You may want to restore from iCloud backup when you wish to have all the files from your existing iCloud storage on the iPhone you are setting up as a new device. Restoration also becomes necessary when you have accidentally deleted your important documents, images, etc., from your iPhone, and now you want everything back in place.
Also, if your iPhone starts behaving obnoxiously and you have no option other than erasing all its content, you can reset your iPhone to factory settings. Once the process completes, you can restore your data from the iCloud backup easily and quickly.
Apart from the above, some other scenarios may include:
- When you have lost your contacts and want them back
- When you accidentally deleted Safari bookmarks and/or a reading list and want to recover them
- When you want to restore some lost events
…and much more.
Regardless of the issue, if you are an iPhone user, you must know how to restore from iCloud. The following sections explain how to restore iCloud backup using some of the most effective and simplest methods.
How to Restore iCloud Backup via Set Up
This is the most practiced procedure as you want to restore from iCloud backup while upgrading your smartphone or after you have erased all its content and settings to start afresh.
Apart from the above, if you bought a preowned iPhone and wish to use it as your regular device, you must erase all its existing data, set up the smartphone from scratch and choose the Restore from iCloud Backup option from the ‘Apps & Data’ screen.
You can follow the process explained below to erase everything from your iPhone:
Note: Before you begin, go to Settings, tap your name from the top of the screen, tap Find My on the Apple ID window, and tap to turn off the Find My iPhone switch. Also, back on the Apple ID screen, scroll down to the bottom, and tap Sign Out.
Once this is done, you’re good to go, so:
- Get back to the Settings screen
- Tap General
- Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings from the bottom
- Tap Continue
- Follow on-screen instructions from there to erase everything from your iPhone
Once your iPhone restarts, you can follow the step-by-step instructions given below to restore from iCloud backup:
Step 1: Connect to a Wi-Fi Network
Power on your iPhone and follow the on-screen instructions to get to the Choose a Wi-Fi Network screen. Now, tap to select the wireless network you want to connect your iPhone to.
On the Enter Password screen, enter the password for the wireless network, and tap Join from the top-right corner to connect your iPhone to the Wi-Fi network.
Back on the Choose a Wi-Fi Network window, tap Next from the top-right corner to continue.
Step 2: Choose the Restore from iCloud Backup Option
After joining a wireless network, continue following the instructions on your phone until you get to the Apps & Data screen. From here, tap to select Restore from iCloud Backup.
Step 3: Restore from iCloud Backup
On the iCloud screen, enter your Apple ID in the input field and tap Next from the top-right corner.
Enter your Apple ID’s password in the Password field and tap Next again.
When/if the Two-Factor Authentication screen appears (if you are already using your previous iPhone with the same Apple ID), enter the passcode for that device for authentication.
Follow the on-screen instructions from there to restore from iCloud backup.
How to Restore from iCloud Backup Selectively
The bitter truth is that neither iTunes nor the iPhone setup process offers an option to choose individual files or data types to restore.
In another scenario, if you bought a new or used iPhone and want to have only the important files, using iTunes or the setup process wouldn’t help as both these procedures restore the entire backup. Therefore, you must rely on a robust and efficient third-party iPhone data recovery tool to get the job done.
One program continuously gaining popularity in this arena is Tenorshare UltData, which can not only restore data from iCloud backup but also from iTunes backup and the device itself.
You can learn how to restore iCloud through UltData by following the instructions given below:
Step 1: Add Your Apple ID Credentials for Recovery
Download and install Tenorshare UltData. Launch the program and click Recover Data from iCloud from the main interface.
On the Sign in to iCloud window, enter your Apple ID username and password and hit Enter.
In the input fields of the next screen, enter the verification code you received on your phone to allow Tenorshare UltData to access your device.
Step 2: Scan Your Data Selectively
On the next screen, check the boxes representing the data you want to restore from the backup. Click Download to continue.
Wait while UltData scans your data.
Step 3: Restore Your Data from iCloud Backup
After the scanning is done, in the navigation bar on the left, check the boxes representing the data you want to recover. Click Recover to PC or Recover to Device.
Note: While you can recover some data types both to your PC and directly to your iPhone, the other elements can be saved only to your computer. You must then transfer them back to your iPhone manually using your preferred method.
How to Restore from iCloud Using iCloud.com
Although you can restore from iCloud directly on your iPhone by syncing your device with the Cloud, if you can’t do that for some reason, an alternative method to get your data back is by accessing iCloud.com on your PC.
This approach has a two-step process: in the first step, you must download your iCloud data to your local computer, and in the second step, you can manually transfer it from your desktop/laptop to your iPhone.
Now, as much as the procedure sounds straightforward, it has a few limitations, such as not restoring WhatsApp attachments, iMessages, SMS, etc.
In addition, you must also go to each section and restore that data type manually. For instance, to restore photos, you must go to the Photos folder, select the images you want to restore, download them to your PC, and then transfer them to your iPhone. You must follow this entire process for contacts and other data types too.
Nevertheless, the method may be useful if you can’t afford to lose everything.
The instructions on how to restore from iCloud are given below:
Note: Although the procedure below explains how to recover photos and contacts, you can repeat the steps (with slight file-specific variations) for all other types of data you want to restore from iCloud backup.
Step 1: Sign In to Your iCloud Account
On your PC, use your favorite web browser to go to https://www.icloud.com/, enter your Apple ID credentials, and sign in.
Step 2: Recover Photos
On the main page, locate and click the Photos container.
From the right window of the iCloud Photos page, select the images you want to restore, and click the Download icon from the top-right corner to restore photos from iCloud to your PC.
Step 3: Recover Contacts
Get back to the main page and click Contacts. From the center pane of the iCloud Contacts page, select the contacts you want to recover.
Click the Settings icon from the bottom-left corner of the left pane and click Export vCard to recover the selected contacts to your PC as vCard.
Step 4: Restore the Data from the PC to Your iPhone
Use the genuine lightning cable to connect your iPhone to the PC and transfer the data via your preferred method back to your smartphone.
FAQs About iCloud Backup
What if I lose all my files from both my iPhone and iCloud?
When you accidentally delete files from your iCloud, they remain in a recoverable state from the date of deletion, after which Apple erases them permanently. If it’s not been thirty days, you can sign in to your iCloud account on your PC, scroll down to the bottom of the main page, click Data Recovery, and follow the on-screen instructions from there to recover your data to restore from iCloud backup. In addition, to make things simpler, you can use iPhone Data Recovery to recover your deleted data from your iPhone in merely a few mouse clicks.
How can I restore my WhatsApp attachments?
While iCloud Drive and iTunes back up your WhatsApp messages, they do not include attachments. Therefore, you must use an efficient third-party app like iPhone Data Recovery to get the job done.
What should I do if my iCloud storage is full?
In that case, you have two options, namely:
- Download your files from iCloud to your PC manually by going to iCloud.com, and delete them from the iCloud storage to make room for the new files
- Go to https://www.icloud.com/plan/ and upgrade to iCloud+ to buy more space from Apple
You can learn how to restore from iCloud by following any of the solutions suggested above. While the tools and options offered by Apple are mostly free, they may lack some important features like selective data restoration, WhatsApp attachment backup and restore, etc. This is where you might need a third-party app that can help you choose your files more granularly to restore from iCloud backup.