PhoneRescue for iOS Full Review & Free Download

At a Glance: PhoneRescue for iOS is a well-developed and versatile data recovery tool that can effectively recover various lost data, including messages, contact, photos, etc. It is trustworthy and risk-free but as with any other data recovery tool, you cannot expect it to recover data deleted long ago.

phonerescue for ios review

Pros

  • Powerful and versatile functions.
  • Free trial before purchase and the longest 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • Fool-style operation and no skills required.
  • Supports recovering data wirelessly from backup to computer.
  • Time-saving for restoring precisely what you want instead of overwriting all your device data. Typically, it will take you no more than 30 minutes to recover 5GB of data.
  • Able to recover data to either device or PC.
  • Also available for Android users.

Cons

  • Low recovery rate for data deleted a long time ago.
  • Only several types of recovered data can be directly exported to your device, including messages, contacts, notes, photos, app audios, and app videos.
  • No instant customer service. You can only get support via email and that would take hours.

Part 1. What is iMobie PhoneRescue

PhoneRescue was born in 2011 and at that time can only recover data from iOS devices. Now there are both PhoneRescue for iOS and PhoneRescue for Android.

Developed by iMobie, PhoneRescue aims to provide quick and effective data recovery solutions. It allows you to recover data in any situation even if your device is disabled or water damaged. There is no such tool as PhoneRescue that enables you to repair device and recover data at the same time.

After testing all available data recovery software online, we found that PhoneRescue outperforms most similar software in terms of ease of use, functionality, speed, success rate, and quality of recovered files.

PhoneRescue greatly simplifies the process of data recovery. All you need to do is connect your device to the computer using a USB cable, launch it, and then choose a recovery mode.

Part 2. In-Depth PhoneRescue Reviews

Just a reminder: This detailed PhoneRescue review is based on the test results of my iPhone 11/iPhone 13 Pro/iPad Pro, other real user feedback, as well as PhoneRescue official claims.

PhoneRescue for iOS can not only you recover iOS data but also repair and unlock iOS devices.

With PhoneRescue for iOS, you can 1) recover data without any backup, 2) recover data from iTunes backup, 3) recover data from iCloud backup, 4) repair iOS system, 5) remove lock screen passcode, 6) retrieve or remove screen time passcode.

Below I’ll elaborate on each function and give my personal takes based on real tests and user feedback. Before that, it’s important and necessary to figure out which devices PhoneRescue supports, which files can be found, and which files can be exported.

Supported Devices:

All iOS devices with an iOS version of 5 or above.

phonerescue for ios supported device models

Note: iMobie doesn’t include iPhone 13 models and iOS 15 in their support list but during my test, PhoneRescue for iOS is actually good with the latest iPhone models and iOS version. I think they just didn’t update the info in time and you should not worry too much about its compatibility.

Supported Data Types:

phonerescue for ios supported data types

Exported Data Types:

To DeviceMessages, Contacts, Notes, Photos, App Audios and App Videos.
To ComputerAll scanned data can be exported to computer.

Note that you have to turn off FMI and keep your device connected when recovering data to device.

Now let’s dive into each feature.

1) Recover data from iPhone/iPad/iPod touch without backup.

phonerescue recover from ios device

Supported Scenarios:

  • Delete data mistakenly, and no backup.
  • Device screen is damaged.
  • Forgot lock screen passcode.
  • Device is water damaged.
  • Device is broken & unresponsive.

Prerequisites:

  • To ensure the successful connection between your device and PhoneRescue, you have to install the latest iTunes version on your computer and do not launch it while using PhoneRescue.
  • If your device is disabled or locked, make sure you’ve synced it with your computer before, otherwise, PhoneRescue will fail to recognize your device.

My Personal Takes:

This feature is very limited as it can only recover recently deleted data (within 30 days) and data that has never been overwritten.

If you’ve just lost some important data and haven’t made any changes to your device, chances are you can get your data back. But if not, don’t get your hopes up that PhoneRescue or other similar iOS data recovery tools can literally find a piece of data lost long ago.

