How to restore iPhone

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The 21st century induced rapid changes in technological tools, providing a broader range of opportunities. However, sometimes technology can fail, forcing you to restore iPhone to make things work smoothly again.

Whether you are looking to restore iPhone from iCloud or iTunes – we will tell you of all the methods we know and outline their pros and cons. Read the guide from top to bottom or choose the section you’re interested in:

What does restore iPhone mean

Many users are wondering “What does restore iPhone mean“. The term has two meanings:

  1. “Restore” as in “restore the iPhone to factory settings”. This process erases everything from your device, allowing you to start anew. Basically, you just set your iPhone as a brand-new device.
  2. “Restore” as in “restore data from backup to the device”. iTunes and iCloud will restore your data only after they erase everything from the device. Occasionally, they may screw over a couple of other things along the way. Sometimes, there are advantages to using non-Apple programs like CopyTrans Shelbee.

You may need to restore iPhone when:

  • Your iPhone is possessed by a demon: it freezes and crashes all the time. Several features like Wi-Fi or GPS tracking aren’t working. In this case, restoring your iPhone to factory settings might be the best solution.
  • You want to restore iPhone to factory settings to sell it. And buy an Android instead.
  • You’ve read that book about the importance of tidying up and getting rid of unnecessary things. You decided to start life anew with an absolutely empty, good-as-new iPhone.
  • You bought a new iPhone and you want to transfer all your data from your previous device to the new one. Your old iPhone goes to your younger sister.
  • You are this “lucky younger sister” and you want to transfer all the data from the previous iPhone to the new one. Your old iPhone goes to your grandma.

Restore iPhone without iTunes

Use this method if:

  • You are not the biggest fan of iTunes;
  • You don’t want to use iCloud. If you tried to backup your iPhone to iCloud and found that 5GB of free space is not enough or if your iCloud storage is full, this solution is for you. Also, you may not want to store your data with a third party.

CopyTrans Shelbee will be a great replacement for iTunes and iCloud.

Why people choose CopyTrans Shelbee:

⚡ restore selected data;

⚡ restore apps to any iOS device with ease even if they have been removed from the App Store after ***;

⚡ restore data from an iTunes backup;

⚡ restore data from a corrupted iTunes backup;

⚡ restore an encrypted backup.

***provided you made a backup with CopyTrans Shelbee v2.1 and above before they were removed from the App Store.

Follow these steps to restore data with CopyTrans Shelbee:

  1. Download CopyTrans Shelbee from the following page:

    Download CopyTrans Shelbee

  2. Install the program.
  3. Start CopyTrans Shelbee and connect your iPhone via USB cable. Click on Full restore.
  4. choose restore in the main menu

  5. Click on the pencil icon and select the backup file.
  6. choose the itunes backup

  7. Once you select the backup, CopyTrans Shelbee begins the restore operation. Stand by until the process is complete. CopyTrans Shelbee will restore iPhone content that was backed up with iTunes including messages, Camera Roll images, notes, calendars, iOS settings, app documents and more.
  8. restore in progress

  9. And that’s all. Click “Done”.


💡 What if you only need to restore a certain data type? For example, you lost some important contacts and do not want to completely overwrite the device data to get them back. If so, we have a solution!

With CopyTrans Shelbee, you can choose which data you want to restore from Shelbee or iTunes backup. Here’s how to make a selective restore to iPhone:

  1. Click on Custom restore.
  2. restore selected data with copytrans shelbee

  3. Click on the pencil icon to select which backup you want to restore your data from.
  4. After you’ve chosen the right backup, click on Next.
  5. Wait until the loading process finishes.
  6. Select the data type you wish to restore. For example, you can choose to restore only contacts. Just select Contacts, then click on Next. You can also choose to restore calendars, notes, WhatsApp and more in the same way.
  7. select data to restore

  8. Click on Next. Please note that the data you selected will be overwritten. For example, if you want to restore contacts, the old contact set will be replaced with that from the backup.
  9. CopyTrans Shelbee will ask you to choose where you want to save the backup of your device in case something goes wrong during Custom restore. Select the destination and click on Start.
  10. Wait until the restore process finishes.
  11. That’s it! Your device will now restart.
💡 Learn more about the perks of restoring with CopyTrans Shelbee.

Below is a summary of the most popular methods for those searching for how to restore iPhone, also including the software offered by CopyTrans, CopyTrans Shelbee.

