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PhoneRescue for iOS

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  • 100% securely recover your data with the highest success rate
  • Get back everything essential for you in every possible way
  • Just 3 clicks to retrieve all your data, no tech knowledge required
  • Find your lost data and files in a flash, amazing and unparalleled
  • Save Your Data Even from Damaged Backups
  • iOS 12 and macOS Mojave Get Well Supported
  • Restore Your iOS Device That Nobody Else Could
  • First-Class Technologies Ensure First-Class Results


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A recovery application that can scan your iOS devices and iTunes backup files for any contacts, videos or notes that you may want to retrieve

Your mobile phone contains a lot of important information, such as contact numbers, reminders and multimedia files like photos or videos.

In case you delete any of these files by mistake, or your device gets infected with malicious software, it can come in handy to be able to recover the lost information using your personal computer.

Recover files from an iOS device or iTunes backup files

PhoneRescue for iOS is an application that offers a solution for these kind of situations, by enabling you to retrieve deleted data from iOS devices, such as iPhones, iPads or iPods, as well as from iTunes backup files. These files can range from contacts and messages, all the way to more advanced data types, like photo streams, iBooks and videos.

After the scan process is completed, the application displays the number of found files for each category and you can manually choose which to recover, in case you do not want the whole content saved on your computer. You can also preview the data before you start the recovery and check whether it is complete.

Choose the preferred output formats and export location

PhoneRescue for iOS enables you to customize the resulting files by choosing their output format and location. Call history and messages can be retrieved as HTML documents, while contacts, calendars and notes can be saved as plain text CSV files. You can also choose a different export location for the recovered documents, in case you want to create a separate folder on your disk.

As far as the other files are concerned, such as videos and photos, they are retrieved in their original format, which keeps their original resolution and quality intact during the process. The same is true for App data, which includes audio, video and text documents.

In conclusion

If you run into trouble with your iOS device and you accidentally delete your messages or contacts, PhoneRescue for iOS can lend a helping hand and recover anything you might have lost. The wizard-like interface requires only a few easy steps to complete the recovery and it is intuitive enough for anyone to take full advantage of.

PhoneRescue: Detailed Review

Please Note: The latest version of PhoneRescue is 4.0. The screenshots in the review below were initially taken from version 3.1. But the content should still stand. Also, the program seems more powerful than before. Besides iPhones and iPads, you can use it to rescue deleted or lost files from Android devices as well. iMobie claims the program supports Samsung, LG, Google, Sony, HTC, Huawei, LG, and Motorola (by the time this post was last updated).

While I tested both the Windows and Mac versions of PhoneRescue, I’ve used mainly screenshots I took from the Mac version. The user interface of both versions is almost the same, but I’ll point out if a feature in the Windows version is different from the Mac version.

To start with, the download and installation process is easy and straightforward. Launching the app gives you a sense of elegance: It begins with a quick animation of the PhoneRescue icon circling itself, followed by another window called “Quick Tips.” This window lists a few things users should keep in mind in order to maximize the chances of iPhone data recovery. Once you’ve read it over, click “I’m Ready to Start”.

After that, you’ll see a screen like the one below. This is the core of PhoneRescue, and lists four main recovery modes: Recover from iOS Device, Recover from iTunes Backup, Recover from iCloud, and iOS Repair Tools. Each mode deals with a specific type of data loss situation. I’ve broken this review into four subsections in order to dig into each recovery or repair mode. I also added a separate section exploring the export feature.

1. Recover from iOS Device

This mode is best for recovering items you’ve just deleted from your iPhone including, pictures, videos, notes, messages, etc. Most likely it’s because you didn’t have any backups, and can’t retrieve the content from iTunes or iCloud. This mode requires that your iOS device be recognized by your computer.

Here’s how my test went: After connecting my iPhone, I noticed that on the bottom of the screen, the text “Please connect your device” immediately turns to “Your ‘iPhone’ is connected!. Also, the color of the arrow button in the right corner turns from light blue to dark blue, meaning it is now clickable. Hit it to continue.

Then the app started to analyze my device. The process took less than a minute. Tip: Don’t unplug your device during this process.

Within a few minutes, it successfully found a lot of files — 5533, to be precise — including:

  • Personal Data: 542 Contacts, 415 call history, 1958 messages, 81 message attachments, 16 voicemails, 5 Notes, 1 Safari bookmark
  • Media Data: 419 photos, 2 Photo Videos, 421 thumbnails, 3 songs, 8 playlists, 1 voice memo.

My personal take:

The whole process is really quick. It only took a few minutes to scan my 16GB iPhone and extract all the recoverable data. While it’s nice that PhoneRescue found so many files from my iPhone, they found a bunch I’d already deleted, like pictures, voicemails, and a voice memo.

However, I was a bit surprised that it listed items that were still stored on my phone — messages, contacts, call history, etc., that I’m pretty sure I never deleted. So, PhoneRescue “exceeded” my expectations. However, this might make it a bit hectic for locating specific files you want to retrieve.

