Restoring from a previous iCloud backup | iLounge Article


Restoring from a previous iCloud backup

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Q: How do I get my iCloud backup from an old phone onto a new phone after I’ve started using the new phone? I still see my old phone storage stuff in manage storage, but I can’t see any option to restore it.

- Michael

A: The only way to restore an iCloud backup onto a iPhone or other iOS device that you’ve already setup as a new device is to erase your device and start over. An option to Erase All Content and Settings can be found in the Settings under General, Reset.

Choosing this option will prompt you to enter your iOS passcode if one is set, and will then prompt you to confirm that this is actually what you want to do. Your device will then go through a relatively quick erase process and then restart, displaying the iOS Setup Assistant in the same way as for a brand new device. During this process, you will be given the option to setup as a new iPhone or restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup.


Choosing to restore from an iCloud backup will prompt you for your Apple ID and then display a list of your iCloud backups to restore from.


For more detailed information on this process, see our Guide to Transferring your Content to a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Note that there is no simple way to merge the information from two separate backups, so if you’ve already started using your iPhone as a new device and accumulated new data on it that you want to preserve, you’re basically left with the choice between completely restoring your old backup—losing any new information in the process—or simply discarding it in favour of the new backup.

There are third-party utilities such as iBackupBot and MobileSyncBrowser that can be used to selectively retrieve data from iOS device backups, but these require that the backups be made to your computer; they cannot access data directly from an iCloud backup. If there is information in your iCloud backup that you desperately need, however, you could restore the iCloud backup to your iPhone—or even another iOS device that you have available—and then subsequently make a backup of that device to iTunes in order to get the data onto your computer where these utilities could be used to extract the required information.

Note that should you decide that you no longer need the old iPhone backup taking up storage in iCloud, you can also easily delete it from your iCloud storage directly from the Storage & Backup settings on your iPhone.


Simply go into your iCloud settings, choose Storage & Backup, Manage Storage and select the backup that you would like to remove. A summary screen will show the date and time the backup was made along with the size of the backup and a delete button that can be used to remove it from your iCloud account, freeing up the space for additional backups or other data.


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Thank you so much for this!!  I have been pulling my hair trying to do the same thing you explained here!!

Posted by Janice in Toronto on April 2, 2013 at 6:41 AM (CDT)


Thank you soooooooo much for this!

Posted by Moriah in Toronto on April 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM (CDT)


Thanks a lot!
One question though: I’ve restored icloud contents into my new iphone. Now i wanna back up the new one, but there isn’t enough space since the older one is still there. I can delete the older back up and be sure not to lose my stuff? Even considering all content is in my new iphone, seems kinda scary.

Posted by Mariana in Toronto on May 14, 2013 at 7:40 PM (CDT)



Posted by Jaecgo in Toronto on June 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM (CDT)


Looking for my phone

Posted by Robert lane in Toronto on June 15, 2013 at 5:44 PM (CDT)


Thank you so much! I’ve been trying for a couple hours and couldn’t figure it out.

Posted by Lindsay in Toronto on June 19, 2013 at 6:51 PM (CDT)


You just don’t know…you have SAVED MY LIFE!!!! Omg thank you so much for putting this out here!!

Posted by Jasmin in Toronto on June 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM (CDT)


I was advised by Apple to backup my Ipad on Icloud (on the Ipad) which I did then told to go into Itunes and restore my Ipad which I did. Now I have my library in Icloud on my Ipad but I am unable to restore it into my Ipad

Posted by Sandra Pattison in Toronto on July 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM (CDT)



I really got scared if i lose evrey thing i have but now i can backup easily so THANX ARIGATO MERCI


Posted by roronoa zoro in Toronto on July 27, 2013 at 2:00 AM (CDT)


THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This page was so much more helpful than the apple page…. Thanks a million!!!

Posted by joneseroni in Toronto on September 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM (CDT)


Ok, I want to set up a new Iphone 5 with a new apple id, but back up from an different id? The daughter and wife rushed in and used the same home email address to set up their phones and now my i get their messages and contacts messed up with mine and some of my business coontacts have been getting their messages!! I need all my phone contacts and messages etc.. help

Posted by Nedster in Toronto on October 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM (CDT)

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