How to recover lost files from iTunes backups - iPhone Backup Extractor
iTunes backup recovery menu icon

How to restore iPhone from iTunes backup

Learn how to find, preview and download files from iTunes backups, including encrypted backups. This is your complete guide to recovering old or lost files from iTunes backups created for your mobile Apple devices, on iOS 11, iOS 10 up to iOS 7 and lower.

Use iPhone Backup Extractor for all your iTunes backup recovery needs

Find lost iTunes files

  • Find files in older iTunes backup
  • Easily preview & save individual files

Encrypted backups support

  • If encrypted, only you can access your backup files
  • We do not store any of your data

Easy to use

  • Edit backup files manually
  • Option to export in various file formats

What can be restored from your iTunes backup

iMessages iOSiMessages
Videos iOSVideos
Photos iOSPhotos
Call logs iOSCall logs
Contacts iOSContacts
Notes iOSNotes
Calendar iOSCalendar
WhatsApp iOSWhatsApp
App Data iOSApp Data
Everything else iOSEverything else
Before you get started, make sure you have a recent iTunes backup file downloaded on your computer or a local drive. If you don't, connect your iPhone to your computer and create a full iTunes backup. Not sure how to do it? Here’s the official Apple guide to creating iTunes backups.

Be extra careful when creating a new iTunes backup. It usually takes a little while, and you may be tempted to unplug your iPhone by mistake. Always set aside up to 20 minutes to go through the entire process, and wait patiently - without disconnecting your device - to get the “Successful backup” notification.

Even with older backups available, if they were not created properly - you can run into problems such as “corrupt backup”. Patience always pays off!

You will need

Mac and WinA computer (Mac or Win)
An iTunes backupAn iTunes backup
iPhone Backup Extractor LiteiPhone Backup Extractor Lite

How to restore deleted data from iTunes backups

1. Download and install iPhone Backup Extractor

  • Download and install the latest version of iPhone Backup Extractor. If you’re a new user, you will be downloading our free (Lite) plan, which you can use to browse and recover 4 random files from each data category.
  • To unlock full iTunes backup support, you can upgrade to the Basic plan. iPhone Backup Extractor Basic supports encrypted backups as well, but you need to remember the password used when you created the backup.
  • When you run iPhone Backup Extractor the first time, it should detect and iTunes backup automatically, otherwise, you have the option of adding one manually with the "+" button in the left menu.

2. Select the iTunes backup file

Click on your iTunes backup list to reveal all backups made over time.

Select one you want to recover files from. In the main window there are several tabs, each helping you navigate through available data categories and files in your backup. In this window you can recover files one by one, by app type, by data category or the entire iTunes backup.

3. Preview and restore data

You have multiple options to preview your iTunes files: "Overview" mode (the default one, available for a few categories), “Preview” mode (for messages you want to preview before), “App view” (for apps data recovery) and “Expert mode” (very useful in forensics).

Select the files you need to restore, click on "Download" and choose a place for data extraction. Your files are restored instantly on your computer.

How to restore iPhone from iTunes backup1. iPhone Backup Extractor in Overview mode
Recover iPhone data from iTunes backup 2. iPhone Backup Extractor in Preview mode
Retrieve iPhone data from iTunes backup3. iPhone Backup Extractor in App view mode
Guide: Retrieve iPhone data from iTunes backup 4. iPhone Backup Extractor in Expert mode
Tutorial: Get back iPhone data from iTunes backup 5. Choose how you need to restore data
Guide: Restore iPhone data from iTunes backup6. Successful data extraction

NOTE: For some files (deleted contacts, notes etc), a full recovery may not be possible. Use an older iTunes backup instead, created before files got deleted. Don't overwrite any older backup if you need to restore deleted data from the aforementioned mentioned categories.

Supported iOS versions, backups and devices

iPhone Backup Extractor is fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and any macOS version from 10.7 and above. See below:

Devices Compatible with all iOS devices iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, 5C, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iOS It works with all iOSes iOS 11, iOS 10, iOS 9, iOS 8, iOS 7 and lower
Backups Full support for all backups Corrupted backup, iCloud backup, 2FA iCloud backup, Encrypted backup

Data privacy and security With more than 8 years of experience, Reincubate adheres fully to the strictest data privacy laws. Your iCloud credentials are not stored in any way on any third party server or on our servers. The connections are encrypted and secured.

iPhone Backup Extractor is clean of adware, viruses or spyware.
iCloud and iTunes support No viruses Compatible with all iOS devices

Ready to test it with your iPhone?

See what iPhone Backup Extractor can do for you.

30 day money back guarantee Support for iOS 11, iOS 10, iPhone 7 and every iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Why trust us?

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

Here’s a photo of our founder Aidan (the tall guy) meeting Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, after Reincubate was awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work since 2008 on developing this technology. We invented the iPhone Backup Extractor, the first tool on the market for iOS data recovery. We’re on a mission to help people make the most of their data in an ethical, transparent way. You can read more about Reincubate, our values, and our position on privacy and data security.

Can we improve this guide and help others recover more of their data, or have we helped you with your recovery? We’ve been doing this for 10 years but there’s always room to improve, and we love hearing how people get on. Why not drop us an email at the address below, or tweet us @reincubate?

For personal users

For businesses and pro users

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iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

Customer support

Preview iCloud device list



iCloud and iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

Customer support

5 iCloud devices


This is iPhone Backup Extractor, think of it as a "personal forensics" utility. It's pretty awesome.

Jonathan Zdziarski

Forensics and iOS expert

For business and pro users


25 iCloud devices

High priority customer support

Commercial license

All benefits of our premium plan

Demo our APIs for enterprise

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