How well are photos deleted on iPhone 6S with "erase & reset?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Turnpike, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Turnpike macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

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    Oct 2, 2011
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    New York City!
    #1
    I'm selling an iPhone 6 plus, just exactly how unrecoverable is the data I erased from the phone? I erased and reset it, deleted and signed out of iCloud, removed the SIM card, and updated it to the latest IOS 9.1 or whatever the latest is... is there any way that the buyer with some software or app can recover my pictures or videos...? or even some of them? With software, or some other method...? How bullet proof is the factory "erase & reset" function, given that it's some version of a small SSD in these phones...? I was always under the impression that SSD's aren't as permanently "eraseable" as regular hard drives...
     
  2. Eileen89 macrumors 65816

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    Aug 12, 2014
    #2
    In my experience once pics/videos have been permanently deleted, they are gone. No need to worry.
     
  3. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 14, 2011
    #3
    I wouldn't worry about it if I've erased the phone but if you're really that paranoid about your files being retrieved by a potential buyer than you probably shouldn't be selling your phone at all.
     
  4. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #4
    Are you a celebrity who took nudie pics?

    In all reality, the answer is pretty damn nrecoverable. These aren't hard disks that leave physical traces of data. Could it be recovered? Maybe. It's more likely that you win the lottery than whoever you sell it to deciding to try and recover old data in the off chance they MIGHT fand something awesome.
     
  5. MrInquestador macrumors member

    MrInquestador

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    Nov 14, 2015
    #5
    lol
     
  6. tl01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #6
    On an earlier version of the iPhone before people said the data was unrecoverable I did fill the space with music from iTunes over and over again until I felt it was erased well enough. Don't know if it made a difference but you could try that. I was simply trying to write over all the info. On subsequent phones I have not done that.
     
  7. Conan86, Nov 14, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015

    Conan86 macrumors 6502

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    Singapore
    #7
    I know for a fact that data are harder to recover from iPhone than other storage media.

    If the other party is well equipped and wants your data bad enough they can probably recover some sfuff
     
  8. S.T.A.R. macrumors regular

    S.T.A.R.

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #8
    The data is recoverable but most would not know how. If it is very important to you that the picture(s) are never recovered...even 10 years later. Destroy the phone by melting it with a blow torch.
     
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

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    #9
    Unless the data is overwritten it remains on the memory. Someone with a lot of knowledge could retrieve it.
     
  10. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

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    #10
    I erased and reset the phone, then filled it up with purchased iTunes movies until the HD was full, then erased it again. Would that make it permanently unrecoverable? or is some of it still out there?
     
  11. Furzul macrumors 6502

    Furzul

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    Jan 13, 2013
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    Derbyshire, England
    #11
    I am dying to know what the OP has on it. Don't suppose he will tell us though.
     
  12. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #12
    Download a free recovery tool and check it yourself.

    Let us know, I've always been curious to see how those tools work. I would think in theory the only thing you should be able to recover is one of those movies...which is unlikely due to their size.
     
  13. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

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    Oct 2, 2011
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    New York City!
    #13
    First, as to what "the OP has on his phone..." it's not what's on this phone.....it's what I plan to put on the NEXT phone... ;) These phones take amazing quality video...

    I'm going to try the suggestions on here, and share them for others. Can anyone point me to the BEST recovery tool? Even that costs money? I will try to see what it recovers, and then after overwriting it a few times, it's pretty much the only way to get an accurate and current idea what is still there and what isn't. My concern is someone ELSE buying a premium recovery software and just running it on anything they happen to buy. I kept a lot of work (proprietary info) on my phone, and it's not worth the $$value of the phone to chance the data, and the phone is too expensive to just keep in a drawer... so I'm going to put this to rest myself. I run 2-4 phones with my work info (between myself and people who work for me) and the peace of mind has a considerable value to me.

    Any suggestions on the BEST recovery software out there? I don't mind spending $$. And like I said, I'll share the results here. Thanks!
     
  14. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #14
  15. lamborghini392 macrumors member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    #15
    IIRC, iOS encrypts every file on the phone and by doing a "erase all contents and settings" the decryption key is wiped which basically renders any leftovers useless. Also part of the erase process requires the storage to be formatted (almost 100% positive it is a secure erase aka writes all zeros to the disk, not sure about the iTunes restore though).

    Some good recovery tools I've heard of are FoneLab and MobiSaver. The MobiSaver is made by a reputable data recovery/backup company whereas I've never heard of Aiseesoft who makes FoneLab. You can try them but I doubt they'll turn up anything.
     
  16. EldonChew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    You're right
    Page 10
    https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf

    It should be technically infeasible since they use AES-256?
    --

    So don't worry too much!
     
  17. S.T.A.R. macrumors regular

    S.T.A.R.

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #17
    Technology and recovery methods will advance...
     
  18. EldonChew macrumors regular

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    Dec 3, 2011
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    Singapore
    #18
    So.. Someone is going to buy your phone and keep it for 5 years with the hope of getting your pictures/videos?...
     
  19. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #19
    As will encryption and protection methods.
     

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