4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 7, 2009 8:27 PM by neillkarl
neillkarl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've had my iPhone 3G for a month now. After syncing some music I got an error from iTunes (operator induced, I believe) saying that it didn't recognize my phone (or some such words, I don't remember exactly) then told me to restore the phone. Knowing that my apps were safely synced, I did the restore. Now, I have no apps - either on the phone or in iTunes. I really want my apps back!

I do regular backups on my system, so it seems like I should have all my apps safely stored somewhere. So, I have two questions. One, is there a way besides going through my backups to get my apps back? If not, then my second question is, what file or files should I restore from my system backups to get my apps back?

And, a third question - my email had been set up to sync with my work email. That information is also lost now. Is the email account information saved when the iPhone is synced? If so, how do I get it back from my system backups?

Any help is appreciated, thanks.

Windows XP, Home edition, SP 3. iTunes, iPhone 2.2.1

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Did you purchase/download the apps with iTunes on your computer, or did you purchase/download the apps with your iPhone? Either way the apps should be available in your iTunes library on your computer and should not be erased from your iTunes library on your computer when restoring your iPhone with iTunes or unless you manually delete the apps from your iTunes library on your computer with iTunes.

    When you restored your iPhone with iTunes, did you restore from your iPhone's backup, or as a new iPhone or not from your iPhone's backup? 3rd party apps are not included with your iPhone's backup, but 3rd party app settings and data created and stored by a 3rd party app is included with your iPhone's backup.

    Email account setup info is stored with your iPhone's backup, and if you are accessing the account with an email client on your computer such as with Outlook or with Outlook Express, you have access to the email account setup info there except for the account's password which you should know.

    3rd party apps are stored in your iTunes library - within a folder named Mobile Applications within your iTunes names folder. Or you can re-download the apps with iTunes on your computer - you won't be charged again for any purchased apps as long as you use the same iTunes account to re-download the apps that was used to purchase the apps originally.

    As already provided, restoring an iPhone with iTunes does not touch 3rd party apps in your iTunes library on your computer. This is the firs time I recall a post here indicating this has happened.
  • neillkarl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, Allan,

    All my apps were purchased on my iPhone. When I synced after I purchased the apps, I saw them all in my iTunes library, as you would expect. Now, the library is empty.

    You asked me if I restored from my iPhone's backup, or as a new iPhone - I'm not sure. I was following the steps recommended by iTunes when it told me it could not read from my phone. I don't recall being given the choice, although I know now that it is a choice you make when you restore. Perhaps operator error is a portion of my difficulties... It certainly seems that I did it as a new phone, since the phone looks like it is new out of the box - no preferences remembered, nothing.

    Another piece of information that may be helpful - when I got the message from iTunes saying that it couldn't read my phone, the first thing I did was update iTunes. When the new version also could not read my phone, then I restored it.

    I will try re-downloading the apps I've already purchased. Thanks for that information, I didn't know I could do that.

    I do have my hard drive backed up on an external hard drive, with data from before I restored by iPhone. Is there a file or files that I can restore from that external drive so that iTunes could restore my iPhone from an earlier backup?

    Thanks for your help, Allan, I appreciate it. I'm not yet as savvy a user as I'd like to be!

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    You're welcome.

    Your iPhone's backup is not stored in your iTunes library, and the backup is not a complete backup of all data on your iPhone.

    The iPhone's backup includes data such as most iPhone settings, email account settings, contact info, SMS messages, notes, recent calls, call favorites, photos in your iPhone's camera roll, and 3rd party app settings and data created and stored by a 3rd party app.

    The backup does not include any iTunes content including 3rd party apps, and it doesn't include any photos stored on your computer that are transferred to your iPhone.

    In iTunes, go to iTunes preferences. Under the Devices tab for your iTunes preferences will reveal your iPhone's backup or backups. When restoring your iPhone with iTunes, a new backup is created.

    If you have more than one backup available for your iPhone, when restoring your iPhone with iTunes - your iPhone is completely erased followed by the firmware being re-installed. After the firmware is re-installed, you are prompted to restore your iPhone from your iPhone's most recent backup if there is more than one - which is the default selection. If there is more than one backup, you can select an older backup from the pop-up - next to the backup that is selected to be restored to your iPhone.
  • neillkarl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When I go to preferences/devices, I see only the most recent backup. None of the backups that I did before I had the error message and restored my iPhone are available. It seems that my previous backup(s) were lost.

    Unless, of course, I can get those previous backups by copying the appropriate file from my external backup of my hard drive. Is there a way to do that?