iPhone backup corrupt

iPhone Backup Corrupt

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There are some reasons why the backup process can go wrong, including a corrupted hard drive, a damaged cable or antivirus limitations. In case the process didn’t go as planned, you might not be able to restore your data from the backup later, which means your precious memories and contacts will be gone. Instead, you will see a message: “iPhone could not be restored“.

iPhone could not be restored message

Another reason for the failure is that iTunes, sadly, does not validate backups upon creation, which can have dire consequences for iPhone owners. Of course, you can use other software, like CopyTrans Shelbee, to create validated backups. But what to do if it is too late to create a new backup? In this case,

don't panic picture

… and follow our guide. It will take you through the basic steps to take when iPhone backup restore fails. The first things to check, the main problems and solutions are described below.

Things to check first

There may be several reasons for why you can’t restore your iTunes backup. Before assuming that the backup is corrupt, please follow the simple steps below.

    1. Restart your iPhone and PC

    First things first: try restarting your iPhone and your PC. Surprisingly, it helps in a number of cases.

    2. Update iTunes to the latest version

    Updating iTunes may be useful when you get an error message that says “iTunes could not back up the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone”.

    • Launch iTunes
    • Choose the Help section of the menu
    • Click “Check for updates”. If there is a later version of iTunes, the update process will start automatically.
      Alternatively, you will get a message “This version of iTunes is the current version”.
    • Manual check for updates in iTunes

    If you downloaded iTunes from Microsoft Store, it will update automatically upon the release of a new version. To make sure you get the latest updates, manually check the Store for iTunes updates.

    3. Switch to airplane mode

    Sometimes connection to iCloud Photos (iCloud Photo Library) interferes with your backup restores. Switching to airplane mode will minimize the risk of errors. To enable airplane mode, go to Settings → Airplane mode (can be found under your Apple ID).

    Settings screenshot

    4. Check your lightning cable

    Please check if the lightning cable that you’re using is MFi certified (meant to be used with iPhone / iPad / iPod). MFi certified products have the following logo on the package:

    MFI certification logo

    If you use non-MFi certified cable, backup or restore problems may occur. Please remember that it is always better to use Apple-compatible products while transferring data.

    If the cable you are using is MFi certified, make sure that it is not damaged. Here’s one example of what it should not look like:

    damaged cable

    If possible, try using a different cable in any case.

    5. Restore using another USB port or another computer

    After checking the condition of the USB cable, check your USB port for failures. To do so, connect your lightning cable to another USB port.

    If you have a chance, try restoring your iPhone on a different computer to rule out problems with your PC. To do so, transfer iPhone backup to another computer using an external drive, local network or NAS. Don’t know where your backup files are? See our guide on how to find iPhone backups.

    6. Double-check the passcode

    Unlocking is necessary when backing up and restoring iPhone. Check whether the entered passcode is correct. If you have forgotten your passcode or if your device is disabled, see the Apple’s official article. Also, in certain iOS versions there may be issues with backup and restore processes unless your passcode is completely switched off. See how to disable your passcode.

    7. Check security software

    If difficulties occur in the process or at the end of restoration or your device is not recognized, try disabling antivirus until the restoration procedure is complete. For more information on interaction between iTunes and security software, see Apple’s guide.

    Tried it all and still can’t take control over your backups? The next part of our article is about dealing with backups that went rogue.

Extract corrupt iPhone backup to your PC

If you got the error message “iTunes backup cannot be restored because the backup is corrupt“, it means that your iPhone backup has gone to the Dark Side. But there might still be a chance to save the data! For this, we offer our own program: CopyTrans Backup Extractor.

CopyTrans Backup Extractor runs an automatic backup search on your PC and allows you to extract backup files to a folder. Read this section to extract data to your PC or follow our lead to find iCloud backups as well.

Here is how to find and extract local iOS backups:

  1. First, download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor:

    Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  2. For installation instructions, follow the installation guide.

  3. Launch CopyTrans Backup Extractor and wait until the program finds all iOS backups on your PC.
    CTBE searching for backups
  4. Select the required backup.
  5. backup list while logged out of iCloud

  6. If the backup is encrypted, enter the backup password and wait for the backup to finish loading.
  7. Enter the backup password

  8. Select the data you want to restore, click “Next” and select the folder.
  9. CTBE selecting types of backup

  10. Wait for the iPhone data extraction to complete.
  11. CTBE extraction process

  12. Your memories have been rescued!
  13. Find more backups in iCloud

    You may or may not find local iOS backups on your PC, but it never hurts to use iCloud backup extractor feature as well. Here is how to enable iCloud connection in CopyTrans Backup Extractor:

    1. If you haven’t done so already, download CopyTrans Backup Extractor and install it on your PC.

      Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

    2. Then launch the application and choose to “log in to iCloud for more backups”.

      Log in to iCloud with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

    3. You will be asked to enter your iCloud credentials. Put in your Apple ID and password.

      log in to iCloud

    4. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will also be sent a verification code. Please enter it as well – this will start the backup search.

      enter the verification code

    5. After the search is complete, iCloud backups will be shown together with the backups on your PC, but marked with a cloud icon. Follow the standard steps above to extract files from any backup to PC.

      find iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor


    With any luck, you now have all the data types you needed on your PC. If you would like to transfer the extracted pictures, contacts, messages or other types of data to your iPhone now, we offer a range of products to help you do so. Also, do not forget to back up your iPhone properly in the future!

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By Maria CopyTrans

Maria is our tech support specialist who takes a particular delight in languages, games, experiments and concert whistling. Tweet tweet.