How to Recover an iPhone Backup

By Aaron Thornton

The Apple iPhone has many features that set it apart from other mobile phones on the market. Included among those features is the ability to back up your iPhone to your computer and restore your phone to previous settings. This is a solution to two problems. First, if something goes wrong on your iPhone, you can revert back to your last saved backup. Second, if you get a new iPhone, you can load all your previous settings to the new phone and start where you left off.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone
  • Computer with iTunes
  • iPhone USB connector cord

Step 1

Back up your iPhone regularly--at least once a week. If you do not back up your iPhone regularly, your most recent settings and downloads will not be available should you have to restore your phone. All the most recent data would be lost including contacts, notes, Apps and more.

Step 2

Connect the iPhone to the computer and activate iTunes. This can be done on either a Mac or a Windows computer. iTunes must be installed because the iPhone cannot function on a computer without the iTunes application.

Step 3

Click on the iPhone under the "Devices" tab in your iTunes application. Click on the restore button in the middle of the screen. You will be asked if you want to back up your iPhone before the restore. This is typically not recommended because you do not want to copy the error that has resulted in the need to restore. If you have purchased a new iPhone, you do not want to write over your previous backup with the new iPhone, losing all the data you were trying to transfer.

Step 4

Install the most recent software updates to finish. The whole process should take 30 to 60 minutes, and you should have a fully functional iPhone with all your previous data and settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you were trying to fix an issue with the restore and it did not work, take your iPhone to the closest Mac Store to be looked at by a certified professional. The problem may be with the hardware, not the software.
  • Do not attempt to fix the hardware yourself. Doing so will void the warranty.