Are you trying to restore iPhone® by using iTunes but facing the error — ‘iTunes Cannot Restore Backup to iPhone’ or ‘iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred’?
Apple’s backup solution—iTunes, is convenient to restore your iOS device in case of data loss or when you want to restore backup to the new iPhone. However, iTunes may cause problems that may show up as errors and hinder you from restoring your iPhone.
So, how to fix this problem when iTunes cannot restore backup to iPhone
There are two approaches to deal with the iTunes backup problem – either you fix the issue by putting the iOS device on recovery mode or choose to restore iPhone with backup by using alternative methods. You can use a software that helps recover iPhone backup from iTunes or restore iPhone with iCloud.
But, before moving on to the methods to fix iPhone unable to restore by using iTunes, make sure you do the following and then try once again to restore your iPhone by using iTunes:
- Restart both your iPhone and computer
- Update your iTunes to the latest version
- Update the iOS
- Check your USB cable, if its working fine
- Ensure you are entering the right passcode
If this doesn’t work, try the below methods to fix iPhone not restoring with iTunes:
- Put your iPhone on Recovery mode to restore with iTunes
- Restore iPhone backup without using iTunes
- Try the alternate backup – iCloud to restore iPhone
- Delete existing corrupt backup file in iTunes
Method 1: Put your iPhone on Recovery mode to restore with iTunes
If you can’t restore iPhone from iTunes backup, put your iOS device in recovery mode and then try restoring via iTunes. You can also try this method, if iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPhone due to which you couldn’t restore iPhone.
Before you put your iPhone on Recovery mode, ensure two things:
- You are using the latest version of iTunes
- You have the latest backup in iTunes
Steps to put your device on recovery mode and set it up again
- Connect your iPhone to computer and open iTunes
- While the iPhone is connected, force restart it, but don’t release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Wait until the ‘connect to iTunes’ screen appears.
Figure: Position of buttons on various iPhone models
- On iPhone 8 and later: Press and quickly release the Volume Up Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the ‘connect to iTunes’ screen.
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see ‘connect to iTunes’ screen.
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the ‘connect to iTunes’ screen.
Figure: ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen
- On your computer, a box appears asking to either, Restore or Update. Choose Restore. iTunes will restore your iPhone with a saved backup file.
Figure: iTunes on computer asks to Restore or Update iPhone
Method 2: Restore iPhone backup without using iTunes
When putting your iOS device on Recovery Mode doesn’t work, restore your iPhone by using Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone. The software restores lost data from iTunes backup on to iPhone and iPad. With it, you have the flexibility to keep your existing data intact on your iPhone and restore only what you want.
You can easily recover lost and deleted Contacts, Safari bookmarks, Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Call History, Voice Memos, WhatsApp, WeChat, Tango messages, Notes, etc.
Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone is safe and supports the latest iOS. Make sure, your iTunes is updated before using it. Try the demo version to see the software in action:
Steps to restore backup to iPhone with iTunes
- Download and launch Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone software on your Mac or computer
- Select Recover from iTunes Backup
- Select what you want to recover. Click Next.
- List of your iTunes backup files appear. Select the relevant iTunes backup
- All the found files in the backup are listed. You can Preview each. if you don’t see all your data, click Deep Scan at the bottom left.
- Click Save. Select the location to save the recovered files of iTunes backup. you can save on your iPhone or computer.
Method 3: Use alternate backup – iCloud to restore iPhone
If iTunes is creating problem in restoring your iPhone, restore backup with the help of iCloud.
iCloud automatically backs up your iPhone data over Wi-Fi, when you have turn on iCloud backup.
Steps to restore backup to iPhone via iCloud
- On your iPhone go to Settings > General > Reset
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings
- On the Apps & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup
- Sign in to your iCloud account using Apple ID
- Select the latest backup. Tap Next > Agree and wait till the restore process ends
Method 4: Delete the existing corrupt backup file in iTunes
If you see an alert that your iTunes backup is corrupt or incompatible, chances are that this corrupt backup file is causing the issue.
What you can do?
- Update your iTunes and iOS
- Uninstall your security software on your computer
- Now try again to restore from the backup file
If the above troubleshooting doesn’t work, delete the corrupt backup file and try restoring iPhone from a different backup in iTunes.
Restarting the iOS device and software updates usually fix ‘iTunes cannot restore backup to iPhone’ problem. If not, then put your iPhone in Recovery Mode and then restore with iTunes. In case a corrupt iTunes backup is creating the problem, it is better to delete it and restore iPhone with a different backup file.
You can also restore your phone with the help of Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone. Another way round is choosing iCloud backup to get back the lost data on old or new iOS device.
Out of these methods, Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone is popularly used to restore iPhone in situations of loss and deleted data. It is also a preferred choice in cases of failed attempts to restore iPhone with iTunes or iCloud backup. Moreover, the software is quick and easy solution to restore iPhone from iTunes.