With smartphones carrying so much of our important data nowadays, any potential damage is a huge risk. We store all our contact numbers, our photos (frivolous and sentimental alike), even our documents on there. Despite the giant leaps made in smartphone design, our devices are still prone to damage, and if they sustain too much, they’ll stop working altogether. It is important to protect our data devices. A common mishap is dropping the handset into the toilet or a drink. This is easily done now, whether it slips from your hand or your pocket (the sleek, slippery cases most have now only exacerbates the problem).
So, if this happens to you, and your phone refuses to switch on at all, does this mean you have to accept all your data is gone from water damage? Not necessarily. You may be able to take steps to get your phone working again (even if it takes several days), and you may also be able to access all those files you feared gone forever.
Take advantage of storage software
Most phones and their providers offer some kind of data backup by now. Devices running on Android or iOS now offer data storage, and can be set-up to sync with your online accounts – this means that each time you add a new photo or file to your phone, it’ll transfer over to your cloud memory. So, if you drop your phone in the toilet and can’t get it to work, you may be able to just jump onto your tablet, laptop, or desktop PC and access those pictures within seconds. Once you get your hands on a new phone, you can download these if you want to carry them with you everywhere again; alternatively, if you get your damaged phone running again, you can download them back onto it if they’ve vanished from your device storage.
Check your SD card
Don’t have your phone synced up to your online accounts? If you have photos and other vital data saved on your SD card or your Micro SD card, you may be able dry it out for SD recovery. While your first thought might be to blast it with a hairdryer for hours, you should avoid doing this. Instead, place it in a warm, dry place and leave it for a while – a few days, perhaps – and hook it up to your PC or other device able to read it. Hopefully, your files should still be accessible, allowing you to transfer them to this other device.
Dry the handset
If you have no online sync and no SD card, then you’re down to trying to revive the phone itself. Depending on the amount of water damage the handset absorbed, you may be able to save it. Again, avoid the hairdryer technique – instead, remove the backing and the battery, and place it in a bag of rice. Place this bag into a dry space – such as an airing cupboard – and leave for a few days to a week: the rice should absorb the water, and leave your phone in working order.
Now, try to switch the phone back on. If it works, the chances are good that it will have recovered well enough for you to access your data (now might be a good time to back it up elsewhere), or, at the very least, you may be able to connect it to your computer with a USB cable. If this works, you should be able to transfer your data to the computer, and perhaps store it in the cloud (for example, using Google Drive or emailing it to yourself).
If these methods offer no success, or if you’d prefer to let experts try first, contact a professional data recovery service. A reliable firm will be able to assess the problem with an experienced eye. .locate your data, to ensure all those important pictures and files are there when you need them.