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Restoring Your iOS Device with Folder Organization Intact

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Macworld writer Dan Frakes details his frustration at losing his iPhone's folder organization one night. All his iPhone's organized apps had been strewn about folderless. In his attempt to restore the process, he figured out the right way to restore from iTunes to ensure his folder organization remains intact.
It turns out that iTunes actually offers two kinds of restores. The first is the one described above, accessed by clicking the Restore button in iTunes' Summary view for your iOS device. The other one is less obvious--you access it by right-clicking (Control-clicking) your iOS device in iTunes' sidebar and choosing Restore from Backup. As the dialog that appears explains, the latter procedure restores only your data and settings, not the iPhone’s firmware or OS. What the dialog doesn't note is that your third-party apps apparently remain on the phone, as well. In other words, it gives iTunes that “second pass” at restoring your Home-screen app organization.
Frakes details the multi-step process to avoid losing hours of tidying work.

Article Link: Restoring Your iOS Device with Folder Organization Intact
 

ciTiger

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2011
626
0
Portugal (Porto)
Had this problem quite a few times myself!
I knew there were two different restores but I didn't know the exact difference,as I carry a small number of apps I never really bothered much.

Thanks for sharing this info it will be very useful!
 
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cleggster83

macrumors regular
May 30, 2010
121
0
Bolton, UK
And if you have a jailbroken iphone and have infinifolders installed, When you restore the phone and install all the apps, reinstall infinifolders and when it resprings it will automatic rearrange all the apps back to the original state.
 
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GregA

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2003
1,247
15
Sydney Australia
I've restored probably 4 times and had this problem half the time.

The problem for me was that it would apply firmware, restore the apps, then start syncing all my music/video/photos back on which took forever (or the phone would ring during that time!). So I would cancel it at that stage, and all the apps would be alphabetical all over the place.

If you can make sure you don't touch the phone until it's fully completed it's restore and sync, the apps are fine. It must do that as the very last thing.

Your note though will be very useful next time I stuff up. I can then do this shorter restore like you describe to get the apps back in their right place!
 
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applefan27073

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2011
32
0
Australia
Can't you do this already???

now correct me if I am wrong.

If I restore my 4th Gen iPod Touch using itunes 10.2.1, iTunes ASKS me if:

1. Would you like to start as new iPod Touch
2. Restore from a Backup of ....... (Drop down menu listing most recent backups)

Am i right???
 
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jayhawk11

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
774
283
I guess I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't had this issue. I've DFU restored multiple iPhones and iPads, and after selecting "Restore From Backup" the apps always go right back to where they should be. :cool:
 
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MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
Had this happen too and it PISSED me off bad! I had gotten my brand new iPad 2 on launch day and finally organized all the apps i had found and downloaded only to have all that work GONE because I had to exchange my iPad since the screen was defective with leakage! Fast forward till today and I am on my 3rd iPad 2 with a defective screen and still can't exchange it for one with a non-defective screen as they ALL have defective screens! I have to wait till they fix their display supply and quality control problem as was recently reported till I can exchange it for my FOURTH iPad 2 just to get one that is not defective! :rolleyes:
 
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koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,190
9
I've never had this problem as it always seemed obvious to me. Restore device wipes it fresh and restoring device from a previous backup does exactly what it says.

Had this happen too and it PISSED me off bad! I had gotten my brand new iPad 2 on launch day and finally organized all the apps i had found and downloaded only to have all that work GONE because I had to exchange my iPad since the screen was defective with leakage! Fast forward till today and I am on my 3rd iPad 2 with a defective screen and still can't exchange it for one with a non-defective screen as they ALL have defective screens! I have to wait till they fix their display supply and quality control problem as was recently reported till I can exchange it for my FOURTH iPad 2 just to get one that is not defective! :rolleyes:

You just ended every single sentence with an exclamation mark, and no other punctuation. I makes it rather hard to read.
 
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applefan27073

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2011
32
0
Australia
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Mr. Gates said:
Another thing that needs to be fixed in iOS 6.0

If its done sooner,...I'll $H!T a Brick

I don't think that it is a problem with iOS. I believe that it is more of an iTunes issue.

Having said that did you actually read the article??? It is saying "we have found out how to do this" not "this would be really cool. Can apple do something ASAP"
 
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ghostlyorb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2010
920
0
Virginia, USA
And if you have a jailbroken iphone and have infinifolders installed, When you restore the phone and install all the apps, reinstall infinifolders and when it resprings it will automatic rearrange all the apps back to the original state.

Yeah! It's the one reason why I don't mind re-jailbreaking. At first I thought I would have to rearrange everything myself. But as soon as I installed it again, I was surprised and happy! My Games folder has like 45 games in it.. that it like having 4 original folders- in one!
 
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Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,042
9
Los Angeles, CA
I wish I would have known this before Saturday, when I synced up my iPad 2 for the first time using my 1st gen iPad backup.

It only took around 10 minutes to get everything back into their respective folders, but it was still slightly annoying.
 
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MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
You just ended every single sentence with an exclamation mark, and no other punctuation. I makes it rather hard to read.

Ok, obviously I am a bit heated on the subject, but how on earth do punctuation marks of any kind or quantity make something harder to read lol?

Just out of interest - did you (like me) let it MOSTLY restore, but then cancel the music/photos sync thinking you could finish that later on?

Or did it fully restore before you disconnected it?

I didn't stop anything, it fully restored from the previous backup.
 
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DocNYz

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2008
625
40
East Coast, USA
I wish I had known this when my phone was stolen on my bday ... I still haven't fully reorganized my apps, I have 527 at the moment.
 
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QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,461
1,541
Colorado Springs, CO
I've restored probably 4 times and had this problem half the time.

The problem for me was that it would apply firmware, restore the apps, then start syncing all my music/video/photos back on which took forever (or the phone would ring during that time!). So I would cancel it at that stage, and all the apps would be alphabetical all over the place.

If you can make sure you don't touch the phone until it's fully completed it's restore and sync, the apps are fine. It must do that as the very last thing.

Your note though will be very useful next time I stuff up. I can then do this shorter restore like you describe to get the apps back in their right place!
I never understood why the default isn't to leave the phone off during an initial restore/sync or at least give you the option to NOT answer during a sync.

You'd think that restoring with folders intact would be the default option...
It is if it finishes the restore/sync without interruption.

Ok, obviously I am a bit heated on the subject, but how on earth do punctuation marks of any kind or quantity make something harder to read lol?
Punctuation is there to make things easier to read. You ought to research the evolution of punctuation. It's pretty fascinating (ex. you spell one to nine but write 10+ because it's faster to read that way).
 
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thespyder

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2009
21
2
Bris Vegas, Australia
It is if it finishes the restore/sync without interruption.

This has also worked for me even before folders, back when they added app position sync (in 2.x I believe).

I tried posting as much on the macworld article comments, but Dan came back saying that doesn't work for everyone. Still, it seems a bit misleading to claim restore NEVER puts folders back where they should be.
 
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