How to Recover Data from a Water Damaged iPhone

How to Recover Data from a Water Damaged iPhone
How to Recover Data from a Water Damaged iPhone
Accidental Deletion Device Tips Tutorials

Check if your phone has suffered water damage

Many of us know that sinking feeling when you drop your iPhone in water or spill liquid on it. The most recent iPhone models should be at least to some extent, water, and dust resistant. However, if you have an older iPhone model or you have dropped your device in water deeper than 2 metres for a prolonged period of time, your phone could suffer water damage. If you are currently in this position and have not already taken action to save your device, we recommend you follow the steps in another of our articles, ‘What To Do When You’ve Dropped Your iPhone In Water’.

The first thing we need to do is identify if your iPhone has been affected by the water damage, and if so, to what extent. If your phone has suffered water damage, you’ll usually be able to tell quite quickly. Common indicators include trouble turning your iPhone on, usage issues and warning messages popping up on your screen about incompatible accessories, which you haven’t seen before. Apple has also built in a ‘Liquid Contact Indicator’, located on the side of your phone, which will display a red dot or line, indicating water damage, depending on your iPhone model.

If your phone has definitely experienced water damage, then your primary concern is most likely for all of the important data that you have stored on your iPhone, including your contacts, important messages and your calendar with all of the important events in your life, to name just a few. However, there is hope; with a tool like Enigma Recovery, you can recover lost data using any of the below methods:

Method 1: How to retrieve data from your water damaged iPhone

Enigma Recovery software uses clever algorithms to scan and recover deleted and existing data from various iOS devices and iTunes backup files. Using the simple process below, you can recover important contacts, text messages, diary dates (and more), but remember not to connect your iPhone to your computer or laptop while the device is wet. If this recovery method is unsuccessful for you, or the software is unable to recognise your device, please try the second or third recovery methods below.

Step 1: Download Enigma Recovery

Once you have downloaded Enigma Recovery, install the software on your computer.

Download enigma recovery software

Step 2: Recover from iOS device

When the program is open, click ‘Recover from my iOS device’.

Recover from ios device

Step 3: Connect iOS iPhone

Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.

Connect phone using a USB cable

Step 4: Trust computer

Once the software recognises your device, follow the instructions that appear to trust the computer with your phone. If you have previously connected your iPhone to your computer, you can skip this step.

Trust computer with your phone

Step 5: Scan iPhone

Now select the data types you would like to recover from the phone (we recommend that you click ‘All my data’) and start the scan. The scan time will depend on the amount of data your phone contains.

Scan iphone

Step 6: View iPhone data

The scan report that appears at the end of the scan will show you how much data the software has recovered from your phone. Click on the various data tabs to view your recovered data.

View iphone data

Step 7: Export iPhone data

To export all your data, select: Export > Export all data > Export. To export only specific items select the data you would like to save in the checkboxes then select: Export > Export only selected data > Export

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Method 2: How to retrieve data from an iTunes backup file

You can, however, recover data that was previously stored on the phone that now lies in an iPhone backup. If you have connected your iPhone to iTunes before, it will have created an iPhone backup file within your computer/laptop (unless you have the automatic sync feature turned off). Generally speaking, the more recent your last iPhone backup is, the more recent the data you are able to obtain will be.

Open the Enigma Recovery software

After you have downloaded Enigma Recovery from our website (download links above), install the software on your Mac or Windows PC.

Choose backup file

Click the option to ‘Recover from iTunes backup’ along the left panel. The software will then present you with a list of iTunes backup files from the default location your computer. If you do not see the backup file you are looking for in the list, click ‘Browse’ to manually locate it. Once you have chosen a file, click ‘Next’.

Scan for lost data

Now select the data types you would like to recover. We recommend that you click ‘All my data’ so that you can view all data recovered from your iPhone backup file. Then click ‘Start scan’ and the software will scan your backup file for your iOS data.

View iPhone data

You will know once the scan has completed because you will be presented with a scan report. This report will notify you of how much data was found during the scan. Click the data types to view your data in detail.

Export your retrieved data

You can export data to your desktop very simply using the export options within the software. You will need to upgrade to the full version of Enigma Recovery to complete this task. To export all data that has been retrieved select: Export > Export all data > Export To export only selected items, select the items you wish to save and click: Export > Export only selected data > Export (Don’t forget to choose the folder you would like to save your data in!)

Method 3: How to retrieve data from an iCloud backup file

This final option is for those of you who have an available iCloud backup file and is especially helpful if you do not have an iTunes backup file or your device has been so damaged that it will not turn on. Similarly to recovery from an iTunes backup file, the more recent your iCloud backup, the more data you will be able to recover.

Step 1: Install Enigma Recovery

Download and install Enigma Recovery software from our website to your computer.

Step 2: Select iCloud Recovery

In the left-hand panel of the software, click on ‘Recover from my iCloud’.

Step 3: Log in to iCloud

Next, you will need to login to your iCloud account to access your data – you can rest assured that this process is secured and your login details are safe.

Step 4: Select iCloud backup file

The software will display a list of all of the available backup files that it has found in your iCloud account.

Step 5: Select data to scan

You will now be shown a selection of all of the data types that Enigma Recovery can recover. Select ‘All my data’ and then click ‘Start Scan’. The software will now scan your backup file.

Step 6: View & export your data

Once the scan is complete, you can view your data by clicking on a feature type. You can then click ‘Export & Restore’, to transfer your data from the software to your computer.

We hope this tutorial has helped you to recover data from your water damaged iPhone. If you need any help with the recovery steps, please contact our Support Team through [email protected]

About Enigma Recovery

Enigma Recovery is a desktop data recovery software designed to retrieve deleted and existing data from iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. If you have damaged an iOS device from the list here or if it has been stolen, you may still be able to recover data from an iTunes backup file. The software is designed to retrieve deleted and existing: Text Messages, iMessages, Contacts, Notes, Call history and Calendar events.


Alan is our Chief Operating Officer & Founder, starting Enigma Digital in 2011. Throughout his career he has been FD and CFO of a number of SMEs from the manufacturing, distribution and technology sectors.

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