How to Recover Data From a Lost Mobile Phone?

These days we are more reliant on our smartphones than ever before. A smartphone is no longer just a device for communication, but we use it to store data, messages and our all-important photographs among other personal information. With that being said, however, one does have to question how people cope when a device that holds so much information is lost or stolen.

Well, the fact is it happens to the best of us. No matter how careful you are, whether you’ve insured your device or you supposedly never let the thing out of your sight, accidents happen. You may misplace it at home or while you’re out, or it may be stolen. Therefore, none of us are safe from the risk of being unknowingly separated from our smartphones.

However, losing your smart phone doesn’t have to mean losing everything that was on it. There are ways to recover your data from your lost or stolen smartphone device.

Regardless of whether you are an iPhone or Android user, we’ve got you covered. This article will provide you with some clear and easy-to-follow steps for recovering data from a lost phone. As a word of caution before we set out, make sure to back up your data regularly to a cloud-based service or a computer.

Recover Data That Is Cached On the Cloud

Thankfully these days, most of us use a cloud storage system in addition to our devices. However, the process of recovering data differs depending on whether you are using an iPhone or Android device.


  1. Open your Settings app on an alternative Apple or iOS device.
  2. Select ‘Apps & Data’.
  3. Click on ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’.
  4. You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID.
  5. Tap ‘Choose backup’ and select from your list of available backups.

In order for this backup to be there though, you need to have enabled an iCloud backup in the first place. Here’s how you can do this.

  1. Open your Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap ‘Sign in’.
  3. You’ll need to enter your Apple ID and password. Don’t worry if you don’t have one — you can create one now.
  4. Once you’re signed in, click iCloud.
  5. You can then turn on all the iCloud features you want to use, including which apps you’d like to back up via the cloud.

With iCloud Backup turned on, your phone will automatically back up the selected information to the cloud each day. It will need to be turned on, locked and connected to Wi-Fi and a power source though. You can also choose to manually back up your phone to the cloud with the following steps.

  1. Open your Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Select ‘iCloud’.
  3. Click ‘iCloud Backup’.
  4. Choose ‘Back Up Now’.


  1. Download and install the Google Drive app onto an alternative device.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Anything you’ve previously backed up on that Google account can be synced to the new device.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps on your alternative device or see your device manufacturer’s site for additional support.

Remember though, you won’t be able to restore a backup from a more recent Android operating system onto another device running an older operating system. Also, just like with an iPhone, you’ll need to have already saved a backup of your Android phone data to Google Drive in order to use this recovery method.

Looking to the Future: How Can You Prepare Yourself for a Lost or Stolen Phone?

In an ideal world, our smartphones would never be lost or stolen, but as they say, ‘prevention is the best medicine’. Thanks to technology though, you may be able to locate your missing phone. But even if you can’t find your phone again, there are ways you can get the data back.

Here are some habits to get into to make sure you are prepared should your phone go missing:

  • Let’s begin by stating the obvious — ensuring your phone is regularly backed up to the Cloud is essential should you ever need to recover the data from that device.
  • Get into the habit of using apps like Google Drive that store data in the Cloud and can be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
  • Always use a lock screen. This may be a PIN, fingerprint or facial recognition. A lock screen puts an extra level of security on your phone, making it harder for someone else to access your phone’s data.
  • Activate tracking software such as Find My iPhone or Find My Device that will enable you to locate your phone more easily should you misplace it. This tracking software can even tell you where the device is moving in the event that it was stolen by thieves. You can also use this software to remotely wipe your device if you don’t want to risk anyone accessing your data.

And If the Phone Is Returned to You?

As is often the case with these things, you might end up finding that lost smartphone when you least expect it. Hooray! Whether it is returned to you or you find it under your car seat, having your device find its way back to you is always a welcome surprise. Well, that is unless it turns out to be damaged. How very bittersweet! But don’t despair, you can try the solutions above or contact NSI for forensic data recovery support for your best chance at getting those files back.


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