How to Recover Deleted Files from iPhone in 6 Ways

Wanna know how to recover deleted files from iPhone? The article will guide you on how to recover data from iPhone, no matter you have iTunes/iCloud backup or not.

Kelsey by Kelsey Updated May 9, 2024
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Where do deleted files go on iPhone?

Many iPhone users are complaining that they often lose some important files on their iPhones. Losing data on iPhone due to accidental deletion, iOS update failure, iPhone crash, and other reasons is indeed a maddening thing. Where do deleted files go on iPhone? Usually, the deleted files are saved somewhere on your iPhone in another way.

iOS Data Recovery

If you're stuck in this situation, don't worry too much because there's still a good chance you'll be able to retrieve deleted files on your iPhone. In this comprehensive guide, we will present you with several effective solutions for how to recover deleted files from iPhone. Check it out now!

How can I recover deleted iPhone files without backup?

If you don't have any backup files, how to recover deleted files from iPhone without backup? We all know that when iPhone photos are accidentally deleted, they don't disappear from iPhone immediately, but are saved in the Recently Deleted folder. Similarly, when you delete files by mistake, you can directly visit the Files app’s Recently Deleted folder to retrieve deleted files from iPhone.

If unfortunately, you have permanently deleted files, the only way you can try is to utilize third-party professional data recovery software to recover permanently deleted files. Depending on your needs, so keep reading to get more detailed steps.

Method 1. Recover recently deleted files from the Files app

By default, deleted files will remain in the Recently Deleted Folder for 30 days. However, after 30 days, all files in this folder will be deleted automatically. If the file you want to recover was deleted within the last month, you can follow some steps to see how to recover deleted files on iPhone.

Step 1. Open the Files app on your iPhone.

Step 2. Tap Browse and click Recently Deleted.      

Click Recently Deleted

Step 3. Choose the deleted files you want to recover, then click Recover.

Recover from Recently Deleted

This is also one of the most straightforward ways to recover deleted files on iPhone. But it is necessary to note that not all files can be recovered successfully. If your files have been deleted for more than 30 days or you have permanently deleted files, please skip to the next method.

Method 2. Recover deleted files via iPhone data recovery software

If method 1 doesn't work for you, then a professional data recovery tool will be a perfect assistant. Even if you haven't backed up your data before, you can get them back directly from your iPhone. A powerful iOS data recovery software named FoneTool is recommended here.

Developed by a team of experts with over 14 years of data recovery experience, it aims to help users recover many types of iOS data on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. With its intuitive and simple interface, you can easily get started with data recovery operations even if you are a newcomer to computers. It also comes with many other great features.


▶ Recover photos, videos, contacts, call history, notes, messages, Safari bookmarks, etc.

▶ Selectively preview and restore the needed data from iPhone with no data loss.

▶ Retrieve deleted or lost data from iOS devices at a fast speed and a high success recovery rate.

▶ Support all iOS devices with iOS 10.0 and later.

Step 1. Download, install and launch FoneTool on your PC.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable > Go to Toolbox and choose iOS Data Recovery.


Step 2. Check the icon you need > Click Start Scan to find your deleted files on iPhone.

scan photos

Step 3. Select the deleted data you want to retrieve. Then click Recover to PC to retrieve.

recover photos

How to recover deleted files on iPhone with backup?

If you have the habit of backing up your iPhone data regularly, it becomes easier to recover deleted files. iCloud and iTunes provided by Apple are generally acknowledged as the two most common backup tools used by most users. Next, we will list out the specific steps about how to recover data from iPhone according to the different backup methods used by iPhone users.

Method 3. Retrieve deleted iPhone files from

If you have multiple applications activated in iCloud, you can recover lost files from on your PC or Mac. However, like method 1, it only allows you to recover deleted items from the Recently Deleted folder on within the last 30 days.

The following steps will show you how to retrieve files from iCloud.

Step 1. Go to in the browser on your computer.

Step 2. After signing in to your iCloud account, click Account Settings.  

Click Account Settings

Step 3. Then click Restore Files under the Advanced option.

Restore Files

Method 4. Restore deleted files on iPhone from iCloud backup

When it comes to backing up iPhone data, many people tend to choose iCloud. As a built-in program for iPhone, it does bring great convenience to users. If you have done iCloud backup before, you can try to restore permanently deleted files directly from iCloud backup. Since it will reset your iPhone before restoring data, please remember to backup your iPhone's existing data.  

Make sure the iCloud backup you select includes the files you need.
The entire restore data process takes place in a stable network environment.
If you enable apps in APPS USING ICLOUD, then iCloud Backup will not save the same files that are stored in iCloud.

The step-by-step tutorial will guide you on how to recover deleted files from iPhone without computer.

Step 1. First of all, you need to reset your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Erase All Content and Settings

Step 2. Then follow the on-screen prompts to reset your iPhone. When you see the Apps & Data screen, please select the Restore from iCloud Backup option.

Step 3. After signing into iCloud with your Apple ID and password. You can see all backups and choose the right backup to restore.

Restore from iCloud Backup

Method 5. Get deleted files back with iTunes backup

Of course, sometimes since your iCloud storage space is depleted, you may choose to backup your iPhone to the computer using iTunes In this case, you can restore your iPhone files from iTunes backup. Let's see how it works together.

It will overwrite all the original data on your iPhone and then import the iTunes backup.
It does not allow you to preview and select the files you need to restore.

Step 1. Run iTunes and connect your iPhone to the computer. Click Trust on your iPhone.

Step 2. Tap the iPhone icon on the upper-left corner of the interface.

Click the Device Icon

Step 3. Click Summary > Restore Backup under the Backups menu.

Resote Backup

Step 4. You can locate the backup that saves the deleted files, then click Restore.

Click Restore

Bonus: A better alternative to backup iPhone without erasing data

As you can see, both iCloud and iTunes will erase some important data on iPhone when restoring data from the backup. Also, you can't browse and selectively restore data in advance. So why not try FoneTool's another powerful function - Phone Backup?

With a few simple steps, you can create full or partial backups and never have to restore redundant backups like iTunes and iCloud. And according to professional tests, it has a faster transfer speed than some similar backup software on the market. Backup 2000+ contacts in 20s.

It works well on Win 11/10/8/7 and is fully compatible with iOS 17, 16, 15. Start downloading and installing this free software to discover how to backup iPhone without losing data.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Here we take photos backup as an example:

Step 1. Go to Phone Backup > Selective Backup > Get Started. (You can also create a Full Backup.)

FoneTool Selective Backup

Step 2. Click the Photos icon in the left menu to select the photos and then click OK.

Select Photos

Step 3. After that, you need to choose a path to store the backup. Click Start Backup.

Start Backup

Wrapping up

With the help of this guide, you no longer need to worry about how to recover deleted files from iPhone. Once you find that the files are deleted, please stop all operations on your iPhone to prevent losing more data. Besides recovering files from recently deleted folders, you can also use this reliable FoneTool to recover permanently deleted files effortlessly.

In addition, for those who have a good habit of backing up iPhones, retrieving deleted files from iTunes or iCloud backup is also a good way. Meanwhile, to protect data safety, FoneTool's phone backup feature can also help you a lot.

FoneTool - All-in-one iPhone Data Manager

Transfer, backup and manage data on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in an easy way.

  • iOS 17 Compatible
  • iPhone 15 Supported

Free iPhone Manager - FoneTool

  • Full/Selective Backup iPhone
  • Transfer between iPhone and PC
  • 1-Click Transfer iPhone to iPhone
  • WhatsApp Backup & Transfer
  • Fully compatible with iOS 17
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