What I love most about PhoneRescue iOS Data Recovery is you can selectively scan and recover a specific type of data. Precise data recovery can save a lot of time and avoid unnecessary waste of work.

select data type

After the scan, you are allowed to preview all the scanned data and select which to recover. PhoneRescue is used to list all scanned data without distinguishing lost data from non-lost data. However, in the latest version, it enables you to filter out existing data on your device and only list lost data for quick lookup. What’s more, you can even directly search for what you want by typing keywords in the search box.

preview data before recovery

2) Recover data from iTunes backup (even encrypted)

phonerescue recover data from iTunes backup

Supported Scenarios:

  • Device is lost or damaged.
  • Forgot backup password or the backup is damaged.
  • Device has been factory reset.
  • Your device is unable to sync/restore with iTunes.
  • Only restore the missing data of your device from backup.

Prerequisites:

  • Make sure you have backed up your iPhone/iPad using iTunes or AnyTrans before on the computer.
  • Download the latest version of iTunes and do not launch it while using PhoneRescue as it will interfere with the communication between your device and PhoneRescue.

My Personal Takes:

This feature is a perfect complement to iTunes and all my friends who are regular iTunes users are amazed by how powerful and convenient the tool is.

We all know that restoring an iTunes backup is a free and effective way to recover your precious data. However, iTunes doesn’t seem like the best tool to do the job for the following reasons: a) it will overwrite all your current data after the restoration. b) there’s no way to verify which backup contains the lost data. As a result, PhoneRescue comes up and turns out to be an absolute game-changer.

Once it detects a backup file on your computer, you can selectively choose what to scan and recover without replacing all your current device data. If your device can be recognized by the computer, you can even connect it to the computer and let PhoneRescue compare the data differences between the backup and your device. By comparison, you can quickly locate the data you want.

However, during my test, PhoneRescue can only compare limited data types, including contacts, call history, messages, message attachment, voicemail, calendar, reminders, notes, note attachment, safari history, and safari bookmark. In case your lost data doesn’t belong to the above data types, you still need to scan the backup and filter out the data manually.

In addition, PhoneRescue claims it can recover iTunes backup password in case you encrypted the backup and forgot the password. I didn’t test this feature as I got no encrypted backup. If you have used this function, please let me know in the comment and I’ll be thrilled to update and supplement this part.

3) Recover data from iCloud backup.

phonerescue recover from icloud backup

Supported Scenarios:

  • Device is lost or broken.
  • Device is infected by viruses.
  • Device has been factory reset.
  • Want to restore data from an iCloud account to another.

Prerequisites:

You have to turn off Two-Factor Authentication and log in to iCloud via PhoneRescue. Don’t worry, your iCloud account and password are safe as iMobie claims it will not collect your info due to its read-only programming.

My Personal Takes:

To be honest, I didn’t see much point in using PhoneRescue to restore iCloud backup instead of using iCloud. First of all, only if your device is running iOS 12.1 or earlier, can PhoneRescue recover as many data types as iCloud, otherwise, it can only recover Contacts, Notes, Photos, Photo Videos, Calendars, and Reminders, though these are basically what deserves to be restored. Second, unlike iTunes, iCloud allows you to see what’s in a backup thus you may not even need to really “recover” something.

But still, if you want to restore your lost data to your iPhone or PC without erasing your current data (the only official way to restore an iCloud backup), iMobie PhoneRescue is a fine choice.

4) Repair iOS System

phonerescue repair ios system

Supported Scenarios:

  • iOS upgrade failure.
  • White/Blue/Black screen of death.
  • iOS device keeps restarting, won’t turn on, or is frozen.
  • Stuck in a boot loop.
  • Stuck in Recovery/DFU Mode.

Prerequisites:

  • Download the latest iTunes and do not launch it when using PhoneRescue.
  • Put your iPhone into Recovery Mode.

My Personal Takes:

I didn’t test this feature in person as all my devices are working properly. However, it is very thoughtful of iMobie to integrate this function in PhoneRescue. iMobie has its dedicated iOS system recovery tool called AnyFix (see detailed AnyFix review), which costs at least $35.99. But in PhoneRescue, you can enjoy this function for free if you need to recover data from a malfunctioning iPhone/iPad. Other iOS data recovery software also includes this function but PhoneRescue is the only one that is free.

There are two available recovery modes: Standard Mode and Advanced Mode. Standard Mode will factory reset your device to fix it, while Advanced Mode will fix your device without any data loss but with a lower success rate than Standard Mode. Note that both recovery modes will upgrade your device to the latest version and restore it to non-jailbroken status if you ever jailbroke it.

5) Remove Lock Screen Passcode

phonerescue recover lock screen passcode

Supported Scenarios:

  • Forgot Lock Screen Passcode.
  • Device was disabled due to too many failed attempts.
  • Unable to unlock iPhone due to broken screen.
  • Get a used and locked iPhone.
  • Touch ID & Face ID are not working.

