[Updated] Top Fixes to “iTunes Restore Backup Greyed Out”

iTunes restore backup greyed out for no reason? This guide will tell you why you’re unable to restore backup from iTunes and the solutions to fix this issue.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Unable to restore with iTunes

I created an iTunes backup today. And now I need to restore the iTunes backup to my iPhone 13, but I can't do it as the Restore iPhone button in iTunes greyed out. Is there any way to restore it?

- Question from Apple Community

Apple releases iTunes to help backup your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to your computer and restore the backup files to devices when necessary. After you know what does iTunes backup include, you can back up all iPhone data to iTunes just with a USB cable to connect your device to a computer. However, many people from different forums complained that their iTunes restore backup greyed out for no reason when they need the back files.

restore backup greyed out

Next, you can refer to the following content, we will explain why this problem arises, and provides 6 solutions to help you when you can't restore your iTunes backup.

Why is the restore backup option greyed out in iTunes?

Generally, there are 4 causes of the iTunes restore backup option not working.

? Unstable Connection - You have an invalid or loose connection between iPhone and computer, so the restoration can fail.
?  Process interrupted - Other process interrupts the restoration. iTunes program or your iPhone is in the process of an operation running background.
? Outdated software/system - The iOS and iTunes versions are outdated. Thus, some iTunes couldn't perform successfully.
Corrupted backup files -  You may change the backup files or the backup is not finished, so iTunes can't find a complete iTunes backup to restore. 

If you are encountering the same problem, go ahead reading this guide, this guide will introduce you to 6 methods to fix the problem.

Fixes to "iTunes restore backup greyed out" in Windows 11/10/8/7

When your iTunes restore iPhone option is not available, you can try the following solution to fix it. It is suggested to restore iTunes backup with the help of the third-party tool mentioned below to save time.  If you want to fix the issue without assist of other software, the other methods below are also nice tries for you.

Method 1. The quickest way to restore iTunes backup with FoneTool

FoneTool is not only a professional backup and transfer tool for iOS devices, but also a nice iTunes alternative for iPhone backup. When the restore iPhone backup is greyed out in iTunes, this tool can import an iTunes backup and then restore it to your iPhone/iPad successfully.

Now you can click the icon below to download FoneTool to your computer > Connect your iOS device that you'd like to restore iTunes backup to with the computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Tip: If you don't get a complete and valid iTunes backup files, you can choose the "Full Backup" option from "Phone Backup" to create a new full iPhone backup with FoneTool. 

Step 1. Open FoneTool > Click the Menu icon from the upper-right corner > Click Import Backup Files to choose your iTunes backup.

Generally speaking, your iTunes backup is located in C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync.

Import Full Backup

Step 4. After confirming your iTunes backup version > Click Restore from this page to continue > Finally, click Start Restore to begin the task.

Start Restore

It won't take you much time to wait for the restore process to finish. You may also have trouble managing and transferring music tracks using iTunes, let FoneTool transfer music to iPhone without iTunes no matter whether it is purchased or not.

Besides creating a full iPhone backup, the feature-rich FoneTool supports custom backup that only backup and restores photos, videos, messages, contacts, and so on. It earned its reputation among users with its various features and stability.

Method 2. Check the connection between iPhone and computer

It is a must to keep your device connected to the computer during the process of both backup and restore. An unstable connection can make iTunes restore from backup greyed out definitely. The solutions to this issue are pretty easy. You can try the following ways.
? Use an Apple-certified USB if you have a spare instead of others.
? Switch the USB plug to another port to check if there is something wrong with your computer’s USB port.
? Plug your device cable directly into your computer USB port, you’d better not use any USB hub or keyboard.

Method 3. Make sure the iPhone is recognized by iTunes

After guaranteeing a good connection between your device and the computer, if you still find iTunes restore backup not working, you can check whether iTunes fails to recognize the iPhone. If it does, you can’t see the iPhone icon. The steps to solve this issue are as follows.
▪ Restart the device and computer. Sometimes, simply switching off and on again can solve the problem. If it doesn’t work, try other ways.
▪ Make sure you tap “Trust” on your device as soon as you connect your device and the computer.

trust this computer

Method 4. Restart your iPhone

There could be some process like data syncing or other data transfer stopping the iTunes restoration. So you can restart your iPhone and check if the restore button is working.

