6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2011 1:58 AM by nick101
nick101 Level 5 (5,025 points)

In the last week or so, a number of people have posted on the issue of syncing an iPhone to a new computer or hard disk. Some have bought a new machine, some are recovering from a disk crash. The issue is the risk of losing content from the phone when syncing to the "new" iTunes


If you have a recent iTunes backup of your phone, this is easily addressed - you just restore from the backup.


But if you don't, the problem is pretty serious. 3rd part utilities like PhoneView (mac) or TouchCopy (Windows) can help, but they're not perfect.


My point is this: You must back up your phone to your desktop frequently enough to protect yourself from this problem.


Further: You must back up your iTunes library *and* your backups to somewhere to protect yourself against disk failure.


Whatever the rights and wrongs of tethering the iPhone to iTunes on a desktop, that is the way it is, at least for now. If you want to avoid the risk and worry of lost iPhone data, you have to respect that (you don't have to like it, naturally).


Please follow this, for your sake. If you don't, those of us who can help will try to, but there's not much we'll be able to offer.


Hope this helps

  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,421 points)

    Agreed, and honestly, if you do anything on your computer and don't have a redundant backup scheme for the machine, then do NOT be upset when it all blows up and you loose everything.  Hard drives fail, even solid state drives fail or may get corrupted (or they machine they reside in gets toasted and takes the drive with it), so if the information on the computer is at all valuable to you, back it up!


    Sync'ing an iPhone and backing it up are not enough - you need to backup the computer's media as well.

  • paulcb Level 6 (19,110 points)

    While I agree with you 100%, the people that will read this post are most likely already backing up.  Those who don't backup only come here after the fact and they rarely search for an answer, they just post their question.  Plus it will only get read a few times today and then get lost with all the other past posts.

  • ashorsu Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for responding to my post., It was as below:  Could u pls put some more light on it. since Apple says every time to back up the old back up will auto delete. Its scary. I had never set a password for back up so why was it asking me for it? I also sync it for first time to update to i OS5 Could you pls contact me directly at " pasunyash@yahoo.com" Would really appreciate that . Thanks



    Oct 29, 2011 12:03 AM

    "iPhone 4, iOS 5, Faulty update" I am gravely disappointed in updating my iPhone 4 to i OS 5 Update for iPhone. It did every thing to update but at the end did not restore the files from back up and asked for a password to unlock the files. it was the first time ever I had updated my phone and had never set up any password to unlock the back up file ever before. In that process it encrypted the files and in an attempt to restore my immensely valuable info I lost all that includes my "notes, pictures(memories of my kids and family), my contact list of about 700 people; including phone #s, addresses and email addresses, voice noted and much much more data. I am disgusted with support that Apple provides as tech support. I called tech support, a case # 257385399 was provided to me, but I got zero help and tech simply kept apologizing. I completely understand that it was not his fault, but some one should be able to help me resolve this problem. he said find someone outside of Apple, that could help you extract the encrypted password. I can't believe that a company like "Apple" this day in age, could leave their loyal customers hanging in the midst of such a problem. I'm done with APPLE. Its a SHAME!!! Its hard to believe.


  • amandas430 Level 1 (0 points)

    I backed up my previous iphone today, to make sure I would keep all of my contacts/pictures/notes.. etc..  When I plugged in my new iphone4s, it did not even give me the option of syncing my new phone to the previous backup.  I'm trying to figure out a way to get all of the stuff from my old phone to the new one. help!

  • nick101 Level 5 (5,025 points)

    Do a Restore - it'll ask whether you want to restore as a new phone, or restore from the backup of the old phone

  • nick101 Level 5 (5,025 points)

    The issue you've got is that your old backup is encrypted, and there's no way round that if you don't have a password - that's the problem you have to solve. I gather you have a working phone, but you don't have any of the calendar, contact or app data from previous backups. Is that correct?


    There are some things you can do to keep control of the istuation.


    1. Copy your iTunes backups to somewhere safe. Here's a link to tell you where to find them on your computer.

    2. iTunes doesn't *always* delete old backups. It auto-deletes if the new backup is close in time to the most recent. I have 6 or so backups for my iPad and 4 for my iPhone.


    The point here is that, once you've copied away your old backups, you can sync/backup the phone without risking losing the old data.


    BUT - you have to get that password back if your backup is encrypted


    This product might help to find the original password (note: I haven't used it myself)




    I noted that in your original post, you felt sure you had not encrypted the backup yourself. Try these other options:


    Restore the iPhone - you'll get asked whether you want to restore from an existing backup - pick the one you want and go with that.

    If that doesn't take (encryption) try an earlier backup - connect the phone, right-click it in Devices (in iTunes) and choose restore from backup. It'll list available backups.

    Finally, if your on a Mac, you could use Tie Machine to navigate back to an earlier backlup that might work


    Hope this helps