How to recover and restore files in an iCloud backup

Restore an iCloud backup to your device or extract and save specific files using Enigma Recovery® software

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Compatible with Windows and Mac computers

If you have lost or accidentally deleted files on your iPhone, iPad or iPad Touch, one of the first things you should do is check whether you have a suitable iCloud backup. Simply go to ‘Settings’ > ‘[your name]’ > ‘iCloud’ > ‘Manage Storage’ > ‘Backups’ on your device.

If you do have a suitable backup file, you can breathe a sigh of relief! There are two ways to recover your data:

If you don’t have a suitable iCloud backup, don’t panic: you may be able to recover files from iTunes, or directly from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, instead.

Method 1: Restore your device from iCloud

Restoring your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from iCloud allows you to recover all content and settings from the time the chosen backup was created. However, it’s important to note that all existing device data will be overwritten in the process, putting you at risk of further data loss. You might prefer to extract your files from iCloud using Enigma Recovery.

  1. If you haven’t already, install the latest version of iOS by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Software Update’ on your device.

  2. Select ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Reset’ > ‘Erase All Content and Settings’. (Try Method 2 if you’d rather avoid this step.)

  3. Follow the onscreen instructions on your device — you may need to unlock and ‘Trust’ the computer from your device to allow access.

  4. Select ‘Restore from iCloud backup’ then sign into your account.

  5. Choose the iCloud backup that you would like to restore.

Method 2: Extract data from an iCloud backup

You can extract data from an iCloud backup using Enigma Recovery for Mac or Windows. You can then view and export recovered files on your computer, and restore selected data types to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Unlike the iCloud restore method, there’s no need to erase the existing data on your device.

  1. Download Enigma Recovery on your Mac or Windows PC.

  2. Select ‘Recover from my iCloud’ and log into your account.

  3. Select the iCloud backup you would like to extract data from.

  4. Select the data type(s) that you would like to recover.

  5. View, export and/or restore your recovered files.

What data types can be extracted from iCloud?

You can recover photos, contacts, messages and more from an iCloud backup using Enigma Recovery, so you can rest assured you’ll get your most important files back. Take a look at the list of supported apps below.

How do I export recovered data?

One of the biggest benefits of extracting your data from iCloud with Enigma Recovery, rather than restoring the full backup to your device, is that you can export your data in different formats. This is a great way to back up your files, but it also makes it easy to manage, share and print your data.

Photos and videos can be exported as HEIC files, ideal for transferring back to your device. Images can also be saved in the widely supported JPEG format. Other data types can be exported as CSV, XML, PDF or XLSX files, while contacts can also be exported in VCF (vCard), which is supported by most contacts apps.

How do I restore recovered data to my device?

There are four effective ways to access data recovered from iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch:

  1. Enigma Recovery > Restore app: You can transfer files directly from Enigma Recovery to the Restore app on a connected device. Our free Restore app displays your data in a user-friendly interface.

  2. Restore app > native app: Using data that has already been transferred, you can create a new calendar event or contact within the Restore app. Notes can simply be copy-and-pasted across.

  3. Exported file > native app: You can export contacts, photos and videos in their native file format. This means they will appear in their native app when imported back to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from your Mac or Windows computer.

  4. Exported file > other app: You can find various iOS-friendly apps and websites that allow you to view HEIC, JPEG, CSV, XML, PDF, XLSX, or VCF files on your device. Simply export from Enigma Recovery then import to the relevant tool.

What’s next?

We have now explained how to recover lost or deleted files from an iCloud backup by restoring your device or extracting files. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly support team. Alternatively, you could try recovering from an iTunes backup, or from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch’s database.

Once your data is recovered, we’d recommend creating a backup. If you’re an Enigma Recovery customer, don’t forget that you can continue using our software to manage your iOS data.

Install Enigma Recovery on Windows & Mac computers

Compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Mac OS 10.7 to 10.14

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Compatible with Windows and Mac computers