Firstly you can disconnect the iPhone, and long-press the Wake/Sleep button to turn off your iPhone. And later, turn your device on. 

iPhone 8 or later: Press the volume+ button and then quickly release. Press the volume - button and then quickly release it. Press the power button for seconds.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the power button and volume - button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.
iPhone 6s or earlier models: Press both the power button and the Home button for seconds.

restart iphone

Method 5. Update iOS and the iTunes version

Make sure your iPhone and iTunes are updated to the latest version. And outdated software and system version can be the reasons for many issues and also, can lead to restore backup greyed out in iTunes. Follow the guide below.

Check the iTunes update: Click Help on the menu bar on Windows PC or click iTunes on Mac > Select Check for Updates to make it.

Itunes Check For Updates

Check iOS update: On your iPhone, go to the "Setting" app > Tap "General" > Tap "Software Update". Then it will check if there is any new iOS version availble. If there is, tap the "Download and Install" button.

Method 6. Perform an iTunes backup again

Sometimes, iTunes fails to recognize your backup files on your PC. Or the backup process is not finished. So iTunes can't restore complete backup files to your iPhone. So you can just create a full iPhone backup again with iTunes. If you are not satisfied with iTunes backup, you can also refer to Method 6, you can backup/restore your iPhone with iTunes alternative flexible and easily.

Other problems & solutions to “iPhone could not be restored” iTunes

iTunes is a traditional and old backup tool. It is always criticized because of many issues. You may also get an "iPhone could not be restored" prompt. This part concludes with some common problems and solutions to iPhone restore failure.

Problem 1. Your device is not compatible with the requested build

This is a problem many users will face when they try to restore backup from iTunes. You may get a message from the computer, like “The iPhone (device name) could not be restored. The device isn’t eligible for the requested build.” If it happens, you will be unable to restore iPhone backup from iTunes.

Itunes Isn't Eligible

In this case, you can also try to update the iOS version by following the above method 4 steps.

Problem 2. iTunes backup was corrupt or incompatible

This is another common problem for users when restoring backup from iTunes. When you connect your device with the computer, an error message pops up saying “iTunes could not restore the iPhone (device name) because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone that is being restored.”

Itunes Backup Corrupt Compatible

To fix this problem, you have to delete the corrupt files before creating a new backup in iTunes and restoring the device.
You can follow the simple steps to delete the corrupt files. From within iTunes navigate to the menu iTunes > Preference > Devices. Select the backup files, then hit the Delete button.

Itunes Delete Corrupt Files

If your problem has been solved after trying one of the methods above, I will say congratulations to you because some problems occurring for no reason still annoy other users. And if you are still unable to restore iPhone backup from iTunes, how about changing the way you restore and backup your iPhone?


That’s all about how to fix the “iTunes restore backup greyed out” issue. Hope your issue gets fixed after trying the solutions above. If you can’t stand the troubles caused by iTunes any longer, just download FoneTool, you can backup your iPhone easier and more flexibly. Give your comment or contact us if you have any questions, and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

FAQs about iTunes restore backup greyed out

Does the "iTunes Restore Backup" option being greyed out affect iCloud backups?

  • No, the "iTunes Restore Backup" option being greyed out does not affect iCloud backups. You can still restore your iPhone using an iCloud backup even if the "iTunes Restore Backup" option is greyed out.

Should I reset my iPhone if the "iTunes Restore Backup" option is greyed out?

  • Resetting your iPhone should be considered as a last resort if all other troubleshooting steps fail to resolve the issue. Before resetting your device, make sure you have exhausted all other options and have a backup of your data, as resetting will erase all content and settings on your iPhone.

Can I prevent the "iTunes Restore Backup" option from being greyed out in the future?

  • While some causes of the "iTunes Restore Backup" option being greyed out are beyond your control, you can minimize the chances of encountering this issue by keeping your iTunes/Finder software up-to-date, using a reliable USB cable and port, and regularly checking for and resolving any connectivity issues between your device and computer. Additionally, ensuring that your backups are complete and not corrupted can help prevent this issue from occurring.
Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.