Can I restore an iTunes backup from an older iOS?

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by donawalt, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. donawalt macrumors 6502

    donawalt

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #1
    I have an iPad I am getting rid of, and I will be getting a new iPad down the road to replace it. Once I get the new iPad, I would like to restore the iTunes backup that came from this iPad.

    I have backed up this iPad via iTunes encrypted, so I maintain passwords etc. It was backed up when iOS was/is on iOS 12.3.1. If, once I get a new iPad, iOS is on version 12.5 for example, will it be able to successfully restore the backup made with iOS 12.3.1? If not, how do I preserve my iTunes backup data when I need to restore it down the road with a different, newer iOS in place? Am I forced to use its iCloud backup (losing passwords etc. as that is not encrypted)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #2
    A couple points here before the main point:
    1. iCloud backup is encrypted. Passwords etc are preserved.
    2. iOS 12.4 is on the horizon, but at the very least you can update to iOS 12.3.1.
    The main point is: iTunes backup can be restored to an iOS version newer than the version you are at during the backup. What you cannot do is to restore a backup from newer iOS version to an older iOS version. In short: backups are backward compatible but not forward compatible.

    Regarding getting the new iPad, make sure to update the system FIRST before restoring the backup or else you will need to wait quite a while before seeing your home screen. You do so by setting up as a new device first (skip everything you can skip, except Wifi), update iOS, reset, and restore.
     
  3. donawalt thread starter macrumors 6502

    donawalt

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for the reply @Shirasaki, it seems my info on iCloud backup was out of date or incorrect! I am happy there will be no issues if I have to restore an iTunes 12.3.1-written backup to some new device running iOS 12.4, 12.5 etc!

    I have gone off and read a little about iTunes vs. iCloud backups, a follow up on that - are there any disadvantages to using iCloud backup over iTunes, other than possibly (1) iTunes restore could be faster since it's local and the iCloud restore is over a WiFi connection (2) iCloud restore requires WiFi? (of course I could lose/corrupt the local iTunes backup tool, less likely when it resides on iCloud!)

    It looks like everything I have backed up through iTunes will be backed up by iCloud, whether speficially in the backup itself or because it's already stored in iCloud?
     
  4. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #4
    Again, a couple points here.
    1. Most people would not notice this one but iCloud backup can restore all your apps bought from different accounts and different regions. iTunes backup can’t. It will only restore apps you have with the account you logged in during backup.
    2. Yes. iCloud restore needs WIFI, and it can take quite a while since backup restore is not like downloading iTunes movies or tv shows.
    3. iCloud backup can also get corrupted, just like iTunes backup. But this does not happen very often, so you should be fine. Just pick the best way that suits me.
    There is no documented difference between iTunes encrypted backup and iCloud backup.
     
  5. donawalt thread starter macrumors 6502

    donawalt

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015

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4 July 20, 2019