How to recover photos or videos from an iPhone backup

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 19 Apr 2015

iCloud - Backup

Have you backed up your iPhone lately? If you haven’t you may want to do so right now, because losing all your apps, contacts, and most importantly, you photos and videos, can be a huge pain in the ass. If you misplace, break, or have your phone stolen you’ll lose your entire Camera Roll collection of photos and videos. But if you made a recent backup you just may be able to recover all your photos and videos in no time.

How to recover photos or videos from an iPhone backup

Method One: iFriend

The iPhone is one of the most popular phones in the world, and holds over 40 percent of the US market for smartphones. So, it is more likely than not that you know at least one person with an iPhone. And if that person is nice enough to lend you their phone, those lost photos are minutes away from being recovered.

Again, if have a backup for your lost phone, you can recover those lost items using an iTunes backup or an iCloud backup. OF COURSE, you should BACK UP  the borrowed device before moving on to the next step. If you do not back up their device their data could be lost forever, and they would hate you. Now, after backing up their phone, plug it into your computer and restore using your backup from “This computer” or iCloud.

iTunes - Backup

Once the device has been restored to your backup, you will see all of your photos and videos on that device. Now all you need to do is transfer that content onto your computer, flash drive, or cloud storage service. Once you have done that, make sure to restore your friend’s phone by using their backup. Great. Now you have your pictures and videos, and your friend’s phone is back to normal.

Method Two: Third-Party apps

If you don’t have access to an extra iPhone you will need to download a third-party tool. Luckily there are a ton out there, although most of them are paid. These third-party apps find files from your backups without needing to have the phone on hand, making it an ideal alternative for lost or broken phones. Here’s a small list of option out there:

Using iPhone Backup Extractor, I was able to easily find and extract my “lost photos.” After downloading the application, run it, and it will automatically search your computer (the one you backed up your iPhone to) for any available backups. It found my backup in seconds and provided a brief overview of it.

Extract -Photos


Under the Available data section you will see Photos. Select the blue extraction link and you will be able to extract all of your photos. Since I am using the unregistered limited trial, I can only extract 4 photos. Folks who purchase the product will be able to extract all photos and items from the backup.

Extraction - iTunes Backup

Each program will have a similar process, so follow the respective program’s directions for finding and restoring your pictures and videos from a backup.

Let us know if you were able to get those prized pictures back and which program you decided to use.