iPhone SE Help! Can't restore old backup anymore

Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
936
28
European Union
Hi, I have a serious problem. Today I downloaded iOS 12 on my iPhone SE and my iPad. I don't like it, so I decided I'll go back to 11.4.1. I downloaded the IPSW for both devices. However, I've made a mistake: I made a backup of my iPhone while I had iOS 12 on it apparently. So after reinstalling 11.4.1 on it, I wanted to install my backup - but it tells me it's not possible, because the backup is not compatible with my (older) version of iOS, so it asks me to update - which I do not want to do.

Does anyone have an idea how I can still install my backup? It's rather urgent because I need my phone.
Also, can someone tell me where in the Finder I can check my backup? I don't know where it's located. I even think iTunes started making a new backup of my empty, reset phone and overrode my original backup. It's tragic! I'm so scared to have lost everything, especially all my texts. I didn't have iCloud backup activated. I did have iCloud activated so I still have phone numbers, notes, etc. but it would be tragic if all my texts were lost.

Please help! And thank you so much to anyone who can help me out. :(
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,708
1,277
Fort Worth, Texas
Find iOS backups on your Mac
Find a list of your backups:

  1. Click
    in the menu bar.
  2. Type or copy and paste this: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  3. Press Return.
Locate a specific backup:

  1. Open iTunes. Click iTunes in the menu bar, then choose Preferences.
  2. Click Devices.
  3. Control-click the backup that you want, then choose Show in Finder.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BugeyeSTI

Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
936
28
European Union
Were you backing up using iTunes or iCloud?
Like I said in my original post, I did not have an iCloud backup - so only through iTunes!

Find iOS backups on your Mac
Find a list of your backups:

  1. Click
    in the menu bar.
  2. Type or copy and paste this: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  3. Press Return.
Locate a specific backup:

  1. Open iTunes. Click iTunes in the menu bar, then choose Preferences.
  2. Click Devices.
  3. Control-click the backup that you want, then choose Show in Finder.
Okay, so the time it says when the backup was done would be my old backup, which was 9h21 PM, but weirdly, the name of the backup itself is XY's iPhone - 02.10.2018 9h41 - which is when I accidentally started the new backup of the empty/just reset phone, but almost instantly cancelled the process. In the Finder, I can't identify which is the real backup, as it's just a lot of numbers, but I have no backup from 9h21, only from 9h41. Do you think my original backup is still available? I cancelled the accidental backup at 9h41 very quickly, after a second or so, so I guess most of it is still preserved.


Now the real question is: How do I install this backup on my iPhone? iTunes doesn't let me - it says I need to update my iPhone. Is there any workaround?
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,708
1,277
Fort Worth, Texas
I suspect your original older backup may have been overwritten. I have had that happen to me but was able to restore the older backup from a Time Machine backup that I made. If you were using Time Machine, it's possible to restore the older backup from that. I'm sure there must be a way to revert your iPhone back to 11.4.1. Someone smarter than I am will have to help you with that.

Also, some advice: Download and install "iMazing 2" which will give you more options to work with in the future. iTunes is limited in what you can do with it.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,113
14,842
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Like I said in my original post, I did not have an iCloud backup - so only through iTunes!



Okay, so the time it says when the backup was done would be my old backup, which was 9h21 PM, but weirdly, the name of the backup itself is XY's iPhone - 02.10.2018 9h41 - which is when I accidentally started the new backup of the empty/just reset phone, but almost instantly cancelled the process. In the Finder, I can't identify which is the real backup, as it's just a lot of numbers, but I have no backup from 9h21, only from 9h41. Do you think my original backup is still available? I cancelled the accidental backup at 9h41 very quickly, after a second or so, so I guess most of it is still preserved.


Now the real question is: How do I install this backup on my iPhone? iTunes doesn't let me - it says I need to update my iPhone. Is there any workaround?
iTunes only maintains one backup per device and it's the last one that was done, even if it didn't complete. The default is to overwrite.

