How to Restore iPhone from Backup

If your iPhone is facing issues, or you accidentally deleted important data, you can restore it to an older state using a backup. You can restore your iPhone from a Backup using iCloud backup if you have a backup on iCloud. You can also use Finder or iTunes if you want to restore your iPhone using Mac or PC. Let’s look at these methods.

Make sure you have a backup

Before restoring your iPhone, make sure you have a backup of it made first. You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.

    Settings App on the iPhone
    Tap Settings.
  2. Tap your name at the top to access your Apple ID settings.

    Apple ID Settings in the Settings App on the iPhone
    Tap your name.
  3. Tap iCloud.

    iCloud Settings in the Apple ID Menu
    Tap iCloud.
  4. Tap iCloud Backup.

    iCloud Backup in the iCloud Settings
    Tap iCloud Backup.
  5. Underneath the “Back Up Now” button, you’ll be able to see when the last backup was created.

    Latest iCloud Backup Information
    Look for information about the most recent backup under the “Back Up Now” button.
  6. If you don’t see any backup, tap Back Up Now to create a new one.

    Option to Create an iCloud Backup
    Tap Back Up Now.

Restoring Your iPhone from an iCloud backup

  1. Before restoring your iPhone from a backup, the first step is to factory reset your device. Remember that factory resetting will delete all data, so proceed with caution and make sure you have a backup. First, tap Settings.

    Settings App on the iPhone
    Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.

    General Settings in the Settings App
    Tap General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

    Option to Transfer or Reset iPhone in the Settings App
    Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

    Erase All Content and Settings on the iPhone
    Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Tap Continue to factory reset your device.

    Factory Resetting iPhone by Erasing All Content
    Tap Continue.
  6. After your device has finished resetting it will restart. When it opens, you will see the “hello” screen.

    Hello in Different Languages During Activation of iPhone
    The Hello screen after restarting the iPhone. (Source: apple.com)
  7. Set up your iPhone by following the on-screen instructions.
  8. When you reach the Apps & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup.

    Restore from iCloud Backup After Factory Resetting iPhone
    Tap Restore from iCloud Backup. (Source: apple.com)
  9. Select the backup you want to restore.
    Choose iCloud Backup During iPhone Restoration
    Choose the backup you want. (Source: apple.com)

    Make sure you stay connected to WiFi while your data is being restored.

    Restore iPhone from iCloud Backup Progress Bar
    Wait for the restoration process to finish. (Source: apple.com)

    When the backup restoration is completed, you can finish setting up your iPhone like you usually would.
    Note: Some data might need more time to restore, and the restoration process will continue in the background.

Restoring Your iPhone from a Mac or PC

If your iPhone isn’t functioning or you can’t remember the password, you can restore it using the Finder app on Mac (with macOS Catalina or later) or iTunes on PC (or Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier). Follow the steps below to restore your iPhone using either app, as they both have the same steps. I will be restoring my iPhone using a Mac for this guide.

Note: Finder comes pre-built on your Mac. You can download iTunes from here.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using your charging cable (Lightning to USB) and open Finder on your Mac.

    Finder Window on Mac
    Open a Finder window.
  2. Click on your device in the Finders window under the “Locations” heading.

    iPhone Connected to MacBook Pro
    Click on your device.
  3. Click Restore Backup.

    Option to Restore Backup to iPhone on Mac
    Click Restore Backup.
  4. Select the backup you want to restore.

    Choosing iPhone Backups Before Restoration
    Choose the most relevant backup.
  5. Click Restore.

    Restoring iPhone from a Backup on Mac
    Click Restore.
  6. Your iPhone will restart after the restoration process is finished and start syncing data with your Mac or PC. You can unplug your device once it’s finished syncing.
    Syncing iPhone with Mac After Restroation
    Unplug your iPhone after it’s finished syncing. (Source: apple.com)

    You should now be able to use your iPhone with the restored settings.

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