Topic in Brief: Recover iTunes Data

Losing your data can be extremely stressful, whether you just lose a few months’ worth of text messages or every number in your contacts. If you realize that you’ve lost your data or it has become corrupted, there are usually three ways to restore it, two that work through the iPhone in iTunes, and one that will restore iPhone without iTunes. Here are the three ways you can restore iPhone, iTunes not necessarily required:

Method One: Recover Data from iTunes

If you have reset your iPhone to its factory settings, you’ve probably lost all of the data that it once contained. You can also lose data through corruption or damage to the phone, but no matter how you lose it, if you want to get any music, video, contacts, pictures, or calendar information back onto your phone, here is how to restore iPhone using iTunes:

  • 1. Plug the iPhone into your computer, using your charging cable.
  • 2. Open iTunes and select your iPhone when it appears.
  • 3. Click on the “Summary” panel, underneath the phone.
  • 4. Click “Restore iPhone…” This will reset your iPhone back to the factory settings.
  • 5. Once the phone restarts after resetting, it ask you whether you want to setup your device or use a backup version of your data. Choose “Use a Previous Backup.”

restore backu from itunes

If you want to make a backup that you can use to reverse your iPhone, should you ever lose your data, follow these steps:

  • 1. Open iTunes and plug your iPhone into the computer.
  • 2. Click File, then Devices, then Transfer Purchases.
  • 3. Once iTunes has finished transferring your purchases, click File, Devices, and then Back Up.
  • 4. You now have a backed-up version of your device.

Method Two: Use Software to Recover Specific Data From iTunes

The first method on our list is usually the best way to restore iPhone from iTunes backup, but it will restore all of the content in your backup file.

windows trial free free trial for mac

If you don’t want to restore everything that is in your backup or you aren’t sure that you want to do a total restore, you can use software like iOS File Recovery that will let you select just the files you actually want to restore. Here’s how to use it (Note that we use Windows version to demonstrate the steps below, but Mac users can refer to the same, fore the interface of Win and Mac versions are similar).

  • 1. Download the software onto your computer. Most software that does this task has a version for Windows and for Mac operating systems.
  • 2. Select the option that allows you to recover files from an iTunes backup file. This will allow you to see all of the backups in your iTunes.
  • 3. Select the backup file you want to use (usually the most recent one), and click “Scan.”
  • 4. Once the program has finished scanning the backup file, it will present you with all of the content that you could restore to your phone. You can go through pictures, music, videos, etc. and check which ones you want to be added to your phone.

extract backup from itunes

Using this method is a great way to get just the files you want restored to your iPhone out of the iTunes backup folder. If you do not want to do a full backup or only want some of the files out of the backup on a new device, using software is the best way.

recover from itunes backup

Method Three: Use Software to Retrieve Files without Backup

In some situations, you may not have a viable backup file on your iTunes. If this is the case, do not panic! This doesn’t mean that your files are lost forever. The same software used to only restore certain files to your iPhone can be used to scan your iPhone and recover the files. Here’s how:

1. Connect your iPhone to the computer where you have downloaded the software.

connect iphone

2. Open the program. It will automatically detect your phone. Tell the software to “Start Scan.”

start scanning

3. Once the scan has finished looking for your data, it will display all of those files. You can now scroll through them and click which ones you want to restore. Mark the files you want restored and click “Recover.” This will save the files to your computer.

scan results

4. Transfer the files from your computer to your iPhone.

The program will likely show you all of the files on your phone—both those that have been deleted and those that still exist. You should be able tell the program to only show you deleted items.

If you have lost your data because of theft, damage, or a factory reset, do not panic! You can use one of these three methods to restore any of the files you once had on your iPhone, back to that phone.