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How to recover your files after a failed iOS 10 update

Catalin Nichita

by Catalin Nichita

The new iOS 10 comes with an impressive set of features and improvements. The wait is over, and you’re ready to get your iPhone up to speed with the new version. But did you make sure your data is safe before upgrading to the new iOS 10?

One of the most common causes for iPhone data loss is a failed iOS update. Can it be avoided? Certainly. Here’s an easy guide to backing-up your devices safely, and running the upgrade risk-free.

Failed iOS 10 update

Make sure your data is safe

Before starting any iOS 10 update make sure your iPhone or iPad data is saved. You have two options: an iTunes or an iCloud backup.

Save your files in a safe place if you make iTunes backups. Make an iTunes backup and a copy of it which you can store on Dropbox or on a different computer, as a plan B. If you don’t know where the iTunes files are located on your computer, check this article.

Once you make a new iCloud backup, deactivate iCloud automatic backups after the backup is performed. This will stop unwanted backup generated after you update. It’s an important step - your initial iCloud backup could be overwritten by an incomplete one, after a failed iOS 10 upgrade.

To deactivate automatic iCloud backups, go to Settings > iCloud and click on Backup. You’ll find a switch button. Turn it off and confirm.

How to perform a safe iOS 10 update

Once you’ve performed a backup of your data, you’re ready to perform a safe iOS 10 upgrade.

The updating procedure is simple. At the time the article was published, the iOS 10 was in Beta version. Some users report that they had some stability problems with this version so if you’re in this situation maybe it is best to wait until the official version is released, on 7th of September.

You have two options to update your iPhone or iPad to the latest iOS 10, from iCloud or using iTunes.

If you use iCloud or over the air updates, here’s what to do. From the Settings menu go to General then select Software update. You’ll see an option called "Download and install". Click on it to initiate the iOS 10 updating procedure. If you have restrictions PIN active on the phone, you’ll be asked to introduce it.

If you decide to use the iTunes method, you should install the latest version of iTunes. Then connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and select your iDevice. On "Summary", select Check for update then choose Download and update. Wait until the upgrading procedure is finished. Don’t disconnect your iPhone before the iOS 10 update is finished.

Common reasons for a failed iOS 10 update and fixes

An iOS upgrade could fail for a lot of reasons. These are the most common ones and the fixes which should be used to make sure the next update will be a successful one:

  1. A network error. If you use the iCloud method, this is the most common reason for a failed iOS update. You will receive a message telling you that "an error occurred downloading iOS 10". If you tried to restart the iPhone or you disabled and reactivated the WiFi and you can’t make it work you still have a solution: reset your wireless connection. Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset Network Settings. Check your WiFi connection after resetting.
  2. You need more free space on the iPhone. The default message for this error is: "Insufficient Space For Download". Sometimes, the reason for a failed iOS upgrade is the amount of free space available on the phone. To solve this problem, make an iTunes or iCloud backup then delete some files. If you have the backups, you can get your files back anytime, after the update.
  3. Insufficient space for download
  4. A power failure or a disconnected cable. This is an unpleasant problem, more difficult to be fixed. You have to check if the iPhone is still working or not. The best solution is to connect it to your computer, then initiate an iTunes restore. After the restoration is complete, you can try once again to update your iPhone to iOS 10.

How to retrieve your data if the iOS 10 upgrade failed

Sometimes instead of updating to iOS 10, you’re stuck with a failed update or with an older version and a corrupt backup. Even if an update goes wrong, you can still get data back as long as you use the iPhone Backup Extractor.

You have two options to recover your files after a failed iOS 10 update.

If you need to get your lost files from an iTunes or an iCloud backup, follow these steps:

  1. Download, install and open the latest version of the iPhone Backup Extractor for Mac or Windows.
  2. On the left side you’ll see a list with your most recent iTunes backup. If you want to recover the files from an iCloud backup, click on the big green plus button, select the iCloud tab then add your credentials. Notice that you'll need a subscription plan, available here, for iCloud support.
  3. iCloud sign-in
  4. From the right menu, select the iCloud backup file then go on "Full download" and download the entire backup on your computer. Once downloaded, the procedure for the data extraction is the same for iTunes and iCloud as well.
  5. Download iCloud backup
  6. Select the backup you need to extract data from it and choose the category you need to recover. Depending on what you need to retrieve, you can use "Overview" (for most used categories), "Preview mode" (for various messages and pictures) or "App view" (for app data).
  7. Check the category, the app or messages you need to recover, then click on "Extract". You’ll be asked to pick a location when you want to save your data. Once confirmed, your lost data is saved in a matter of seconds on your computer.
  8. Extract data failed iOS 10 backup

No matter what data you need to recover after a failed iOS 10 update, you can retrieve all your lost files, directly on your computer, in just a few minutes.

Did you successfully upgrade your iPhone or iPad to the latest iOS 10? If you need additional guidance or you simply want to discuss with us, our support team is always ready to provide you with a helping hand.

Catalin Nichita

by Catalin Nichita on , last updated

We've helped over 3,000,000 people recover their lost iPhone data. Let us help you too.

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