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I'm trying to back up and restore my iPhone using iTunes in order to attempt to get my supposedly successful carrier unlock from Chronic Unlocks to work. This is what Chronic Unlocks support recommended.

I have synced my iPhone to my computer in iTunes and confirmed that I have a recent backup.

my iPhone backup in iTunes

I followed the instructions from Apple under "restore from a backup", but when i ctrl-click on my iPhone under "devices" in iTunes, "Restore from backup" is not visible in the contextual menu. It only shows:

  • Eject
  • Sync
  • Transfer purchases
  • Back up
  • Reset warnings

Contextual menu for my iPhone in iTunes

How can I restore my iPhone using this backup I have?

  • Mac OS 10.9.4
  • iTunes 10.7 (update: had to downgrade from iTunes 11 using these instructions in order to have iTunes recognize and back up my iPhone running iOS 5).
  • iPhone 4, iOS 5.0.1
  • It's been too long since I saw that old iTunes interface, but restore should be in the main pane, scroll down [I've never tried from right click & iTunes 11 doesn't have that left sidebar any more. – Tetsujin Sep 7 '14 at 19:01
  • @Tetsujin I've updated the original question with a larger screenshot. There is a "restore" button in the main pane, but it is grayed out - it's unclear why. Also, even if it's enabled, will that allow me to restore from a backup as opposed to just wiping it? – Mike Eng Sep 7 '14 at 19:35
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Apologies - to get the picture in, I need to 'answer' rather than comment...

I'm really not certain whether it's because you're on an old version, or that your machine can see no backup, but I get a totally different Backup section enter image description here

I'm not sure I can contribute further, sorry - because I don't remember how iTunes 10 looked & I'm on iOS 7 myself.

There is the possibility that Apple has essentially locked out iOS 5 now - but please don't take my word for it; I've seen posts about it but have no authoritative answer.

(Please don't -1 me for this 'non-answer', folks ;-)

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I haven't seen that happen before! I have a thought about how to do a little bit of iTunes "finesse" to get your backup restoring.

  • If you right-click on that backup in the Devices section of the preferences pane, do you see an option "Show in Finder"? (My iTunes 10.7 is a bit rusty...)

  • If so, after you reveal in Finder, rename that backup folder from your device UDID to anything you want. "I want to restore this one" might be a good reminder. We're renaming the backup (that I assumed was edited by whatever you're doing) so that if you make more backups, it doesn't overwrite this one.

  • Now that we've seen the existence of your backup folder, and renamed it (so iTunes doesn't overwrite it,) make a fresh backup.

  • Does your restore option appear now? In my iTunes (11.4) when I press Restore, I get a choice about what backup to restore from. You may have to hold option while pressing a restore button/menu item to get the choice in iTunes 10.

  • Thanks for the tips. I tried what you suggested and got two successful backups. screencast.com/t/5DvSSP6oR8Z But still the "restore" button in the main panel of iTunes is grayed out. clicking and ctrl-clicking on it still do nothing. The contextual menu for "Mike Eng's iPhone" on the left still shows the same options. – Mike Eng Sep 12 '14 at 8:12
  • I've updated the original question with some info that may be relevant - that I had to downgrade iTunes from 11 to 10.7 in order for it to recognize and back up my iPhone running iOS 5. – Mike Eng Sep 12 '14 at 8:16
  • Wow really? Do you have access to another computer with iTunes 11.4 or 11.3? It should recognize your iOS5 phone... If your iTunes 11 wasn't working, you could copy the backup over to the other computer (it'll just take a while.) – Kelly Sep 12 '14 at 19:21
  • I don't have access to another computer at the moment. When this computer was on iTunes 11 before downgrading, I was getting an error message of "An iphone has been detected but could not be identified properly". I called Apple support about this, and their response was that it was probably due to being on iOS 5 and that I should upgrade iOS. However, if I upgrade iOS, I may lose my unlock and thereby my phone service. – Mike Eng Sep 15 '14 at 20:39
  • I just read a little about this error message. Do you have passcode lock on your iPhone right now? I would try turning it off and see if iTunes 11 recognizes your phone. Also, if you can switch USB ports and/or cables, I would try that too. – Kelly Sep 15 '14 at 22:00
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Plug your phone into your computer with a USB cable. Open iTunes and click the phone in the upper right corner click on it and then you'll see a button that says restore or backup. Click backup if you want to backup your device or click restore to restore your device with an old backup.

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I faced the same problem. Just enter your Apple ID and password.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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I had the same problem and after turning off the find my iphone function the restore button appeared again

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