How do I recover data from iCloud?

Can I recover deleted data from iCloud?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted data from iCloud in many cases. iCloud automatically backs up your iOS devices like iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch daily over WiFi when connected to power and have a strong WiFi signal. So even if you accidentally delete data or lose your device, you may be able to restore a previous backup containing the lost data.

There are a few ways to recover deleted data from iCloud:

  • Restore from iCloud Backup – You can restore your device from the latest or previous iCloud backup which should contain the deleted data.
  • Use iCloud website – Log into and you may be able to recover deleted photos, contacts, calendars etc if they were synced to iCloud.
  • Third party software – Some third party tools like iSkysoft Toolbox – iOS Data Recovery can extract data from iCloud backups without having to fully restore the device.

So in summary, as long as the data was backed up to iCloud before it was deleted, you have a good chance of recovering it either through iCloud itself or third party software designed for iCloud recovery.

How does iCloud backup work?

iCloud automatically backs up your iOS device each day when:

  • Your device has over 20% battery life
  • Your device is connected to a power source (like a wall charger or computer)
  • Your device is connected to a WiFi network (usually your home or work WiFi)

With these conditions met, iCloud will backup your device each day over WiFi. The following types of data are included in an iCloud backup:

  • Device settings – Settings, wallpapers, alarms, etc.
  • App data – Data within apps such as game progress, documents, etc.
  • Home screen and app organization – Layout of apps on home screen
  • Messages – iMessage, SMS and MMS messages
  • Photos – Camera photos and videos (if you have iCloud Photos enabled)
  • Videos – Videos synced from your computer (not taken with camera)
  • Purchase history – Music, movies, TV shows, apps and books purchased
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemails
  • Health data – If you use the Health app
  • Keychain – Account names, passwords, credit card numbers

Notably, an iCloud backup does NOT include:

  • Already synced data – Contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, etc. stay up to date over-the-air through iCloud separately.
  • Apple Music, iTunes Match, or Photos synced through iCloud – These remain available by signing in to iCloud.
  • FaceTime call history and SMS attachments – These remain on iCloud servers.
  • Touch ID and Face ID settings

So in summary, iCloud backups contain most data aside from items already synced separately through iCloud services. It provides a daily, over-the-air backup solution.

How far back can I restore from iCloud backup?

iCloud automatically keeps daily backups for the past 7 days. It also keeps weekly backups for the past 3 weeks. Finally, monthly backups are kept until your iCloud storage fills up.

So in most cases, you can restore from iCloud backups up to a month old. However, if you have ample unused iCloud storage, backups may go back further in time, up to a year or more.

To see your list of iCloud backups on a device:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud
  2. Tap Manage Storage > Backups
  3. You will see a list of backup dates available to restore from

On you can also view available backups and choose one to restore to a device.

The most recent backup is kept locally on your device so you can restore quickly. Older backups may need to be downloaded from iCloud before restoring.

How to fully restore your iPhone or iPad from iCloud

If you need to recover a lot of lost or deleted data, doing a full restore from iCloud backup is recommended. This will restore your device to the state it was in when the backup was made.

Follow these steps:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups and select the desired backup date.
  2. Tap Restore to begin. Your device will reboot to a Hello screen.
  3. On the Hello screen, follow the setup prompts until asked to Restore from iCloud Backup or Set Up as New. Choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
  4. Sign in with your Apple ID and wait for the backup restore to complete. This can take some time depending on size.
  5. Once finished, your device will reboot freshly restored from your iCloud backup!

All your data, apps and settings will be restored from the iCloud backup you chose. This restores your device to the state it was in at the backup time.

How to restore specific data from iCloud online

Instead of fully restoring your device, you can also selectively restore data from iCloud online at

  • Photos – Login online and go to Photos to restore deleted photos from iCloud backup.
  • Contacts – Go to Contacts and restore deleted contacts.
  • Calendars – Go to Calendars and restore deleted events.
  • Notes – Go to Notes and restore deleted notes.
  • Reminders – Go to Reminders and restore deleted reminders.
  • Safari Bookmarks – Go to Safari and restore deleted bookmarks.
  • Mail – Restore deleted email by switching toRecently Deleted mailbox.

This allows you to restore specific data from your iCloud backup online without fully restoring your device. Useful for quickly recovering a few things.

