Clean install, but restore apps?

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by cameronjpu, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. cameronjpu macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    So, having had every iPhone since the first one, I have come to the conclusion that restoring the phone from the backup (whether iCloud or iTunes) is about 50% reliable, and the other 50%, it leaves you with some unfixable problem. My data is pretty simple - I have an exchange account and a couple IMAP accounts, so installing them after a clean install takes 5 minutes. What takes forever is ALL THE APPS! I have about 250, in about 20 folders, and I've collected them over the last 8 years.

    It seems like it would be very simple. If Apple or an app developer could take an inventory of the apps you have on the phone and their exact location before you do the wipe, it would allow users to do a true clean install, but not have to spend days (literally) getting all the apps downloaded and put into their proper place.

    Is there a way to do this that I'm not seeing? Right now I have non-functional contacts search on my new phone and siri dictation that works half the days, and the other half, it stops listening after 1 second and never dictates anything for me. VERY frustrating. I'm going to have to do a clean wipe, and it's going to make me miserable for hours this weekend. There's no reason for this to be this hard! I'm hoping someone here can point out a solution that I'm missing. I can't imagine a third party app could have the ability to index all other apps, since I would think it requires too many rights to the phone outside the sandbox of the app itself.
  2. vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    Hmph. Not sure if I get you, but I'll say what I can.

    With backups, apps are restored and the Springboard layout is also restored. Not sure what you mean.

    You can always just set up as new and log into iCloud to retrieve contacts, music, etc. and just restore the apps you want to shorten the process. I suggest you do a cleanup of your phone, too. 200 apps is a lot! I assume some may be old and outdated apps.
  3. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    I know what happens with a backup, unfortunately the part you left out is that something always seems to stop working properly, too.

    Apps sitting in folders unused aren't causing any problem. I have them because I use them, rarely though it may be.

    I would love to set up as new, but I am not willing or really able to restore the apps I want (because I want all of them, that's why I have them). It's kind of like when you write a paper and it gets deleted. You try to write it again, but its never quite as good. I want to be able to press a button and have all my apps download as they are, but the rest of the phone be a clean install. Make sense now?

    Restoring from a backup makes the phone work poorly. Restoring clean is great for function but will cost me 10 hours of tedious labor. Why can't Apple give users a way to restore their apps despite having done a clean install?
  4. getrealbro macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2015
    This won’t help much with the organization of 200ish apps. But unless you have a big pipe (e.g. fiber), it will make retrieving your apps much quicker than re-downloading them. And it is not vulnerable to the whims of the internet gods/devils.

    Before you do the clean install -- backup your phone and be sure to allow it to transfer any purchases. Then in iTunes check for and download any updates. You may also want to screen dump your iPhone's app page layouts to help you organize your apps after the clean install.

    After you do the clean install -- reload your now updated apps from your Mac using iTunes and organize them with the iTunes app interface.

    FWIW this is how I did my 6s. It’s not ideal. But it was a whole lot quicker than re-downloading given our wireless ISP’s pitiful maximum bandwidth (6Mbps).

    — GetRealBro
  5. vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015

    I've restored from backups several times and have never set up any device as new and have never encountered problems.

    I guess Apple should redesign the way restore processes are handled (or add more options before restoring) to make it more convenient for these types of cases (i.e. deciding what apps to restore, etc.)
  6. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    Just FYI, for any future readers with similar issues, here's what I did that seems to have fixed my contacts-search issue. I removed my exchange account from the phone and turned off all the Spotlight search functions, and then made a local backup. Then I did a wipe of the phone and restored from that backup. After everything loaded I then turned back on the spotlight search options and added the Exchange account again. Searching seems to be working as it should. We will see if the Siri dictation is fixed more reliably now too.
  7. volcom883 macrumors regular


    Sep 29, 2008
    is there a way to restore all the messages and imessages back to a clean install iphone?
  8. Neitin macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2012
    I use backuptrans sms restore works like a charm. I don't use iMessage so can't answer that.

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7 October 9, 2015