7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2009 12:50 PM by neuroanatomist
Omus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Yesterday I accidentally uninstalled an application which contained some valuable information. After reinstalling the app and noticing the data was gone I searched and found out what I need to do is a restore. Unfortunately trying to restore from a backup only lets me choose the latest iPhone backup which does not contain the information I want.

Is there a way to restore the iPhone to an older backup file? It looks like I have more than just one backup in the backup folder ( "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\#######" I'm running Vista ) but I only have one option in iTunes.

iPhone 3G, Windows Vista
  • clayneal Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    When you click restore in iTunes you should be given an option as to which back up to use.
  • Omus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I only have one backup to choose for a restore.

    I recently tried a "Restore" instead of a "Restore from Backup" which then offered to backup my iPhone before deleting all of the data from my phone. After it had completed there were two entries to choose from in "Restore from Backup".

    So it looks like iTunes isn't automatically backing up my iPhone every time I connect even though I have automatically sync turned on (see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766 under "Creating a Backup"). My guess is that iTunes is backing up my device and just not giving me the option to use the old automatic backups...

    Any suggestions?
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    iTunes normally keeps only one backup (it overwrites the old one every time you sync). The exception is when you perform a Restore from Backup (an extra backup is created, and left alone until manually deleted).
  • Omus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That describes the behavior I am seeing but is different from what is documented:

    "If you have configured your iPhone or iPod touch to automatically sync with iTunes on a specific computer, iTunes will back up the iPhone or iPod touch after you connect it to that computer and sync with iTunes. iTunes will not automatically back up an iPhone or iPod touch that is not configured to sync with that computer. iTunes only makes one backup each time you connect, even if you sync multiple times before disconnecting." (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766 from "Creating a Backup")

    Would you say that the documentation is wrong?
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    In the kbase article you linked, look down two bullets from the section you copied:

    +If you choose to restore the software to factory settings, iTunes will ask you if you want to back up the iPhone and iPod touch. _The backup created when you restore a device is separate from the one created when the device is synced._ The backup created prior to a restore is marked in the syncing preferences of iTunes with the date and time when the backup was created.+

    That's why you see two backups.
  • Omus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh, some how I missed that. I guess I'll just have to remember to restore my iPhone right after the problem occurs so my iTunes backup isn't overwritten.

    Thanks for your help neuroanatomist!
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Glad to help!

    Note that going forward, you can manually create multiple 'incremental' backups of your iPhone by going to the location of the backups that you list in your first post, and copying the folder with the UID name (long hex string) within the Backup folder to another location on your HDD. If you want to roll back to that particular backup, you simply swap that folder with the one currently in the specified location. (You can associate the UID-named folders with the iTunes-listed backups based on the modified dates.)