Get help finding missing information in iCloud after restoring an iOS device

Follow these steps if information seems to be missing after restoring your iOS device from an iCloud backup.

Restore your iOS device the right way

  1. Make sure that you correctly restored your iOS device from iCloud. Restoring from an iCloud backup is different than signing in to iCloud. Data stored in iCloud (like your iCloud contacts, calendars, and bookmarks) is pushed to your device when you sign in to iCloud. But to restore your device's local data (like messages and message attachments), you'll need to restore from an iCloud backup.
  2. Make sure that your information is among the types of information backed up to iCloud.
  3. Enter your password as needed for apps that require it, like iTunes or Game Center. Some apps need your password before restoring your information.

Your music, movies, and TV shows

Your iCloud backup includes information about the content you've purchased, but not the purchased content itself. When you restore from an iCloud backup, purchased content automatically downloads from the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBook Store. Automatic downloading is based on iTunes in the Cloud availability by country. Previous purchases might be unavailable if they've been refunded or are no longer available in the store. Some previously purchased movies might not be available in iTunes in the Cloud.

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 from iTunes with a different Apple ID, sign in with the Apple ID associated with that purchase.

Your photos

In iOS 8.1 or later with iCloud Photo Library turned on, your photos and videos are stored in iCloud. They aren’t included in your iCloud backup. After you restore your device, connect to Wi-Fi and turn on iCloud Photo Library by going to Settings > iCloud > Photos. Your photos and videos will begin to download.

If you’re using iOS 8.1 or later and haven’t turned on iCloud Photo Library, or if you’re using iOS 7, iCloud backup includes photos and videos in your Photo Library or Camera Roll. They’ll download to your iOS device when you restore. 

  • Photos in My Photo Stream are already stored in iCloud, so they aren’t part of your backup. iCloud stores the photos that you uploaded to My Photo Stream for 30 days. To keep these photos on your device and make them part of your backups, save these photos to your Photo Library, Camera Roll, or another album.
  • To view a My Photo Stream album, make sure My Photo Stream is turned on in Settings (If you use iCloud Photo Library, the My Photo Stream folder is removed).
  • To recover photos that originally synced to your device from your computer, sync your device using iTunes on a computer.
  • To restore Photo Library (or Camera Roll) photos to an iPhone or iPod touch, the iCloud backup must be from an iPhone or iPod touch. To restore Photo Library (or Camera Roll) photos to an iPad, the iCloud backup must be from an iPad.

Your messages

Messages (including iMessage and carrier SMS or MMS pictures and videos) are included in your iCloud backup and will download to your iOS device during the restore process. To restore messages to an iPhone or iPod touch, the iCloud backup must be from an iPhone or iPod touch. To restore messages to an iPad, the iCloud backup must be from an iPad.

Your iCloud Drive and Documents in the Cloud

If you're using iCloud Drive or Documents in the Cloud, your iWork documents aren't included in your iCloud backup. If you want to manually back up your iWork files, you can save them to your Mac or PC.

If you restored your device and can't find your iWork documents, check these places:

  • If you're using Documents in the Cloud, open the app on your iOS device and look for your documents.
  • If you're using iCloud Drive, go to iCloud.com and open the iCloud Drive app.

Your calendar and contact data

When restoring Calendar and Contact data from an iCloud backup, your settings and old data are restored first. Then iCloud pushes your updated Calendar and Contact data to the device, overwriting the old data. This update happens automatically and usually occurs before you notice the old data.

Your Mail and Notes data

  • Mail data isn't included in your iCloud backup, but your backup does include the settings for your iCloud email account and any other email accounts that you've added to your device. After the restore process is complete, your device retrieves any email messages available from iCloud and your email service providers.
  • If you set up your device to store Notes data in iCloud (Settings > iCloud > Notes), iCloud sends those notes to your device after the restore process is complete.
  • Notes data stored by a third-party service (such as Microsoft Exchange) isn't backed up to iCloud. Consult the provider of that service for information about how to retrieve the data.

Your app data and settings

  • When you restore your device, iCloud downloads your apps from the App Store and restores their data.
  • Data for some third-party apps might need to be downloaded again from the app provider.
  • Apps that Apple or the app provider removed from the App Store cannot be restored or downloaded.
  • Apps that weren't backed up to iCloud, but are still available in the App Store, can be downloaded again.

    When restoring from an iPhone or iPod touch backup to an iPad, or vice versa:
  • The order in which app icons are displayed onscreen is not preserved.
  • Only third-party apps and their data are restored, excluding apps that aren't compatible with the device. For example, an app that is compatible only with iPad won't be restored to iPhone.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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