Factory Reset Your iPhone, But Keep Your Data

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Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iPhone | View Comments

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to somehow factory reset your iPhone, but keep your data?

Note: If you have a backup that iTunes reports as corrupted when trying to restore, our program Decipher Backup Repair will help fix your backup so you can restore in iTunes. This article is aimed at people being directed not to restore your iPhone after a factory restore due to a glitch that is saved into the backup.

Back in September of 2014, I originally wrote this post:

As how all Decipher Tools product development starts, I've been doing some tinkering, and I've been talking to some iPhone users. This time, I've been looking at typical iPhone complaints like "my battery drains too quickly" and "my phone is too slow."

The usual proposed solution to battery and glitch problems on a computer is to "reformat" (aka, erase everything and reinstall from scratch.) For iOS users, this means doing a factory reset (also called factory restore, because you're going back to factory installation.) But, it's a pain in the neck to lose all of your app data, camera photos, recordings, text messages, contacts, etc.

We have tools already to view and save all of this data on your computer, but sometimes, you just want to keep it on your iPhone (or iPad, or iPod touch, or the soon-to-be Apple Watch.) Wouldn't it be nice to be able to somehow factory reset your iPhone, but keep all of your data? This is exactly what I'm thinking about for a new tool which I'm going to call "Decipher Phone Refresh" right now. Decipher Phone Refresh would create a backup of your iPhone only containing the saved app data, texts, photos, etc and not have all of the settings-file baggage that causes problems.

I'm happy now to update this post and announce that we've beta-tested and released Decipher Phone Refresh!

Decipher Phone Refresh will help you filter a backup, creating a new backup that you can restore in iTunes. You can select what from the original iPhone backup you want to keep, like text messages, accessibility settings, health and activity fitness data, and specific app data (among a constantly-growing list of more options) and get rid of the rest, including old garbage app data, cruft of old settings, and whatever buggy nonsense is causing problems on your iPhone.

You can download Decipher Phone Refresh and give it a try. The free version will allow you to create a filtered backup with just your Health, Activity, and Apple Watch data, or you can pay to register the program to unlock the other options to add to the smaller streamlined backup.