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How To Recover Your iPhone Files, Photos, Contacts, Notes, SMS, Call History, Etc.

by Eric Pena on December 2, 2008 · 200 comments

in iPhone,Tutorials

If for some reason, you lost some important information on your iPhone, whether from 3rd party applications, your photos, contacts, notes, SMS, call history, calendar, etc., and doing a restore from iTunes is futile, don’t give up yet! As long as you have performed a backup in iTunes recently, your data is safely tucked away in a database in your computer—but you need another tool that can read and extract the data so you can copy it back to your iPhone.

In case you want to know, your iPhone backups are located in your Mac (~Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup) or on a PC (c:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup).

What You Need

Download and install the following:

DiskAid for Mac or Windows (requires a jailbroken phone to access the Root Folder)
iPhone Backup Extractor for Mac (not sure if there is a Windows equivalent)

Use iPhone Backup Extractor

(1) Open iPhone Backup Extractor

(2) Click Read Backups

(3) Select from Device Name or Date where you want to retrieve your backup data and click Choose.

(4) Select the Application where you want data be restored from or scroll down and select Other Files if you want to restore data from the built-in iPhone apps such as photos, address book, notes, SMS, etc.

In this example, we will extract the Notes backup to our computer so we need to select Other Files.

(5) Click Extract and select a folder where you want to extract the Notes data in your computer (remember this location).

Use DiskAid To Copy Backup Data To iPhone

(6) Connect your iPhone to your Computer.

(7) Open DiskAid.

(8) Click the pull-down at the bottom of the screen where it says Media Folder and select Root Folder (click Go Ahead when a warning window pops up).

For this example, we will recover data from our Notes application.

(9) Click User -> Library -> Notes.

(10) Click the Copy to Device icon above.

(11) Go to the folder where you extracted the Other Files backup files (in step 5) and select “notes.db“.

(12) Click Open.

(13) Click Replace.

(14) Check your iPhone to verify the recovered data.

(15) Do the same for the rest of your data that you want to recover.

Smile! :)

Note: If you want to save and read your iPhone text files (ex. SMS) on your computer, check out my post,
“How To Save and Read Your iPhone Text Messages On Your Computer”.

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  • Marisa

    Hey did you ever find an answer to this? I have the same issue.

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Whittakernigey

    hi i just downloaded back up extracton and paid £15 but when i go to extract files and try to view them all my contact names are there but no numbers?????

  • Cockroach_wilson

    i need windows back up extractor.. can anyone sent it to me? cockroach_wilson@hotmail.com
    PLEASE!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! Retrieved some deleted photos by following this guide.

  • Ilona_briz

    hi…im ilona…pls help me…i connect my iphone 2 da itunes and its automatic turn off.and i plug again 2 itunes…its showing 2 restore..and da problem i cant open da phone…i need all my data..how 2 recover all my data

  • Anonymous

    For you to backup iPhone contacts.You can use iTunes. But you can’t edit them after backup,and you can’t make a password to protect your privacy after your transfer iphone contacts to computer or laptop.
    You can see the guide on Apple official website:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766

    How to backup the iPhone contact and contact’s photo to computer?

    There is another way for you to backup iPhone contacts and SMS at the same time to computer as . txt or .csv file. With iPhone Contacts Backup. If you backup iPhone contacts to PC as .csv. Then you can opern it with excel and edit it. or restore it to Outlook or restore to new iPhone when necessary.

    Download and install the following:
    Cucusoft iPhone Tool Kits (Backup iphone SMS message&contact or other files to computer)
    Free to use in: http://hotdownloads.com/trialware/download/Download_iPhoneToolKits_reg.exe?item=18286-5&affiliate=406676

    iMacsoft iPhone to Mac Transfer(Backup iphone SMS message&contact or other files to Mac)
    Free to use in: http://www.regnow.com/softsell/visitor.cgi?affiliate=406676&action=site&vendor=21335&ref=%20http://www.imacsoft.com/downloads/m-iphone-to-mac-transfer.dmg

    Tansee iPhone Transfer Contact(Backup iphone contact to computer, edit them after backup and make a password to protect your privacy)
    Free to use in: http://hotdownloads.com/trialware/download/Download_tanseeiphonecontact_.exe?item=13181-12&affiliate=406676

  • Keylone

    iPhone to Computer Transfer for Mac is an versatile iPhone to Mac Transfer software can transfer music, movie, photo, ePub, pdf, audiobook, Voice memo, Camera roll (iOS 4 above), ringtone, Podcast, SMS, Contacts and TV Show from iPhone to Mac without using iTunes and transfer files from iPhone to iTunes directly.

