Andrew Coles
Published by Andrew Coles,

Recovering your App data from the iTunes backups

At the iPhone Backup Extractor we often get requests for help regarding iPhone or iPad apps. If lost the apps themselves can be conveniently downloaded again from the iStore, because of this the questions tend to about the data the apps have been collecting and how to get it back to a user’s iPhone or iPad.

The iPBE application can extract app data from the iTunes backups very easily* and most app designers will be able to tell you what files are needed and where they can be found in the iTunes backup. Some top app makers can recompile downloads of their applications with data extracted by the iPBE software included. Not all iStore apps are that well supported, so can you do the process end-to-end yourself?

The answer is yes! Below we have listed two of our favourite apps as examples, these are to illustrate the process in general and therefore are applicable to most other apps also. The information and processes should useful if you need to supply an app company with app files from your iTunes backups. If you are unsure at all, please consult the maker of your app first as they be able to point you in the right direction. We recommend as a precaution, that you backup your data before replacing or coping any files to or from your iDevice or backup.

Some of the reasons why you may need to access your app data:

  • Purchase a new iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (iTouch)
  • Have iOS restore issues
  • An iOS failure causes you to have apply a factory reset
  • An iTunes process causes app or file corruption
  • Accidentally deletion of app data
  • Need to move app data from an iPhone to iPad or iPad to iPad2

*Backups with heavily corrupted manifest files maybe less likely to produce positive results.

How Extract Nike+ GPS user data from an iPhone backup

If your an avid runner you will no doubt have Nike’s great Nike Run+ app. The application works in conjunction with a Nike+ sensor to map runs and store your running statistics, so you can compete against yourself or track your training progress. It can take a bit of time to calibrate the app and sensor to your own personal running style, by once done its worth it.

Screen-shot of the Nike+ GPS

To access the correct files from your iTunes backup, open the iPhone Backup Extractor application and click on ‘Expert mode’, then follow the instructions below:

  • Navigate to the 'Applications' > '' folder
  • Click the box next to the folder, this will select all the files needed(lite version users, may need to extract files within this folder two at a time)
  • Select 'Extract selected' then click extract
  • You will then be present with a choice of where you want to save the files, a good place would be your Desktop
  • In whatever folder you choose there will be a ‘Documents’ > ‘Library’ > ‘’, set of folder created containing the require files.

There are many ways to get these files back on to your iPhones or iPads. If you have a ‘jailbroken’ iDevice this will be very easy, for those users that don't there are a few free applications that can help. We have found the iPhone Explorer to be the best free software that can perform computer to iPhone file transfer without ‘jailbraking’.

How Extract Angry birds data from an iPhone backup

The second app is the ever popular Angry Birds, as there are many versions of this we have taken the original as an example. These instructions are adaptable to any version if not most applications so don't worry if this is not your version, you’ll work it out.

Screen-shot of the Angry Birds application

It’s pretty simple really, all you need to do is find the Angry Bird’s ‘high-score.lua’ and ‘settings.lua’ files. To do this in the iPBE application do the following.

Enter ‘Expert’ mode then navigate to ‘Application’ > ‘com.clickgamer.AngryBirds’ > ‘Documents’

In this folder you will find the prized ‘highscore.lua’ and ‘settings.lua’ files. You will need both these ‘Golden Eggs’ to transfer your scores back to your iPhone via /private/var/mobile/Applications/(the Angry Birds folder)/Documents/. You can also share high-scores and settings between your iPhone and iPad so there is no need to start from the beginning ever again.

If you have any great app tips to share, please let us know here or leave your comments on this blog.

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