2 Ways to Selectively Restore iPhone without iTunes (iOS 12 Included)

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Losing data is a common occurrence for iPhone users. It can happen for a lot of different reasons. You could forget your password, or lose data following an iOS upgrade to the newest iOS 12 or a jailbreak. Having an iTunes backup of the device is a great security blanket, allowing you to restore the device to that backup.

The problem is, restoring the device can lead to loss of data that was not included in the backup because you have to restore the iPhone to factory settings. Also, you are unable to see what is in the backup file and as such cannot selectively restore data.

In this article, we are going to look at two alternative ways you can restore an iPhone without iTunes.

2 Ways to Restore iPhone without iTunes

Note

Both of the three ways work for the latest iOS 12.

Method 1: Restore iPhone from iCloud Backup

Restoring via iCloud is not as straightforward as backing up. You will need to reset the entire device to restore the iCloud Backup. Here's how to do it.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. Enter lock-screen passcode and hit "Erase iPhone," and enter your iCloud password to finish the process.
  3. Connect to Wi-Fi, tap on Restore from iCloud Backup in Apps & Data, and enter Apple ID and password to continue.
  4. Select the most-recently iCloud backup to restore and it will need several minutes.
  5. After finish restoration, you need to enter your iCloud information to update your settings.

restore iphone from icloud backup

And just like that you will have all the data in your iCloud backup back on your iPhone. But just like with an iTunes restore, you can't selectively restore the data. Our second solution will help you more effectively if you want to partially restore the data.

Method 2: Backup and Restore iPhone without iTunes

The 1st method is used widely. But not all users will choose that way to restore with iCloud, for example, users who forgot the iCloud account or who are unwilling to restore the full backup. In this case, you may need to rely on some tools. What we recommend is iMyFone iTransor, a backup and restore tool, which can help users restore a full backup or restore a partial backup of your device without iTunes and iCloud. Before restoring, you have to make a full backup or partial backup with this program. The steps below will guide on how to backup and restore a partial backup.

Note

iMyFone products have been recognized and highly recommended by many popular media sites, such as  Cult of Mac, and Makeuseof, etc. Free trial version and 30-day money back guarantee is available for users.

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Steps to Back up and Restore Individual Data to iPhone:

Step 1. Download and run iTransor, choose "Acquire Backup from Device & iCloud" mode.

Step 2. Click on "Back Up Device" and connect device to computer.

back up iphone without itunes

Step 3. Choose back up messages and click on Back Up button and the program will start to back up the selected data.

back up messages

Step 4. After that, click "Restore Message Backup to iOS Device".

restore backup to iphone

Step 5: When you select "Restore Message Backup to iOS Device", you'll go to "Restore Backup to Device" mode as below.

restore backup to iphone

Step 6. Choose the Message backup that you created with iTranso. Click Next and tap on Preview & Restore or Directly Restore button.

preview the backup

Step 7. Preview the backup and click on Restore to restore the data that you selected to your phone.

restore backup to iphone

Steps to Back up and Restore the Full Backup to iPhone:

Step 1. Launch this tool and select 'Acquire Backup from Device & iCloud' option from your left side in the screen, click 'Back Up Device' and choose 'Make a full backup' tab in the right panel.

make a full backup

Step 2. Here you have to click on the 'Back Up' button to trigger the backup process. After the backup process, select 'Restore Backup to iOS Device' and you'll go to the 'Restore Backup to Device' Mode.

click backup button

Step 4. On the 'Restore Backup to device' mode, choose the backup that you made with this program just now.

select a backup to restore

Step 5. Connect your iPhone to computer and select 'Restore Full Backup'.

restore full backup

Step 6. Click on Preview & Restore or Directly Restore to continue. Choosing Preview & Restore will offer a chance to scan and preview the data before restore.

preview all data

Step 7. Finally, click Restore and select Merge & Replace or Fully Replace to begin the restore process. It will take for a while to restore the full backup to your device. After that process, you'll be able to browse the restored data on your iOS device.

preview all data

Method 3. Recover Deleted Data on iPhone without iTunes

If you didn't back up your precious photos and other data on your iPhone into iTunes and want to recover lost or deleted data on iPhone, now you have to use iMyFone D-Back. The program is a powerful data recovery tool which helps you restore iPhone XS/XR/XS Max/X/8 (Plus)/7 (Plus)/SE/6s (Plus)/6 (Plus). etc. without iTunes and recover lost files from different circumstances under which you lost the files.

iMyFone D-Back iPhone Data Reccovery

  • Supports 22+ file formats such as photos, text messages, notes, voice memos, contacts, WhatsApp messages, Viber messages, etc.
  • Supports recovering deleted data from iOS device.
  • Supports view and extract data from iTunes backup and iCloud backup.
  • Allows you to preview all the extractable data, saving time and enabling selective data exporter.
  • Support almost all the models of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and the latest iOS 12.

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1. Recover from iOS Device

Step 1: Create a connection between iPhone and computer

Launch iMyFone D-Back and from "Recover from iOS Device" tab click "Start" button. Pick the files type that you want to recover. You can select multiple file types. Authorize a connection between your iPhone and computer. The software will detect it automatically. Once done, click the "Scan" button to search for the lost files.

restore iphone data without backup

Step 2: Restore 22+ file types from iPhone

After scanning, iMyFone D-Back will display all the recoverable files. You can check the needed tab to preview or select "Only show the deleted files". Choose the ones that you need and click "Recover" button. A small window opens up asking you to choose a folder to store the recovered files. And wait until the recovery process completes.

restore iphone software without itunes

2. Recover from iCloud Backup

Step 1: Choose "Restore from iCloud backup"

Launch iMyFone D-Back and select "Recover from iCloud Backup" tab. Choose the file type that you wish to retrieve. Log in your iCloud account details to allow iMyFone D-Back to find the available backup files. Once done, select the backup file and click the "Next" button. The software requires a few minutes to download the backup files.

choose icloud backup

Step 2: Preview and restore files from iCloud

After the scan is complete, you can see the available files displayed in the interface. Preview the files and select the ones that you want to recover. Click the "Recover" button. And choose a place on your PC to store the recoverable files. Wait until the software completes the process.

restore iphone without itunes

Compare Restoring iPhone Using iMyFone D-Back and iTunes

Restore Method
Pro
Cons
iMyFone D-Back
  • Allows users to see all the files in the backup before recovery.
  • Don't need to reset the device to factory settings before restore.
  • You can choose to restore all the files or just some of them.
  • It is compatible with all models of iOS devices running on iOS 12/11/10/9/8/7.
  • It's a paid software.
iTunes Restore
  • Not likely to fail at data recovery.
  • Apple's recommended so all backed up data will be restored.
  • You have to reset the device which could lead to recent data loss.
  • You can't view the files on that backup file and hence can't selectively recover data.

Method 4. Recover Deleted Data on iPhone without iTunes

So you can see, even you don't have iTunes backup for your iPhone photos and other data, you can restore your precious data. And the program of iMyFone D-Back offers the free trial version for users to confirm whether their data in iCloud backup can be detected. Why not download and use it to restore your iPhone data without iTunes now?

  • Sarah J

    I have recently purchased an iPhone 4S, but the former owner doesn’t remember his email ID nor password. The phone needs activation to start. Is there a way to bypass the iTunes ID verification section?

    • Hello Jake,

      What’s the iOS version of your iPhone 4S? If it’s prior to iOS 7, you can enter into DFU mode, restore your device and delete all the content without entering verification info. But A new security part of iOS 7 now requires the original owners Apple ID and password to clear the device. You may still need to contact the former owner and let he/she helps you finish verification section. Wish you had a good luck!