    Free download: http://www.regnow.com/softsell/visitor.cgi?affiliate=93306&action=site&vendor=19697&ref=http://www.dvd-video-soft.com/download/iphone-to-computer-transfer-for-mac.dmg

    Guide: How to transfer music, video, photo, ibook, voice memo, ringtone, camera roll from iPhone to Mac?

    http://dvd-video-soft.com/dvdvideoguide/how-to-transfer-and-copy-music-video-photo-ibook-ringtone-camera-roll-from-iphone-to-mac.html

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NUIZ62JIOVJXWRUE6KUHI736PU Joana Scarlett

    I recently updated my iphone 3gs today, to the newest update 4.2 OS on mac i believe it is. Before today when i updated i had NOT synced my iphone. During that time i put in very important crucial notes for my business. Today when i put the phone in to update to the new software, with my current notes which had not been previously synced, itunes did not even ask me what info i wanted to replace or delete or keep as it usually does when syncing or updating. IT just synced automatically. Of course the CURRENT NOTES should of been synced to the back up folder like usual. BUT because it didnt ask me if i wanted to change or update the notes to the current new stuff i added to that note. IT just wrote over it and reverted back to the old NOTE i had in the phone without the updated info i had put into that note. But all other notes were updated except that ONE note where i was storing this crucial info. So weird that the phone would not recognize that i had put it new stuff in that one note, but all other notes were fine. IT just wrote over it like nothing. So now im not sure if its in the back up synced files on my mac. All i did was a simple software upgrade and this is the worst thing that could of happened to me right now. I didnt know it would specifically not leave that one note alone and current to what i had manually typed into the iphone. I dont get it, is there absolutely anything i can do? PLEASE HELP ME, i just need that one note. so important im never syncing my phone again. its ridiculous :(.

  • James

    Mac sucks F*** u

  • Josh

    Do you have to jailbreak your iPhone for this to work?

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Pocha

     Backup SMS from iPhone to computer(Mac & Win)

    1 Backup SMS from iPhone to Windows computer

    With Tansee iPhone Transfer SMS, you can transfer and backup SMS from iPhone to computer as a txt file or a ANTS file and keep them safe. It supports iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

    Tansee iPhone Transfer SMS can provide you:
    * Transfer SMS in iPhone to computer
        * View and Manage iPhone SMS in your computer
        * Password protection support (ANTS file only)
        * Edit iPhone SMS on computer (ANTS file only)
        * Print iPhone SMS on computer (MHT file print by IE)

    Free download and try.

    Info: http://www.backup-iphone-sms.com

    ==

    2 Backup SMS from iPhone to Mac

    iMacsoft iPhone SMS to Mac Transfer, the excellent Mac iPhone SMS transfer software, is specially designed for iPhone users. It can fast transfer, copy, backup iPhone SMS to Mac in Text file format (.txt file) to avoid missing of the valuable messages in case of the full iPhone SMS box.

    Free download HERE.

    More detail: http://www.backup-iphone-sms.com/how-to-transfer-iphone-sms-to-mac.html

  • IphoneRecoveryOnline

    If the above does not work, and you don’t have a useful backup, try this:
    http://iphonerecoveryonline.com/
    Recovers deleted data from AddressBook files automatically. Jailbreak is necessary.

  • Thomasscharrer

    I am a licensed private investigator and I can retrieve any deleted information off of an iPhone even if you have not backed up the phone on itunes. I have in home kits or you can sent the phone to my lab. Call Tom 8 6 6 6 4 0 1 0 1 0.

  • Sean

    To transfer songs, videos, photos, sms, call lists, contacts and ibooks etc from iPhone to computer for backup? iPhone Tool Kits is an easy to use utility designed to help you back up all your files on your iPhone, so that you can recover any lost or missing songs, videos, books, photos and so on. It can easily backup and transfer iPhone songs, videos, photos, SMS, call list, contacts and books(you purchased via iBook Store) to computer. And even enable your iPhone as a removable hard disk.

    “iPhone Tools Kits” Transfer is a must-have utility to keep your iPhone safe if you have an iPhone. It supports iPad, iPod touch as well.

    Free download iPhone Tool Kits to have a try!

