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The low down on lost or deleted data from Apple devices

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

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With internet security becoming a hot topic, thanks to the escalation in cybercrime, having encryption software installed is desirable for both businesses and individuals. Apple devices are automatically encrypted whereas with Android, it’s a feature you can opt in to or out of.

There has been plenty of media coverage lately on the encryption issues between Apple Inc. and the FBI. The iPhone concerned had encryption protection with a maximum of 10 attempts allowed to try and access the device. As the pass code wasn’t known, the phone sat in a securely encrypted state meaning ‘brute force’ wasn’t an option. See:

Datalab MD Cameron Hansen says he is seeing increasing numbers of customers on a daily basis with data loss from IOS and OSX devices. The main difficulty in completing data recovery from Apple devices is centred around how Apple treats unused memory on its devices (including all chip based storage on the newer Macbook products).

Cameron says part of the problem is that if you accidently delete a file or ‘wipe’ your iPad, iPhone or iMac, the area any data recovery professional would usually refer to is then encrypted on any chip based Apple product. In short, any memory block that is not in use by the system regardless of its previous use, is eventually presented as, for lack of a better term, empty. Datalab notes this is not the case for older Apple products still using conventional hard drives.

He also notes the critical factor in getting lost data recovered is timing. If the device is handed into the Lab immediately, the chances are pretty good to recover deleted data. What’s crucial is not to restart, update, download or connect the device as that consumes the limited memory and impacts the chance of a successful recovery.

Our advice is to have your device looked at straight away. Bring it in to a professional Data Recovery company such as Datalab who can be reached on 0800 DATALAB (328 2522).

Datalab are New Zealand’s premier data recovery service matching their high-tech laboratory, featuring state of the art ISO5 clean room facilities, with years of experience and cost effective recovery solutions. To find out more contact Datalab on 0800 DATALAB (328 2522) or find them at


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