2. Recover from iTunes Backup

This second recovery mode is best to use when your iDevice doesn’t work anymore, and you’ve got at least one iTunes backup stored on your computer. Select this mode, then click the arrow on the bottom-right corner to get started. Here’s my experience with this recovery mode.

It found an iTunes backup for my iPhone…

…analyzed the backup file and extracted the data…

…then displayed 5511 files. This is quite similar to the result I got from the first recovery mode (5533 items).

My personal take:

This recovery mode is like an iTunes backup extractor. It doesn’t require you to connect your device, thus it’s perfect for rescuing data when your iPhone is physically damaged or can’t be detected by your PC or Mac. PhoneRescue automatically finds the iTunes backup file and extracts content from it. If you use iTunes, you should know you can use the software to backup and restore any iOS device. This Apple support article has more.

However, I feel this recovery mode from PhoneRescue is superior to the Apple method for several reasons. First, you can’t see what’s included in the iTunes backup file until you restore your device via the Apple guide. PhoneRescue allows you to preview the content and then selectively restore deleted files. Second, the Apple iTunes restore method erases all your current data, while PhoneRescue doesn’t.

3. Recover from iCloud

This third recovery mode works best when you’ve backed up your iOS device via iCloud, or have enabled iCloud sync across your devices.

Please note: Here, there is a difference between the PC and Mac versions. The Mac version only supports iOS 8.4 or earlier — NOT later. The Windows version supports iOS 8 and 9 (I think there’s a typo in the instructions of the Windows version — see screenshot). iMobie claims that this is due to Apple’s security limitations on Mac.

To get started, select the “Recover from iCloud” mode and hit the blue button to continue. This is how it worked for me:

It asked me to sign in iCloud (with my Apple ID). Pay attention to the text description: iMobie claims they will never retain any of your Apple account info or content. Nice! I hope they keep their promise; I’m really concerned when I’m asked to type my Apple account credentials into third-party apps or websites.

After inputting my Apple ID and password, it found all the devices that have enabled iCloud backup. I need to choose a backup to download before I can move forward.

It found 247 items from my iCloud backup — not bad. But hold on, this is exactly the same as what I’d see on iCloud.com. I have to wonder: What’s the point of adding this recovery mode?

My personal take:

This is the part that I’m a bit disappointed with. This “Recover from iCloud” mode is no different from Apple’s iCloud.com method. I can simply go to the official iCloud.com, log in with my Apple ID, and look for my files by navigating through the web app (see below). I don’t need to disclose my Apple account info to any third parties (not criticizing you, iMobie. I’m kind of quirky). To me, this mode doesn’t offer much value.

4. iOS Repair Tools

This is the fourth module of PhoneRescue. Unfortunately, I can’t test it because I don’t have a faulty iOS device. According to iMobie, this recovery mode is best to use when your device is stuck on a black screen or Apple logo, or keeps restarting. When I click the blue button to continue, you can see it says my device works well, and that there is no need to repair it.

As such, I can’t give my own personal take on this repair mode. If you have the chance to use this feature, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I’ll gladly update this section and include your feedback here.

5. The Recovery/Export Feature

At the end of the day, it’s all about getting deleted or lost files back to your device or computer. The scanning process serves as the initial step so you can evaluate whether your lost data can be found and retrieved.

Unfortunately, the trial version of PhoneRescue doesn’t allow you to actually recover found files. You’ll have to buy a license code to activate the software, otherwise, the export or download buttons are greyed out. I purchased the family version, which costs $80. The activation process is smooth, all you need to do is copy the serial code, paste it into the small pop-up window, and you’re good to go.

I saved many files on my computer. There was no problem; the process is pretty straightforward. Also, I found the quality of recovered files is high. For instance, the images are all the same size (several MBs) as they were.

What I’m most interested in is the “Export” feature. iMobie claims I’m able to directly save the files back to my iPhone. I tried, and here’s how it worked for me.

First, I turned off the “Find My iPhone” app. Otherwise, you’ll see the warning message below. To do that, go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone, click it, and tap to slide the button to grey. Don’t forget to turn “Find My iPhone” on again after you recover your lost files.

Next, I found I could only export certain types of files back to my device: Contacts, Call History, Messages, Voicemail, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Safari History. I’m kind of surprised that photos and videos are not on the supported list.

To test, I selected a text message. Here’s what it said: “Your device will reboot, upgrade config and require you to unlock. This is necessary and completely safe for the recovery. Please wait patiently and don’t unplug your device”.

Once I clicked “Recover”. The screen looked like the one below, and I noticed my iPhone was restarting.

In several minutes, the process was completed. Surprisingly, it showed “Data recovery completed”, but underneath it also said “PhoneRescue has successfully recovered 0 item in total”. Seriously? I remember I selected one. Is this a bug?

[update — correction: the iMobie team explains that it is because the item I attempted to recover is already on my device. If it is recovered, there will be duplicates. PhoneRescue automatically skips the duplicates on an iOS device. So, this is NOT a bug!]

