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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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Is there any way to get back data from an iphone 4s after it

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Is there any way to get back data from an iphone 4s after it got into recovery mode and is restored? I was trying to backup when it went into recovery mode.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX self-employed tech, and I'm offering my time in good faith today to provide advice and information.

Where you backing up via iTunes or iCloud?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi. I was about to backup, when the phone went into recovery mode, so i have no backup. I actually just want my voice memos, and my contacts.

Okay, was iCloud enabled previously?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Well, it was but when I checked it after this issue, turns out iCloud hadn't backed up my phone in a while. I'm told it's because I never set-up the frequency/schedule of the backup, so I think it did it just once. There's not much on there. Also, it doesn't look like iCloud backs up things like voice memos...?

Actually, I was thinking of Contacts specifically. iCloud should have been syncing those regardless of how often it backed up.

Have you re-enabled iCloud since the restore?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry for the confusion, but I actually haven't done the "Restore" yet, because the dialogue box warned me that all data would be lost after restoring the phone. So, I've just been doing without a phone for now, while I research whether there's a way to get the data from the phone while it's in recovery mode, or, whether I just need to do the restore, and then retrieve the deleted data afterwards..... If there is a way to get all my contacts info, that's great, but I'm mainly concerned about getting back my voice memos.... fyi, my phone's not jailbroken.

Ahhh, I see. I'm assuming you have the normal "connect to iTunes" image on the display or similar and once you are here then there are no real end user options for recovery from the device at this point.

You can check to see if your contacts made it to iCloud by logging in via website, however:

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I've already checked iClouds and the contacts are old, so it hadn't backed up in a long time.


I was looking for some information about how to manually extract the data from the iPhone somehow, or whether this product called an iPhone recovery stick could help. Are you familiar with either of these options?

Hmm, with iCloud you have syncing and you also have backing up, two distinct processes. The syncing should have been automatic if iCloud was enabled but given the condition of the phone now we will never know the cause.

I'm not intimately familiar with the iRS but my understanding is that the iPhone still has to be running normally at the time of use.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like the recovery stick can retrieve deleted data. So if I do the "restore" on my iphone, which would delete all my data, do you know if the recovery stick would be able to retrieve the lost data?

That would be reliant on a lot of unknown variables.

A restore pushes a lot of data onto the phone, including the operating system. The iRS could, theoretically, retrieve data afterwards but it would have to be from areas that had not been overwritten during the restore.

So, you may be able to recover data but it may not necessarily be the data you want.

If you decide to go that route, I would be prepared to do it immediately after the restore to give yourself the best chance.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok, thanks for that info. I still need to decide whether I want the partial data back, whether to buy the recovery stick, etc.

You are very welcome!

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry, one last question. So, as far as you know, there's no way to "open" up the iPhone 4s and take out the data when it's stuck in this recovery mode, such as with some kind of software, or by taking the phone in to some repair shop?

There are companies and products that you may investigate but you would likely be looking at several hundred dollars or more with no guarantee from many of them.

Some traditional data recovery service companies have branched out into these devices and they customize their quotes/prices per customer. I can't offer a personal testimonial for any of them but a good search should turn up numerous options, including;

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