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How to Restore iPhone or iPad Backup from iTunes

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


While iCloud is nice for backing up some aspects of your iPhone or iPad, the only true free option for creating a full backup of your device is still iTunes. Those backups can come in handy when you're having issues with your iPhone or iPad and need to try restoring to a previous backup to return your device to good working order, or when you get a new device and need to move everything from your old device to a new device. If you're moving content from an old device to a new device, it's important to remember that the version of iOS on both the old iPhone or iPad and the new iPhone or iPad need to be the same version, otherwise iTunes will give you an error that it can't complete the restore. Additionally, the time it takes to restore from a backup depends on how large that backup is. Also, to ensure the restore process goes as smoothly as possible, try to avoid doing other work on your computer while the restore is underway. This will ensure the restore process goes as quickly as possible, and will also help avoid hiccups with the iTunes application that could force you to start the process all over again.

The iPhone 7 Plus features two rear cameras, a 5.5-inch display, and 3 GB of onboard memory.

The iPhone 7 Plus features two rear cameras, a 5.5-inch display, and 3 GB of onboard memory.

Step-by-Step Process for Restoring iPhone or iPad Backup from iTunes

1. Connect the iPhone or iPad you want to restore from an iTunes backup to your computer.

2. Open iTunes on your computer.

3. Click the small phone or tablet icon that appears in the upper left corner of the iTunes application. This icon appears in the row beneath the menu options. A details window for your iPhone or iPad appears on the right side of the screen.

4. Click "Restore Backup" in the Backups section beneath Manually Back Up and Restore. A Restore From Backup dialog box appears in the center of your screen.

5. Click the drop-down menu to the right of either iPhone or iPad name, and then select the backup you want to restore on your device. After selecting a specific backup, you'll see a timestamp with the date and time that specific backup was created.

6. Click "Restore." An iPhone or iPad dialog box appears in the center of your screen with a message that your device is now being restored from the backup you selected. A green progress bar will scroll across the screen with a message that says the time to complete the restore of the backup is being estimated. Additionally, a Restore in Progress message appears in white lettering across the screen of the device your restoring the backup to.

7. Eventually, the dialog box showing the status of your restore will display a remaining time estimate to complete the restore.

8. After the backup is successfully restored to your device, a message appears in iTunes informing you that the settings for your iPhone or iPad have been restored.

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9. Press "OK." Your device will boot up to a white screen that says "Press Home to Upgrade."

10. Press the "Home" button on your device. Another white screen appears, with a black Apple logo and a black progress bar in the center. After the progress bar is full, you'll proceed to a screen that cycles through saying Hello in a variety of languages.

11. Press the "Home" button on the Hello screen. A message appears informing you that your update is completed.

12. Tap the blue "Continue" button. Your Apple ID appears on the screen, with a prompt for the password associated with that account.

13. Enter the password associated with your Apple ID in the password field, and then tap "Return." A message appears on the screen saying that iCloud settings are being updated. After this is complete, a message giving you a quick overview of Apple Pay appears.

14. Tap "Next" in the upper right corner of the screen. The Add Card screen appears, where you'll be prompted to supply the security code for any credit cards you previously set up with Apple Pay. You can either supply the security code for the card presented, or tap "Set Up Later in Wallet." After moving through the Add Card screen, you'll arrive at the Welcome to iPhone screen.

15. Tap the blue "Get Started" text at the bottom of the screen. You'll arrive at the home screen as it was in the backup you restored to your device.

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© 2017 Max Dalton

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