13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 27, 2012 5:06 AM by ChrisJ4203
LJS0228 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Can adeleted file be restored on an iphone?  I need to retrieve a deleted file of pics.


iPhone 4, iOS 3.0
  • 1. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    The only way to retrieve a deleted file (and you seem to be discussing photos and can I believe you deleted them from the Camera Roll?) is to restore the phone to a point where the file may have been backed up in iTunes. If you do not have a backup, or have backed up since the file was deleted, you are out of luck. There is no Trash, or Recycle bin on the iPhone. Just remember though, if you do restore from an older backup, anything that you have done on the phone since that backup is going to be lost as well.

  • 2. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Aside from the backup files themselves, is there any data that might be saved to the computer, like temp files? I just lost a bunch of photos, and my previous backup was 6 months ago. (I didn't realize that "sync" wasn't backing up my photos.)

  • 3. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    No there aren't. Pictures are in the backup file, but that is the only place. You found you need to import pictures from the camera roll since sync doesn't do anything. However, if you were syncing regularly, you should have a more recent backup than 6 months ago, however if that was the last time you synced, then that would be it.

  • 4. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I was wondering. I sync just about every day, and the only available backup points listed were that same day (after the photos had been deleted) and six months earlier. What about any points in between?

     

    Can I assume from your comment that there's some auto-backup that takes place? If so, how often does that happen, and is there a way to adjust the frequency?

  • 5. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    Backups are done every time you sync the device, however, they are overwritten each time to backup. In other words, the last backup is overwritten by the latest backup. The backups you see with a date/time stamp are ones done in relation to a restore or a major iOS update.

     

    Check this support document that talks about what is backed up and where your backup files are http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946. You can also look at some backup extraction software, Backup Extractor comes to mind, that allows you to look at the backup contents. If that software won't work on your particular computer OS, you can google for alternatives.

  • 6. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So you mean if I hadn't synced after my photos were deleted, I theoretically could have gotten my photos back?

     

    Actually, the sync happens automatically as soon as I plug in the iPhone and iTunes starts up. Which means I would have had to first go in and copy the backup file to a different location on the hard drive, and only afterwards plug in the iPhone. Definitely not intuitive for the user!

     

    Seems to me there should be some sort of automatic detection, where if there's a considerable loss or change in data from the last time you synced, iTunes gives you some sort of "Are you sure?" prompt with the option to save it as a separate file.

  • 7. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    You can go into iTunes and turn off automatic syncing. If you are using a PC, then go to Edit, Preferences, Devices, and put a checkmark on "prevent ... syncing automatically".

  • 8. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for that info!

     

    The big revelation though was seeing the checkbox below the auto-sync option, which says "Warn when [x]% of the data on this computer will be changed". (This is exactly the feature I was saying above that there needed to be.) And it was checked - with "more than 5%" selected. So when the bulk of my iPhone was taken up by photos and videos (i.e. way more than 5%), and those got deleted, shouldn't I have gotten a warning when syncing?

  • 9. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    No, that refers to data on the computer, not on the phone. It means the phone is changing data on the computer, so it would not warn you as you want. Again, as I said before a sync does not have anything to do with photos in the camera roll except to back them up. Reading your original post again after you have added these additional questions makes me wonder how you lost the pictures.

  • 10. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again for the clarification. Like I said it would be helpful to have an additional feature that warns based on changes to iPhone data as well.

     

    How did I lose around 900 photos & videos? A troubled kid we know stole the phone and deleted them, just like that. I only got the iPhone itself back using the "Find my iPhone" app.

  • 11. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    You can provide feedback to Apple at www.apple.com/feedback. Unfortunately you learned the hard way to make sure you import photos regularly from the phone to the computer. Good luck.

  • 12. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    DavidBC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all your help and info.

  • 13. Re: Can a deleted file be retrieved from an iphone?
    ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (28,185 points)

    You're welcome.