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I have important photos on an iPhone 5 that got severely damaged during a trip several years ago. The photos weren't backed up to iCloud because there was no wifi during this trip. The screen is cracked and since it wasn't showing anything, I assumed the phone was dead beyond repair. It sat in a drawer for the last 5 years.

However! I put a new battery in it and plugged it to my Mac. While the display did not turn on, I think the iPhone tried to boot, as the Finder in macOS showed the iPhone along with a message to reset it to factory settings (which I canceled out of).

From this, I deducted that the logic board is still functional (unless it's just the boot rom?) and that (hopefully) the user data is still on it.

Are there tools available that can help me retrieve photos that are on this iPhone?

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Yes there is an app called iExplorer that will allow you to transfer files and photos to your mac. The app has a free trial period. Connect your phone to your mac and run it. You should be able to see everything on your phone and transfer what you need.

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  • Unfortunately, because the Finder displays the alert to reset it to factory settings, I think the iPhone is in Recovery Mode and iExplorer cannot work with it. May 22, 2020 at 16:47

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