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I’m sending a relative my old iPhone 5s running iOS 9.3.2 because her beloved iPhone 5c has finally given up the ghost. Her iPhone is running iOS 8.4.1. Ordinarily I’d advise her to upgrade to iOS 9.3.2, but unfortunately her device only has 250 MB available, which I don’t believe is sufficient to update iOS. And she doesn’t have access to a Mac or PC for performing the update via iTunes.

My question is will she be able to restore an iCloud backup made with iOS 8.4.1 on to the replacement iPhone running iOS 9.3.2? I know that sometimes the restore process can be fussy about major version number differences.

Thanks in advance.

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There shouldn't be a problem. I believe I've done an iCloud transfer from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 7.0.4, which is a much larger gap.

If anything, going from iOS 9.3.2 to iOS 8.4.1 might be a problem, but you aren't doing that, so you'll be fine.

iCloud is built with moving to a new device in mind. It wouldn't make much sense for Apple to make it impossible to restore a backup from a previous iOS version.

  • Your second and third paragraphs are incorrect. It has never been possible to restore an iOS backup to a previous version of iOS. – grg Jul 7 '16 at 21:22
  • Third paragraph is a conclusion of the first. Guess it should be clearer. And really? It's not? Even with iCloud backups? I'd understand an iTunes backup, because that does more, but isn't an iCloud backup just a collection of files and settings? – TheWanderer Jul 7 '16 at 21:40
  • Ah okay I read the third paragraph as talking about the second paragraph, apologies. Neither iCloud nor iTunes backups can be used backwards though, hence the whole "you can't go back from a beta OS" because even though the non-beta OS is still being signed you can't restore your backup. – grg Jul 7 '16 at 21:43
  • Ah, Apple. Well I edited out the part about saying that was possible. I thought it was (false memories I guess). – TheWanderer Jul 7 '16 at 21:45

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