    Note: This is Windows Version, for Mac OS X, please use iPhone to Mac Transfer

    How to use:
    How to transfer and backup music video,
    How to transfer and backup photos,
    How to transfer and backup iPhone SMS,
    How to transfer and backup iPhone Contacts,
    How to transfer and backup Call List,
    How to transfer and backup iBooks

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  • shanbule

    I have ever use a useful iphone backup and recover software in http://www.recovery-iphone.com

  • Shahram

    Hi guys, I have a problem with my iphone (2g) ,
    i taking iphone on the desk and then automatically  restarting and my contact is gone ! i don’t touch my phone and when i unlock phone and see contact list … there is no contact ! 850 contact deleted automatically !
    i don’t understand this crash !  Don’t have a back from my contact and never use the i tunes for synchronize , only pictures or music ……:::::::: PLEASE HELP !!!!!!! ::::::………

  • Shahram

    Hi guys, I have a problem with my iphone (2g) ,
    i taking iphone on the desk and then automatically  restarting and my contact is gone ! i don’t touch my phone and when i unlock phone and see contact list … there is no contact ! 850 contact deleted automatically !
    i don’t understand this crash !  Don’t have a back from my contact and never use the i tunes for synchronize , only pictures or music ……:::::::: PLEASE HELP !!!!!!! ::::::………

  • http://www.bobslinks.com/watch_full_movies_online/ Watch full movies online

    hey good post mate now i might be unable to unbrick my iphone!

  • Talosi

    For Android SMS Backup:

    VeryAndroid SMS Backup is a smart andriod sms backup software that can copy and backup sms for Android phone to computer, restore sms backup file to any android phone, and also send messages or chat with a friend on computer directly, exactly the same as that you do on your android phone.

    It can help you:
     - Copy and backup sms from Anroid phone to computer.
     - Restore sms from CSV to android phone any time.
     - Send SMS & SMS Chat on computer directly.
     - Transfer sms to android phone from other phones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Blackberry etc).
     - View sms messages in threading mode on computer.

    Info: http://www.veryandroid.com/sms-backup.html
    Free Download: http://www.veryandroid.com/download/veryandroid-sms-backup.zip

  • Llemerso

    link doesn’t work

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B3FFT4MRJ635J4MSJGF3V5U5KM Carter

    Card Data Recovery for Mac can recover lost files, photos, messages,etc. from iPhone.
    http://www.card-data-recovery.com/mac-data-recovery.htm

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B3FFT4MRJ635J4MSJGF3V5U5KM Carter

    Card Data Recovery for Mac can recover lost files, photos, messages,etc. from iPhone.
    http://www.card-data-recovery.com/mac-data-recovery.htm

  • http://www.recoversdata.com/softwares/remo-mac-photo-recovery-software/ recover deleted photos mac

    IT just synced automatically. Of course the CURRENT NOTES should of
    been synced to the back up folder like usual. BUT because it didnt ask
    me if i wanted to change or update the notes to the current new stuff i added to that note.

  • Lucykhare

    Recover your iPhone files, photos, contacts, SMS and other data from created backup.  if you have no backup then you cannot be able to recover deleted data from iPhone. use the professional software to create iPhone backup .

    http://www.iphonebackupsoftware.org

  • http://usb3gvn.com/ USB 3G

     This is a great website. I read some posts in here. All them is very good. Having much necessary problem that you haven’t ever known before. Thank for share!

  • hugojaven

    Recover deleted/lost iPhone Photos, Contacts,SMS Messages,video and more from iTunes backup files,with Wondershare Data Recovery for iTunes,you also can Recover Data for iPad and iPod,including video,music,photo and other files.

    http://www.recovery-iphone.com/iphone-ipod-ipad-data-recovery.html
    Android Data Recovery

    http://www.recovery-iphone.com/android-data-recovery.html

  • hugojaven

     Recover deleted/lost iPhone Photos, Contacts,SMS Messages,video and more from iTunes backup files,with Wondershare Data Recovery for iTunes,you also can Recover Data for iPad and iPod,including video,music,photo and other files.

    http://www.recovery-iphone.com/iphone-ipod-ipad-data-recovery.html

    Android Data Recovery

    http://www.recovery-iphone.com/android-data-recovery.html

  • http://www.stealthgenie.com StealthGenie

    StealthGenie made
    easy to get backup of all your important data in cell phone. In fact you can
    track your own location with the help of StealthGenie’s GPS service for cell
    phone tracking.
     

