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iOS: Unable to restore from backup of a newer device

Symptoms

When restoring an iOS backup to a iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that is not using the latest version of iOS, you may see the following behavior:

  • You cannot see or select the most recent backup from the list of available backups in iTunes or iCloud.
  • iTunes displays the alert "The backup [name] cannot be restored to this [iOS device] because the software on the [iOS device] is too old."
  • iTunes displays the alert "No backups available."

Resolution

Update your device to the latest version of iOS to be able to restore the backup.

 

Additional Information

iOS does not support restoring a backup from a newer version of iOS to a device using an older version of iOS.

Example: Restoring a backup from an iOS 7 device to an iOS 6.x or earlier device is not supported.

If you wish to transfer content from a device with a newer version of iOS to a device using an earlier version, follow these steps to transfer the content to your computer, and then use iTunes to sync the content to your device.

Note: Some content, including messages, app data, and other settings, cannot be transferred using this method.

Last Modified: Sep 18, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Sep 18, 2013
  • Article: TS3682
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