Can a video that was deleted from an iPhone 5c running iOS 7.1 be recovered?

1) the video was not in the camera roll 2) the video was deleted 3 weeks before seizure of device 3) app used to download/play video was deleted, re-downloaded and deleted again before seizure of device 4) no passcode locking device

Is recovery of the deleted video possible? And if so, how likely?

  • What was in the video? I'm really curious, it must have been something incriminating if you are so eager to know if it's gone or not. – Lucas Kauffman Jun 13 '14 at 7:04

Recovery is possible if the page-files containing the video have not yet been overwritten. I would advise you to act fast as SSD drives are more prone to permanent data loss compared to classic HDD drives. To make things more difficult, different SSD drives use different approaches for writing/updating data sectors so even if you have extra space, installing a new app or storing extra data could overwrite the page-files which contained the video. Another problem is that SSD drives use voltage to set 1/0 bits and depending on the quality of the drive and the up-keeping mechanism, deleted data sectors could degrade (permanent loss) over-time hence you should act quickly.


Technically yes the video is recoverable with software only if certain things have not happened yet.

If you are on a device that has enough free space (think 16gb vs 32gb) that it probably has not been overwritten then the file still exists on the device, but the pointer to the file that the system knows about is gone, in this case use file recovery software to analyze the blocks on the device.

But if you are on a device where data has been loaded and deleted (movies etc), then there is a good chance that the recording has been overwritten.


I think the important message here is "technically, the file may be recoverable". There are many factors at play so we cannot give you a definitive answer. The same goes for your follow up, "how likely is it?" Impossible to answer with the information given.

The actions of deleting the app and reinstalling it may increase the likelihood of data loss, particularly if the app was used again to record data. This also depends on how the app organizes data on the storage volume.

Your best bet for a reliable answer is to contact a mobile device forensic specialist; it will likely be expensive.

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