My personal takes:

It’s great that PhoneRescue offers an export feature that allows you to directly transfer lost files back to our iOS device. But I feel the process is a bit complicated and time-consuming. I had to turn off the “Find My iPhone” app and reboot my device to get it working. Plus, I can’t export photos and videos. In my opinion, it’s best to download the files to your desktop first, then examine the files closely before you manually export them back. That way should be safer and easier.

Reasons Behind My Ratings

Effectiveness: 4/5

Like I said, PhoneRescue works. It can recover many types of deleted or lost files from an iOS device. Thanks to the four comprehensive recovery modes, PhoneRescue is capable of dealing with a variety of different data loss scenarios. However, it tends to find many files that are not deleted or lost, which makes it harder to locate the items you actually want to recover

Price: 3.5/5

Personally, I don’t like the pricing layers. A $60 for Single License that allows using in one PC or Mac, and an $80 Family License that works for multiple PCs and Macs. Based on my humble understanding of the nature of data recovery, it’s rare to need such recovery software all the time. We only need it when disaster strikes, and after recovering the data (hopefully) we should learn our lesson and be extra cautious in the future.

In this sense, data recovery software is like a one-time shot: The value for future usage is quite limited if not none. Also, unlike system clean apps like CleanMyMac or security applications, this recovery software doesn’t have to be installed on every PC or Mac. Thus it doesn’t make much sense to purchase the Family License which costs an extra $20. I bought the Family Licence, purely for the purpose of testing both Windows and Mac versions of the program.

Ease of Use: 5/5

There is no question about the usability of PhoneRescue. Elegant user interface design and helpful text instructions make it incredibly easy to handle. Also, the four easy-to-understand recovery modes simplify complex data loss scenarios. Well done, iMobie team!

Support: 4/5

The iMobie customer support team can be reached out via standard email. They promise 24/7 support with a response time within 24 hours (usually much less). I emailed them several times, and they were quite responsive. The thing I think they could improve on is customer engagement. While I emailed them several times, they knew my first name but still used the generic “Dear Customer” salutation at the beginning of each email. I’m not sure if this is part of their customer relationship policy or not. I just feel an engaging conversation would make customers feel more valued.

PhoneRescue Alternatives

While PhoneRescue is a nice program that could help you rescue your lost iPhone data, it’s by no means the only one out there. In fact, if you’ve backed up your device via iTunes or iCloud, it’s often quite easy to restore all your lost files using Apple’s built-in apps.

That said, here’s a list of free and paid options in case PhoneRescue doesn’t help.

  • iTunes (Windows & macOS) — Free. It works only when you have backed up your iPhone or iPad via iTunes before the data was removed.
  • iCloud (Web) — Free. Similar to iTunes. If you’ve enabled iCloud backup across your iOS devices, chances are high to get back your lost files.
  • dr.fone — Paid ($69.95). An all-around software for managing data on iOS and Android devices. It can also recover deleted files, backup saved data, and more. See dr.fone review.
  • Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone — Paid ($49.95). Its features are quite similar to PhoneRescue.


iMobie PhoneRescue is safe, and it does work to recover many types of files deleted or lost from an iOS device such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The program is intuitive and easy to use thanks to the efforts from iMobie’s design and development team. But, due to the complex nature of data recovery, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you’ll be able to retrieve all of your lost files using this software.

It’s good to see that PhoneRescue provides four different recovery and repair modes to maximize the chances of recovery. However, each mode is not without problems. For example, the “Recover from iOS Device” mode tends to find more files than those you deleted, making it time-consuming to identify the files you actually want to recover. Also, I don’t see much value in using the “Recover from iCloud” mode, as it’s much easier to just log into iCloud.com and access your files via the web app.

Regardless, I think PhoneRescue is a great piece of software, and I like it. Imagine the fear and panic the moment you accidentally delete some precious pictures off an iPhone (I’ve been asked about that several times — just take a look at the comments in this iPad article I posted earlier). PhoneRescue at least gives you some hope to recover that data. That said, I’d like to remind you again of the significance of data backup — use iCloud, iTunes or an external hard drive to make multiple copies of all your important files! That is the best way to avoid data loss.

Fair Disclosure

Considering that PhoneRescue is a powerful software that offers dozens of features to rescue iPhone data from a variety of scenarios, it was impossible for me to test each feature. I don’t have a faulty iOS device, I don’t use certain apps (e.g. Line) which iMobie claims the program can recover data from, etc. However, I did test the program as well as I could. As such, I disclaim that this PhoneRescue review is primarily based on my limited testing of the software, the information available on iMobie’s website, and the email responses I received from the iMobie support team. Please note the opinions in this review are my own, and they may not be accurate with the passage of time.

I spent $80 and purchased the family license on my own budget with the intent to test both the PC and Mac version of PhoneRescue. I have never asked or used any free licenses from the iMobie marketing team. Also, I’m not sponsored to write this review. All the content in this review is purely my own opinion.

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PhoneRescue for iOS



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