Have you broken or lost your iPhone? Perhaps you accidently deleted some precious photos with your loved ones, and now you want them back. Don’t despair, you are not the only one facing this problem, and I will show you how to recover photos from your iPhone or iPad.

Contrary to expectations, restoring your iPhone with your previously created backup is not the best solution to recover your photos. If you restore the whole backup with iTunes, your iPhone or iPad will restore to the point it was backed up last. This means YOU WILL LOSE all data created after this backup was generated.

To safely get back all the photos you thought they were gone, keep reading my guide.

What you need

In order to recover any data from your iDevice, you will need the following:

1. No matter if you are running iOS 6,7 or 8, you can recover your photos as long as you have an iTunes backup created prior to deleting or losing your photos. Every time you sync your iPhone or iPad with iTunes, a backup is automatically created, unless you have disabled this default option.

Not sure if you have an iTunes backup? Here’s where to check:

  • On Windows Vista, 7 and 8 – Check this path: \Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
  • On Windows XP go to Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
  • On Mac OS X – Go to Finder and check the following folder: \Users\USERNAME\Library\Application Support\MobileSync\Backup

2. Besides an iTunes backup, you also need an application that can help you extract data from your backup. The best and the one I recommend using is called the iPhone Backup Extractor, and it’s available for free to download.

It works with both encrypted (password protected) and unencrypted iTunes backups and it’s available for Mac and Windows.

The application is very simple and once installed and activated a license you can extract your photos or any other data from your iTunes backup.

How to recover photos from your iPhone or iPad

1. If you are certain that you have an iTunes backup, go ahead and download the iPhone Backup Extractor.

2. Complete the installation and once done, the software application will automatically look for iTunes backups located in your default backup folder (folder paths I mentioned above).

If multiple backups are found, you can select the backup from which you want to recover data, by clicking the arrow button from the drop down menu.

If your backup is unencrypted, the iPhone Backup Extractor will show you all the data you can recover from your iTunes backup, in the section ‘Available data’.

For encrypted backups (password protected), you will be required to enter your password to get access to the data located in your backup.


3. With your iTunes backup loaded into the iPhone Backup Extractor, click on the link ‘Photos’ from the Available data section.


Select the folder where you want to extract your photos and click OK.  

And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to recover all your photos.

Note that the iPhone Backup Extractor is a great application available for free to try. The Free Edition only allows to extract four files, so you’ll have to register a Home Edition license for unencrypted backups, or a Pro Edition license for encrypted backups.

Can I recover photos without a backup?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have an iTunes backup, you can’t recover your photos. If you don’t remember creating a backup, double check the default backup folder on your PC or Mac.

I forgot my backup password, what can I do?

These backups contain precious information, and for security reasons you must know the password of your encrypted backup. If you are having hard times remembering your password, you can contact the iPhone Backup Extractor experts support team, and ask for help. They provide great help for any backup related issues.

Was my guide useful? Have you managed to recover your photos? Let me know in the comments section below.

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