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Not enough free space on iphone 5 to restore from backup

22431 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2014 2:28 PM by Mubeen0007 RSS
inmyrvm Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 29, 2012 8:59 AM

I got a new PC and installed the latest itunes. I followed this thread ( to set up my devices (16gb ipad 2 and 32 gb iphone 5) on the new PC. The ipad worked great. However, I'm running into a problem restoring the iphone from backup. It's telling me there is not enough space on the iphone to restore from backup. According to the itunes summary I have 3 gb of space left on the iphone so I don't understand why it's saying this. I'm wondering what my next step should be. Should I try a restore? Or reinstall itunes? Since I was able to restore my ipad from backup I suspect it must be an issue with the phone. I've tried backing up the phone several times and then restoring but always get the same error message. Thanks for any suggestions.

iPhone 5, iOS 6
  • diesel vdub Level 7 Level 7 (20,675 points)

    What is the exact wording of the message?  I've personally never seen a restore generate an "insufficient space" message.

  • diesel vdub Level 7 Level 7 (20,675 points)

    Restore as new... then once that completes, restore from a good, working backup.

    Also, make sure it's not an issue of having iTunes set to sync your entire music library which happens to be larger than the available capacity of the iPhone.

  • wrayswife Calculating status...

    I just restored my phone and when I went to "restore backup", it gave me the exact same error message. How do I see what it's trying to put on the phone? "Sync music" is turned off. I'm so lost. I don't want to lose my contacts and calendar!


    I have an iPhone 4, if it makes any difference.

  • diesel vdub Level 7 Level 7 (20,675 points)

    Restore as new, then sync your content to your device.


    Do not restore from the backup.


    If the device has been used as designed, the contacts and calendars are synced to a supported application on the computer or a cloud service and can easily be synced back.

  • wrayswife Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply, but I know that my contacts have not been synced to a supported application on my computer because I do not have Outlook on my computer. I did not have my notes, contacts, or calendar synced for this reason. Am I screwed? Or is there a way to find out why it won't put my backup on my phone?


    Why is the backup that I created immediately before I did the restore suddenly too big for my phone?

  • diesel vdub Level 7 Level 7 (20,675 points)

    Outlook is not required for syncing contacts to a computer.


    You can sync your contacts with:

    • Microsoft Outlook 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7)
    • Windows Address Book (Windows XP)
    • Windows Contacts (Windows Vista / Windows 7)
    • Address Book (Mac OS X)
    • Microsoft Entourage 2004, Microsoft Entourage 2008, or Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac
      Note:  If using Microsoft Entourage, use Microsoft Entourage 2008 12.1.2 or later  if syncing with Mac OS X v10.6 or later. If you would like to sync data on your Mac with Entourage, enable syncing between Entourage and Address Book.

    Without using the device as designed, it is entirely possible that the information is lost.


    There are programs that claim to be able to extract information from iPhone backups.  A google search will reveal these programs.  No support is provided by Apple or via these forums for those programs.

  • courtnithomas Calculating status...



    I am having the EXACT SAME issue you were having and it is driving me insane! I do not understand now that I have back-up my iPhone and when restoring it tells me my iPhone doesn't have enough free space available. My question for you is, since you had this issue a month ago, did you ever get it resolved???? And if so...could you PLEASE email me back and let me know so I can resolve this issue as well....I wish there was some way we could review our info that is on our "back-up" and delete some stuff that is on there so it will restore back up on my phone.


    my email:


    Thanks in advance!

  • mdn57 Calculating status...

    Did anyone ever figure out this problem? Same thing happened to me and now i am back to a factory reset iphone, I noticed when I looked at the backup file in the folder location it says that the file size is 17.7 GB but yet my iphone is only 16 GB and can only really hold about 13.4GB. So I do not see how this could happen? If any help please let me know I am at a lost.

  • Shana786 Calculating status...

    I was having this issue too, I was able to resolve the issue by restoring the phone first to factory settings and than i restored from my backup.

  • derts Calculating status...

    Hey, after trying to figure this out for a long time with the same issus I could not even just do a regular restore because it was still saying there wasnt enough space. There was 8gb free on the phone and 2tb free on my hard drive where the back up saves.


    I went to settings on my iphone and reset it through there, the reset without deleting data. Then I went restore through iTunes and it worked. I was able to restore my phone to factory.I was then able to restore my iPhone from back up.


    Alot of weird work for no real reason but it worked this way for me. Hope this helps anyone else having similar issues.

  • derts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    make sure before you restore from back up that you have enough space on your hard drive. That was a little error I ran into, also I restored from an older back up.


    All of this worked though for myself.

  • Mubeen0007 Calculating status...

    Go to Setttings and Restore phone to factory defaults.

    Then you need to  restore from I Cloud or Itunes,

    You just need to follow onscreen instructions.


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