriting, or deleting data happens at the block level. Because a block contains multiple pages (usually 32 - 64) and only entire blocks can be deleted, the memory chip controller has to deal with the data in the block that is alongside the data to be deleted, but is still valid. The controller moves the valid data to another block and marks their original location for deletion. This is taken care of by the Garbage Collection function. Deleting data from a block is technologically and time-consuming than writing data, so the controller (in cooperation with the mobile phone's operating system) delegates blocks marked for deletion to the Trim function. Trim's job is to not burden the mobile phone (tablet, etc.) and to not slow down the user. It performs its activity when the phone is inactive or under specific circumstances. If these circumstances arise, Trim permanently deletes blocks marked for deletion by changing the value of memory cells from 0 to 1, which is essentially their reset. Once the Trim function is performed, the deleted data is irretrievable.

The Trim function is used in all current mobile phones, SSDs, and other media based on NAND memory chips.

eMMC, UFS, and their controller: In the context of recovering deleted data, it's important to note that in the middle and lower class of mobile phones and tablets we find the eMMC type of data storage, while UFS is used in the higher class. Both types of memory storage integrate the NAND chip and controller into one package. The use of eMMC or UFS does not significantly influence the possibility of recovering deleted data. We provide this information for completeness and a better understanding of the entire context of data recovery in mobile devices.

Price list for recovering deleted data from mobile phones
Consultations, diagnostics, transportation

Phone Reset to Factory Settings: Generally, Data Recovery Chances are Zero

Until around 2012, data in mobile phones and tablets was stored similarly to flash drives or SD cards. After their deletion or restoring the phone to factory settings, there was a reasonable chance of recovering the data. From a data security perspective, this was not an ideal solution because unauthorized subjects (thieves, new device owners, etc.) could access the data even when a PIN was used or the phone was reset to factory settings. If your request for data recovery from a mobile device concerns a device from 2012 or older, please continue here.

Android from version 7.0 and iOS 8 introduce default (user-undeletable) file-level encryption (File-Based Encryption, FBE). This method of data encryption uses a unique key for each file and the key is discarded once the file is deleted. If the phone is reset to factory settings, the master key stored in a designated part of the device's processor is reset, thereby rendering all user data lost/invalid.

Data encryption was actually applied as early as Android 4.4, but only on Samsung devices, or respectively from Android 5.0. Likewise, Apple introduced data encryption in iOS 4. However, until Android 7.0 and iOS 8, encryption methods were imperfect, users could have them turned off and did not use file-level encryption but rather entire data media encryption.

More information about data encryption in mobile phones and tablets can be found here.

The phone further internally processes and prepares the freed space for future use, thereby eliminating traces of the original data. More about these internal functions can be found here.

Forgotten PIN, Password, Gesture

If a user forgets their PIN, password, or gesture for accessing a mobile device, one of the few options to restore access is to use a method called Bruteforce. However, this method can be time-consuming, not always successful, and it has its limits.

"Bruteforce" (also known as "brute force") is a technique used in computer security where we try to guess a password or encryption key. Essentially, the bruteforce method tries all possible combinations of values until it finds the right one. Many devices have security measures against bruteforce attempts, such as delays between unsuccessful attempts or even automatic data deletion after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts.

For some Android OS devices, the so-called "HARD Key" can be used, a technique requiring specific hardware and software and can only be used on some mobile phones, or rather chipsets.

For older devices dated before around 2010-2012, data in the phone's internal memory was stored similarly to flash drives or memory cards. Deleted data or data after being reset to factory settings were often recoverable. However, in the interest of security and more efficient data management, features were implemented into both platforms (iOS and Android) that encrypt data on the memory chip. More information can be found in the section Internal data encryption in mobile phones.

Apple Devices - older phones with iOS 4 or older have very weak or no user data security, so user data access can usually be obtained even without knowledge of the PIN. Theoretically, this is also possible with iOS 5, 6, and 7. From iOS 8, Apple introduced a very robust user data encryption, which is no longer user-selectable, it is always active. The alternative is the Bruteforce method, but it has a small probability of success and can be very time-consuming.

Android Devices - if a user forgets their PIN or gesture, it could mean a significant problem. Until Android 5.0 Lollipop, user data encryption may not be active, or older Android versions mostly do not have it. Android 6.0 Marshmallow, or rather Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat, already encrypt data by default, and a forgotten PIN or password can only be solved on some phones and chipsets using the HARD Key method, or in specific circumstances, the Bruteforce method.