Your previous backup is gone.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,569
2,788
Hi, I have a serious problem. Today I downloaded iOS 12 on my iPhone SE and my iPad. I don't like it, so I decided I'll go back to 11.4.1.
Just out of curiosity, what is it about iOS 12 that you don't like enough to go through this whole exercise?

By most indications, iOS 12 is not a major upgrade with many polarizing new features. FaceTime rear/front camera switch UI is the only mildly controversial example that I can think of.
 

Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
936
28
European Union
I suspect your original older backup may have been overwritten. I have had that happen to me but was able to restore the older backup from a Time Machine backup that I made. If you were using Time Machine, it's possible to restore the older backup from that. I'm sure there must be a way to revert your iPhone back to 11.4.1. Someone smarter than I am will have to help you with that.

Also, some advice: Download and install "iMazing 2" which will give you more options to work with in the future. iTunes is limited in what you can do with it.
iTunes only maintains one backup per device and it's the last one that was done, even if it didn't complete. The default is to overwrite.

Your previous backup is gone.
Actually I think I may still have it. There's two backups for that time, only is near 0 kb, the other is 3 GB which might be the older backup. The time should be correct too, so there's still chances.

I actually already managed to reinstall 11.4.1 to my iPhone. That's not the problem. The problem is that I would now like to reinstall my backup, which I did while iOS 12 was installed on the phone, on the 11.4.1 system. But iTunes doesn't allow me to do that. It tells me the backup was done with a newer version of iOS and that I need to upgrade my phone before loading that backup. This is the problem which I'm trying to solve, I'm looking for a workaround here! :)

Just out of curiosity, what is it about iOS 12 that you don't like enough to go through this whole exercise?

By most indications, iOS 12 is not a major upgrade with many polarizing new features. FaceTime rear/front camera switch UI is the only mildly controversial example that I can think of.
It's faster on some apps, but I find that it lags more in other things, mainly switching between different apps / windows / control center, etc. Also, on the iPad I don't like the new control center, and I don't like the way you swipe to show all open apps. I preferred how you did this before, it was also the same move for control center. I don't see the point of having two different moves now. Also, when I do this move too quickly or too fast, it will come back to the home screen. Which means I have to do the move really slowly, and I don't like that at all. Since I want to have the same system on both devices, I reverted the iPhone back to 11.4.1. I also felt like my iPhone got hotter and the battery was being used faster.
 

Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
936
28
European Union
In the future, archive important iTunes backups or use a different program to backup with like iMazing, which will let you keep as many backups of your device as you want etc.
Yes, I also used to have Time Machine, but I need to set it up again. But that's not the problem really, I do have the backup actually. Apple apparently doesn't let you install a backup on a device that has an older version of iOS than the one on which the backup was made… I guess they want you to update, no matter what.
 

EM2013

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
2,010
1,702
Can’t you just update your phone so you can restore from backup then downgrade to iOS 11? Or does downgrading delete everything?
 

Minorite

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2018
491
115
Poland
OK there is a risk of apps compatibility, but you can try this way from iMazing blog. Tested it with Beta and seemed to work OK in my case.

But still I would stay on iOS 12 if possible, downgrading backups is not that robust...
 

Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
936
28
European Union
Can’t you just update your phone so you can restore from backup then downgrade to iOS 11? Or does downgrading delete everything?
Yes, it sadly deletes everything.

OK there is a risk of apps compatibility, but you can try this way from iMazing blog. Tested it with Beta and seemed to work OK in my case.

But still I would stay on iOS 12 if possible, downgrading backups is not that robust...
I see, it's not a very "clean" way of doing it as you say. I found an older backup from May, so I just restored that one. I lost 5 months of messages, but I'll survive it I guess. There's no other solution. At least I have that, it's something.

Thanks guys for all the advices! :)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.