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I want to restore a picture that I deleted from my camera roll on my iPhone. I have iCloud backup enabled, with the option for camera roll turned on, so therefore the picture I deleted should have a backup in iCloud.

However...how do I actually restore it? I don't see any way to browse past backups from either my iPhone or iCloud.com.

Is the backup simply used for restoring entire devices? Any way I can just pull a single file out of it?

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Can we improve on the answers given to allow you to select one as answering your question? –  bmike Sep 12 '12 at 17:08
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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Apple provides no interface to pull individual items from the backup. Whether through iTunes or iCloud, backups are intended to be restored as a whole, replacing the content on the device at the time of the restore.

Is it possible that the image is also in your Photo Stream? That's probably the best possible solution if you do not wish to go through the steps to restore the backup to a device (your device or another one) to retrieve the photos you are missing (and then restore things again from a more current backup if desired).

If you do need to restore the whole backup, erase the phone (Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings) then you can restore from iCloud. When restoring from iCloud, you can choose from multiple recent backups.

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I guess this is what you could do if someone you know could spare you an iPhone for a day or so:-

  1. Get an iPhone and take a backup of the same on your system - use iTunes to do that

  2. Now (this is really critical and follow it at your own risk) log into your iCloud account on the phone and restore that phone while pointing to the iCloud backup. In this was you will have all of the iCloud data in that phone

  3. Now use another computer (or at least another user account on the same computer) to take a backup of the phone with your data - don't use the same account as everytime iTunes takes a backup of your phone, it overwrites the previous one. So you risk a chance of loosing the data which originally came with the phone

  4. Get a backup recovery software and install it on the computer which has your data backed up. I would personally recommend iOS Data Recovery to recover iPhone text messages, photos, videos, notes etc from your iPhone's backup

I hope this will help you

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I do not believe there is a solution other than a full backup which really is not too much. Camera roll only really works for a picture to sync across numerous devices, with or without it enabled once your IPhone/iPad what have you starts to backup the WHOLE device will backup pics included. So if you have camera roll turned on other devices like an iPad or iMac etc then go to them a you have the pic/s. Another issue is the device will auto backup if on wifi automatically once plugged in which will overwrite your previous backups which would mean the pic is gone since a backup took place AFTER the pic was erased.

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iCloud backups actually let you pick from a number of recent backups when restoring. You could pick the backup from today, or yesterday, or a few days further under most circumstances. –  Christian L Apr 27 '12 at 20:53
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