Other Failures

Specific User Error - every user can make a mistake - whether inadvertently or through inconsiderate action. This can lead to many different problems, including data loss.

Installation of Unverified Software - installing software outside of official app sources and sometimes strange applications that can harm even sneak into the official source. This software may contain hidden malware or other harmful code, which can cause issues with the device's functioning, including operating system faults that can lead to data loss.

Non-updated Software - Ignoring system and application updates can lead to problems with stability and security. Older software versions may contain bugs that can cause random behavior, including data loss.

Improper Device Handling - physical damage to the device, such as falls, impacts, or leaving the device in places with high temperatures or humidity, can also lead to data loss.

Manipulation with System Files - users who attempt to manually manipulate system files without appropriate knowledge can cause serious issues, which can lead to system instability or data loss.

Incorrect Application of Root/Jailbreak - rooting (for Android) or jailbreaking (for iOS) can provide users with more control over their device, but also poses risks. If incorrectly applied, it can cause serious problems, including data loss. This issue is discussed more in the section Root, Jailbreak, Unlocked Bootloader.

Battery Damage - can lead to various problems, from the device discharging quickly to the device not turning on at all.

High Temperatures - if the device is exposed to high temperatures, internal components can be damaged, which may result in data loss.

Jailbreak, Root, Unlocked Bootloader

Jailbreaking, rooting, and unlocking the bootloader are methods that allow users to gain advanced permissions for controlling and modifying their devices. Each of these procedures has its advantages and disadvantages, and can affect data recovery options or be the cause for the need for data recovery.

Jailbreak (iOS)

Jailbreaking an iOS device means bypassing restrictions implemented by Apple and allowing the installation of apps and modifications outside of the Apple App Store.

Advantages: Jailbreaking can allow for greater customization, installing applications not available in the App Store, and allows users to modify many system settings and features.

Disadvantages: Like rooting with Android, jailbreaking increases the risk of system damage and data loss if the process fails or if the user carelessly modifies system data. Jailbreaking also typically means a loss of warranty and can increase the device's vulnerability to malicious software.

Root (Android)

Rooting an Android device means gaining "root" access (the highest level of access) to system resources. This allows users to modify system and application settings that are normally inaccessible.

Advantages: Rooting can provide greater control over the device, including the ability to uninstall pre-installed bloatware, improve performance and battery life, and enable the installation of specialized apps and custom ROMs.

Disadvantages: Rooting increases the risk of system damage and data loss. If the process fails or if the user carelessly manipulates system data, it can lead to data damage or "bricking" the device (a state where the device completely stops working). Rooting also typically means a loss of warranty and can increase the device's vulnerability to malicious software.

Unlocking the Bootloader

The bootloader is a program that controls the way the operating system is loaded at the startup of an Android device (does not apply to iOS). Unlocking the bootloader allows the installation of different operating systems or custom ROMs.

Advantages: Unlocking the bootloader allows for greater flexibility and control over the device's software.

Disadvantages: Like rooting and jailbreaking, unlocking the bootloader increases the risk of system damage and data loss. It typically means a loss of warranty and increases the device's vulnerability to malicious software.

As for data recovery, rooting, jailbreaking, and unlocking the bootloader can theoretically help with data recovery as they allow access to system files and memory areas that are normally inaccessible. However, these procedures also increase the risk of data damage, so they should be performed with caution and only by users with advanced knowledge.

Self-recovery of data from mobile phones. Even a novice can try, caution is key and avoid experimenting

Mobile phones have become a common part of our lives and for many of us they serve as mobile offices, cameras, communicators with all sorts of apps, payment cards, and even tools for banking transactions, mapping, etc. We entrust them with valuable data and it is very unpleasant when our helper fails. However, try self-recovery only if you are sure of the procedure, or if the data is dispensable.

The phone seems to be functional, but nothing displays

This could be a display failure, which occurred spontaneously, after a fall or impact. In about 80% of cases, this condition is caused by a display fault, in the remaining 20% by a motherboard fault or another component of the phone. If you are only concerned about the data, one possible solution is to buy a cheap non-original or used display and replace it. However, many devices simply cannot be opened because they are glued, not screwed. A handy do-it-yourselfer will likely be able to handle this. If you have successfully overcome this step, be careful when handling flexible cables, which are used to connect the display and many other parts of the device.

