Regardless of the device you’re using, we’ve all been in that awful situation where important files got deleted from our iPhones or iPads and seemed to be gone for good. Whether it’s because of malware or a mistake on the user’s part, most of us have experienced this problem at one point or another in our lives. It’s not always a big deal, but sometimes the lost files are very important and when that happens, you’ll likely find yourself in a position where you would do anything to get them back. Luckily, losing important data isn’t the end of the world, even if it sometimes feels like it, because there are a number of good solutions out there that can help you recover those files. One such solution goes by the name of PhoneRescue and we’re going to talk all about it further down below.
PhoneRescue is a well-known data recovery tool developed by iMobie. The software is currently in its third iteration (v3.2.2 as of this writing) and offers multiple ways of recovering lost files while also providing a few other useful features. Just as the title of the review suggests, PhoneRescue can only be used to recover data from Apple devices, provided said devices run on iOS 5 or above. You can’t directly install the software on your iPhone or iPad, however, as that would pretty much defeat the purpose in many situations. After all, a phone app is of little use when the device itself is lost, faulty, or downright broken. Instead, PhoneRescue needs to be installed on a Windows PC or a Mac and then used to connect to the mobile device along with its data. The best part, though, is that you don’t even necessarily need to have the device present for this process because PhoneRescue offers you the option of recovering lost files from the iCloud or from a local iTunes backup.
Price, Setup, and UI
Installing PhoneRescue is a straightforward process that only takes a couple of minutes. Just download the software from the official website, follow the simple installation instructions, and you’re pretty much good to go. As far as I could tell there are no other prerequisites aside from having iTunes installed on your computer and, of course, having a compatible iOS device. In case you’re not ready to commit to a purchase straight from the get-go, iMobie offers a trial version of PhoneRescue that will help you get accustomed to the software. The trial version can be used to scan your device or machine in order to locate the missing files and while it does give you some useful information about them, you can’t actually recover the data unless you purchase the full version.
The full version of PhoneRescue currently sets you back $40 for the Personal License, which can only be used on one computer and includes free support along with 60 days money back guarantee. Beyond that, iMobie is also offering two extra options in the form of the Family License and the Business License priced at $60 and $200, respectively. A regular license should be enough for individual users, however, if you run a business or know several people who would also benefit from a software like this, you may want to look into one of the other licenses, as they can be used on multiple machines and come with priority support. It’s worth noting that the current prices are lower than usual thanks to an on-going holiday sale, so expect them to revert to normal sometime in the coming weeks.
Regardless of your license type, any full version of PhoneRescue offers the exact same tools and features. Getting started with the software is very easy thanks to the minimalistic white user interface that lists all available recovery options in one place. In addition, each of the recovery modes comes with a short description aimed at helping the user pick the best option depending on the situation. For example, if your device works properly can be connected to the machine, the software suggests using the “Recover from iOS option.” On the other hand, if you don’t have access to the device for some reason, PhoneRescue will recommend trying the “Recover from iTunes Backup” or “Recover from iCloud” options, again, depending on the current situation. Aside from that, you can expect a few more standard things like language selection, online guide, settings menu, and so on. Long story short, you’ll very likely not have any problems navigating the user interface because everything can be found in one place in order to increase ease of access, which is always nice to see.
Tools and Features
As mentioned above, PhoneRescue offers three recovery modes that allow users to restore lost data either directly from their device, from an iTunes backup, or from the iCloud. In the case of the first option, the software scans the connected device and shows all the files that can be recovered. All the available files are placed into different categories based on their type, such as text messages, contacts, notes, call history, photos, music, and more. In other words, the software can be used to restore specific types of data like deleted text messages instead of restoring everything in one go. Although it is possible to restore all available files at once by selecting everything, this process tends to take a while and is not as reliable as the other method, mostly because PhoneRescue supports a very large number of file types. While this is indeed a good thing under normal circumstances, it also means that transferring things en masse can lead to errors if you’re trying to restore a large amount of data at once.
Also worth mentioning is that with PhoneRescue you can preview the available items and selectively restore only the ones you want. For example, if you only want to retrieve a single message it’s entirely possible to get it back without having to restore the entire folder in the process. Even better, it’s also possible to preview and read said message without having to restore it at all if you want. Naturally, more often than not you will want to completely restore the lost files but the preview option can definitely come in handy in certain situations. The current version of PhoneRescue supports more than 20 types of files, all of which can be restored directly to an iOS device provided you use the first recovery option. What’s more, the files can also be exported to the computer and used later to create a backup in order to ensure that the data is never lost again.
As for the other two aforementioned recovery options, they work very similar to the iOS device recovery mode for the most part. The difference is that these options don’t require a connected device and rely on backups instead. Needless to say, the software needs to be able to access either an iTunes or iCloud backup for this to work. In addition, the iCloud recovery option also requires the user’s Apple ID log-in info, which may sound a bit concerning for some people, but at the end of the day the software does need to verify the user’s identity somehow. What I would say about this particular option is that it doesn’t feel all that different from Apple’s own iCloud recovery method, so I’m not sure if you’ll be able to get much use of it. The iTunes option, on the other hand, is definitely very useful and works just like the first recovery mode only instead of accessing the phone directly, the software asks you to pick between one of your previously saved backups and start searching for the lost files there. It’s also worth noting that these last two methods don’t allow you to transfer the data directly to the iOS device. Rather, the files first need to be saved on your PC or Mac and then transferred to an iPhone or other iOS device.
In addition to the three primary recovery methods detailed above, PhoneRescue has an additional feature called iOS Repair Tools. This tool is pretty self-explanatory and can be used to restore the device itself to working order, or more specifically, its operating system. A few common scenarios where you may need to use the repair tools are when device is freezing on black screen or Apple logo or getting stuck on a reboot loop. Also useful when the operating system refuses to boot or when you are experiencing an iOS upgrade failure. Basically, if you’re having any sort of issues with iOS you can use the repair tools and attempt to fix the problem. While this isn’t a data recovery method per say, it’s still a nice complement to the three primary tools.
PhoneRescue is pretty much what it says on the tin – a data recovery software that offers three different solutions to an increasingly common problem. The software does have a couple of drawbacks, most notably the long scanning times, but it is overall a product worth looking into in my opinion. In terms of pricing, at $40 I feel like PhoneRescue is currently a good bang for the buck for anyone who wants to take advantage of the holiday deal. The regular price of $70 isn’t necessarily crazy, but might be just a little bit too steep for the regular user. At the end of the day, though, it all depends on how badly you want those files back. As always, it’s a good idea to test things out for yourself whenever possible and see if PhoneRescue is the solution you were looking for, which is why I would suggest giving the trial version a try. The trial version may not be able to restore lost data, but it does give you a good idea about what to expect from the full version, as it lets you check out the user interface and test the software’s scanning capabilities.