This article was updated in June 2016
Transfer iOS data from iPhone 5 to iPhone 6
Have you ever wondered how to restore messages, WhatsApp chats, notes or any other data from your old iPhone 5 to your glossy new iPhone 6 or any other iOS device? Or maybe you have a corrupt backup and you need to recover and restore parts of your data. No worries! We've got you covered. You can restore most of your data back, as long as you have an iTunes backup to extract data from.
In this article we will guide you through all the steps you need to take to bring back your iOS data. If you are interested only in recovering and extracting your lost iOS data, check our previous post.
This procedure is far from being simple and can be overwhelming if you are not very technical (in which case our iOS experts might help you out). We recommend you read it through at first and get started if you are confident you can finish it and it's not too challenging.
Note: This method works for both encrypted and unencrypted iTunes backups.
- Backup #1 or Database #1, where you store the data you want it back (an iPhone 5, for example) to your new iPhone 6 (or any other device)
- Backup #2 (We recommend you get one created now) of your most recent data on that new iPhone 6 (or any device you wish to restore to), keeping in mind you need a track of the type of data you initially want to get restored. Like if you want to get your WhatsApp chats from backup or database #1 to backup #2, the backup #2 needs to have stored WhatsApp app data included in the backup.
Note: You need both your iTunes backup and your iDevice to run the same iOS version.
You might be asking, why not restore the whole backup? There are two major reasons why restoring the whole backup with iTunes usually is not recommended or doesn't work:
- Your backup is corrupted and iTunes fails to restore.
- You might end up losing more data by restoring the whole backup, simply because the restore will bring back the data up to the moment of your backup. And if you have recent data that wasn't backed up, that will get lost, and you probably don't want that.
Backup your iPhone or iPad
Before you start, make sure you backup your iPhone data with iTunes and create a safe copy of the backup containing all your data.
To backup your data with iTunes follow these steps:
- Open iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac using your thunderbird cable.
- Click on your iPhone's icon and then choose to back up on 'this computer'. When prompted if you want to backup your applications, make sure you choose "Yes".
- Create the safe backup copy, in case something wrong happens. I usually call my safe backup copy as 'my precious', and never touch it, unless I really have to. :)
iTunes tends to overwrite backups and you might be also altering the backup with this procedure, so it's better to protect everything by creating a safe copy. You can find your iTunes backups in the default backup folder or by clicking on 'default folder', on the iPhone Backup Extractor application. If you have saved your backup in a different place on your computer you can simply browse to load it by using 'Select another backup folder'.
Replace databases and restore your iOS data
Assuming you have already gone through the first step and you've created a safe copy of your new device backup, you can now start the challenging part.
Locate the databases holding your data, from your recently created backup (backup #2) and replace it with the databases from the backup #1 you were looking to restore.
Depending on the databases you need to retrieve, you’ll find the necessary files by using this article.
You will later have to restore this replaced database backup with iTunes.
How to restore SMS messages on iPhone
- Open the iPhone Backup Extractor and select the Expert Mode tab. In the left window, choose the backup from where you want to extract the data. Go to Home Domain > Library > SMS > sms.db, select the sms.db file and extract it on your computer.
- In iPhone Backup Extractor select the backup where you need to move your messages (the backup #2) from the left window.
- Now go to the 'Expert Mode' tab and browse through Home Domain > Library > SMS > sms.db. Right click on sms.db and choose 'Replace'. Choose the SMS database (sms.db file) you have saved at step 1 from backup or database #1.
- Restore your backup (the one where you just replaced the sms database) with iTunes. Connect your iPhone with the USB cable and open iTunes. Ensure you have this backup (say backup #3) in the default iTunes location so that iTunes picks the backup automatically. Also make sure you restore the backup where you replaced the database and not backup #1 or backup #2. If you get corruption messages, contact our experts.
Click on "Restore from backup", and choose to restore the most recent backup. Once completed, your SMS messages from the first backup will be restored on your iPhone
How to restore WhatsApp messages on iPhone
Note: If you want to recover your WhatsApp messages from your iPhone, this tutorial is what you need.
In case you need to move your WhatsApp chats from a device to another, these are the steps to follow:
- Open your backup #1 folder (the one with your WhatsApp messages) and search for the file: 1b6b187a1b60b9ae8b720c79e2c67f472bab09c0. Copy and paste this file on your desktop, so you can easily find it for the next step. This is the iOS WhatsApp database.
- Open your most recent backup #2 folder and replace the existing WhatsApp database with the one you've just copied on your desktop.
- Restore your latest backup with iTunes, following the same steps as we did for SMS.
How to restore notes and call history to iPhone
To restore all your notes or call history follow the same steps as for restoring messages. However, instead of replacing the sms.db file, you will have to replace the notes.sqlite and callhistory.db files.
To find the notes and call history databases, open the iPhone Backup Extractor, go to Expert Mode:
- Notes: Home Domain > Library > Notes > notes.sqlite
- Call history: Home Domain > Library > CallHistory > com.appla.callhistory.databaseInfo.plist
Use the iPhone Backup Extractor in “Expert Mode” to replace your backup #1 database in the backup #2 and then simply restore your replaced backup with iTunes.
If you experience any troubles along the way, we can gladly assist you restoring your iOS data. Please leave your comments below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.