Prerequisites:

  • Download the latest iTunes and do not launch it when using PhoneRescue.
  • Put your iPhone into Recovery Mode.
  • Remember your Apple ID and password if you have turned on Find My feature.

My Personal Takes:

By far, the only way to unlock disabled iPhone/iPad is to factory reset it, which can result in complete data loss on your device. I can get why PhoneRescue includes this feature in the toolkit because after the factory reset, you’ll for sure need data recovery.

But actually, I don’t recommend you use PhoneRescue in this situation. First of all, in this situation, PhoneRescue doesn’t support directly recovering data from your device without backups. Second, you can choose to restore from iTunes or iCloud when setting up your device if you have previously backed up your device.

Note that after you remove Screen Lock Passcode with PhoneRescue, your device will be reset to the factory settings and upgraded to the latest version.

6) Recover Screen Time Passcode (no data loss)

phonerescue remove screen time passcode

Supported Scenarios:

  • Forgot Screen Time Passcode.
  • Device was disabled due to too many failed attempts.
  • Forgot setting a passcode before.
  • Want to recover passcode without losing data.
  • No backup of the Screen Time Passcode.

Prerequisites:

Download the latest iTunes and do not launch it when using PhoneRescue.

My Personal Takes:

This feature is relatively complex compared to others but the benefit is you can keep all your data safe after the Screen Time Passcode removal.

Note that PhoneRescue can only recover Screen Time Passcode for devices running iOS 12 or earlier.

Part 3. Does PhoneRescue Work?

During my test, PhoneRescue doesn’t exaggerate much about what it can do but I think they use too many misleading or inaccurate expressions on the official website. Every feature of PhoneRescue comes with quite a few limitations but I did not see any reminders on the homepage. You have to go deeper and explore them yourself, which is kind of unfair for people who bought the product directly just believing what it advertised on the homepage.

That being said, PhoneRescue can actually work great to extract and recover data from iTunes/iCloud backup as well as recover most recently lost data. Just a reminder: if the free version cannot detect your lost data, the activated version cannot either. There is no difference in the scanning results between free and paid versions.

Part 4. Is PhoneRescue Safe?

Yes it is. PhoneRescue is safe to use if you download the correct version from its official website.

First of all, it is safe to download on both Windows and Mac. The anti-virus software on my computer doesn’t detect any risks. The download and installation process also contains no ads or additional plug-ins.

Second, your device is safe being connected to the program. PhoneRescue will not brick your device unless it has already been bricked. Every change to your device will not be done without your permission.

Third and most importantly, your data is a hundred percent safe during the whole process. PhoneRescue does need to access your device data but rest assured, it’s read-only. PhoneRescue will not record, let alone steal, and sell your personal information like other similar products do.

Part 5. Is PhoneRescue Legit?

Yes, it is. PhoneRescue is legit to use and will not void your warranty. It will not jailbreak your device or do anything that makes your device different from what it was before. PhoneRescue claims so and I verified that using my own iPhone and iPad.

But if you still doubt its legitimacy, your best bet is to make a backup of your device before using PhoneRescue. That way, you can protect your device from any risks, including jailbreak. For backup, I would recommend iMobie AnyTrans rather than iTunes for a smart and thorough backup and restoration.

Part 6. Is PhoneRescue Free?

PhoneRescue is free to scan and preview data but not free to recover deleted data. Here are all the differences between the free and paid version.

FeaturesFree VersionPaid Version
Scan and preview data from iDevice/iTunes backup/iCloud backup.
Recover data.×
Repair iOS system.×
Remove iOS Lock Screen Passcode.×
Recover Screen Time Passcode.×

It’s worth noting that there is no difference in the scanning results of both free and paid versions. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use the free version first and then pay for an activation code when you confirm PhoneRescue can restore your data.

PhoneRescue Pricing

3-Month Plan1-Year PlanLifetime Plan
$45.99$49.99$69.99

Note that the above-listed prices don’t include VAT (Value-added tax), that is to say, the actual payment is higher than the amount you see on its purchase page.

PhoneRescue has fair pricing plans for both Windows and Mac users. If you have learned about other similar software before, you’ll find many of them price Mac version than Windows, which is very malicious for Mac users. Having an expensive computer doesn’t mean you have to pay more!

Also, it would be great if iMobie provides a pricing plan for one-off users because after all data recovery is just something that happens once in a while. A 3-Month plan doesn’t make sense except for charging more from users.

