What Does (and Doesn’t) Get Restored in an iCloud iPhone Restore

Apple App Store iconLast weekend my iPhone 4 was replaced (thank you AppleCare) due to a faulty home button. I made an iCloud backup prior to heading down to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and the swap was a painless process. I got home and began the process of the restore from iCloud. Things got a little bumpy along the way. Here’s what I learned:

  • If you’re using two-factor authentication for GMail, Google Apps, Dropbox, LastPass, or any other services and you rely on an iPhone app such as Google Authenticator, you should disable two-factor authentication temporarily until you get Google Authenticator installed on the new phone. It was interesting when I went to log in and was prompted for the code from a nonexistant code-generation app.
  • Some apps seem to restore settings/configurations from the iPhone backup and others don’t. While Foursquare and Starbucks had no idea who I was and required me to reauthenticate, Instagram and 1Password had my profile, settings, and configurations all loaded automatically.
  • My Twitter accounts that are integrated and stored in the iOS settings were restored, but were nonfunctional. Attempts to tweet from Reeder and Instapaper resulted in failures. I went into the Settings and Twitter configuration, re-entered the credentials, and then it worked again.
  • Something is jacked with Google Calendar sync. It’s synchronized my main calendar, but no amount of reconfiguration seems to be allowing it to sync my additional calendars.
  • Despite telling Downcast to sync my podcast information via iCloud using the various settings in the iCloud options of the app, Downcast doesn’t (by default) back up the media. The result was that I had playlists indicating various podcasts and episodes were unheard, but when I attemped to play those episodes, Downcast had to stream because the files weren’t on the device. I couldn’t figure out how to force Downcast to re-download. I ended up exporting my subscriptions as OMPL, deleted them all, then re-imported which aallowed Downcast to re-download. It turns out there is a setting to force Downcast to back up media to iCloud, but it’s not in the iCloud area of the settings. Instead it’s the very last option on the Settings screen.

I share this information in hopes that I can help someone else. My iPhone 5 should be arriving in a couple days; based on my experiences with this swap/restore I think I’ll be using the iPhone 5 as a good opportunity to start fresh with a clean set of software.

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  1. says

    I have never been able to see my additional Google Calendars on my iPad, fyi – not even the calendars I’ve subscribed to in GCal.

    They show up beautifully on my Android phone, of course – but not at all on the iPad.

  2. says

    Hi Aaron,

    after much struggling I managed to get my additional google calenddars to sync with the iphone. There was one that just wouldn’t show up on the iphone list no matter what I did. I don’t have the links at hand, but they key point was I think that there seemed to be several places where one needed to make things happen:
    I din’t record them at the time, but a quick search makes me think that they maybe



    see this:
    Google Sync can sync up to 25 Google Calendars with the Calendar app on your iOS device (your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch).

    To select which calendars to sync to your Apple device, follow these steps:

    Open the Safari browser on your device and go to http://m.google.com.
    Note: You need to have the language set to English (US) to sync multiple calendars.
    Select Sync.
    Sign in with your account and select your device from the list of devices you’ve set up for Google Sync.

    Hope that helps others.

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