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My wife has an iPhone 3, 8GB, that is slowly dying. My mother (who is dead) left me her iPhone, a 16GB 3GS.

How do I:

  1. Keep all the information from the phones. My mother's phone especially has sentimental value?

  2. Wipe the 3GS?

  3. Transfer everything from the 3 to the 3GS?

We don't care if the phone is jail-broken or not (they are not at the moment). Both phones are on the same provider.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

iTunes can back up everything except for data that came from a computer.

That means apps not authorized on your iTunes, music from a computer and pictures not taken on the device (stored in the camera roll) are not backed up. Assuming you don't need to recover that information, just back up the devices and archive the iTunes backup folders so you can re-load those backups on another comparable device from a PC or a Mac.

Read up on the details here:

Once you've got a sure backup (I'd get a loaner phone from a friend to check the restore to see that you are happy before erasing any of the devices), you can then restore the "wife" backup onto the "mom" phone.

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iCloud is not available for iPhone 3. To transfer data from iPhone 3 to iPhone 3GS, you can go to Apple store or use third party software to transfer data by yourself. If you're phone is running iOS 5.0 or iOs 6.0 then look no further and try iCloud else utilities like iPhone to computer transfer. I've heard a lot about Copytrans too.

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You may try the "restore and backup" function on iTunes.Made a bakup for your iPhone 3 first and then restore your iPhone 3gs from the iPhone 3' backup files.

How to back up

How to restore

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Restoring will wipe the content of the device getting restored. – patrix Dec 25 '12 at 12:09

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