I want to access data stored in a 3rd party iOS app called FriendLoan. This app crashes every time I try to open it. Also, it's not available on the App Store. I just need to recover the data somehow. I know that the data is stored in the app.


Local persistence of data in an iOS app can be done in a variety of ways (Core Data, SQLite database, NSUserDefaults, Plist file, Documents directory etc.). Whether it's possible to recover it would entirely depend on how FriendLoan app implements it.

If the app stores the data in the form of on-disk file(s), you can attempt to recover it. Connect your iPhone to your computer, launch iTunes, select your iPhone and click on File Sharing under Settings in the left sidebar.

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Apps which are programmed with support for File Sharing are listed. Click to select the app to see the files available for sharing within the app bundle. You can drag and drop the available files to Finder to save a copy on your computer. This is one potential way to attempt recovery of data. Whether the data is actually what you are looking for totally depends on the how the app developer has written the implementation for handling it.

Alternatively, you can search the Web to look for desktop apps which lets you access filesystem of connected iOS device. It's another way to attempt recovery of data if the aforementioned approach doesn't yield the desired.

As a last resort, it doesn't hurt to contact the developer of the app and see if they can provide any help with resolving.

  • Thanks for your answer. The app doesn’t appear in the file sharing section of iTunes. I had checked that first. – Viraj Apr 17 at 14:41
  • @Viraj You are then left with the other option, i.e. to search the Web for some file explorer (desktop) utility for iOS. I don't have high hopes for that approach (as the app is most likely storing the data in some unreadable format), but still worth giving a shot. – Nimesh Neema Apr 17 at 16:24
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    The app iExplorer is a great tool for delving into your device and device backups. I've used it many times to recover data and stuff not otherwise obtainable through the Apple UI. Disclaimer: I'm a satisfied paying user of iExplorer and have no financial stake in Macroplant LLC. – IconDaemon Apr 17 at 22:25
  • -Nimesh Is there any other alternative? Using Xcode maybe? @IconDaemon Tried iExplorer - Didn't work. Any other options? – Viraj Apr 18 at 9:04
  • @Viraj I’d advise contacting the developer of the app. – Nimesh Neema Apr 18 at 9:05

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