How to selectively restore apps and data

If you don’t want to fully restore your iPhone or iPad from an iCloud backup, you can also selectively restore specific apps and data instead:

  1. On your device go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups
  2. Tap on your desired backup, then tap Restore Data
  3. Enable or disable any data you want restored
  4. Tap Restore

This will allow you to selectively restore application data, Health data, messages, call history, Safari data and more. Useful if only a few apps or data types are needed.

Can I restore from someone else’s iCloud backup?

No, you can’t restore your device from someone else’s iCloud backup. iCloud backups are tied to the original Apple ID they were created from and cannot be restored by another account.

However, if the other person exports a backup of their data from iCloud and sends it to you, it may be possible to import it into apps on your device. For example, you could import their photos to your Photos app or contacts to your Contacts app. But this is manual and app-by-app, not a full device restore.

The only supported method to restore an entire device from backup is using your own iCloud account associated with that device. iCloud backups are encrypted and locked to each user’s Apple ID for security.

Recover data from iCloud without restoring device

Some third party software tools, like iMyFone iBypasser, offer ways to view and recover data from iCloud backups without fully restoring your device.

They can extract data like:

  • Messages – SMS, iMessage, MMS
  • Photos
  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Voice Memos
  • Safari Bookmarks

The data can then be saved to your computer. This method does not modify your device – it simply extracts data from your iCloud backups to your computer.

However, access to certain data like Keychain items may be limited for security reasons when using these tools. And you don’t get a full device restore like when properly restoring an iCloud backup.

Recover data from iCloud backup on a new device

If your device is lost, damaged, or replaced, you can recover your iCloud data on a new device using a backup:

  1. On your new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch go through the initial Hello screen
  2. Proceed through the setup prompts until asked “Restore from iCloud Backup?”
  3. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup and sign in with your Apple ID
  4. Select desired backup and wait for restore to complete

This will restore your new device from the iCloud backup so it has all your old data and settings. You can get back photos, messages, contacts, app data and more.

Essentially it makes your new device identical to your old device before it was lost or replaced. Just be sure to use the same Apple ID on the new device.

Restore iTunes backup instead of iCloud

If you have an iTunes backup of your iOS device on your computer, you can also restore from that instead of iCloud. Reasons to use an iTunes backup:

  • Faster restore than downloading from iCloud
  • May contain some data not in iCloud like Touch ID settings
  • Lets you go back further since iTunes doesn’t delete old backups

To restore an iTunes backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone/iPad to computer with a USB cable
  2. Open iTunes and select your device
  3. Click Summary > Restore Backup
  4. Select backup to restore from

This will wipe your device and restore the iTunes backup. Just like with iCloud, make sure to restore onto the same device or a replacement device activated with the same mobile number for full compatibility.

Best practices for successful iCloud restore

Follow these tips for best results when restoring an iCloud backup:

  • Restore to the same model device if possible to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Deactivate Find My iPhone before restoring to avoid activation lock complications.
  • Restore to a device with same Apple ID to ensure proper restoration of all data.
  • Restore over WiFi for faster downloads vs. cellular data.
  • Make sure to have adequate iCloud storage for large backups.
  • Disable Passcode on device before restoring for convenience.
  • Check Apple’s support docs for latest restore instructions.

With proper precautions, you can successfully restore your iPhone or iPad from an iCloud backup and recover your lost or deleted data. Maintaining regular iCloud backups ensures you always have a way to restore your device.

Troubleshooting iCloud backup issues

If you have issues restoring an iCloud backup, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Issue Fix
Backup not showing up Check backup date – may be too old and deleted
Slow/stuck restore Use WiFi instead of cellular data
Restore fails Restart device and router and try again
Incompatible device Restore to same or very similar model device
Activation Lock Temporarily deactivate Find My iPhone before restore
Not enough storage Delete content to free up iCloud storage

For additional help, contact Apple support or bring device to Apple Store Genius Bar for troubleshooting assistance. With persistence, you should be able to restore your device from an iCloud backup.


Restoring data from an iCloud backup provides an excellent way to recover lost or deleted information on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. As long as the data was synced to iCloud before it was removed from your device, you should be able to restore it from an iCloud backup either selectively or fully. Maintain regular iCloud backups so you always have this valuable restore option available if needed. With proper precautions, you can successfully restore your device and recover your missing data from iCloud.