I backup my iPhone to iTunes manually about once a week, and backup to iCloud automatically every night, when I charge my iPhone.

If I want to restore from an iTunes backup, then I just connect my iPhone to my Mac and hit "Restore". It will restore the device to exactly the same condition as the last backup, including all media, etc. because all that media (music, photos, app data) is stored on my Mac.

However, if I restore from my iCloud backup, then what gets restored? And what doesn't? My iCloud backup is about 2.5 GB, significantly smaller than the 50 GB or so that I am currently using on my iPhone (mostly music and photos). So clearly a lot of things are missing, mostly photos, since music and apps can be grabbed directly from Apple's servers since one song here is the same as the same song there.

So how would I go about also restoring photos after I restore a backup from iCloud?

  • I think photos should just resync themselves at the next over-the-air sync. As this question was 13 hrs ago as I post, could you check if that appears to be true? Do you have at least some more photos on the phone than yesterday?
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2014 at 9:51
  • I can't check now because I'm not actually restoring my device at the moment. I'm asking this question so I know how it works, but don't have the time to actually wipe my device to test it out. However, photos should not sync over-the-air since the photos are located on my Mac (in iPhoto), and not stored in iCloud at all.
    – Gary
    Dec 16, 2014 at 19:03
  • 1
    if the photos are not in the cloud at all, then sync to iTunes afterwards; though as it's theoretical anyway, best practise for an update etc is sync, backup, download, update. All on iTunes.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 17, 2014 at 6:47
  • 2
    If I were updating, then I always do a full backup to iTunes first. I'm asking this question to prepare for an emergency, such as losing my device, or if it's destroyed or corrupted. Because my iCloud backups are daily while my iTunes manual backups are monthly or weekly at best, then I'd like to be prepared.
    – Gary
    Dec 18, 2014 at 4:01
  • 1
    What exactly is missing ? Jan 29, 2015 at 17:37

1 Answer 1

  • First of all, I see that I can restore those: Notes, Reminder, Apple Mail, Apple Contacts, Apple Calendar, Photos.
  • Then, you can also restore MANUALLY for those contents: Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks.

Restore: Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks

PS: I'm using IP 5S. ^^

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