How to restore your iPhone from a backup after resetting it, so you never have to lose your data

It’s easy to restore your iPhone, if you have a backup. Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • You can restore your iPhone from a backup by giving your phone a factory reset, and then logging back into your Apple ID account.
  • Before you restore your iPhone, you’ll need to make sure that you have a current backup of all your phone’s data – you can create one in your iPhone’s Apple ID menu.
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If you’ve had an iPhone for any length of time, you know it’s largely trouble-free – an iPhone behaves more like an appliance than a finicky desktop computer. Even so, problems can still arise, and most glitches can be remedied by simply restarting your phone.

But on rare occasions, your problem will runs so deep that no amount of restarting fixes it. In that case, you might want to perform a factory reset.

This is the “nuclear option” – a factory reset will wipe all of the apps and data from your iPhone, and return it to the state it was in when you first took it out of the box after purchase.

But since a freshly erased iPhone isn’t particularly useful, you probably want to restore all your apps and data from a recent backup. Luckily, you can do this easily.

Performing this operation requires a few steps, and you’ll also need to have your Apple ID and password available. Once performed, your apps and data should be restored to your iPhone.

Be aware, however, that resetting and restoring an iPhone can be a time-consuming process, and there’s always some risk – however small – that restoring from a backup will fail, causing you to lose data in the process. Only perform these steps if you’ve tried troubleshooting your phone and nothing else has solved your problem.

Here’s how to backup and then restore your iPhone.

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iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Apple)

How to backup your iPhone

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen and then tap “iCloud.”

3. Near the bottom of the section called “Apps Using iCloud,” tap “iCloud Backup.”

4. On the page that opens, make sure that “iCloud Backup” is turned on. If it isn’t, tap it to turn it on.

5. See when the last successful backup was recorded; if it’s in the last few hours, that might be good enough. If the backup isn’t fresh, tap “Back Up Now” and wait for the backup to complete.

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Be sure your iPhone has been backed up recently before starting a reset. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to factory reset and restore your iPhone

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap “General,” and then tap “Reset.”

3. Scroll and select “Reset.”

4. Tap “Erase all Content and Settings,” and choose “Erase Now.” If for some reason you haven’t already backed up your iPhone, this is your last chance – you can choose “Backup then Erase.”

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There are a number of reset options, but ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ returns your phone to factory conditions. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

5. Your iPhone will take a few minutes to reset to factory conditions. After that, you’ll be greeted with the iPhone’s initial welcome screen.

6. You’ll be asked to set up your language, Wi-Fi network, and passcode. When the “Apps & Data” screen appears, tap “Restore from iCloud Backup.”

7. Your iPhone will ask you to sign in to iCloud. Use your Apple ID email and password to sign in.

8. Enter the passcode that Apple either sends to another one of your iOS devices, or that you can have texted to you.

9. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.

10. Tap “Next” and, on the “Choose Backup” screen, you’ll see a list of recent backups. Tap the backup that you want to install.

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