Mark the location of each screw, so that you do not mix up the types of screws during reassembly. There may be multiple types of screws used in the device and if you mix them up, it can lead to serious damage to the motherboard. This warning is especially for iPhone users, but caution is advisable for other brands as well.

If the phone still doesn't work as it should after replacing the display and the data remains inaccessible, contact us.

Recovering data from Android phones

In the case of Android phones, you can use a range of data recovery tools that are available for download on the manufacturer's websites. Popular ones include apps like Dr.Fone, FoneLab or EaseUS MobiSaver. All these applications work on a similar principle - they scan the phone's storage and look for deleted or lost files. All of them can be tried for free and purchased only if they find the lost data on the phone.

Recovering data from Apple mobile phones

For Apple phones, there are many tools available to try to recover lost data. You can download, for example, iMobie PhoneRescue for iOS, Dr.Fone or EaseUS MobiSaver for iOS from the manufacturer's website. All these tools allow you to scan the storage of an iPhone, iPad or iPod and search for deleted or lost files.

However, despite the wide availability of tools for Android and iOS, it's important to be cautious. Always read reviews and terms of use before downloading and installing any app. Also, be aware that the success of data recovery depends on many factors. If you are unsure, contact us.

Phone without an operating system or you are unsure of the type

If you don't know which operating system your phone uses, or if you have a different type of phone, please contact us first. Old types of mobile phones did not use any operating system in the sense of today's devices. They had their own proprietary system that did not allow the installation of apps or attempts to recover inaccessible data in a simple way.

Internal Data Encryption in Mobile Phones

The absence of reasonably functioning data encryption was a problem in mobile phones and tablets up until approximately 2011, or 2013, depending on the operating system, its version, and the manufacturer. These devices also did not come equipped with certain advanced data management features, which could lead to unintended leakage of user data. In cases of loss or theft of the device, it was possible to access the data without knowledge of the user password/PIN. Even after performing a factory reset, it was often possible to access data, which the original user believed had been irretrievably deleted.

Operating system developers and mobile device manufacturers gradually introduced more advanced methods of protecting user data, but in the early stages, not all levels of security functioned flawlessly. Devices with Android version 7.0 and iOS version 8 or higher can be considered secure in this regard.

Android encrypts data from version 5.0, by default from version 6.0, at the file level from version 7.0

  • Until Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean (June 2012), encryption in devices was either absent or not activated by default, and it had vulnerabilities.
  • Android version 4.4 Kitkat (October 2013) in Samsung phones introduced a security platform called Knox. Knox provided an additional layer of security for both personal and business users and included device-level encryption (Full Disk Encryption - FDE). Other brands did not offer a similar feature at that time.
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop (November 2014) introduced Full Disk Encryption - FDE for all devices, however, it was only an optional feature. If encryption is active, this method of encryption is sufficient in terms of data protection after factory resetting and deleting the data.
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015) - Full Disk Encryption - FDE is no longer optional but mandatory and all devices must have encryption activated.
  • Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat (August 2016) - introduced file-level encryption (File-Based Encryption, FBE), which provides better control over the encryption of individual files. The associated feature of limiting access to individual directories allows each application to only access individual directories and not the entire data storage of the phone.

From Android version 6.0, in order to recover data, at least the processor (CPU) and the NAND memory chip must be functional from the defective phone. The key to the data is partially stored in a secure area of the processor and partially formed by the user password (PIN, gesture, etc). For these devices, it can also be almost certainly stated that after performing a factory reset, the data is definitively lost and unrecoverable. The same applies to deleted data, especially from Android version 7.0, which introduced file-level encryption (FBE).

iOS optionally encrypts data from iOS 4, and from version 8 encryption is permanent and at the file level

