Recovering the data from a mobile phone is often crucial in any type of legal case. Usually recovering this data is straightforward as the phone is working, but sometimes data may have been deliberately deleted or hidden, and other times the phone may have been deliberately smashed or broken in an attempt to stop anyone accessing the data on it.
We are frequently asked if it’s possible to recover information like text (SMS) messages and WhatsApp messages from phones where the messages have been deleted or lost. This is usually possible so long as the delete messages have not been overwritten. If the information is still on the phone we should be able to recover it regardless of the phone make and model.
A further complication comes if we are asked to recover information from a deliberately damaged or broken mobile phone. This presents the added complication that we first have to repair the phone before we can begin to locate the data to be recovered. Again, it should be possible, but it obviously depends on how damaged the phone is.
In this photo of a Samsung S9, the phone had been seized at a crime scene by the police who (unsurprisingly seeing the phone’s condition) had not be able to recover any data from it. The phone had been run over in a car and both sides were smashed. Fortunately the damaged phone came to us and we were able to successfully recover the data from it.
The most common types of data we are requested to recover from mobile and smartphones are
- Text and WhatsApp messages
- Diary dates and times
- Location data
- Photos and videos
- Internet histories
Some further reading:
Phone data recovery – More about Data Clinic’s general phone data recovery
Forensic data recovery – Details of Data Clinic’s advanced and forensic data recovery capabilities
Forensic data investigation – Further information about forensic data recovery and how it all works legally