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Predicaments do happen in the lifes of iPhone owners sometimes. And if iTunes lets you down (or if you’re not a fan), a question arises: how to restore iPhone without iTunes? This article suggests one effective way to restore iPhone from backup – CopyTrans Shelbee. It is capable of both full and partial (selective data) restore. Stay with us and learn how to restore iPhone without iTunes without complications!

Select the section you are interested in:

⚡ Let us couponize you – don’t miss your discount at the end of the guide 😉

iTunes could not restore the iPhone because an error occurred

If your iPhone just froze, a simple reset might do. However, if you lost some data and want it recovered, you might need to restore your iPhone from an iTunes backup.

We have prepared a troubleshooting guide for those who encountered this error “iTunes could not restore the iPhone“:

itunes could not restore the iphone because an error occurred

Follow these steps to fix the issue:

  • Restart your iPhone and PC;
  • Make sure you have the latest version of iOS and iTunes;
  • Use a different iPhone USB lightning cable and a USB port;
  • Make sure you are entering the right passcode.

If the above doesn’t work, try alternative methods to fix the “iTunes could not restore the iPhone because an error occurred” error:

Restore iPhone backup without using iTunes
Restore iPhone in DFU mode

If your iPhone shows the message “iPhone attempting data recovery” and it is stuck, then we advise you to check the article on how to fix the issue.

How to restore iPhone without iTunes

iPhone users are known to have a “love and hate relationship” with iTunes: partially because of its speed, partially because of its functionality, and partially because some people just want to hate iTunes. Since iTunes is time and effort-consuming, many iPhone users are seeking other quicker and easier options on how to restore iPhone without iTunes.

CopyTrans Shelbee is a multifunctional tool to restore and back up iPhone without iTunes.

With CopyTrans Shelbee you can:

✔ 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 or higher) before the apps were removed from the App Store.

Also: How to Set Up New iPhone.

When restoring iPhone without iTunes with CopyTrans Shelbee remember:

⚠ the data restored from a backup will not be merged with the one on your iPhone;
⚠ backup from an iPhone with a newer iOS version cannot be restored to a device with an older iOS version.

Follow these steps to restore data with CopyTrans Shelbee:

  1. To restore the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from backup, run CopyTrans Shelbee and connect the iOS device.

  2. Click on Full restore. Restore iPhone from backup

  3. Click on the green pencil icon on the right to select a backup to restore from. Choose full restore of iPhone from backup

  4. In the newly-opened window, select the backup file that you wish to restore from. If you made multiple backups, you will all the backups stored in the chosen folder. Select iPhone backup to restore from

  5. If you wish to restore your apps as well, please log in to iTunes Store with your Apple ID. Log in with Aplle ID to backup or restore apps

  6. Wait until the restore process completes. Restore iPhone from backup process

  7. That’s it. You’ve restored your iPhone from backup without iTunes! iPhone restore successful

Restore iPhone from backup selectively

With CopyTrans Shelbee, you can also choose data you want to restore. Learn about the data types below:

🔸 Contacts;
🔸 SMS Messages, iMessage, MMS pictures and videos;
🔸 Camera Roll Photos;
🔸 Calendar events & accounts;
🔸 Reminders;
🔸 Call history;
🔸 Apps;
🔸 App documents;
🔸 Keychain, passwords for email accounts, Wi-Fi and websites**;
🔸 Notes;
🔸 App accounts and passwords**;
🔸 Settings.

** requires the backup to be encrypted

Here’s how to restore selected data to iPhone without iTunes:

  1. Open CopyTrans Shelbee and connect your iPhone. Click on Custom restore. Custom restore in CopyTrans Shelbee

  2. Click on the green pencil icon to select which backup you want to restore your data from. Select a backup to restore from

  3. After you’ve chosen the right backup file, click “Next”. Click next

  4. Wait until the loading process finishes. Loading in progress

  5. Select the data you wish to restore. For example, it is possible to only restore photos from an iPhone backup. Just select Photos, then click on Next.
    For contacts, the process is the same: select Contacts, then click on Next. You can select as many items as you want. Restore calendars, WhatsApp, Notes – in any combination you want!
    Select data to restore in CopyTrans Shelbee

  6. Please note that the data you selected will be overwritten. So, if you want to restore contacts, the device contacts will be replaced with the ones from the backup.
    Confirmation screen in CopyTrans Shelbee
    Click “Next”.

  7. 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 “Start”.
    Save destination device backup in CopyTrans Shelbee

  8. Wait until the restore process finishes. Custom restore in progress

  9. That’s it! Your device will now restart. iPhone restore

Check out our comparison table that lists the features of CopyTrans Shelbee, iTunes and iCloud. Makes it pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?

CopyTrans Shelbee iTunes iCloud
Full backup Yes Yes Yes
Select backup type:
full vs lates changes
Yes No No
Encrypted backup Yes Yes No
Check backup integrity Yes No No
Check for password issues Yes No No
Choose backup folder Yes No No
Move default backup location Yes No No
Backup to external drive Yes No No
Backup apps in .ipa format Yes No No
Backup Password,
Wi-Fi settings,
browsing history
*only with encrypted backup
*only with encrypted backup
Full restore Yes Yes Yes
Restore selected data Yes
(only contacts or messages, etc)
No No
Restore of backup saved on PC Yes Yes No
WhatsApp Restore Yes Yes
*restore ALL data, not only WhatsApp
*restore ALL data, not only WhatsApp
Apps restore
(no longer exist in App Store)
*apps must be backed up before deletion
No No
Restore Password,
Wi-Fi settings,
browsing history
*only with encrypted backup
*only with encrypted backup
Restore from iCloud backup No No Yes
Download CopyTrans Shelbee

YouTube guide

How long does it take to restore iPhone

Many users are wondering “How long does it take to restore iPhone?” When using iTunes to restore iPhone, it usually takes up to 1 hour depending on the size of your backup. However, the larger your iTunes backup is, the longer it takes to restore iPhone.

Overall, the speed of the process depends on several factors:

    🔸 your internet connection;

    🔸 the type of a cable that you are using;

    🔸 PC operational capabilities.

📌 When performing custom restore with CopyTrans Shelbee, amount of storage space required is equal to the full restore option. Please have sufficient storage space on your device!

We hope the methods described in this article will help you avoid the dreaded iTunes error messages and you will successfully restore iPhone without iTunes.
You gave CopyTrans Shelbee a go but the restore still failed? See the troubleshooting steps for when the backup is corrupt.

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By krasimir

Krasimir is an avid marketing aficionado and a tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market. He grew up in Bulgaria and on the island of Mauritius where he became passionate about windsurfing and photography.