I recently had my iPhone replaced due to a sticky power button but had a few problems when restoring from my iCloud backup. I managed to solve them all so I thought it might help a few others if I described my findings here.
No Backups Available
The first problem had an easy but not obvious fix. The first thing I did after turning on the new iPhone was to try to restore from my iCloud backup by selecting the option in the iPhone set up process.
But instead of showing me the backup I made from my old iPhone an hour earlier before heading to the Apple Store, it said ‘No backups available’.
This was caused by the fact that the backup was made from an iPhone running iOS 5.1 and the new iPhone was only on 5.0.1. All I had to do was choose ‘Set Up as New iPhone’ and use iTunes to update and restore and start the set up process again. Now that the iOS versions of the iPhone and backup matched, my backup appeared.
The second problem was a little more fiddly, and I still don’t really understand what the problem is. However, I did manage to find a solution.
Once the restore of my iCloud backup was complete, I got the following alert:
Restore Incomplete – Some items could not be downloaded from the Store. If they are on your computer, you can restore them by syncing with iTunes.
The result was that my apps would start downloading and as soon as the progress bar filled, the app icons would flash white and the app would disappear. The process continued with almost all of my apps. In the end only about half of my apps were restored – the rest appeared to be deleted.
Apple’s explanation for the alert:
Some data was not restored, for instance, apps that were removed from the App Store for legal reasons. Wait a few minutes and then attempt the restore again while connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network. If the data that was not restored also exists in your iTunes library, you can sync it back to your iOS device via USB cable sync as a work around.
I tried the suggested, syncing the iTunes, but that just gave me a new copy of the apps with all my app data missing. I also tried attempting the restore again, but the same thing happened.
I saw on a forum that someone who was trying to solve problems with apps stuck as ‘Waiting…’ or ‘Loading…’ had some success by changing the language to force SpringBoard to restart. The same seemed to apply to my problem.
I noticed that regardless of the language I chose during the set up process, it was always ‘English’ once the restore was complete. So as soon as the restore had finished and I had received the “Restore Incomplete” alert, but before the apps started loading, I changed the language to ‘British English’ (Settings -> General -> International -> Language), which caused SpringBoard to restart. Once the homescreen appeared again, I immediately tapped on one of the apps that previously failed to restore. The app started ‘Loading…’ and and ‘Installing…’ but didn’t delete itself once complete. Yay! Once the first app had succeeded all the other apps followed without me needing to tap on them individually.