About missing information after you restore your iOS device with iCloud Backup

Did you notice missing information after you restored your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iCloud Backup? Learn more. 

Things you can check

  • Make sure that you correctly restored your iOS device from iCloud Backup. When you sign in to iCloud, it's not the same as when you restore from iCloud Backup. Learn how to restore from iCloud Backup
  • Make sure that iCloud Backup includes the kind of information that you’re missing. If you restore an iPad from an iPhone backup or vice versa, some data won’t restore.
  • If an app asks for your Apple ID password during the restore process, make sure that you enter it. Some apps, like iTunes, need your password before they can restore content purchased in those apps. If you purchased content on multiple Apple IDs, enter the password for each Apple ID when prompted.
  • If the restore process takes a long time to finish, or if you receive an error message, learn what to do.
  • You can also check to see if you have any iTunes backups that may contain the data that’s missing.
  • Sometimes the restore process might look complete, but your device is still downloading information in the background. To check this, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. For iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Backup. If your device is still being restored, you see “This [device] is currently being restored and will automatically back up when it is done.”

Want to learn more? Keep reading to discover what’s included in iCloud Backup.

About your apps, music, movies, and TV shows

The content that you buy from iTunes, the App Store, and iBooks lives in iCloud. But iCloud Backup includes only information about that content, not the content itself. After you restore from iCloud Backup, your purchased content automatically downloads again from the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. Availability of iTunes redownloads varies by country or region. Previous purchases might be unavailable when they've been refunded or aren't available in the store anymore. Some previously purchased movies might not be available for redownload from iTunes.

For some third-party apps, you might need to download data from the app provider again.

If you use iTunes Match (where available), you can use it to download previously matched or uploaded songs, albums, or playlists to your device. To recover content that wasn't purchased from the iTunes Store or isn't available through iTunes Match, sync your device using iTunes on a computer that has your content.

To recover content purchased with a different Apple ID, sign in with the Apple ID associated with that purchase.

About your photos

When you use iCloud Photo Library, your photos and videos automatically upload to iCloud. They aren’t included in your nightly backup. After you restore your device from iCloud Backup, stay connected to Wi-Fi so that your photos and videos can begin to download.

If you haven’t turned on iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Backup may include photos and videos in your Photo Library or Camera Roll. Not sure if iCloud Photo Library was turned on when you made the backup? After you restore your device, check Settings > [your name] >iCloud > Photos. If iCloud Photo Library is turned on, then the photos were stored in iCloud Photo Library.

If the photos and videos were included in the backup, they’ll download to your iOS device in the background when you restore. Stay connected to Wi-Fi until the process finishes. The time it takes to restore depends on the size of your backup and the speed of your Wi-Fi network.

Learn more about My Photo Stream, what's included in iCloud Backup, and how to sync photos from a computer.

About iCloud Drive

If you use iCloud Drive, your documents already live in iCloud, and they aren't included in iCloud Backup. If you want to save your iWork files manually, you can save them to your Mac or PC.

If you can't find your iWork documents after you restore your device, go to iCloud.com and check in the iCloud Drive app.

About your Calendar and Contact data

When Calendar and Contact information restores from iCloud Backup, your settings and old data restore first. Then, iCloud pushes your updated Calendar and Contact data to your device, overwriting the old data. This update happens automatically and usually occurs before you notice the old data.

About your Mail and Notes data

Since your Mail already lives in iCloud, it isn't included in iCloud Backup. iCloud Backup does include the settings for your iCloud email account and any other email accounts on your device. After you restore from iCloud Backup, iCloud and your other email providers replace your available email messages. So you can pick up where you left off.

If you set up your device to store Notes in iCloud, iCloud sends those notes to your device after the restore process finishes. To find storage options for Notes in iOS 10.3 or later, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud. For earlier versions of iOS, tap Settings > iCloud.

Notes data stored by a third-party service (like Microsoft Exchange) isn't backed up to iCloud. Contact the provider of that service for information about how to retrieve your data.

About your Messages and Voice Memos data

Your Messages and Voice Memos are included in iCloud Backup. Your Messages attachments download in the background when you restore. Stay connected to Wi-Fi until the process finishes. The time it takes to restore depends on the size of your backup and the speed of your Wi-Fi.

Sometimes, if you restore a device from a backup of another kind of device, your Messages and Voice Memos won’t restore. For example, if you use an iPad backup to restore an iPhone, your Messages and Voice Memos may not appear on the iPhone.

If your information is still missing after you restore, you can try to restore from a different iCloud or iTunes backup. Always back up your current data in iTunes before you try to restore from iCloud Backup.

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