iCloud Backup Restore Stuck: How to Troubleshoot Restore Issues

We generally recommend an iTunes backup whenever you are upgrading/updating your iPhone/iPad but given the ease with which one can deal with iCloud backups, most people prefer this over the manual iTunes way. And it’s good too because it saves you all the hassles of connecting to the computer, firing up iTunes, picking the latest backup and more.

For most part, iCloud backups restore perfectly fine without a problem. But occasionally, something goes wrong and your iPhone or iPad doesn’t restore correctly/fully from an iCloud backup. What to do then? Here are some possible errors that might crop up, and how you can troubleshoot them.

Before you dive in, make sure you’ve got the basics right:

  • A solid Wi-fi network
  • Correct Apple ID and password for the iCloud account you have backed up on

#1. “There was a problem loading your iCloud Backups. Try again, set up as a new iPhone, or restore from an iTunes backup.”

This is the dreaded sign that tells you your iPhone wasn’t restored with the backup. There can be a few reasons for this to happen, most notably (and hopefully) a problem with iCloud servers. When you see this error show up when you try to restore from an iCloud backup, this is what might want to do:

  • Check iCloud System Status. If there’s an error at Apple’s end (server issues), that might clog the backup process. This is actually okay because all you need to do is try after a few minutes (sometimes, an hour or so).
  • Even if the system status shows green (which means servers are running fine), it might still be a server-side issue specific to the connectivity between your iPhone/iPad and iCloud servers. You might want to wait for a few minutes or an hour before trying again.
  • If iCloud backups don’t restore correctly in the first attempt, you might want to try again, starting from square one.

#2. Photos and Videos Not Restored

This is an infrequently recurring theme in a lot of users who restore their new iPhones or iPads from an iCloud backup. Photos and videos (basically, all media contained within the Photos app/Camera Roll) does not show up on the new/restored iPhone.

This can happen for two reasons, primarily:

Disabled iCloud Backup for Camera Roll: If Camera Roll was excluded from the iCloud backup section, the media contained within it never makes it to the iCloud backup. Photos and videos from the camera roll are excluded. Some people do this because iCloud storage space is limited (5GB for the free version). To check whether iCloud backup has Camera Roll enabled, you need to:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap on iCloud
  • Tap on Storage & Backup

How to Fix iCloud Backup Restore Slow

  • Then tap on Manage Storage
  • Tap on the device name (the device that is being backed up)
  • Make sure the switch for Camera Roll is turned ON

iCloud Backup Restore Stuck

This ensures that the photos and videos are backed up too.

Sometimes, it takes a lot of time for photos and videos to appear. After you have restored from the iCloud backup, it might take sometime for photos and videos to show up in the camera roll album. For some reason, this should actually happen only if the photos are coming through Photo Stream. Rarely, though, photos show up several hours after a restore even when they are part of Camera Roll. You just have to wait a few hours before you try something else.