Part 7. Where to Download PhoneRescue?

You can download iMobie PhoneRescue from its official website or from some authoritative third-party download sites. *Currently it is not available on the Mac App Store. To make sure you download the latest version of PhoneRescue for Windows or Mac, you can directly click the buttons below to enter its official website.

Part 8. What Others Say about iMobie PhoneRescue?

To make this PhoneRescue review as fair and trustworthy as possible, I did a thorough research online about what other users say about their experience with PhoneRescue. After reading the top positive and critical reviews on Sitejabber and Trustpilot, I found many people had a good experience with PhoneRescue like me but there are also people who are dissatisfied. Among them, the most controversial points include:

  • Cannot receive PhoneRescue license code after the purchase.
  • Impossible to cancel the subscription.
  • PhoneRescue not working. (Mostly due to operational errors.)

And below are my personal suggestions to avoid the above situations from happening:

  • Make sure the email address you entered is correct when you fill in the order information. Otherwise, iMobie cannot find a way to send you the activation code.
  • If you don’t want to renew the subscription, cancel it right away after you purchase the product. Do not initiate a cancellation after the renewal date because that would be totally your responsibility. If iMobie doesn’t respond to your request to cancel your subscription, you can directly contact your credit card company.
  • Make sure you correctly understand what PhoneRescue can do and how to operate it.

Part 9. Best Alternatives to PhoneRescue

As I mentioned above, PhoneRescue is not the only solution when it comes to iPhone data recovery. If you don’t trust iMobie, below are the most popular alternatives to PhoneRescue from Tenorshare, iMyFone, and Dr.Fone.

Just a reminder: iMobie PhoneRescue is the only iPhone data recovery tool that supports recovering lost data directly to iDevice. Others only support recovering lost data to computer.

Tenorshare UltData vs iMobie PhoneRescue

Tenorshare UltData for iOS has a cheaper lifetime license price than PhoneRescue and enables you to back up and restore App data, which is very thoughtful.

iMyFone D-Back vs iMobie PhoneRescue

iMyFone D-Back is priced exactly the same as PhoneRescue but it is not as versatile as PhoneRescue.

Dr.Fone Data Recovery vs iMobie PhoneRescue

Dr.Fone Data Recovery is the most expensive and doesn’t provide other functions other than data recovery. The biggest advantage of Dr.Fone Data Recovery is it is developed by Wondershare, the pioneer in the data recovery industry.

Part 10. FAQs about PhoneRescue for iOS

1. What to do if PhoneRescue doesn’t work?

If PhoneRescue is not working on your device, you can either ask a refund or change to another iMobie product that works for you. iMobie Support team will reply to you within 24 hours. In my case, it only takes 2 hours.

2. Does iMobie recover deleted text messages?

Yes, it does. Both iMobie PhoneRescue for iOS and PhoneRescue for Android support recovering deleted text messages with or without a backup.

3. How long does PhoneRescue take?

The scanning process is very fast but as for how long PhoneRescue takes to recover data to your device or PC, it will depend on how much data you want to recover. Typically, it will take you no more than 30 minutes to recover 5GB of data. 

4. Does PhoneRescue steal data?

No, it doesn’t. PhoneRescue can only read your data but never keep a record of it, let alone steal and use your personal information illegally.

5. Is PhoneRescue a virus?

PhoneRescue is not a virus and contains no viruses. You can rest assured to download and install it as long as the download source is legit. Do not trust and download some so-called PhoneRescue crack, I dare say most of them are malware and will not work at all.

6. What if PhoneRescue fails to recognize my device?

In case PhoneRescue fails to recognize your device, you should first make sure you have downloaded the latest PhoneRescue and iTunes version, then check whether the USB cable and port are working properly. If that still doesn’t work, you can contact the iMobie support team for professional help.

Final Verdict

iMobie PhoneRescue is the most versatile data recovery tool you can find in the market and also it is the only one that can directly recover data to device, which says everything about its advancement and quality. Feel free to give it a try but do not pay for it until it scans out the data you want.

How’s your using experience with PhoneRescue? Please tell your story in the comment section and that will greatly encourage me to update and revise the article.

About the author

My name is David Zhao. I've been working in the SaaS industry for almost a decade, and my experience with software goes back even further. Because of this, I have a deep understanding of how software can enhance both our work and personal lives. I'm excited to share my professional perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of various software.