Resetting iPhone iTunes iCloud 🧡 CopyTrans Shelbee 💜 CopyTrans Backup Extractor
Full restore checked checked checked checked checked *
Custom restore
(restore only photos, only messages, etc.)
checked checked checked checked checked *
Extract data from a backup to PC checked checked checked checked checked
Restore to iPhone checked checked checked checked checked
Restore from iCloud backup checked checked checked checked checked *
Restore from iOS backup checked checked checked checked checked *
Restore WhatsApp checked checked checked checked checked *
Restore apps which are no longer on the App Store checked checked checked checked

**the apps should be backed up before removal

checked

* extracts data to PC

Restore iPhone from iCloud

Another way to put the system back in the working order is to restore iPhone from iCloud backup. Two main reasons to resort to this method are:

  1. You bought a new device and want to transfer data between your old and new iPhone.
  2. Someone stole your iPhone or you’ve lost it. If you have it backed up, you can perform a restore to another device.

Here is all you should know about restoring iPhone from iCloud:

  • Before restoring, make sure you have a recent backup.
  • iCloud restore is different from the iTunes method in that you don’t need your PC and a cable: it is all about your iPhone and a steady Wi-Fi connection.
  • Both iTunes and iCloud, however, share the same drawback: they will only restore your data after they erase everything from the device and you can’t select the data types you want to restore. If you want to extract a particular data type to PC without resetting iPhone, use CopyTrans Backup Extractor.
  • Another inconvenience is that the data you want might not be part of your iCloud backup. The thing is, your iCloud backups only include the data stored locally on your device. So, your iCloud backup will not include data types already synced to iCloud. To learn more about what forms your iCloud backup, read this section: I don’t see the data I need in my iCloud backup.
  • If you have trouble while restoring from an iCloud backup, see this article by Apple Support.

How long does it take to restore iPhone from iCloud

Many users are wondering: “How long does it take to restore iPhone from iCloud?”. It usually takes 1-4 hours per gigabyte and depends on several factors:

    ◼ data types;
    ◼ amount of data;
    ◼ your internet connection.

Restore from iCloud paused

What does it mean?

Even though iCloud is thought to be a helpful and powerful tool, some users complain about restore from iCloud paused. It usually happens when your iPhone is in Low Power Mode or away from Wi-Fi.

2 ways to restore iPhone from iCloud

1. Restore from iCloud backup to iPhone

Please note that you can’t select the data types you want to restore. Your existing iPhone data will be overwritten by that from the backup you choose. If you don’t want to lose your data, you may use CopyTrans Backup Extractor to extract the contents of your backup to PC.
    Here is how to erase & restore from iCloud:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Tap Erase All Content and Settings;
  2. how to reset iPhone, first steps
    how to reset iPhone, second steps

  3. After your iPhone reboots, connect to Wi-Fi;
  4. When you get to the Apps & Data screen, tap on “Restore from iCloud Backup” > enter your Apple ID and password > choose the backup you need from the list;

The restore speed depends on the size of your backup and the speed of your internet connection.

2. Restore from iCloud backup to PC

Some good reasons to use this method are:

  1. you can get iCloud backup data without iPhone — if you lost it, for example;
  2. you can get iCloud backup data without erasing all data from your iPhone;
  3. you can select data types to extract.

CopyTrans Backup Extractor will automatically search for all iTunes and iCloud backups on your PC, enabling you to extract the data from them.

  1. Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor and install it:

    Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  2. Run the program and click on “Log in to iCloud for more backups”.Log in to iCloud with CopyTrans Backup Extractor
  3. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID: the backup search will then start automatically.
    Enter Apple ID and password to access iCloud backups
  4. If you have two-factor authentication, a verification code will be sent to your device: enter this code to continue.
    enter the verification code
  5. Select the backup you need (iCloud backups are marked with a cloud icon).
    find iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor
  6. Select the data you want to retrieve. Then click on “Extract”.
  7. How to retrieve deleted contacts to computer with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  8. After the extraction has finished, you will be able to see the retrieved data in the folder.
  9. How to restore deleted contacts — result

I don’t see the data I need in my iCloud backup

Some of your data may be excluded from iCloud backup. It happens because Apple doesn’t allow you to back up data that is already stored in iCloud. In simple words, the data stored in your iCloud will not be part of your iCloud backup; the data stored locally, however, will be included.

If you have iCloud Photos enabled (meaning that your photos are stored in iCloud), the photos won’t be in the iCloud backup. The same applies to your notes, contacts, etc.

How to get the data from iCloud? The two main ways to do that are iCloud.com and iCloud for Windows (but you can’t get messages and voice memos from there).

