An iPhone and iPad can be backed up to your iCloud account, and backed up to iTunes on your Mac (or PC). Most of the time, either one of those methods work just fine. Restoring an iPhone from iTunes is faster, but if your Mac is not available, or the backup was lost, the iCloud restore works well, too. All is good until it’s not. Here’s the problem I had and a solution.
All That Glitters
My wife’s iPhone started acting wonky a few months ago. Apps would open but freeze or hang. Some apps just didn’t work well at all. OK. Stuff happens. What to do? The last backup was a week earlier, so we decided to do another backup.
That backup to iTunes wouldn’t work. Then we tried to restore from the last backup. That wouldn’t work, either. A trip to Apple’s support community site indicated a few thousand other iPhone users have had similar problems.
The best way was to erase and restore but the restore just would not work. We shopped around the web for backup and restore utilities. The third one we tried is appropriately titled iPhone Data Recovery for Mac. It wasn’t cheap but we were desperate. This is the kind of utility you want when the iPhone won’t restore from a backup or cannot be backed up.
How it works is rather simple. Plug in your iPhone to your Mac. Open iPhone Data Recovery for Mac. Select a backup file from the list presented. Check the settings that apply to your situation. Grab a sandwich and something to drink.
Options abound for iPhone Data Recovery for Mac, and there are different backup modes. Recover files from the iPhone, recover data from an iTunes backup file, or recover iPhone data from iCloud.
It can restore files from an iTunes backup, or from an iCloud backup. Either the whole shebang or individual files for specific apps, including Contacts, Messages, Notes, Photos, or whatever. The utility also scans your iPhone to determine which files are missing and if those have been backed up, they can be restored.
In our case with my wife’s iPhone we had to erase the iPhone but still couldn’t get the backup to restore. iPhone Data Recovery for Mac did the trick, but took a few tries. When should you resort to using the app? When all else fails.
That means whenever you cannot get the iPhone to work, either after an iOS update that went bad, or a jailbreak that broke, or the worst case, when iTunes cannot recognize the iPhone and restore from a backup. Frankly, I’m surprised that so many people have a similar problem and why Apple does not provide an easier solution.
Now, few words about the iPhone Data Recovery for Mac app. It’s not cheap. Oddly enough, the Windows version is less expensive. The app is published by Tenorshare, and it has an odd resemblance to another company with a similar app, Wondershare. Coincidence? You won’t find the iPhone Data Recovery for Mac app on the Mac App Store, and it’s not even listed on MacUpdate, though others with similar functionality are available.
Other than price, I can’t say anything bad about iPhone Data Recovery for Mac. It worked for us but took a few tries, and since then my wife’s iPhone has performed flawlessly. The app isn’t something you’ll use often, but when you need it, you need it.