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How Long Does It Take to Restore an iPhone from iTunes/iCloud

By Carrie Murray, Tuesday, December 18, 2018

You restore iPhone with iTunes usually when you need to fix a problem on your iPhone, for example, iPhone passcode is forgotten, iPhone gets stuck in Apple logo screen, the device is bricked and shows black screen, etc. But when restoring iPhone from iTunes, a new problem arises - iPhone restore taking forever to finish. How long does iPhone restore take? If iTunes gets stuck on extracting software, restoring iPhone firmware, etc. when restoring iPhone, read Part 1 and 2 for solutions.

Restoring iPhone Taking Forever

Also, when talking about restoring iPhone, some of you may mean to restoring iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backup. Sometimes, restoring iPhone from backup keeps estimating time remaining and takes forever. This article will also cover what to do if restoring from iTunes/iCloud backup taking too long in Part 3.

Restore iPhone Backup Estimating Time Remaining

How long does it take to restore an iPhone from iTunes/iCloud?

Before figuring out how long it usually takes to restore an iPhone, you may want to know what does restoring iPhone do. Restoring iPhone means to restore your iPhone to factory settings, which wipe everything on your iPhone: photos, files, apps, settings, the OS, and even the firmware. Different from resetting iPhone (which can be done by Erase All Content and Settings) that only wipe your iPhone contents and restore iPhone settings to factory state, restoring iPhone from iTunes reinstall the OS and even the firmware for the iPhone.

Restore iPhone with iTunes

There are 4 stages to complete iPhone restore.

  • Extract software

  • Prepare iPhone for restore

  • Verifying iPhone software

  • Restoring iPhone firmware

There is no fix time for how long it takes to restore an iPhone. It could take a few minutes to several hours to finish the restoring, depending on several factors:

  • The amount of data on your iPhone. If you have a lot of media files on the device, it usually takes longer to restore the iPhone.

  • iOS update. If there is a iOS update available for your device, iTunes needs more time to restore iPhone because it has to download the new iOS firmware.

  • Internet speed. Faster network speed enables iTunes to connect to Apple server more quickly.

Although there is no fix time, it won't be right if after clicking Restore iPhone for 5-20 hours or even one day, iTunes is still stuck in preparing iPhone for restore, restoring iPhone firmware or extracting software. If iPhone restore takes too long, the solutions in Part 2 probably can help you to fix the problem.


What should you do when iPhone restore taking too long?

If iPhone restore is stuck you can't get past preparing iPhone for restore or restoring iPhone firmware, you should try the following things.

1. Disconnect your iPhone with computer. Unplug your iPhone and then restart the device. After restart, try restore iPhone again.

2. Update iTunes on your computer to the latest version. If the iTunes on your PC is already up-to-date, ignore this step.

3. Switch to a different computer. In many cases, restoring iPhone cannot complete because there is something wrong with the computer to detect and interact with iOS devices. So try a different computer.

4. If you don't have another computer available, keep your iPhone connected to the computer and put iPhone in recovery mode. In the recovery mode, click Restore to restore iPhone.

Recovery Mode Options

If none of above methods works for you or you get an error when restoring iPhone without iTunes, you may want to restore iPhone without iTunes. FonePaw iOS System Recovery is an iTunes alternative that can restore your iPhone and fix issues such as screen locked, white apple logo screen, black screen of death on your iPhone. It is easy-to-use and can solve your problem right away without the annoying iTunes. Read: Steps to Restore iPhone without iTunes.

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FonePaw iOS System Recovery


Restoring iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backup takes forever, what to do?

Besides restoring iPhone to factory settings, restoring iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backup can get stuck sometimes. It takes forever to restore iTunes/iCloud backup, estimating time remaining as several or even 20 hours.

How long does it takes to restore iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backup?

Similar to restoring iPhone, restoring iPhone from backup could take a few minutes to several hours, depending on the two factors:

  • The size of your backup. Obviously, it takes longer time to restore an iTunes/iCloud backup of larger size.

  • Network speed if you are restoring a backup from iCloud. When restoring iCloud backup, iPhone need to download the backup from iCloud on stable network connection.

If it takes an excessively long time to restore iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backup, for example, with estimated time remaining of 10, 20, 30 hours. Here are some tricks you can try.

1. Restart your iPhone. If you are restoring iPhone from iTunes backup, disconnect the iPhone from the computer and restart the computer as well.

2. Make sure you are connect to a strong Wi-Fi network if it takes too long to restore iPhone from iCloud backup.

3. Update iTunes to the newest version if you haven't. After the update, try to restore iPhone from iTunes again.

If none of these work, you can try to restore iPhone backup with a third-party tool like FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery, which lets you view the contents of your iTunes/iCloud backups and selectively restore data you need from the backup. Here is how it work.

Step 1 Download and install the FonePaw program on your computer. Run the program.

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Step 2 If you need to restore iTunes backup, click Recover from iTunes Backup File and all iTunes backups on the computer will be displayed.

Recover from iTunes Backups

Step 3 If you need to restore iCloud backup, click Recover from iCloud Backup File and sign in with your iCloud account. All backups of the account will be available.

Restore iCloud Backups

Step 4 Choose a backup, you can view what are inside the backup. Select the photos, videos, messages or others you want to restore from the backup. Click Recover.

Scan iTunes Backup

Wrap Up

Restoring iPhone to factory settings or restoring iPhone from iTunes/iCloud backup usually takes a few minutes to several hours. If the restoring takes unusually longer time, there are must be some sort of error. You can use tools like FonePaw iOS System Recovery and FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery to restoring iPhone more easily.  

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