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Question: Restoring ringtones purchased from iTunes

If any of you is planing to buy ringtones from the iTunes stor you need to know that:


1) They don't get backed up in iCloud or even in a local iTunes backup.

2) If you restore your phone for any reason or move to a new phone you will loose them.

3) The only way to obtain them again is to purchase them again.


I know, this sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly what the Apple Care person told me today, with no remorse at all. Either he is wrong or Apple is wrong.


There are varions good reason why you want to restore your phone. For example you are buying a new iPhone 5S from Apple and then you want to back up and restore. Another is to unlock your phone - to received the unlock phone you need to restore (and hence loose your ringtones). Or may be just an accident in your phone, but you ourchased AppleCare and you get a new one - but hey, your ringtones are lost.


Yes, you are giving Apple even more money to buy a new phone and pay for AppleCare and iTunes match, but they can not restore some cheap ringtines to you or credit your account for your loss. What a ripoff. So I suggest you not to buy ringtones from iTunes. There are few posts elseqhere to teach you how you can make your own ringtones. At least these ar ebacked up in iTunes macth as songs and you can convert them again to ringtones.


Let me know if I am wrong, otherwise be warned.

iPhone 5s, iOS 7, iTunes store

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Where are getting the term 'full backup' from ? A backup doesn't contain any downloaded content from the store (nor your own synced music, photos, videos), they should already be in your computer's iTunes library (if not then you can copy them over downloads from your device via File > Devices > Transfer Purchases) - restoring an iTunes backup then picks up the relevant downloads from your iTunes library (it's a waste of space to duplicate them in the actual backup), what is contained in the iTunes backup is listed on this page : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946


Had you copied your purchases from your phone to your computer's iTunes library ?


Ringtones (and audiobooks) have, as far as I know, always been a one-time only download from the store - what else you can redownload depends upon what country that you are in, and whether they remain in your country's store (you are only guaranteed one download of each item from the store).

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Sep 26, 2013 11:33 AM in response to roaminggnome In response to roaminggnome

They dont get back up on your computer on local iTunes back up or iCloud. There is no way to save them as I was explicitly told by Apple Care. Your advise to back up is incorrect, please update it becuse is misleading. This is not fault of the user, is fault of Apple.

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Jan 7, 2014 9:21 AM in response to roaminggnome In response to roaminggnome

I backed up my iPhone with a full backup after it got water damaged, and the touchscreen stopped working. As I understood it a backup would effectively image the data on my phone and the replacement phone would be identical to my damaged phone in all but serial number. Of course, it doesn't back up everything (despite being called a "full backup") - my playlists, my folders (incredibly annoying having to reorganise 9 screens of apps) and now it seems my ringtone. Which I paid money for. Unlike the other two, this is no longer just an inconvenience. I feel like Apple is stealing my money for this.

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Sep 26, 2013 11:29 AM in response to delavefm In response to delavefm

This is correct.


You get one download of ringtones. As always, it is your responsibility to backup your purchases. You should transfer them to your computer, as you should do with any itunes purchase made on your device. And you should include them in your regular backup copy of your computer.

Sep 26, 2013 11:29 AM

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Sep 26, 2013 11:33 AM in response to roaminggnome In response to roaminggnome

They dont get back up on your computer on local iTunes back up or iCloud. There is no way to save them as I was explicitly told by Apple Care. Your advise to back up is incorrect, please update it becuse is misleading. This is not fault of the user, is fault of Apple.

Sep 26, 2013 11:33 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Jan 7, 2014 9:21 AM in response to roaminggnome In response to roaminggnome

I backed up my iPhone with a full backup after it got water damaged, and the touchscreen stopped working. As I understood it a backup would effectively image the data on my phone and the replacement phone would be identical to my damaged phone in all but serial number. Of course, it doesn't back up everything (despite being called a "full backup") - my playlists, my folders (incredibly annoying having to reorganise 9 screens of apps) and now it seems my ringtone. Which I paid money for. Unlike the other two, this is no longer just an inconvenience. I feel like Apple is stealing my money for this.

Jan 7, 2014 9:21 AM

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Jan 7, 2014 9:26 AM in response to jaredjeya In response to jaredjeya

You can copy purchases from a device to your computer's iTunes via File > Devices > Transfer Purchases. Had you done that ? Are your ringtones in the Tones part of your computer's iTunes library ?

Jan 7, 2014 9:26 AM

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Jan 9, 2014 6:42 AM in response to King_Penguin In response to King_Penguin

I expect that a Full Backup would do that, otherwise why would it be called a FULL backup? As I said I expected it to effectively image my phone.


Plus, it's not something I made and stored on my phone that wasn't backed up anywhere. It was a digital purchase which I don't expect to lose when I trasfer devices, even if not backed up. I expect to be able to redownload it.

