I broke my iPhone 3G S and bought a new one. During the setup of the new one I chose to set it up as a new phone. I gave it a slightly different name because I thought I'd want to keep old phone's backups and new phone's backups separate.

I now need to restore the old phone's backup to the new phone.

Using iTunes, I renamed the new phone to match the name on the backup I want to restore from, mistakenly thinking that iTunes would automatically associate the new phone and the old backup by name. The old backup doesn’t show in the drop-down selection box.

How can I access the old backup and restore it to the new phone?

2 Answers 2


you need to reset the phone to factory settings so that iTunes think's it's a new phone

it will then ask you if you want to restore from a previous backup and you can restore from any of them that are still on the system.

  • 1
    Will this break my jailbreak and unlock? Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 23:28
  • Abbe, AFAIK yes it will.
    – Stu Wilson
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:04
  • That's what I was afraid of. That's exactly how I broke the old phone (now it's a great iPod, not so a phone <G>) by up grading to iOS 5.0.1. The upgrade went fine, the jailbreak also, but even though I did preserve my unlockable baseband (06.15.00) the unlock didn't work. Tried several times with no luck so I decided to stop banging my head against that wall and got a new iphone to start over. Restoring the backup isn't critical, it would just save me a LOT of work recreating a lot of data. Thanks for your help. Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:32
  • Yes, as Stu Wilson said, you have to restore the new iPhone into factory settings first and then disconnect it and reconnect it. iTunes will ask if you want to restore from backup, comfird this option and then select the old backup file. When the backup is extracted, the new iPhone will restart. Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 8:40

If you go into the iTunes preferences, and then look under the Devices tab, does that previous backup still show? I'm hoping it didn't somehow get overwritten/deleted when you setup the new phone. Also, be sure not to confuse the backup with the synchronization. People often do is all. From my experience, renaming the phone at initial setup shouldn't in any way affect your ability to restore a previous backup later on.

  • 1
    The backup is still there; I do understand the difference between sync and backup and have been very careful to preserve the backup I want to use. Thanks for your help. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 23:48
  • 1
    Great. Difficult to troubleshoot remotely, but next things I'd try (if you haven't already, and maybe even if you have) are to make sure iTunes is updated to the latest version, and then once you've made sure you won't loose anything important, reset the new iPhone (Settings > General > Reset > 'Erase all content and settings'), and then try another restore. Are you running iTunes on a Win PC or a Mac btw?
    – Penti
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 14:52
  • Unfortunately, this is an unlocked phone (to use with my T-Mobile account) and apparently this restore would break my unlock. Guess I'll just have to take the time and recreate the data I was hoping to get back by restoring from the old backup. Thanks for your help. Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:33

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