I just installed iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 several days ago, and I backed it up to iCloud. After performing a sync with my PC, it deleted a bunch of apps. I'd like to restore these from the iCloud backup.

I tried searching Apple's site and Google to see how to restore from a backup, but all the examples are for newly activated phones, not existing phones. I couldn't find any options relevant to this in the settings app.

I tried pressing "Restore" in iTunes, which deleted all the data on the iPhone. When it started up again, it took me through some basic configuration steps, but none of the steps asked me if I want to restore the phone from an iCloud backup. The only thing close to this was when it asked me if I want to backup to iCloud or my PC. I chose iCloud.

How can I force my iPhone to download all the data that was backed up to iCloud?

Update: according to iCloud: Backup and restore overview, it says that I need to go through the setup assistant and choose to restore from iCloud. The problem is that the setup it took me through was the standard iOS 5 setup which just asks you to enable/disable services such as location and iCloud backup. It doesn't seem to be the same setup assistant that appears on brand new phones. So the question is how to force the setup assistant to show on a non-new phone.

3 Answers 3


When you restored your phone, did you do the configuration steps in iTunes or on the iPhone itself? Try restoring again, and follow the steps on the iPhone, not in iTunes. I've seen some reports claiming that iCloud restores can only be started from the device itself.

  • How does one initiate a restore on the iPhone? I haven't found such a setting and I was looking for one.
    – Senseful
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 5:02
  • 2
    Alright, thanks this helped. The trick is to initiate the restore from iTunes, but then don't touch anything on iTunes. Only follow the steps on the iPhone. One of them will ask if you want to set it up as a new phone or restore from iCloud. If you press anything in iTunes, it won't show this same screen, and the option to restore from iCloud is never given on iTunes.
    – Senseful
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 5:12
  • 1
    Glad to be of help. It's an odd omission that Apple doesn't let you initiate iCloud restores from iTunes. Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 14:08

To see the setup assistant in a non-new phone, yo need to reset "all settings and data" from the iPhone, not from iTunes.

  • 1
    I think this is the right way to go, rather than trying to coordinate iTunes+iPhone. However, I assume that such a reset does not also reset your iCloud backup, and that you can still restore it. Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 22:03
  • this is exactly the way to do it. i've done it multiple times now, works like a charm – thanks!
    – lensovet
    Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 7:45

I just wrote instructions on how to do this. Hopefully it helps...

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. Please take a look at the FAQs for more info. Thanks. Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 16:25

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