  • http://twitter.com/wideanglesoft Wide Angle Software

    Another good option to recover files from iPhone backups is a program called iBackup Extractor. It’s a free download for Mac and PC http://www.wideanglesoftware.com/ibackupextractor/

  • Fiona

    Yes, you still have chance to get back what you lost, just need a very professional data recovery tool. Try this one: Wondershare Dr.Fone

  • http://www.facebook.com/carith.bob Carith Bob

    Yes, I use this tool to recover my deleted Contacts, SMS, Note that have not backed up. http://www.datarecoveryforiphone.com/ios-data-recovery.html

  • Lisa li

    also recommend this data recovery software.

    http://www.recoveriphonedata.org

  • calinere
  • Lore

    Here is an article about iPhone text messages recovery: recover deleted text messages on iPhone

  • Maxx Well

    Hello friends, I’ve also find a good blogger article about “how to backup iPhone photos“.

  • martinamiller

    Thank you for your sharing. And I usually use iPhone Data Recovery to help myself get back the data from http://www.recovery-android.com/android-video-converter.html. And your software looks good.And maybe both of them are great. More imformation can be found from http://www.recovery-android.com/

  • deivis

    Hello,you can use iStonsoft iPad/iPod/iPhone to Recover your iPhone Files, Photos, Contacts, Notes, SMS, Call History, Etc. this is a quickly method to
    recover your data,you can try it for free,only are for reference,you need not connected to the Internet,Hope this helps!!!

    Source from:
    http://www.istonsoft.com/iphone/extract-files-from-iphone-backup.html
    http://www.istonsoft.com/iphone/extract-iphone-contacts-from-backup.html

  • Kayla1989

    You may take a look at this iPhone contact recovery video which helped me before

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t4VLPz2Xug

    hope this helps.

  • liuqin

    Sure, there is, you can try this data recovery for mac, which can help you export the contacts, call history, sms, photos from iPhone iTunes backup files and save to your computer, it is very easy to use, and you can just give it a try.

    http://www.iorgsoft.com/data-recovery-mac/

  • wikidigi

    Wow, a very nice post. Thank you for sharing. And I also know a freeware which do the same thing. It’s called iRefone at http://www.irefone.com with both windows & mac versions.

  • http://rlsdownload.com/ RlsDownload
  • weddyr1

    Here, I will bring you a recovery program to complete this task of recovering your deleted files.
    We called this program iPhone Data Recovery, which provides you 2 ways to restore your deleted files: restore flies from iTunes or directly recover lost data from your iPhone. It can help you to preview the backup file, recover deleted notes, photos, contacts, and etc.

    Part 1: Scanning and restoring Data Files Directly on iPhone

    Step 1. Choose the mode of recovery
    Step 2. Get into the installation system and Scan for Deleted Files
    Step 3. Restore Deleted Files

    Part 2: Extracting and Scanning iTunes Backup File to Restore Files

    Step 1. Select the Mode of Recovery
    Step 2. Choose the Backup File to Scan
    Step 3. Selectively restore deleted files

    How to Recover Lost Data from iPhone
    How to Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone
    How to Recover Deleted meaaages from iPhone

  • Quincary

    There are 2 solutions for you to recover your iPhone data like files, photos, contacts, sms, ect.

    And I take photo for example to introduce two ways for data recovery.

    One: From iTunes Backup
    1. Directly scan and recover pictures from your iPhone.
    2. If you’ve synced your iPhone with iTunes, you also can regain your deleted photos by extracting your iTunes backup file.

    Two: Directly recover deleted photos from iPhone:
    1. Run the recovery program and connect your iPhone
    2. Download a plug-in separately for your iPhone
    3. Enter the device’s scanning mode and scan it
    4. Preview and recover deleted iPhone photos

    More about:
    How to recover photos from iPhone
    How to recover contacts from iPhone
    How to recover SMS from iPhone

  • Bacheller

    You can recover deleted text messages from iPhone since the last synchronization with iTunes. In order to recover deleted text messages, run through the following 4 easy steps:

    1. Connect iPhone to computer with a USB cord. Once connected, do not allow your phone to automatically sync with iTunes. If the phone is automatically synced, you will no longer be able to recover deleted iPhone text messages.

    2. Connect iPhone to iTunes and Back up by selecting Preferences > Backup from iTunes, or right-click on your iPhone and choose a backup.

    3. Restore iPhone by selecting Restore. You will find this tab under Preferences. Remember, once restore your iPhone, it will be completely erased once the new firmware is installed. So, make sure you have successfully created back up.

    4. Restore your iPhone from the back up you created on step 2. This will allow you to restore any data you have backed up, including the “deleted” text messages.

    It is true that you can get more if you visit here:
    http://www.iphone-android-recovery.com/iphone/recover-text-messages-on-iphone.html

  • JudyGunter

    You can try Myjad iTunes Backup Extractor,it rates perfectly fine on CNET.

    http://www.myjad.com/itunes-backup-extractor.html

  • Destinyli

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