Jan 9, 2014 6:42 AM

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Jan 9, 2014 6:51 AM in response to jaredjeya In response to jaredjeya

Where are getting the term 'full backup' from ? A backup doesn't contain any downloaded content from the store (nor your own synced music, photos, videos), they should already be in your computer's iTunes library (if not then you can copy them over downloads from your device via File > Devices > Transfer Purchases) - restoring an iTunes backup then picks up the relevant downloads from your iTunes library (it's a waste of space to duplicate them in the actual backup), what is contained in the iTunes backup is listed on this page : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946


Had you copied your purchases from your phone to your computer's iTunes library ?


Ringtones (and audiobooks) have, as far as I know, always been a one-time only download from the store - what else you can redownload depends upon what country that you are in, and whether they remain in your country's store (you are only guaranteed one download of each item from the store).

Jan 9, 2014 6:51 AM

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Jan 12, 2014 8:17 AM in response to King_Penguin In response to King_Penguin

As I said - expect a full backup would include transferring my purchases to my iTunes Library, although I can't understand why my purchases aren't globally linked to my account.


I'm getting the term full backup from the selection between an iCloud backup, which only keeps the "most important stuff", and an iTunes backup, which is meant to back up everything. I chose iCloud but from time to time manually backup to my computer, which is what I did when my phone was damaged and I was going to replace it. It seems to me that iCloud backup is actually better than iTunes - when I previously got my phone replaced under warranty I restored through iTunes and once it was finished downloading you would be hard pressed to tell it from the original. And it kept my ringtone.

Jan 12, 2014 8:17 AM

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Jan 12, 2014 8:31 AM in response to jaredjeya In response to jaredjeya

You need to copy your purchases from your phone to your computer's iTunes library (File > Devices > Transfer Purchases) if you want to be able to restore a backup from it - the backup does not include any of your iTunes downloads, it expects them to be in your iTunes library, they are not duplicated in the actual backup.


Backing up to icloud will bakup your apps content/settings - whether you will be able to fully restore to an icloud backup will depend upon what content you had on your phone (audiobooks and ringtones not being redownloadable), and whether the apps, music, films, TV programmes are still available in your country's store. An iCloud backup does not include your own own music or videos in the Music and Videos apps.

Jan 12, 2014 8:31 AM

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Mar 25, 2014 9:03 AM in response to Duukes In response to Duukes

I am happy to see that I am not the only one very annoyed by this. In the "full" backup it asked me to transfer purchases and I said "YES" and yet, my tones are gone.


Typically or at least at one point in IOS if I bought something on my phone, then went to my Ipad and found it again in the Itunes store, clicked "buy" again, it would either turn the button into "Download" or I'd click "Buy" and it would tell me I'd already purchased this "would you like to download it again". NOT THE SAME thing with these stupid tones.


I am angry that I am even waisting my time with this. This should be so straight forward. APPLE Just restore the darn ring tones, if you can invent the iPhone, you can figure this out for us. Come on.

Mar 25, 2014 9:03 AM

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Mar 25, 2014 9:10 AM in response to RJD07 In response to RJD07

Apple are not here, these are user-to-user forums. Ringtones (and audiobooks) are one-time downloads from the store. If you had copied them over to your computer's iTunes then they should be in the Tones part of its library - if they are then you can sync them to your devices.

Mar 25, 2014 9:10 AM

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Apr 5, 2014 12:01 AM in response to delavefm In response to delavefm

Frankly, the situation became a nightmare; few days ago I’ve lost my music albums (120+) and I spend more than 4 hrs with an open discussion with apple support, today I discovered that I’ve lost my ringtones and my apps.


My company’s staff and I (10 mobiles) we have decided to purchase iPhones since the first edition, now we planning to switch to other brands than iPhone, “not any more nightmares”. Sorry guys but not any waste of time to restore something that I have paid for.


Cheers Takis

Apr 5, 2014 12:01 AM

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Jun 8, 2014 9:04 AM in response to King_Penguin In response to King_Penguin

Where? On the main page when you plug your phone in under the second category "Backups." If you click Computer as the place to backup your information it says right below that, "A full backup of your iPhone will be stored on this computer." Clearly the word "full" is incorrect.

Jun 8, 2014 9:04 AM

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Jun 8, 2014 10:08 AM in response to lamp01 In response to lamp01

Depends upon what you are expecting 'full' to mean. It's a full backup of your documents, files, photos taken with the device (for cloud backups you have a choice for which apps to backup to the cloud) - none of your iTunes are included in a backup (either on iTunes nor to the cloud), if you backup to your computer's iTunes then the restore picks up your downloads from your iTunes library (if you have them on it)

Jun 8, 2014 10:08 AM

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Question: Restoring ringtones purchased from iTunes