Had 64gig Iphone 5 - now 16gig not enough space to restore backup!!?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Koobs123, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Koobs123, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

    Koobs123 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Hey guys, i lost my iphone 64gig and picked up a new iPhone 5 but only 16gig.

    luckily i didnt lose any icloud stuff but icloud from what i know does not store SMS messages, and other settings.

    I have a backup that is only a month old and I need alot of the info in the messages. but now when i try to restore from this backup im getting a message saying the phone doesnt have enough space.

    Is there any way around this?

    Is there a way to edit the backup file so its smaller? or other software that may help?


    I found the backup file in library/mobilesync/backup and it is 29.9 gigs which is obviously the problem. when i open it i see tons of files and at the end a file named info.plist when i open it i can see the different applications in XCODE and there are alot which is why the backup is so large. any way to edit this backup folder or delete some applications manually?
  2. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    You should restore but not include your music/movies/pictures. That normally fixes this. Don't ask me why it happens or why you should do it. For me, it just works in the odd times that this happens.
  3. swish2351 macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    ... Is this an actual question?

    No, you can't magically change data to a different size
  4. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    i think you are thinking about syncing. there is no option to select or de-select those things when doing a restore from backup only when you are syncing.

    I can sync my phone and get all my pictures, music, contacts, calendars etc. but not my messages. messages are stored in the backup folder/file


    im not trying to change one file to make it smaller.
    Its a folder containing alot of information and i want only the messages. the rest of the info like calendars, pictures etc. i can just sync to get.
  5. swish2351 macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    No that is not possible, it's all together
  6. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    so apple never thought that backups might be to big for one phone and not another?

    this is stupid, so im stuck without my old text/sms messages?
  7. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    I can't remember what I did exactly, but I barely remember unsyncing the media files to give more "room" on my 16gb which had 3gb of space available. Last resort you could restore as new then restore your backup.
  8. 3rd Rock macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    Over here
    Yup, if you had a 64 GB phone, and lost it, than you decided to purchase a 16 GB instead (Which is smaller) and you thought 64 GB of backups goes easily into a 16 GB is interesting OP, to say the least. :confused:
  9. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    all they had to do is add an option allowing me to DELSELECT certain things so it WOULD fit....

    they seem to think of everything else like not allowing jailbreaking.

    adding messages tab to itunes im sure wouldnt take too much effort. I have messages from 2009 still
  10. Ajones330 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2008
    SEC Country
    Doesn't work like that, you have the option to choose what you backup. It's highly unlikely someone needs a large back up then goes to a device with less memory. No way around this unless you get someone to let you use their 64gb for a night and you delete stuff you don't want backed up. This is very unlikely to happen
  11. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
  12. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    i tried a silmilar program, not sure what to do with the info once i extract it (havent tried this one yet).

    what about a type of GHOST or FAKE iphone application.

    Like an app that mirrors an iPhone from my mac (which has alot more capacity)?

    and trick itunes into thinking its an iphone and restoring that. ive seen iPhones on macs before but im not sure if they where seperate entities or mirrored from an iphone that was plugged into the computer.
  13. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    once i have my sms messages in CSV file format is there a way to import that file into the iPhone?
  14. Koobs123 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    i also found out that file name 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 is the SMS file in the backup folder.

    you think i can put that into another backup and it will load it or am i setting myself up for a bricked phone?
  15. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    op buy a 64gb iPhone restore back up. then edit backup to under 16gb return phone. then restore 16gb backup to current phone . if it's that important lol


    syncing and backups are two different things. His back up (which can't be edited) is too large for his current phone. period/
  16. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    The OP clearly stated he was looking for a workaround or the ability to edit the backup to make it smaller which are very reasonable requests. And a backup from a 64 GB phone will fit on a 16 GB phone if there is less than 16 GB backed up. So he didn't look first and instead just tried a restore. It all makes sense if you slow down and think about it.
  17. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Well maybe if you squeeze it REALLY REALLY hard....
  18. 3rd Rock macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    Over here
    You are right. My apologies to the OP ;) :eek:
  19. gigapocket1, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    gigapocket1 macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2009
    Theirs actually a way to just get the SMS database.. Google Iphone backup extractor

    Then use this link

    This will atleast put all your messages in an XML file so that u can read your messages by phone number on your computer

    If u want to actual put the messages back on your phone. U will still need that backup file.. And a PC. Theirs a way u can import those messages into a new backup. Then have iTunes restore that backup. Kind of a complicated process but it can be done
  20. getraf macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    You can restore a large iTunes iOS backup to another iOS device with less storage

    This is exactly what Apple has done for some time.

    I moved a 2010 64GB iPad to a 2013 16GB iPad Mini by deselecting apps and media.

    Apple has a tendency of hiding complexity as a way of achieving simplicity.

    This is one such example, though I believe their solution to this potential problem does add some confusion for the everyday person since it is not immediately apparent that one can restore a large iTunes iOS backup to another iOS device with less storage.

    * Have you tried to restore your big iOS backup to your smaller device with iTunes?

    * If so, you will notice a warning message telling you that the backup is too big to restore.

    * At this point, pay close attention. Notice you can click through the tabs in iTunes and deselect what you do not want (such as apps and media that take up too much room for your replacement device).

    * Click or tap the 'Sync' button after you've made your selections and the restoration process will complete.
  21. MattFrom1972 macrumors newbie


    Jul 5, 2016
    Sorry to dig up this old thread but I just had the same problem as the original poster. Firstly, I'd like to say that there were a lot of very unhelpful posts both in this forum and in other places. I eventually managed to do almost exactly what the OP was trying to do.

    I started with a backup from a 128GB iPhone 6 and restored it to a 32GB iphone 5S. The backup was too large for the 32GB iPhone, so I kept whenever I tried the standard "Restore Backup" option, I got an error saying there was not enough space on the device. I didn't mind if I had to get rid of some apps, music, pictures, etc, but there was not even an option to do that. It would just fail, then all I could do was click on "Ok" and the phone would restart. I was trying not to update the iOS version, because I wanted to stay on 9.0.2.

    Anyway, eventually I realised that wasn't going to be an option. I put my iPhone 5S into recovery mode and did a full restore/update. Now this time when I chose to restore from my large iPhone 6 backup, it actually let me do it! It started populating the phone with my data: "Restore in Progress". Eventually the iPhone was back on the Springboard screen and the apps were slowly being installed. At this stage, I was able to deselect a whole lot of music and photos and even delete unnecessary apps - either from the phone itself, or from iTunes. So now I have managed to squeeze my most important apps and data onto this 32GB iPhone 5S, from what was originally most likely a 80GB+ backup.

    I hope this helps someone else in the future.

    [Edit: iBackupBot may be another solution, but it is not free]
  22. Phonefanman Suspended

    Jun 21, 2016
    It's like owning a corvette and wanting to update the motor into a Honda civic, no room won't work.
  23. Jessgsd macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2016
    I am now having a similar problem. How did you put the iphone5s into "recovery mode" and initiate the restore/update?
  24. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
  25. BeforeTheMeds macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2016
    Edomx, MX
    Wait. It's apple's fault that you got a phone with smaller storage? I'm not apple defender but this is clearly not apple's fault.

    So if you have a 1tb ssd, clone it and then try to restore the clone to a 128tb ssd it's the fault of the ssd manufacturer?

    No matter what kind of tech is out there people are still required to think for themselves at least somewhat.

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