  • iOS 3 (June 2009) – Apple first flirted with the idea of data encryption implementation in mobile phones. However, the feature was not yet implemented in iOS.
  • iOS 4 (June 2010) – introduced the possibility of hardware encryption at the device level (full-disk encryption, FDE) for iPhone 3GS and newer models. This version included system and user data encryption using a device key (Device UID), which was unique for each iPhone. Encryption was set as an optional feature and for this reason was not considered a secure protection for user data until iOS 8.
  • iOS 5 (October 2011) – introduced further security related to iCloud backups. This version also improved key management and third-party app encryption.
  • iOS 6 (September 2012) brought improvements in privacy protection, such as limiting user tracking through advertising identifiers. In addition, iOS 6 introduced the possibility of encrypting email attachments and iCloud backups using a user password. Although iOS 6 did not introduce significant changes in device-level encryption, it strengthened the protection of user data and privacy.
  • iOS 7 (September 2013) – introduced the Activation Lock feature, which increased protection against loss or theft of the device. Activation Lock in combination with device-level encryption (FDE) further improved user data protection.
  • iOS 8 (September 2014) – brought significant improvements in encryption, including support for file-level encryption (FBE). FBE was introduced along with features such as data protection using Touch ID and Secure Enclave, which increase user data security. FBE allows better control over the encryption of individual files, providing greater protection and granularity in managing data access. Encryption from this version of iOS is now on by default and cannot be turned off. Recovery of deleted data and data after factory resetting the device becomes practically impossible.

From iOS version 8 and higher, data encryption on iPhones and iPads is considered reliable, and data is practically irretrievable after deletion or factory reset. The key to the data is formed by a combination of a user password (known as a passcode, i.e., PIN, password, gesture), UID (Unique ID key) - a unique hardware key, a key in Secure Enclave (an isolated area, part of the CPU), and EEPROM (contains information about the device hardware). From version iOS 8, deleted data or data after factory reset are definitively lost and are not recoverable.

Automatic data encryption in mobile phones thus represents a response to growing demands for user data security. Similar procedures are used by modern computers equipped with cryptographic TPM chips, or T2 in the case of Apple.

FDE - Full-Disk Encryption, FBE - File-Based Encryption - explanation of terms

Data encryption in mobile phones and other types of devices can be divided into two basic categories. Device-level encryption - FDE (Full-Disk Encryption) and file-level encryption - FBE (File-Based Encryption). In mobile devices, FBE, i.e., individual file encryption, began to be used from Android 7.0 and iOS 8, which corresponds approximately to the years 2014 - 2016. This method of data encryption means that each file in the device is encrypted with its unique key, and when such a file is deleted, the corresponding encryption key is also deleted. This makes the file definitively irrecoverable.

In contrast, the older method of device-level encryption, known as FDE (Full-Disk Encryption), encrypts the entire data medium as a whole. This method has proven to be insufficiently effective and efficient for use in mobile devices, and it was quickly abandoned.

Data on the additional SD card can also be encrypted

The phone or tablet allows data encryption on the SD card, and it treats the data the same as data stored in internal memory. In most cases, SD cards are not equipped with advanced data management features (Trim and often not even Wear Leveling), which are mentioned in the Advanced Chip Data Management section. In practice, this means that in case of SD card failure, the data can often be recovered. However, the data is locked with a key from the device in which the card was used, and thus the device itself is necessary for data recovery.

Advanced Chip Data Management - Extends Lifespan, Speeds Up Writing

Wear Leveling ensures even use of memory cells across the entire capacity of the NAND memory chip. NAND chip memory cells have a limited number of write and erase cycles, so the goal of Wear Leveling is to extend the life of the data storage. Wear Leveling becomes more important as manufacturers try to cram as much data as possible into the miniature body of the memory card. Memory chips of the MLC (Multi-Level Cell), TLC (Triple-Level Cell), and QLC (Quad-Level Cell) types are used, which have layered memory cells. One memory cell thus holds 2 - 4 bits, increasing the load on them and reducing their lifespan. Wear Leveling ensures that each memory cell goes through the same number of write and erase cycles, making the lifespan of the memory cells even across the entire media.

Wear Leveling has been implemented in mobile phones roughly since 2010.

Trim - Trimming is a function important for improving the performance of flash memories, specifically speeding up writing. In principle, however, it is not possible to recover data from a mobile after performing this process (trimming - deleting). Mobile phones equipped with TRIM function perform deletion of released (from the OS point of view, deleted) memory blocks continuously. The memory media controller performs trimming independently in the background, at a time when the controller is not burdened with another task. This makes it unnecessary to perform this time-consuming task at the moment when it is necessary to write new data, and the writing process is significantly faster.

The Trim function was implemented in mobile phones roughly around 2012.

Garbage Collection - A process without which NAND memory could not function

Garbage Collection manages the smallest units of NAND flash memory for writing and reading - pages, and the smallest units of NAND flash memory for erasing/reset - blocks. During writing and reading of data, the device (computer, mobile phone...) uses individual pages of the NAND memory chip. However, if data needs to be deleted, the minimum unit that can be deleted is an entire block, which is usually made up of 32 to 64 pages. The Garbage Collection function is tasked with moving pages for future use to empty blocks, so that the block containing pages to be deleted can then be completely erased/reset and fully freed for future use.

