Solution for Slow iPhone backups

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by lyndeam, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. lyndeam macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    I have had this on going issue FOREVER! And its not just that my backups were taking an hour or even hours... they were taking DAYS. Something was seriously wrong but I could never figure it out nor find the answer I was looking for on blogs and forums. I didn't want to disable/skip the backups, so those solutions never really worked for me.
    But this did!! It was like magic! I would have paid this person for this information... but luckily I didn't have to :)
    So since this seems to have worked wonders for me I thought I would share.

    'Docking' or whoever you are.. I love you :)

    here is the link to the article I found.

    and just in case anything ever happens to the link here is the post from the above address:

    "Go into iTunes Edit/Preferences the last tab sync disable auto sync for all iPod and iPhones. This does not fix it it is just the first step do not stop here.

    Next connect your iPhone to the computer. Once it shows up in iTunes go into the last tab Applications. Uncheck sync all apps. not Click apply. Now click sync. it will remove all the applications! After it is finished unplug the iPhone. I bet you will have at least one app still on the Iphone, maybe more. Hold any icon down until they jiggle. tap the x's and delete all the remaing apps. You may notice after you delete each app that a little spinning circle is next to your 3G icon on the top right hand side. Let it finish spinning before you delete the next app.

    Once you have deleted all the remaining apps (That had corrupt data that was causing your long back ups!) do a hard reset. To do this hold the sleep/wake button and the home button until the red slider appears at the top of the screen. Slide it over and the phone will power off. You will again notice the spinning circle. Once it finishes wait a few seconds and power the iPhone back on by pressing the sleep/wake button.

    While it is booting back up go into iTunes again turn the auto sync back on! Now connect the iPhone to the computer, let it backup and sync. I bet you a million dollars it goes so fast you want to cry or laugh. Now after it finishes go back to the applications tab. Click sync apps again, but make sure you have the 2nd circle checked. This box is sync selected apps. Make sure all the boxes are unchecked! Now slowly begin adding apps back to the iPhone. I have done as many as 5 at a time. Check the boxes then click apply, then sync. It will backup then add the applications and sync all other information.

    Someone try it and confirm to these people it works. I'm willing to put money on it! I have done it on both my iPhones and 4 others.

    Here is the kicker! DO NOT update or install apps from the phone! Only use iTunes to install and or update apps until they get the bug fixed!"

    I hope those who had my same problem comes across this post and it helps them as well.
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
  3. Appdict macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    But then we lose our data on the apps, right? :(
  4. lyndeam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Wow... i guess it does. Exact same info too. Wish I would have came across that article a long time ago!

    and yes you will but it was so worth it to be able to actually backup my phone.
  5. Uabcar macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    iTunes 9 and OS3.1

    Hi all- I finally got tired of waiting for my iTouch to backup and decided to implement a couple of the actions outlined in post 18 in this thread. My 3Gs, with pretty much the same stuff on it only takes 1-2mins, so this seemed like a plausible solution.

    With iTunes 9 out now, a couple things are different- so here's what I did- step by step.

    1. Go into iTunes and selected the 'Applications' tab.

    2. Make sure all your apps were listed (if not, then you need to do a sync first).

    3. Put a check in the 'sync applications' check-box

    4. Remove the check-marks, one by one, for each app in the list

    5. Perform a sync. This will remove all the apps from your device

    6. Unplug the device and delete (by pressing on one of the icons until they all start to giggle) any remaining items you don't need/want - test the ones you want to keep to ensure they work. I had several old WebApps and HomeScreen Bookmark Icons that I'd added over the last 2+ years- many of these I no longer cared about so I just deleted them.

    7. Once you've cleaned up your home screen, plug the device back in

    8. after iTunes sees the device, right click on it in the left nav-bar and choose 'backup' - it should now fly right through the process.

    9. Assuming the backup worked in step 8- then go back into the 'applications' tab and put a check in each of the Apps you want to re-load onto the device. (i kept the check in 'sync apps' at the top.

    10. Click sync at the bottom

    11. When the sync is done, remove your device and check to see that all your apps are there.

    12. After confirming things are in order, reconnect the device and do another backup (via step 8).

    13. Done.

    Notes- I did not delete the existing backups prior to taking these actions. You're welcome to do this - but I had no issue's. The total time for all of this is really only 5-10 mins. If you have tons of apps, the delete and subsequent re-install process may take a few mins.

    Hope this helps and thanks to those that helped figure the issue.
  6. Reefbone macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2008
    I was poking around here because it seems that the App store always wants to update my phone apps that I don't think actually have new versions. Is this a soultion for that as well or is there a better remedy that doesn't delete all the app data?
  7. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Another cause of long backups is the reset warnings:

    Might help.
  8. BassetCase macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Thank you so much for this information! My backup was slow and progressively got worse over time to the point where it would only be halfway done in 6 hrs. I followed the steps above and it fixed the issue!
  9. KeldvonEyben macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2010
    Slow sync fixed

    I had series problems when syncen my iPhone 3G with iTunes. Backup alone took forever - 12 hours and only half way through...
    The description in this thread solved the problem completely.

  10. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    Simpler Fix?

    I patiently allowed a slow backup to complete (took about 3 hrs), now if I synch regularly, the backup is much faster (few minutes). Not lightning fast, but I am reluctant to remove apps as some have considerable data stored in the app on the phone.
  11. lyndeam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    You're welcome! I can't take credit for the solution but i'm glad you came across my post and found something that worked!

    Thought I should also add that after running a sync once I had unchecked 'sync all apps' and rebooted my phone I did have one app still present on my phone that it couldn't removed..... facebook.
    Facebook was one of the first apps I downloaded when I got my phone way back when. So, apparently it was corrupt just as the above article mentioned.
    So if you are someone who doesn't want to remove all their apps for a chance at losing data and you've had Facebook installed from forever ago, try deleting and reinstalling just that app to see if that helps.

    This would never happen for me. A backup was pretty much impossible... before finding the above article I would have been the happiest person in the world if I could have gotten a completed backup in 3 hours. But now i'm convinced I had a corrupt version of the Facebook app that was preventing the backup from completing.
  12. eharrod22 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2010
    Thank you Uabcar for your instructions on the updated version fix! Very helpful, but once I got to step 5 to remove the apps from my device, it was (and still is) unbelievably slow. Is it supposed to be doing a backup before syncing?
    I guess it's supposed to, but I had just finished manually saving every app that I wanted to keep so that I wouldn't have to do a long backup, but once I clicked "sync", the very thing I was trying to avoid is occurring. :(
    If this is an expected wait as part of the fix, please let me know....thanks!
  13. darkwingZ24 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    I am so glad I came across this thread. I was plagued with the glacial backup problems upgrading to iPhone 4 and even when I was able to revert back to 3.1.3 the first sync and subsequent initial backup was just as glacial.

    Without doing anything else save for deleting facebook from iPhone and its data (not just unchecking in iTunes, but pressing 'x' on the iPhone itself) my backups now take 30 seconds.

    Don't know if it's left over from the old app or what but I thin id rather check facebook via safari than go through those glacial backups again.

    Thank you!
  14. Subu macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013

    Ok. Auto Synch is disabled in my case

    Is there a solution WITHOUT deleting all apps

    I have set ups, recent call history, recent message history and a lot of things on the apps

    Please ...there should be some way to solve this WITHOUT deleting all of iPhone .... ?

    or ??


  15. Subu macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    for me the new yahoo mail app is the culprit

    I delete it and the phone backs up in a jiffy

    anyone else experience this ?

    the yahoo mail app itself is great ...but screws up backups :-(

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14 August 23, 2009