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.

How to Troubleshoot Problems while Restoring from iCloud Backup

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.

  • Edward

    I think this IOS9 Sucks.. Just lost all photos in an Iphone backup, that the new IOS says it’s corrupted , and now the same is happening with my ipad.. trying to restore from iCloud now.. let’s see what happens.. Missing Steve Jobs…

  • Aimee

    I restored my iPhone from iCloud last night and the only thing I can find is a section of photos in ‘All photos’ that have not loaded yet, this is causing my phone to still say ‘restoring from iCloud backup’ on the lock screen, it is now 14 hours or so since I started the restore and it is still in the same predicament, I looked at downloading iCloud to my computer to ensure that I had a copy of the missing photos somewhere, but iCloud for windows is not compatible with the version of windows I have. I have also in the mean time deleted a load of different things (apps, old message conversations, data, etc) of my phone to ensure that there is enough storage left for my phone to store said missing photos. I have forced a back up to my computer in the mean time, knowing however that the chances of the photos being in the restore will be there are rather slim, but felt best to have a back up somewhere since it wont back up to iCloud whilst trying to restore from iCloud. Now, I don’t know if I should just leave it to keep trying to download them, stop the restore, or what, it has been left overnight (for a good 7-8 hours) not being used but still on and connected to power and to a strong wifi.

    • Sean Spence

      Exact same problem. Did you find an answer?

      • Aimee

        Sadly no, I just eventually stopped the restore when it got the the point there were only a couple of photos missing, the stupid thing was, they were there but the image just wouldn’t load so it was just blank so I had to delete to blank images. So in settings you can somehow stop the restore, i can’t remember how now. And that was that, it was days before I did this, and nothing changed, which was what prompted me to stop it