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How to Restore iPhone or iPad from Backup


There could be many reasons why you might want to restore your iPhone or iPad from backup. You may have accidentally deleted some important files and now want to restore them by restoring the device from the old backup. Maybe you just bought a brand new iPhone 13 and want to set it up using your old backup. Or maybe your iPhone has encountered a complex problem that you want to solve by restoring.

Whatever the reason, you’d be glad to know that there are more reliable ways to restore an iOS / iPadOS device. In particular, if you have an iCloud backup (Settings app -> your profile> iCloud> iCloud backup), you can restore your iPhone or iPad even without your computer.

iCloud Backup Vs. Local Mac or Windows PC Backup

Before we go through the process, let’s first discover the difference between an iCloud backup and a local iPhone backup created on a computer. Since backup and restore are quite integral, it is better to clearly understand both aspects.

What does iCloud backup include?

For improved protection against accidental loss, iCloud backup consists of almost everything, including:

  • Device settings
  • Home screen and application organization
  • Application data
  • iMessage, MMS messages, text (SMS)
  • Ringtones
  • Visual voicemail password
  • Purchase history from Apple services (ie your movies, TV shows, music, apps, and books)

Note that if you use the Apple Watch with family settings, your Apple Watch will not be included in the backup of your iOS / iPadOS device.

Note that the backup of your iPhone or iPad consists only of information that exists on your device. It does not include information you have already stored in iCloud.

Certain information such as mail, health information, files stored on iCloud Drive, and call history are not included in the iCloud backup. However, it can be added to iCloud and shared on iDevices associated with the same Apple ID.

What does iTunes / Finder backup include?

iTunes or Finder backup consists of most of the local data on your iOS device, including:

  • Local data in applications
  • Photos and videos
  • Messages
  • Contacts
  • Call logs
  • IPhone / iPad settings

The backup from your computer does not include:

  • Content you’ve synced from iTunes or Finder, such as imported CDs / MP3s, photos, videos, and books.
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings
  • Apple Mail data
  • Data already stored in iCloud, such as iMessage, text (SMS), multimedia (MMS) messages, and iCloud photos
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Key ring data, health and activity. Note that if you want to back up your health, activity, and keychain data, you will need to encrypt your backup.

Since Apple only offers 5GB of free cloud storage, you’ll need plenty of extra space to store all of your media and data in the cloud. It currently offers 50GB for $ 0.99 / month, 200GB for $ 2.99 / month, 2TB for $ 9.99 / month.

If you are not an iCloud + user, but still want to back up your data so that you can restore it as desired, backing up your computer is the right way.

Can you back up your iPhone to iPad or vice versa?

Yes you can! Apple allows you to restore a device from a backup of another type of device. For example, you can use iPad backup for iPhone or vice versa. It is worth noting that certain types of content, which are not compatible with the device you are installing, will not be transmitted. To be more precise, iPhone-only apps will not be transferred to your iPad.

iCloud messaging on iPhone and iPad

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you use iCloud messages (Settings app> profile> iCloud> Messages), your entire messages, including text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS), will be automatically stored in iCloud.

Restore your iPhone or iPad from iCloud backup

Restoring an iPhone from an iCloud device is as simple as it can ever be. The only condition you must meet is that your device be completely deleted (in iOS 14 or earlier: Settings> General> Reset> Delete all content and settings, in iOS 15 or later: Settings> General> Transfer or reset iPhone> Delete all content and settings).

Step 1. to go turn on your recently deleted or new iPhone or iPad.

Step 2. You should see now “Hello” screen.

  • On iPhone and iPad without home screen button: Swipe up from the home bar.
  • On iPhone and iPad with home key: Press the home key.

Step 2. Next, select the desired language and your country / region.

Step 3. the following, select Wi-Fi network and connect to it.

Step 4. Next, tap Set manually.

Step 5. Next, tap Restore from iCloud backup. Then enter your Apple ID and password.

Restore iPhone or iPad from iCloud Backup
Image credit: Apple

Step 6. After that, accept the terms and conditions. Then select the latest iCloud backup. If you have multiple backups, you can tap Show all backups to see older backups stored in iCloud.

Now I'm restoring my iPhone or iPad from iCloud backup
Image credit: Apple

Now allow your iOS device to come back from iCloud backup. The amount of time it will take to complete will completely depend on the amount of data and your internet speed.

Restore iPhone or iPad from Mac backup using Finder

With macOS Catalina or later, you’ll need to use the Finder to restore your iPhone from a Mac backup.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone / iPad to Mac using a USB cable.

Step 2. Now select your device that appears in the location section.

Step 3. Then, make sure General is the selected card. Then click on Restore a backup option, and then select the most recent backup. If you want to use an encrypted backup, you will be asked to confirm using the password you created when encrypting the backup.

Restore your iPhone or iPad using the Finder

Restore iPhone or iPad using iTunes on a Windows computer

If your Mac uses macOS Mojave or earlier, you can still use iTunes to restore iPad / iPhone from backup.

Step 1. Use a USB cable for connecting your iOS / iPadOS device to a Windows computer (or Mac). Then launch iTunes on your computer.

Step 2. Sad, select your device in the upper left window.

Step 3. Then click Restore a backup and then select the desired backup. Again, if you have encrypted your backup, you will be prompted to enter the encryption code.

Restore your iPhone or iPad from iTunes backup

There you go! So, you can restore your iPhone from iCloud or backup on your computer. From a flexibility perspective, it’s always better to have more options so you can choose the way you want. So Apple is doing a great job in this regard. By the way, what is your favorite way to restore an iOS device? Record your feedback via the comments section below.





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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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