Garbage Collection only deals with moving pages; it does not erase the data itself. Garbage Collection thus increases the number of writes to individual memory cells, or rather pages, and thereby reduces their lifespan. Manufacturers therefore use complex algorithms to minimize the number of necessary write/erase cycles. In addition to Garbage Collection, functions like Wear Leveling and Trim, if equipped, can also take care of optimizing the operation of NAND memory media. All these functions are handled by the memory media controller, or rather the firmware that is part of the controller.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

How can I recover data from a mobile phone?

It depends on the extent of the problem. Some issues can be resolved by the user, but if it involves important data, it's better to entrust the phone to professionals. Don't hesitate to use our free consultation and diagnostic services.

Do you recover data from a water-damaged phone?

Yes, but it's not advisable to delay attempts to rescue data from a water-damaged phone. Oxidation can significantly affect the outcome. You can find more information here. Take advantage of our free consultation and diagnostic services.

My phone has suffered physical damage, can you recover my data?

We'll do what's within our power. For a physically damaged phone, it's crucial whether critical components such as the CPU and NAND chip remain intact. You can find more information here. Utilize our free consultation and diagnostic services.

The service center can't repair my phone, can you help me?

Yes, we will attempt to salvage your important data from the mobile device. Regular service centers may not be equipped with advanced technologies for data recovery, and often we are able to address "unresolvable problems" and recover data. Contact us and take advantage of our free consultation and diagnostic services.

From which phones do you recover data?

We recover data from all current and older models with Android or iOS operating systems, but we can also handle other types or very old phones. Contact us and use our free consultation and diagnostic services.

Is it possible to recover an Android system phone?

Yes, recovering an Android system phone is possible. However, it depends on the extent of the problem. Start here or don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and diagnostic.

How to rescue data from an iPhone?

It depends on the cause of data loss from the iPhone, the extent of the problem, damage, and other factors. Always first consult the problem with an expert. Feel free to contact us for a free diagnostic.

Mobile recovery after failure - how to proceed?

Visit the section of the article What you should do in case of mobile phone failure - first important steps. Alternatively, contact us and request a free consultation and diagnostic.

How does the mobile phone recovery process work?

First, we perform a free diagnostic that determines the appropriate data recovery procedure based on the cause of the problem and the state of the phone. More detailed information can be found here.

Is it possible to repair a water-damaged phone?

Sometimes yes, sometimes we focus only on recovering data from the water-damaged phone, not on repair. We can provide more information after conducting a free diagnostic. Contact us.

How can I recover deleted data from a phone?

Deleted data can pose a significant problem. More information can be found in the section Recovery of deleted data from mobile phones.

How can I recover deleted photos from a phone?

Deleted data can pose a significant problem. More information can be found in the section Recovery of deleted data from mobile phones. Utilize our free consultation and diagnostic services.

How do you recover data from mobile phones?

Based on the cause and condition of the phone, we determine the appropriate data recovery procedure. More detailed information can be found here. Alternatively, contact us and request a free consultation and diagnostic.

Are these very sensitive data? We can sign a non-disclosure agreement

Confidentiality and treating data as confidential are a matter of course for us. However, if the nature of the job requires it, or simply if you want to have confidentiality guaranteed contractually, don't hesitate to ask for a non-disclosure agreement.

Have you insured your data? We will issue a confirmation for your insurance company

Have you insured your data? Before confirming the order, we will prepare a "fault confirmation", based on which you can get the data rescue costs approved by your insurance company and then confirm the order.

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From our blog


EXALAB Data Recovery
Microshop s.r.o.
Pod Marjánkou 4
169 00 Praha 6
Česká Republika

Opening hours: 
Monday to Thursday
9.00 - 18.00
Friday 9.00 - 17.30
other opening hours are possible upon agreement

Hotline: +420 608 177 773
Office: +420 233 357 122
E-mail: info@exalab.cz


Hotline: +420 608 177 773
Kancelář: +420 233 357 122
E-mail: info@exalab.cz

Opening hours: 
Monday to Thursday
9.00 - 18.00
Friday 9.00 - 17.30
other opening hours are possible upon agreement

EXALAB Data Recovery
Microshop s.r.o.
Pod Marjánkou 4
169 00 Praha 6
Česká Republika