To see what data is stored in iCloud, go to Settings > Your name > iCloud. If the toggle next to Photos in on, the iCloud Photos feature is enabled and your photos will not be included into the iCloud backup. The same applies to other data types.

what data is stored in iCloud
Alternatively, you can see what will be in your iCloud backup. To do that, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backup and choose your device.

If you are sure some data type should be in the backup, but it is missing after restore, read this Apple support article.

Restore iPhone from iTunes

The word “restore” can also refer to extracting data from a backup onto your iPhone. You can restore iPhone from iTunes. However, you won’t be able to select the data you want to restore. You can restore everything or nothing at all.

You may want to use this method if:

  • You bought a new device and want to transfer data between your old and new iPhone.
  • Someone stole your iPhone or you’ve lost it. If you have it backed up, you can perform a restore to another device.

You can restore iPhone from iTunes backup on Windows PC or Mac. But on MacOS Catalina, you will need to use the Finder App, not iTunes. See how to do it below.

Restore iPhone from iTunes on PC

  1. Connect your iPhone to PC and run iTunes;
  2. Wait until your iPhone appears on the iTunes top panel and click on the iPhone icon;
  3. how to restore iphone from iTunes to PC step 1

  4. Click on Summary, then click on Restore Backup;
  5. how to restore iphone from iTunes to PC step 2

  6. iTunes may ask you to disable the “Find my iPhone” feature.
    how to disable Find my iPhone feature

  7. Choose the backup you need and click on Restore.
  8. click on restore button
    If necessary, enter the password for your backup (you will be asked to do that if your backup is encrypted).

  9. Now just wait until the process finishes.
  10. wait until the process finishes

Restore iPhone from iTunes in mac OS Mojave or earlier versions

Steps for restoring iPhone wtih Mac OS Mojave are not much different:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer;
  2. Launch iTunes;
  3. Click on the device icon in the upper-left part of the iTunes window;
  4. how to restore from iTunes on mac step 1

  5. From the list on the left, choose Summary and click on Restore Backup;
  6. how to restore from iTunes to mac step 2

  7. Disable the “Find my iPhone” feature if asked.
  8. how to disable find my iPhone feature

  9. Choose the backup you need and click on Restore.
  10. how to restore from iTunes to PC step 3

If necessary, enter the password to your backup (you will be asked to do that if your backup is encrypted).

How to restore iPhone in macOS Catalina (spoiler: we’ll use the Finder)

Apple decided to kill iTunes starting with macOS Catalina. Most of the iTunes functions (including restoring data from backups) have been moved to the Finder App. But no worries here: restoring iPhone from the Finder is as easy as using iTunes.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Connect your device to your computer;
  2. Open the Finder App;
  3. how to open the Finder app

  4. On the left-hand bar, find your iPhone in the Locations section and click on it; choose to Trust your iPhone on Mac and choose to Trust your Mac on iPhone;
  5. how to restore from Itunes on Mac

  6. In the Backups section, click on Restore Backup;
  7. how to restore from Itunes on Mac step 2

  8. Choose the backup you need and click on Restore.
  9. choose the back you need

Restore iPhone to factory settings/reset iPhone

Use this option if:

  • You want to sell your iPhone or give it away;
  • You are taking your device to a repair shop and you want to protect your personal data;
  • Your iPhone is slow, it lags and freezes.
💡 This method will delete all the data from your iPhone. All the settings will be reset to default and there will be no applications installed except for the built-in apps like messages or weather. If you don’t want to lose the data from your iPhone, make sure that your iPhone has been recently backed up before you reset.

To restore iPhone to factory settings, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings.
  2. how to reset iPhone, first stephow to reset iPhone, second step

  3. After you click on “Erase All Content and Settings”, you will need to enter your iPhone passcode and Apple ID password (if signed in to ypur Apple account). You can’t reset the device without these combinations. If you forgot your passcode, read this Apple support article.
  4. The restore process will take a couple of minutes. After that you’ll see the welcome screen asking you to set up your device: select your country, language, Wi-Fi network, etc.

    Boring but important section

    Use the methods described above only if you have a backup at hand so that you don’t lose your data. You can read more about backup types in our article on how to backup your iPhone.

    It’s very important to regularly backup your device. You can enable automatic iCloud backups on your device. With this feature enabled, your iPhone will be backed up every 24 hours. Alternatively, you can just connect it to iTunes from time to time or enable backup notifications in CopyTrans Shelbee.

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By Vlada

Vlada is a tech support specialist who believes that the world is beautiful as long as it has dogs, Tarantino movies and mom's pancakes.