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How to restore iPhone and iPad from backup?

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  • 4 min read

Apple users on iPhone or iPad have the added security of backing up their data wirelessly on iCloud and also via iTunes locally to your PC. Earlier, we talked about how to create a back up for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and today we’re going to discuss how to restore that backup to your iOS device from iCloud and iTunes.

Before you begin, make sure that your device is connected to the WiFi if you’re going to restore the backup via iCloud because it can’t be done with a cellular internet connection. It also helps to have your device charged and updated to the latest iOS version.

How to restore iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from an iCloud backup?

To begin restoring, the data on the device needs to be wiped so that it restarts from the ‘Hello’ screen. So, erase all of the device’s contents if you haven’t already.

  • Turn on your device and follow the onscreen instructions until you reach the Apps & Data screen.
  • Tap on Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Use your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud.
  • You’ll be shown a list of available backups alongwith date and size; Choose the one that you wish to restore to your device. After you’ve made your choice, the data transfer will begin.
  • Next, you’ll be asked to sign in to your Apple ID account to retrieve all of the app data, including purchases, and restore them to the device. You can skip this step and follow up on it later too.
  • A progress bar will appear; wait for it to complete and ensure that the device stays connected to WiFi. The restore progress would pause if the WiFi connection is lost until you reconnect the device.
How to restore iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from backup?
Photo by Apple

Once it’s done, you can start using your device. If the restore fails mid-way, erase the device and try restoring again.

Note that some apps, photos, media files and other information might take several hours — or even days in some cases — to restore.

You can see if the iCloud backup is still running in the background by going to Settings > Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you see a Stop Restoring iPhone button followed by This iPhone is currently being restored and will automatically back up when it is done, the iCloud backup is still underway. You’ll also be able to see how much is left to be restored.

Also read: iOS 13 and iPadOS compatible devices

How to restore iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from an iTunes backup?

Open iTunes on a PC and make sure that it’s updated to the latest version. Then connect your device to the PC via a USB cable. You might see a message asking your device’s passcode or Trust This Computer. Just follow the on-screen instruction to move ahead.

  • Select the device you wish to restore as soon as it shows up in iTunes. If the device doesn’t show up in iTunes, you’ll need to restart both the PC and iOS device.
  • On the Summary window, click on the Restore Backup button (as shown in the screenshot).
  • You’ll be shown a list of available backups alongwith date and size; Choose the one that you wish to restore to your device.
  • Click on Restore and wait for the restore time to end. If you had encrypted the backup, you’ll be asked to enter the password.
  • Do not disconnect the device from the PC until it restarts and finishes syncing.

In case iTunes isn’t responding on a Windows PC, try updating or disabling your anti-virus. If the restore process fails with a message saying that the backup is corrupt or incompatible, make sure iTunes and your device are up to date.

How to check if the iPhone and iPad are up to date? 

To ensure that your device is updated before beginning the restore process, instead of choosing to restore data from either iCloud or iTunes backup on the Apps & Data window during startup, tap on Set Up as New iPhone. 

Once you’ve updated the device or made sure that it is, erase all of the data again and then start the phone again from the “Hello” screen. Only this time, choose Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup.

Also read: Is it safe to unlock your Android smartphone’s Bootloader?


Writes news mostly and edits almost everything at Candid.Technology. He loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals. Contact Prayank via email:

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