Which restore method is faster: iTunes vs iCloud

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Razeus, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Razeus macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #1
    I'll be making several iTunes backups over the next few days and one the day of the 6S Plus arriving. I know iCloud makes a backup everyday over wi-fi once I plug in.

    However, which is faster for restoring to phone? iTunes or iCloud?
     
  2. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #2
    iTunes.

    Plus make sure you encrypt the backup and you won't have to go through gobs of authorization.
     
  3. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    #3
    Noted!
     
  4. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #4
    iTunes is still faster, but iCloud restore has gotten a lot better (and faster). The encrypted backup/restore is definitely nice, so that's a good tip.

    Personally, I'm going to set it up as new instead of restoring. Almost everything I do is in the cloud and synced down when I log in anyway: calendar, contacts, Facebook, Google services, etc. I also think it's good to start with a fresh call log, messages database, and empty photo library. I understand the appeal of bringing this stuff over to a new phone, but setting up as new ensures your phone runs as optimally as possible right from the start.
     
  5. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #5
    I used to always fresh install too. But I'm tired of dealing with log ins and 2 factor auths. Plus, since I've not started a side business, I'd like to keep as much of my iMessages in tact. I have my home screens just the way I want them and rather not deal with moving them all around again. I've too many apps, all which I use to some extent or another.
     
  6. DustinDev47 macrumors 6502

    DustinDev47

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    #6
    The question has been answered but for future reference:

    iTunes is faster because the backup is stored locally on your computer whereas iCloud backups are stored on a remote machine in the "cloud." Therefore, with iTunes, you only have the USB connection to worry about. With iCloud, you have the USB connection (provided you run the process from iTunes) and an Internet connection, or just an Internet connection if you run the restore directly from your phone.
     
  7. noobinator macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    With an iTunes restore, the apps are restored from the actual computer right? Every time I try to restore from backup using iTunes the Apps don't restore and I get errors about apps not being able to be downloaded at this time.
     
  8. DustinDev47 macrumors 6502

    DustinDev47

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    #8
    That is correct. Make sure when creating your backup that you opt to transfer your purchases. That will transfer music and apps that you have downloaded.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    iTunes is faster because the restore process is different.

    iTunes backs up your apps and their data. iCloud backs up essentially a list of installed apps and your app data.

    When you restore from iTunes your app and your data is pushed to your phone and you get everything back the way it was.

    But when you restore from iCloud you want an internet connection (preferably WiFi) because your phone, instead of restoring backed up apps will instead download the apps you had installed and then restore the app data.

    If you only have a cell connection or a slow WiFi connection you will then only restore fully at the speed of that connection.
     
  10. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #10
    Thanks. Completely forgot about that since I don't store any apps in iTunes. I only plug in when I need to load up new music. My iTunes Media folder doesn't even have a "app" folder. LOL.
     
  11. bizack macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2009
    #11
    iTunes doesn't back up apps as of iOS9. Unless you manually download all of your previous purchases to your computer, your apps won't be there and the process will be identical to an iCloud restore (at least for apps).
    Also, if you're on a machine that doesn't have USB 3.0, a high speed router and internet connection will be faster than a USB 2.0 connection - theoretically making an iCloud restore faster.
    I still use iTunes since it backs up *everything* and I don't have to re-enter passwords, etc.
     
  12. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #12
    The last time I did a restore from iTunes - my apps downloaded again. They did not restore. I did an encrypted backup and transferred my purchases. Not sure if that's normal now or not?

    I used to backup (still do) to iCloud exclusively and restore from there. Biggest problem is, it takes tooooooooooo long to restore my photos/videos. Were talking close to 5-8 hours. My last restore was from iTunes and it was done in 15 minutes.

    I support the cloud and all that but locally is still way faster.
     
  13. noobinator macrumors 601

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    So does this mean there is no way to restore apps without downloading them anymore? For some reason this is always the painful part in restoring for me. Apps fail to re-download then I do the dance of getting them to download somehow.
     
  14. Supermallet macrumors 65816

    Supermallet

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    Sep 19, 2014
    #14
    USB 3.0 is irrelevant as far as I understand it, as lightning connectors don't support USB 3.0 speeds. If I'm wrong about this, I'd love someone to correct me.
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #15
    Wow.

    I'm so glad my replacement iPhone I got on Sunday is still on iOS 8. My youngest Mac is a 2006 MBP capable of Snow Leopard only. An iOS 9 phone doing as you describe would have been aggravating to restore to!
     
  16. bizack macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Ah, good point. Lightning connector is still USB 2.0.
     
  17. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    Location:
    NH
    #17
    I know with an iCloud restore, I have to re-enter things like IMAP/SMTP passwords, authorize twitter accounts, etc.

    If I do an iTunes encrypted backup/restore.....will I still need to re-enter those passwords?

    Also, if you have a local copy of all your apps in iTunes.....will an iTunes restore copy them from the computer instead of iCloud?

    -Kevin
     
  18. bizack macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2009
    #18
    Transfer purchases doesn't do what it used to to. It's frustrating. I had to go into iTunes, download my entire purchase history, and then selectively delete what wasn't on my iPhone (although the backup won't transfer what wasn't on your iPhone, but the local apps take up a lot of space). You also have to manually download updates via iTunes (which is another good reason to prune your apps).

    So the process for iOS9 is:
    Download all your apps from your purchase history
    Prune out the ones you're no longer using (not necessary, but saves SSD space and which apps get updated manually)
    Sync your iPhone
    Backup your iPhone to iTunes using Encryption (do not forget your password - use keychain)
    Get new phone
    Open packaging with a razor blade because ripping the plastic wrap off is unacceptable behavior
    Obsessively check for defects
    Double check your Serial Number again to verify build week and manufacturing plant
    Activate phone (if not activated in-store)
    Restore from iTunes backup
    Wait impatiently
    Profit
     
  19. vikingjunior macrumors 65816

    vikingjunior

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    Aug 17, 2011
    #19
    I'm willing to do fresh except for my 1password app that has 1000 Web site passwords that I'm not retyping again is there a back up just for that app.?
     
  20. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #20
    1Password should be backed up automatically via Dropbox or iCloud (your choice). I've never had to retype anything into 1Password.
     
  21. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #21
    What do you mean it no longer downloads apps? I'm confused. If I simply "transfer" my purchases to iTunes, when I go to restore, the apps won't be there?
     
  22. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    #22
    I think with app-thinning, you can't transfer apps anymore. So you have to download them within iTunes from the store (from your purchased page).

    -Kevin
     
  23. netnothing, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015

    netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    NH
    #23
    If you aren't syncing your data file, you can start in the settings by choosing either Dropbox, iCloud or WiFi to a computer. Then when you restore (or install new) you just point to that data file and you have all your passwords.

    EDIT: in the advanced settings you can also manually backup a file to iTunes.

    -Kevin
     
  24. kmstivers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #24
    If I backup/sync all of my photos to iPhoto and then setup my 6S Plus as new, can I get those photos back onto my phone? What about my contacts? Do those disappear too?

    I'm not as concerned about losing my messages.
     
  25. PedCrossing macrumors 6502

    PedCrossing

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    Apr 3, 2012
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    The Loop
    #25
    iTunes is faster, at least for me. Last time I restored from iCloud it took 12 hours to finish installing all the apps. I have good internet speed but the grayed out icons are just sitting there doing nothing. I've done iCloud restores before but this last time was really bad.
    Encrypt iTunes backups, so your health data gets backed up as well. iCloud backups are automatically encrypted.
     

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