iPhone 8 stuck in Lost Mode and we're trying to recovery the photos from the device

Client's iPhone 8 was lost Friday night.  Soon after it was lost they got their iPad and put the iPhone in Lost Mode.  A few hours later, they found the iPhone.  It suffered major damage to the screen.  The screen is black and doesn't appear to be responsive to touch.  It was still online when Lost Mode was disabled on the iPad later that night.  Client upgraded their storage space from 50gbs iCloud (photos hadn't been backed up since June 4th, 2018 because there was no more iCloud storage space) to 200gb iCloud in the hopes that the phone would somehow connect to wifi and the photos would upload to the cloud.

Two days later the iPhone was connected to the client's macbook.  The device was recognized, but iTunes couldn't do anything else because it was still in lost mode.  I went on the iPad and tried to disable lost mode, but the program acted like it never put it in lost mode.  The iPhone was shown as offline now in Find My iPhone app.

I tried iMyFone software to see if I could recover the photos.  It won't get passed the step asking to trust the computer because the screen is unresponsive and the client's thumb on the home button isn't doing anything either.  iMyFone won't work.

The iPhone still makes noises when its connected to a computer and the home button still buzzes when pressed.  It appears to have battery life just fine.  I've tried restarting and hard reset, but doesn't appear nothing happens.

We are trying to recover the photos on the device.  Is there any way to use a software to get the photos off the device?

Upgrading the iCloud storage wasn't successful.  No new photos have been uploaded since the device has returned home to its original wifi network.
No iCloud backup.   (There's a lot of photos from then til now that never uploaded to the iCloud because there was no more space...yeah, I know.  Believe me, I know.)
No iTunes backup since June 4th, 2018.

Is there a way to connect it to a PC and get the photos with other software or are we going to run into the Lost Mode issue again?

I believe I know what the answer is: take it to Apple to see what they can do...

But is there anything I haven't tried or mentioned?

Thank you.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAsked:
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David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
You've tried a good bit of what should have recovered your data.

Likely best to make an appointment at your nearest Genius Bar + have them pull the data off for you.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have an iPhone here, and you have done what you can do. If connecting to iTunes does not allow it to show up in iTunes (not trusted) then you need to start again on a new phone with the June backup.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
So can you confirm that it is truly connecting to your Wifi? Maybe look at your router and list connected devices to make sure it is on your Wifi. Then apply power and leave sit for some time to see if it will backup. I have seen my phone take days to backup. Also, have it plugged in to auto upload quicker.

If not online, you might try to create an open Wifi network hoping the device will connect. (Assuming it will auto connect to open Wifi networks. )

You could also try taking it to some other location it has been on Wifi recently in the hopes it will just connect there.

I can help believe it is simply not online.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
@Owen
Forgot to mention that I did look at the client's network and their iPhone didn't connect.  Under normal circumstances it would just connect but unfortunately it did not.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Yea, I was afraid of that. I was hoping that a phone marked stolen would try and connect every chance it had to report its location.

I am not sure this will work on that phone, but I have used this tool with some success to get data off a phone that is locked or damaged. It might work for you. Not sure: https://www.stellarinfo.com/media-tools/iphone-data-recovery.php

I reviewed this software some years ago, but I do not work for them.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
Heh what a coincidence; they are currently a vendor member with Experts Exchange :D

I'll take a look at that thank you!
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
The stellar recovery method wouldn't work because the device is still locked in Lost Mode.  Bummer.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You probably need to start anew with the phone.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Sorry about that. I was not sure about Lost mode. And I did not know they were a vendor member. I have just bought their products. Too bad.
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serialbandCommented:
Have you just tried setting it to lost mode again, then turning off lost mode again while the phone is no the network?
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
@serialband, hmm haven't tried that specifically...I'll check that out.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Lots of good ideas for future problems, but looks like starting over is the best answer. Split all around.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
Hi,

I was not able to recover anything.  We bought a home device repair kit as a last resort to see if we can get the screen back.  If it ends up working I'll post back.  Thanks again for looking and your suggestions.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
One other attempt you can try: In our local shoppping mall there are these small kiosks that do phone repair. Often, for about $100 they will do the phone repair for you. These guys also have tools that let them recover phones.

On the home repair kit, a word of warning: If you have never opened an iPhone before, do it VERRRRRYYYYYY carefully. It is really easy to damage connecting cables and connectors. This is especially true of the cable that runs from the main logic board to the home button. This is held in place by a very small metal clip. When opening the phone, if you separate that end of the phone too fast (which is easily possible as separating the case can be difficult and stiff to open), that clip will go flying away (he said knowingly) and you will never find it again. At the same time, that had a good chance of damaging the connector and cable, so the home button stops working. (I have replaced the battery on a number of iPhones, and this is always a danger, and I have done it a few times myself even though I know what can happen!) Note that if you damage the home button, Apple does NOT supply repair parts for home buttons with the finger print reader. You can get a standard button as a part, but you will loose th ability to use the finger scanner (which turned my iPhone 5s into my new iPod now!)

I’m not trying to make you nervous, but opening and repairing an iPhone can be tricky. I suggest watching a few YouTube videos before attempting the repair, and move very slowly as you do the repair.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsAuthor Commented:
Great!  Thank you for the heads up!
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