How to restore an iPhone backup

Restoring a backup means getting your photos, videos, and other assets from one backup source onto your iPhone. There are various reasons you might need to restore a backup on your iPhone, such as upgrading to a newer model, or a previous backup had something important in it. Alternatively, you may have encountered an issue with your device, and need to retrieve your backup. No need to fear though, as Canstar Blue has you covered with this guide on how to restore a backup on iPhone.

How to restore an iPhone backup

There are multiple ways to restore an old iPhone backup, including through iCloud, through a Mac computer in addition to a Windows computer, meaning you should be able to find your backups regardless of how you save them, or what technology you’re using. Read onto find out how to restore an iPhone backup with each option below.

How to restore iPhone using iCloud

Restoring iPhone from iCloud

To restore your iPhone from your iCloud account, follow the steps below:

Step 1: To restore using iCloud, you will need to have a ‘clean’ device. This means the device should either be new, or wiped of its data. To wipe the data from a device, go to Settings, then General, and then Reset. From here, tap Erase All Content and Settings. You may need to enter your password, but a prompt to confirm erasing your device will pop up. Erasing may take a few minutes.

Step 2: From the Hello screen, follow the prompts until you reach the Apps & Data screen. Then tap Restore from iCloud Backup.

Step 3: Sign in to iCloud.

Step 4: Choose a backup from the provided list. The backup will begin after you make your selection.

Step 5: When required, enter your Apple ID to restore purchases.

Step 6: Wait for the progress bar to appear and conclude. This step can take anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours. To ensure progress, you’ll need to stay connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Step 7: Your set-up should now be complete. Over the next few hours or days, your phone’s content will continue to restore.

How to restore iPhone using a Mac

To restore your iPhone using a Mac computer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: If you’re using a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open Finder. If you’re using a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, open iTunes.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. Follow the on-screen steps after the connection is registered.

Step 3: Select the iPhone when it appears in either Finder or iTunes.

Step 4: Select Restore Backup. A prompt may appear saying your device’s software is too old. For help on this, check out our article on updating your iOS software.

Step 5: Pick the most relevant backup for your needs.

Step 6: Click Restore, and wait for the time to finish. If prompted, enter your password for your encrypted backup.

Step 7: Make sure to keep your device connected to the computer as it restarts. You will be able to disconnect after the phone has synced with the computer.

How to restore iPhone using a PC

Connecting phone to iTunes

If you are using a PC to backup your iPhone, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Open iTunes on your computer.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. Follow the on-screen steps after the connection is registered.

Step 3: Select the iPhone when it appears in iTunes.

Step 4: Select Restore Backup.

Step 5: Pick the most relevant backup for your needs.

Step 6: Click Restore, and wait for the time to finish. If prompted, enter your password for your encrypted backup.

Step 7: Make sure to keep your device connected to the computer as it restarts. You will be able to disconnect after the phone has synced with the computer.

Can you access old iPhone backups?

You are able to access old iPhone backups through a variety of methods, including through either a Mac or Windows computer, as well as through iCloud. Learn about each process below.

Locating and managing iPhone backups using a Mac

To locate old iPhone backups through a Mac computer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click the magnifier symbol in the menu bar.

Step 2: Enter the following sequence: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Step 3: Press Return, and then you’ll be able to locate your old iPhone backups.

Locating and managing iPhone backups using Windows 7, 8, or 10

Step 1: Locate the search bar – For Windows 7, click Start. For Windows 8, click the magnifying glass in the top-right corner. For Windows 10, click the Search bar.

Step 2: Using the search bar, enter %appdata%. If you’re unable to see your backups, enter %USERPROFILE%.

Step 3: Press Return.

Step 4: Double-click on either “Apple” or “Apple Computer” – MobileSync – Backup, and then select your preferred backup.

Locating and managing iPhone backups using iCloud

For an iPhone using iOS 11 or later, or iPadOS:

  • Go to Settings – [YOUR NAME] – iCloud – Manage Storage – Backups.

For an iPhone using iOS 10.3 or earlier:

  • Go to Settings – [YOUR NAME] – Tap the graph on screen, then tap Manage Storage.

For a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later:

  • Click the Apple menu (showing the Apple logo) – System Preferences – Apple ID – iCloud – Manage – Backups.

For a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier:

  • Click the Apple menu – System Preferences – iCloud – Manage – Backups.

For a PC:

  • Open iCloud for Windows – Storage – Backup.

How many backups does iCloud store?

While iCloud will store your most recent backup, there has been discussions that indicate up to three historic backups are stored via iCloud, meaning you may be able to restore an older backup, although this may be dependent on your phone model and iOS version.

Why won’t my iPhone restore a backup?

Restoring iPhone

There are a few reasons as to why your iPhone might not restore a backup. The main reason for this is you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network, or the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to is too weak. Alternatively, ensure that your device and iOS system is the most current version, or simply restart your phone and try again. If the problem persists, get in contact with Apple support.

Can I recover my photos without a backup?

As the term ‘backup’ suggests, it’s there in the case that you accidently delete photos on your iPhone, or your run into tech issues with the phone itself. As a result, if you haven’t backed up your photos and then run into issues with your phone, there’s a strong chance that your photos are gone for good. However, there are a number of third-party apps and software that claim to be able to deep dive into your cloud or computer to grab the deleted files, although you’ll have to do your own research as to what else these third-party apps and software do, as they may cause more problems than solve.

As a result, it’s generally recommended to regularly backup your data, either via manually backing up at regular intervals, or setting up a regular backup through your iCloud account.

Photo Credit: OPOLJA/shutterstock.com, Girts Ragelis/shutterstock.com, Primakov/shutterstock.com, Attila Fodemesi/shutterstock.com

Share this article

Advertisement
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]