By Lena / Last update October 28, 2020

Both iTunes and iCloud offer the way to help us backup iPhone. In this case, when losing data accidentally we can easily restore iPhone from the backup to get back the lost items. Besides, we can also utilize this feature to transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone.

However, the restoration does not work smoothly as it is supposed to. You get a message saying that iPhone cannot restore backup. Well, take it easy. Actually, it’s a quite common error that many users have reported before. Here in this guide, I’ll explain why iPhone restore from backup failed and also provide you some methods you can follow to solve this problem.

Why Your iPhone Cannot Restore from Backup?

Many situations can lead to the iPhone 12, 11, XR, XS, X cannot restore backup problem and the following are the common possible causes.

1. The current iOS version on iPhone is not compatible with the backup.

2. The version of the iTunes is too old to perform the backup.

3. There is something wrong with the backup itself maybe it’s broken.

4. There is not enough storage space on your iPhone.

5. The Internet connection is not stable to download the backup.

How to Fix iPhone Cannot Restore Backup?

Here in this part, we'll focus on the way to troubleshot the iPhone restore from backup failed issue. These methods apply to all iPhone models including iPhone 12, iPhone SE 2nd, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone 8, etc.

► Note: If you are trying to transfer data to new iPhone through the restore but failed, you can refer to Solution 7 to get another quick way to make it.

Solution 1. Restart Your Computer and iPhone

Sometimes a simple restart can help you get out of the trouble. Reboot your iPhone or computer according to your situation and try to perform the restore again. If it still failed, keep reading to try other methods.

Solution 2. Update iOS to the Latest Version

You may get the message says that “The backup cannot be restored to this iPhone because the software on the iPhone is too old”. In this case, just update the iOS to a higher version:

1. Go back to App & Data screen and choose Set Up as New iPhone option.

Set Up as New Iphone

2. Skip the remaining step to complete the setup process.

3. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to update iOS to the latest version.

4. Erase your iPhone to restart the setup process and try to perform the restore.

If you are in the setup process and trying to restore from iCloud backup but failed because of the old iOS, you might be prompted to update your software. You can choose to download the update and it will automatically update your software and restore your backup.

Solution 3. Update iTunes to the Latest Version

The old version of iTunes can cause many problems, such as “iTunes could not restore the iPhone because an error occurred”. So just update your iTunes to the latest version:

Click Help on the menu bar on Windows or click iTunes on Mac > Select Check for Updates.

Solution 4. Choose Another Backup or Make a New One

The iPhone cannot restore backup problem may occur due to the error related to the backup you want to restore. iCloud maintains 3 kinds of backups for different times and you may choose another two backups to restore. Or if the old backup does not contain the data you need, you can try to delete the previous backup and make a new complete backup.

Solution 5. Free up Storage Space

If the message saying that “iTunes could not restore the iPhone because not enough space is available on the iPhone”, you may need to go to have a check your iPhone storage space.

It requires enough storage space to download the backup, otherwise, the backup will fail. You can delete old messages, photos, songs, apps and more to free up space. To check the available space, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Solution 6. Check the Internet Connection

The poor Internet connection can also cause the iPhone cannot restore from backup error. The restoration requires a stable Wi-Fi connection, therefore, please make sure the Wi-Fi connection is well.

Solution 7. Try Another Tool to Transfer Data to New iPhone

If you failed to restore backup to new iPhone, you can try another third-party to help you make it. AOMEI MBackupper, one free iPhone transfer tool, can help you directly transfer contacts, messages, photos, videos, and songs from old iPhone to new iPhone.

★ ★ ★ You can transfer all content in 1-click or only the selected items you really need. Besides, there is no need to reset your new iPhone if you have been using it for a while and it will not erase any existing data.

AOMEI MBackupper supports all iPhone models including the newest iPhone 12, iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 11, iPhone XS/XR/X. Get the tool and see how to transfer data to new iPhone.

Two steps the complete the transfer: ① Backup data on old iPhone > ② Restore the backup files to new iPhone.

Backup Data on Old iPhone

1. Launch AOMEI MBackupper and plug in your old iPhone > Enter the passcode on iPhone give the software access to your iPhone.

2. Click Custom Backup to select the data you want to backup.

Choose Backup File Type

You can click each icon to select the items you want to transfer.

Select Files

3. Choose the storage path > Click Start Backup.

Transfer Data to New iPhone

1. Unplug your old iPhone and connect your new iPhone > Click Back to go to the Backup Management interface.

Click Back

2. Click the Expand tab >> Advanced option to choose Restore.

Restore to Device

3. You can click the icon to preview the data that will be restored to your new iPhone > If everything is OK, click Start Restore to transfer them to your new iPhone.

Start Restore


That’s all for how to fix the iPhone cannot restore backup error. Does this passage solve your problem? If so, you could share it to help more people. Or if you have any other idea, just leave a comment to discuss with us.