Selective Restore from an iPhone Backup

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Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iPhone | View Comments

Decipher Phone Refresh screen to choose your data for a selective restore of an iPhone backup.

After making our backup repair tool, we started getting requests for a tool to selectively restore an iPhone backup. A selective iPhone backup means you get to pick the data to backup and restore to your iPhone (or iPad or iPod Touch), rather than the usual iPhone backup/restore behavior, which restores the entire contents of the backup, including old settings, app data, and other garbage you may not want anymore. A selective restore can be helpful if you're running low on iPhone disk space, or if you want that fresh iPhone feeling without losing important data. :)

We've created software to help you do a selective restore to an iPhone called Decipher Phone Refresh. Decipher Phone Refresh allows you to take your normal iPhone backup, and create a "filtered" version of that backup, which you can restore like you normally would using iTunes. Here's how it works:

  1. Make a backup of your iPhone using iTunes

  2. Download Decipher Phone Refresh and install it on your computer.

  3. Run Decipher Phone Refresh, and select your iPhone backup within the program.

  4. Select the kinds of data you want to restore to your iPhone using the check-boxes in the program. Expand the list of apps to select only some apps or check “All Apps” to quickly keep all of your third-party apps and data. (Health/Activity/Apple Watch data work with the free trial of Decipher Phone Refresh; other options require purchasing a license code.)

  5. Press “Clean It!”, and proceed through the Decipher Phone Refresh screens until you're told it's “Time to Restore!”

  6. Restore your new selective iPhone backup as you normally would using iTunes. Note that just like restoring any backup, this restore will replace the data on your iPhone with the contents of the selective backup.

Don't see the option for the data you want to keep? Let us know by sending an email via our support page.

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  • NeilNoseworthy

    NeilNoseworthy January 1, 2018

    In steps 1 - 6 you seem to miss the part where you pay for the tool (like right between Step 2 and 3). If you want to charge for your hard work that's completely fair, but an edit to your instructions would take less people by surprise.

  • Terry Hunter December 12, 2017

    I've been told that this type of software will not be able to get into the iPhone backup and allow one to be selective in doing a selective restore.

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW December 12, 2017

      I'm not exactly sure what your question is Terry, but I'll try my best to address your concerns. There is no "selective restore" in iOS unfortunately, so if you're wanting to restore some data using a backup but not ERASE existing data on the iPhone, you're correct, that isn't possible with Decipher Phone Refresh. More on that here: but the short version is that you're still restoring a backup :) and restoring a backup replaces the content on the iPhone now.

      Is that what you're asking about?

      If you're wanting to take a blank iPhone and restore only some things to it, that is what Decipher Phone Refresh is for!

      • Terry Hunter

        Terry Hunter December 12, 2017

        Kelly, that is what I'm wanting to do. I have a really old iTunes account tied to my phone that I can't get rid of other than erasing the phone. So I'm wanting to see if there's a way to only restore my contacts, music, messages .. etc... to keep from restoring back onto the phone the old iTunes account that causes my phone and me headaches. Thanks.

  • Rodrigo Cuevas

    Rodrigo Cuevas November 11, 2017

    Hey can i download a backup from iCloud?

  • Christopher Hyde

    Christopher Hyde January 1, 2017

    This is a sham. It costs $30 to use the tool.

    • Decipher Tools Software

      Decipher Tools Software January 1, 2017

      The free trial will allow you to filter for Health/Activity/Apple Watch data but other data will require a license code, as the article mentions. Sorry if you don't want to pay for our software!

  • George Mavrikios

    George Mavrikios July 7, 2016

    Thanks for posting about this on a "question forum". Will try it right away!