I am trying to set up a new iPhone by restoring a backup of my old iPhone (which has a dead battery and cannot be charged because the lightning port does not work)

I selected to restore from backup on the iPhone and it shows the symbol to connect to my Mac.

I see the iPhone in the Finder and select it, and select "restore from this backup" and select the latest backup of the old phone.

I get the terms and conditions, agree to them, and click "Continue"

Then the Finder window immediately returns me to "Computer" view, the iPhone disappears from "Locations" in the left sidebar, and the phone returns to the image indicating it should be plugged in. I can unplug and plug the lightning cable back in and repeat the process but there's no change.

Unsure what to look for in the Console but a filter would help.

What's going on and how can I debug and fix this?

  • Here's a reframing comment. If you cannot succeed with the phone in its current state, you might be able to replace the battery in the old phone using an already fully-charged battery. This would increase the chances that the restore would work. And, if the old phone's Lightning port doesn't work, how are you connecting the phone to the computer? Jul 22, 2020 at 23:05
  • @DavidSupportsMonica thanks, interesting idea. Regarding the old iPhone, the lightning port has been flakey for a few days. I managed to get it to do a backup ~2 days ago by applying pressure on the lightning cable, but this made the problems with it worse and after that I couldn't get it to charge at all. The old phone is a 5s, very old at this point and not worth repairing...
    – Josh
    Jul 22, 2020 at 23:22
  • Depends, I suppose, on how valuable the data and info is on the phone. Perhaps a local phone repair place could repair the Lightning jack for an acceptable price. Jul 22, 2020 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


Performing a Mac OS X update (to 10.15.6 in this case) and then rebooting afterwards mysteriously solved this mysterious issue... I wish I had a better explanation for what happened, but I was not able to get any further information.

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