If I enable the iCloud Backup feature, can I later restore from an iCloud backup, but while tethered to iTunes?

So if my phone ever dies, is the only way to restore from iCloud to do it over WiFi, re-downloading every app, or is it smart enough to let me plug into iTunes, use the iCloud backup to figure out which apps go where, and then push the actual apps from my PC onto my iPhone?

The closest question I could find is this

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can restore from iCloud, but to restore your device, you have to connect it to iTunes, and restore its firmware, then restore contents either from iCloud or from backup on your mac.

Restoration that’s not a project. When you set up a new iOS device or need to restore the information on one you already have, iCloud Backup does the heavy lifting. Just connect your device to Wi-Fi and enter your Apple ID and password. Your personal data — along with your purchased music, TV shows, apps, and books from iTunes — will appear on your device.2 If you’re an iTunes Match user, you can download your entire music library from iCloud.3

So the point is this: if you want to restore your contents from wifi, you just plug your device, and connect it to wifi, iCloud will do its job; if you already tethered your device to iTunes, you can just restore it from mac.

  • So if I'm tethered to my PC (or Mac), and I'm restoring my "stuff" from the cloud, it'll be smart enough to transfer the actual apps from my computer, and not download them over WiFi from the iTunes Store? After writing it out like that I can't imagine it would, I just want to make sure. Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 21:57
  • @AdamRackis So when you restore the system and reboot the device, it will ask to choose from set as a new device or restore your device from iCloud or iTunes backup on mac(old tethered way).
    – Jing
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 22:08
  • If I tether the device, and tell it to restore from iCloud, will it download my apps over Wifi, or will it just push them from my computer via iTunes. From what I gather, with iCloud you're not really ever plugging in and syncing your device to iTunes, so I don't see how my actual apps could be stored on my PC, which leads me to believe that each app would have to be downloaded anew...which would take forever. Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 22:13
  • @AdamRackis if your device is tethered and connected to wifi, you can restore it either way (depending on what you choose). Your iTunes on your mac can automatically download apps and purchases if your check the check marks in iTunes preference. So therefore, your iTunes have a copy of app you have downloaded.
    – Jing
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 22:24

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