iPhone Unavailable



May 17, 2010
I have an iPhone 7 (256GB model, not sure what iOS version, but somewhere in the late 14 or early 15 if I had to guess) and I accidentally dropped it on the floor.

I now have the perfect shitstorm of circumstances happen that I'm unsure if my data is gone.

Can I get my data back?

Here are the course of events:

1. I haven't done a backup to my computer in a year (shame on me, I know). I don't have iCloud turned on so nothing is backed up there as well, especially since there's only 5gb of storage (again, shame on me, I know).

2. The phone cracked and display became corrupted from the drop. I heard sounds as if it were someone typing whenever I entered the charger. From my research, I believe this is what they call the "ghost touch bug". Regardless, I kept it charged so that I could bring it to a repair shop.

3. I brought it to a repair shop to get the display repaired, got it repaired, and noticed on the screen it says "iPhone Unavailable". He told me he had to disconnect the screen to shut off the phone so he can perform the repair. I understand the "iPhone Unavailable" is a security feature to prevent the wrong person from getting into the phone, but this sucks becase the whole reason why I got the screen repaired in the first place was to be able to press the "Trust This Computer" notification and make a backup. I feel as though the "iPhone Unavailable" screen happened before the repairman even did anything because I remember the same type of vibration I'm experiencing now when the "iPhone Unavailble" screen is showing up is the same type of virbation I felt when I was charging the phone last night. Apple can unlock the phone, but this will require a complete reset to factory settings. I'm sure if I go through with it, I'll be able to use the phone again, but I do not want to lose the data.

4. Though the phone says "iPhone Unavailable", it still connects via Bluetooth in my car and plays music and I can still connect to WhatsApp online because the computer, technically, can access the phone via WiFi.


Given this, I feel like there's SOME SORT OF WAY to access the phone because how else is the computer and car connecting to it? Any help is much appreciated!

Despite the fact that I see so many articles and youtube videos essentially saying I'm screwed and that I have to wipe the phone and restore from a backup, I feel there HAS to be a way. Can anyone help (thanks in advance for reading my lengthy post)? If anyone can help, hopefully it's someone in here!


Staff member
Apr 26, 2006
Likely the broken screen was "touching" buttons and attempting to unlock the iPhone. Keeping it powered up caused it to lock out, in my opinion.

I think you are out of luck.

iPhones generate a primary key at first power up that never leaves the secure enclave that encrypts everything on the device. This is why Apple can no longer unlock iPhones that are sent to them, since they don't have the key to unlock the phone, like they did in the distant past. The firmware erases that key, making all the data inaccessible to anyone. Even the 3rd party tools are installing firmware to remove the key, and erase the iPhone.

Even if you had iCloud backup enabled, it would not have everything in it. It would be missing photos and texts (unless you specifically enabled Messages in iCloud).

The Bluetooth connectivity shows the operating system is running underneath. Allowing limited access to the contents without unlocking. This is how a normal iPhone works today. Trusted devices are allowed to talk to the iPhone and access some data.

If you had previously enabled wireless syncing to iTunes, then you may see your iPhone in iTunes. If that is the case, you may be able to click the Sync button and get a backup via WiFi. If this was NOT enabled before you got locked out, there isn't anything else that can be done.

I hope you had Photo Stream enabled. That would get you access to the pictures that were uploaded to iCloud.

The best you can do is restore from your year old backup and move forward.

We had run into this ourselves with an iPhone when we were vacationing in Mexico. Lost 2 months of pictures doing the restore since this phone does not use Photo Stream. In this case the iPhone was in a pocket facing the thigh and the thigh was pressing the buttons.