We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Utilities software Reviews
15,512 Reviews

Wondershare Dr. Fone review

£68 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Wondershare

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Dr. Fone offers an easy, but pricey, way to use your PC to recover files accidentally deleted from your iPhone or iPad. Here's our Dr. Fone review.

As an iPhone or iPad user knows, it's all too easy to accidentally delete information from your device simply by touching the screen the wrong way. And once that data is gone, it's gone for good--unless you have Wondershare's Dr. Fone, a £68 program (free feature-limited demo) that proved capable of recovering lost data from iOS devices... some of the time.

Dr. Fone is desktop software (with separate versions for Windows and Mac) that works with all iOS devices. It can recover data directly from the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, the iPad 1, and the fourth-generation iPod touch, and it can regain data from an iTunes backup of all other iOS devices, including newer iPads, the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4S. Wondershare plans to add device-level recovery for these newer iPhones and iPads in a version to be released later this year.

As mentioned above, Dr. Fone tackles iOS data recovery in two ways: Either from the iOS device itself, or--in case you've lost the device--from an iTunes backup. To recover data from a compatible iOS device, you launch Dr. Fone on your PC and connect your device via USB. In order to recover deleted data, Dr. Fone needs your device in DFU mode (Device Firmware Update), which prevents the OS from loading. To accomplish, the software leads you through the process--which simply involves pressing a combination of buttons--as painstakingly as possible. It even shows an on-screen countdown clock, ticking off the seconds that you're required to hold the buttons.

Once your phone or tablet is in DFU mode, Dr. Fone takes a few seconds to connect with the device, and then automatically begins scanning it for deleted files. The software can recover items deleted from the camera roll, photo stream, photo library, contacts, MMS and SMS messages and attachments, call history, calendar, notes, reminders, voice memos, and Safari bookmarks. It automatically scans for all types of files; once done, it tells you how many of each it managed to recover.

At first glance, Dr. Fone seemed pretty capable of recovering lost files. I deleted multiple contacts, photos, videos, text messages, and bookmarks, as well as the complete call history, from an iPhone 4, and Dr. Fone was able to find all of the files except for the deleted text messages.

Once the files are located, you can choose which ones to recover, and Dr. Fone walks you through the process of recovering the items to a folder of your choice on your PC. Unfortunately, once my files were recovered, I found that not all of them were intact: For my missing contacts, it recovered the names and contact photos, but not the phone numbers associated with them, which was the most important part. I've had a similar experience when testing data recovery applications for my Windows PC: Often, they're able to recover bits and pieces of the deleted data, but not always all of it.

If you don't have access to your iOS device, if your Dr. Fone scan doesn't find what you're looking for, or if you're using a newer Apple device, you can use the software to recover data from iTunes backup files. Dr. Fone automatically loads a list of available iTunes backup files, and you select which one you'd like to scan. Then, Dr. Fone automatically searches through the file for the same photos, contacts, and more that it attempts to recover from your iPhone or iPad itself. While you could use iTunes to access these backups, doing so limits you to accessing the entire backup file; using Dr. Fone allows you to pick and choose which specific files within the backup you'd like to recover.

Dr. Fone Expert Verdict »
iPhone or iPad
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Dr. Fone isn't perfect, as it didn't recover all of my deleted files intact, but it came close. It certainly is pricey, but if you've accidentally deleted an important photo or file, you know that some things are priceless.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • X1 Mobile Search

    X1 Mobile Search

    If you've got the free X1 Mobile Connect on your computer and X1 Mobile Search on your iPhone or iPad, you can search and edit docs at will.

  • Apple iPad review

    Apple iPad

    Apple has earned a reputation as the maker of some of the most elegant and user-friendly computers, music players and smartphones in the business. Yet the Apple iPad may be the most impressive piece of Apple hardware we’ve handled. Updated May 5 2010

  • Numbers 1.5 for iPad review

    Numbers 1.5 for iPad

    Mac OS X users will get more from Numbers than iPad-owning Windows users. For simple spreadsheet creation on the go, it’s not a bad £6.99 app, but don’t expect to enjoy the full sophistication of Microsoft’s Excel software.

  • iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison preview: What's the difference between iPhone 5s and iPhone 6?

    iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison preview: What's the difference between iPhone 5s and iPhone 6?

    Apple is set to release the iPhone 6 in September, but how will it differ from the iPhone 5s? We explore the rumours.

  • Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 comparison review: What's the new iPhone got?

    Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 comparison: What's the new iPhone got?

    As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 5S, it's new flagship smartphone. So what's the difference between it and the old iPhone 5? We find out in our iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 comparison review.


IDG UK Sites

7 coolest 3D-printed objects: Body parts, houses, camera lenses and even pizza

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Thinking robots: The philosophy of artificial intelligence and evolving technology

IDG UK Sites

Sharknado 2 VFX: how The Asylum created CG flying man-eating sharks