iPhone 6(S)(+) Help recovering iPhone data

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macuser453787, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some help with my iPhone 6. Back in June I accidentally dunked my iPhone in water. Since then, the touch screen has been unresponsive. I did not have the phone backed up to iCloud, nor did I have a backup of it on my Mac. All of the external buttons still work, including the home button.

    After the incident, I took the phone to a repair shop, and the tech was very helpful and was able to get the last remaining bits of moisture out and clean the connectors, but he wasn't able to restore touch screen functionality, so I called Apple to ask if it was possible to take the old iPhone and a new iPhone to one of their stores to have the old device cloned to the new one. The rep told me that he believed that could be done, so I waited for a Black Friday deal and got a new iPhone 6 in November.

    Having received my new iPhone, a couple of weeks ago I called Apple to set up the appointment to bring my phones in, and the rep I spoke with gave a me a different answer than the first rep, explaining that they probably would not do the clone for security reasons. She also told me that even if I sent off my phone for repair, the phone's data would likely be wiped as part of standard operating procedure, which would defeat the purpose of having it repaired (I want the data on the phone, not the phone itself).

    Believing her info to be accurate, I found myself back at square one, so I decided to look into a DIY approach for getting the data off the phone.

    I was encouraged by this thread on Apple's website and decided to pursue it, so I purchased both a lightning keyboard and a Bluetooth keyboard, and yesterday evening I sat down to do the data retrieval. After some initial hiccups, I was able to figure it out by practicing on my new iPhone, BUT I ran into a couple of issues because of which I'm now at an impasse and need help to go further.

    In the above thread, the user was able to use Siri to turn on VoiceOver and navigate to the settings he needed to turn on, which made his process a lot easier. The user's goal (which is also my goal) was to turn on his phone's Bluetooth and then pair the phone with the Bluetooth keyboard so that he could tell his phone via the Bluetooth keyboard to trust his computer after connecting the phone to his computer via lightning cable.

    What I ran into last night was that I could not use Siri on the old phone because the WiFi on that device is turned off, and I could not establish a cellular connection even after reactivating the old phone with my cell provider. (I suspect the cell modem may have lost functionality because of the water damage.)

    So being unable to use Siri last night, the obvious recourse was to try to use my external lightning keyboard to navigate to Bluetooth settings, toggle Bluetooth on, and then pair my phone with the Bluetooth keyboard.

    But I wasn't able to do that. It seemed that no keyboard combination allowed me to get past the home screen or navigate the phone in any way. I was able to get to the Bluetooth settings because of a search button on the keyboard. When I pressed the search button and typed in my search query, the Bluetooth settings appeared in the list of results, and I was able to use arrow keys to navigate to and select the settings. I did so, and pressed return, and it brought up the Bluetooth settings screen with the toggle switch. But once again, just like with the Home screen, I could not navigate down to the toggle switch and turn it on. The ability to highlight, move or select anything went away again.

    I got so close to getting my data, it was hard not to feel frustrated.

    There has to be a way to navigate an iPhone with an external keyboard (without the help of VoiceOver).

    If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it. Please feel free to ask questions if you want clarification or if I left out anything.

    Thanks very much for your time. :)
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    My mom broke here iPhone 7 and the only way I could get the data off (since we couldn't unlock the phone without a screen) was to get a working screen.

    Sounds like your phone work right just not the screen? Have you considered getting a new touch screen or perhaps using the new phone's screen on the old phone?
  3. macuser453787, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    macuser453787 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Well the guy at the repair shot tried replacing the screen. Even after cleaning the internal components and installing an aftermarket screen, the touch functionality wasn't working.

    Trying to use the new iPhone's screen on the old phone is an interesting thought, and I have the tools to do it, but I wonder if it would be worth the time to attempt it. If I do that, will the home button work on the old iPhone? Isn't the home button linked to its original iPhone?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 17, 2018 ---
    I think I answered my question: In the iPhone 6, the home button itself will work after a screen swap, but the Touch ID feature will not, which is okay because I don't need Touch ID to unlock the phone.

    Ergo, all I have to do is swap screens and I should be able to bypass all of those other steps with the keyboards and just tap the Trust button when I connect the iPhone to my Mac.

    You actually reminded me that I wanted to try the screen swap option before with the screen from my wife's iPhone 6, but she was understandably hesitant to let me do that so I didn't pursue that route.

    Thanks so much for your help! :)
  4. macuser453787 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Update: Swapping the screens was no go for touch functionality.

    So back to the original question: Does anyone know how to navigate an iPhone and turn settings on and off, using an external lightning keyboard, but without the help of VoiceOver?

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3 December 17, 2018