We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Click here to learn more. Got it

What Does Restore iPhone Mean? How to Restore iPhone

DoubtUser Concern

“What does restore iPhone mean? Connected my iPhone to iTunes for iOS 14 update and it said an error occured...now it’s saying I need to restore iPhone...what does that mean? Am I going to lose all data?”

If you own an iPhone, then you’ve probably come across the term “Restore” quite a bit. Connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes or Finder, then you will see an option to “Restore iPhone”. And there are many articles or videos describing this as one of the most common ways to fix various iOS related issues with iPhone or iPad. But what exactly does it mean to restore an iPhone and how to do it?

Well, in this article, we will discuss what an iPhone restore is and how to restore an iPhone easily and effectively.

Part 1. What Does It Mean to Restore Your iPhone

What does restore iPhone mean? Restoring an iPhone essentially means restoring the device to its factory settings which usually involves wiping all the data and settings on the device. If you iPhone is malfunction, you can perform a restore on the device to reinstall the operating system and return the device to its original state. We need to reiterate here that you will lost all the existing data and files on your iPhone by restoring it. This is something that you don’t want to do unless you have a backup of all the data on the device beforehand.

Therefore, the general rule of thumb when restoring an iPhone is to ensure that you backup the data on the device before performing the restore.

Part 2. How to Restore iPhone (4 Ways)

There are four different ways to restore an iPhone. Here’s a detailed description of each method:

2.1 How to Restore iPhone to Factory Settings

The first method is to restore the device to its factory settings in iTunes. It will erase all the data and settings on your iPhone and restore it to the factory settings. Follow these simple steps to do it:

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer and connect the iPhone to the computer. If a message pops up asking you to enter the device’s passcode or “Trust this Computer”, follow the onscreen instructions to continue.

  2. Select the device in the “Summary” tab when it appears.

  3. Click on “Restore” and iTunes will erase the device of all its data and settings before installing the latest version of iOS on the device.

  4. When the restore process is complete, the device will restart and you can set it up as a new device.

2.2 How to Restore iPhone from an iTunes Backup

You can also restore an iPhone from a previously created iTunes backup. However, the contents in the backup will replace all the current data on your device. Follow these simple steps to do it:

  1. Connect the iPhone to the PC or Mac and open iTunes. When prompted to enter the passcode or “Trust this Computer”, follow the instructions to do it.

  2. In the “Summary” panel, click on “Restore Backup”. This will open a popup window with all the backup created on the computer. Select the most relevant one.

  3. Click “Restore” to confirm and iTunes will restore all the data and settings in that backup file to your device. Keep the device connected until the process is complete and the device reboots. Once the device restarts, allow it to sync with iTunes before disconnecting it.

This process may not work if you have enabled Find My iPhone. Disable this feature in the device’s settings before attempting to restore an iTunes backup.

2.3 How to Restore iPhone from an iCloud Backup

You can also restore an iPhone from an iCloud backup. Similar to iTunes, restoring from iCloud backup will also case data replacing and settings change. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. On your device, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings. This will remove all data and settings from the device and take you back to the setup screen.

  2. Follow the on-screen settings to setup the device and when you get to the “App and Data” screen, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup”.

  3. Log in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password and select the most relevant backup. If you don’t remember the password, tap “Skip this Step”.

  4. iCloud will restore the device to the selected backup. Ensure the device remains connected to a stable Wi-Fi network until the process is complete.

2.4 How to Restore iPhone without Data Loss

All the three methods described above will wipe all the existing data on your iPhone. Even you have a backup, anything that is not included in the backup will be lost for good. Is there a way to restore an iPhone and fix iOS related problems without losing any data. The answer is YES. You can rely on third-party tools like FoneGeek iOS System Recovery to do that. This software can help you fix various iOS issues without performing a full restore. Here’s how to restore an iPhone without data loss:


Step 1: Download and install FoneGeek iOS System Recovery on to your computer. Run the program and click on "Standard Mode" in the main window. Then connect your iPhone using a lightning cable and click "Next".

choose repair mode

Step 2: When your device is detected by the program, you will see all matching firmware versions provided for the device. Just choose your preferred one and click on "Download" to begin download the firmware package.

download firmware

Step 3: Once the download is complete, click on "Fix Now" and the program will immediately begin restoring the device. Keep the device connected until the program notifies you that the process is finished.

fix now

Part 3. Different Between Reset iPhone and Restore iPhone

So, you may also be wondering how resetting an iPhone differs from restoring an iPhone. Despite these two terms used interchangeably, they refer to vastly different processes.

What is a Reset?

Resetting your iPhone is a lighter form of formatting the device and bring it back to factory settings. A reset can be done from directly the device’s Settings app and will not cause any data loss. It is also worth pointing out that you can reset various aspects of the device such as the settings, network, keyboard dictionary, location and privacy settings if they are not functioning correctly.

What is a Restore?

In sharp contrast, a restore means factory resetting the iPhone and erasing all the data and settings in the device. When perform a restore on your iPhone, you will lose all the photos, music, videos, apps and other files as well as all your preferred settings. Restore is really helpful when there is a software problem with your iPhone. However, it is not recommended to do that when the device is working fine.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

homeHome>iPhone Tips>What Does Restore iPhone Mean? How to Restore iPhone
Appoword by

Copyright © 2022 FoneGeek Software Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved