Restoring backup to smaller storage iPhone

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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Issue: I have 64GB 6S. I need to get it repaired, and the authorized service center said they needed to send my 6S to Apple (I'm in Singapore) and they only have 16GB iPhone 6 as a loaner.

I am trying to trim down my 6S. Currently I managed to trim things down to ~19GB. Photos are ~6.8GB. I have enabled iCloud photo library. Now, there is a setting in iCloud photos to only download "optimized" photos to the phone instead of the originals.

I know iTunes backup is all or nothing, so in order to fit things to the 16GB iPhone, I would probably need to trim a lot more down. The question is iCloud backup. Since the I have iCloud photos, will I be able to use this to restore things to the 16GB iPhone? (meaning the restore is smart enough to not include the photos).
 

Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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How long are they going to have you phone gone for service. If only a few days or a week I would not worry about getting your stuff on the loaner.

If need be copy your photos to your computer and then delete them from your 6S. The do a backup and use it to restore your loaner.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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How long are they going to have you phone gone for service. If only a few days or a week I would not worry about getting your stuff on the loaner.

If need be copy your photos to your computer and then delete them from your 6S. The do a backup and use it to restore your loaner.
I was told 3 to 5 days. Things is, the phone is my real daily driver, and I cannot just do with simple functionalities. I have various apps in it, including company related apps I want to retain. But imo those are not an issue if I can figure out the photos part.

I have all my photos on iCloud. Deleting them from my phone means deleting them from iCloud. I'm wondering if iCloud is smart enough when restoring a backup, to prioritize the apps, and when it comes to photos, if there's only small storage left, just use optimized versions instead.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
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Boston, MA
I would just back photos up, delete them, and call it a day. I mean, it's a temporary thing right? Do you NEED the photos in the loaner that you'll only have a couple of weeks?

You can also turn off iCloud photo backup. Photos stay there for a ful month before being gone forever. Plenty of time to get your new device back.

I personally backup to hard disk as well as Flickr because I don't want to lose anything.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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I would just back photos up, delete them, and call it a day. I mean, it's a temporary thing right? Do you NEED the photos in the loaner that you'll only have a couple of weeks?

You can also turn off iCloud photo backup. Photos stay there for a ful month before being gone forever. Plenty of time to get your new device back.

I personally backup to hard disk as well as Flickr because I don't want to lose anything.
Well, what I was hoping with iCloud Photo Library is that it won't restore the photos to the 16GB phone and just keep them in iCloud. That it would just restore the app data and redownload the apps. If that's the case, then I am actually set. :)

Oh well, going to do a test. I am going to backup the 6S both to iCloud and iTunes, and I am going to try to restore the iCloud backup on site.
 
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lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,910
3,481
Boston, MA
Well, what I was hoping with iCloud Photo Library is that it won't restore the photos to the 16GB phone and just keep them in iCloud. That it would just restore the app data and redownload the apps. If that's the case, then I am actually set. :)

Oh well, going to do a test. I am going to backup the 6S both to iCloud and iTunes, and I am going to try to restore the iCloud backup on site.
That should work. Unfortunately I don't use iCloud backup for photos because we just take too many and I don't see a point paying for a storage plan when I can get more cloud storage from multiple vendors for less or free. But that's for another discussion. Let us know how it goes!
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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Alright, did the deed. And yes, the iCloud restore process went through. So it is not counting the photos in iCloud. :)

The annoyance is that the loaner is an iPhone 6, and the old Touch ID is annoyingly slow. :D
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
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backup the old iPhone to itunes.
set up the new iPhone as a new phone
when you get your iPhone back restore from older backup

this will cause you to lose any iMessages.
pictures would sync so you wouldnt lose those??

encrypt the itunes backups so the passwords can be retorted to different phones

its possible that your actual backup of a 64 gig iPhone might restore to a 16 gig iPhone simply because synced stuff
isn't in the backup. you could technically restore a larger backup on a smaller phone, actual itunes backups are pretty small

jen has a 16 gig iPhone but her iPhone back up is 2 gb
i have a 128 gig iPhone but my backup is 30 gigs because of all the iMessages i have
my 32 gig ipad backup file is only 8 gigs


my 128 gig iCloud backup is only 9.5 gigs.
 
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