Can I retrieve photos from unresponsive iPhone that's going haywire?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by megcq, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. megcq macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2015
    So I'm completely new to this forum and not very tech literate at all. I'm currently in Spain for the summer working, and I've been having so many phone problems that I'm close to tears/throwing it out a window.

    First of all, I accept that some of these problems are likely my fault. I have an iPhone 5 that is unlocked (as in I can put any SIM card in it I want) that I had to buy refurbished from some sketchy amazon store because I had run out of upgrades after getting my phone stolen once and then broken another time. I couldn't afford a new iPhone or a new smart phone that was as nice, being a broke college student. It's always had a super short battery life and, when I checked, it's technically for the Apple free battery replacement, but since my college town doesn't have an apple store I didn't even bother to send it in because I assumed I'd just get it sent back or even confiscated for being unlocked.

    But since it was unlocked, I was able to take out the AT&T SIM and replace it with an Orange Mobile SIM card when I got to Spain, which has been so nice since usually when I travel I spend an insane amount of money on an international plan. But the battery seems to have been getting worse; dying sometimes 2 times a day after normal use. Sometimes it dies and if I wait a few minutes and hold down the power and home key to reset, it comes back with like 20% battery! I've had to start carrying around a portable charger because the battery is so weird and unpredictable. While I was in Morocco this weekend, it died much more quickly than usual, and when I plugged it in it just flashed up the apple sign as if it was restarting and then went black, over and over again. I can't get it to charge or turn on.

    I don't want to pay for a new battery or pay for it to get fixed in general, as I'm on a shoe-string budget and would rather travel than spend 100 euros to bandage up my phone and drag out its sad life a few more months. I'm probably going to buy a cheap smart phone while I'm here and just put my SIM card in that. But I have pictures from my Moroccan trip on my iPhone that I would be heartbroken to lose. Unfortunately, my iCloud storage hasn't backed up in a while because it was full and I was too lazy to figure out what I wanted to delete. Even when I did go to my iCloud account to see what my last photos that had backed up were, it said I couldn't use that feature until I updated my phone itself and there were no photos. Is there any way for me to recover the photos on my camera roll that aren't backed up? When I plug my phone in to my computer it doesn't show up on iTunes or iPhoto. If there's a physical memory card type thing inside of my iPhone that I could retrieve myself, I'm not above considering opening it up if it comes to that.

    I am a total idiot when it comes to this stuff, so please explain any suggestions you may have for me as if I am a five year old. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    There is nothing you can physically retrieve from inside the phone, so don't bother with that idea.

    I'll say up front you're very likely out of luck. But, if it were me, I'd try the power + home routine a number of times again, while plugged into a wall charger (with a converter if required for your current location!), not the computer or a portable battery charger--do this even while the phone reboots again and again. Just keep trying. Sometimes, that does kick it out of a bootloop--rare, but it does happen, and I had it work after 40 minutes of trying. Once.

    Obviously, if that works, backup to a computer immediately! And get those pics up to Dropbox, iCloud, or similar, just in case.

    Second thing to try is to download the trial version of PhoneView (Mac only) or Touch Copy (Windows) or the equivalent to any computer you have available. Plug in the phone to the computer and see if the software can see it. If it can see the phone, it likely can retrieve your images if you pay for the full version (around $30 USD.)

    If that doesn't work, Google how to put the phone into recovery mode. If this is successful, you'll be forced to wipe the phone & update it. You will lose all data on the phone at this point. There's plenty of data recovery programs out there that claim they can save your data, but fact of it is, they all seem to be ripoffs, taking your money and giving you nothing in return...certainly not your images.

    If there's an Apple Store nearby, you can try asking them for help, but typically they'll tell you there's nothing that can be done. They won't confiscate your phone, however. There's nothing illegal or even wrong about being unlocked. Your particular model cannot be unlocked via jailbreak, and being jailbroken is the only thing they might reject you for (if you were, which it sounds like you aren't)--even then, they wouldn't confiscate the phone. But generally speaking, once the phone stops responding, there's not much they can do besides put it into recovery mode (if possible) and reinstall everything...which again, wipes everything on the phone.

    Good luck!

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