Restoring My iPhone 4 from iCloud

It was with some trepidation that I’d been hesitant to test restoring my iPhone from an iCloud backup. I wasn’t able to find any details on what exactly gets backed up, however, I didn’t want to just assume that all data would get backed up, including my SMS messages (although those are less important).

I decided to take the plunge today, just for the hell of it to see what would happen. I’m pleased to say that the restoration process went extremely smoothly. More so than what I had initially anticipated. To start the process, here’s what I did:

  • Settings > General > Reset
  • Erase All Content and Settings

After the phone was wiped and restarted, I was prompted with the new setup process. I entered my iCloud login credentials, and chose the option to restore from my iCloud backup. The most recent backup I could restore from happened to be from earlier this morning, so I selected that and waited patiently.

The restoration process is actually two big steps. First, your settings (including SMS, email etc) are restored. After this is completed, you get a modal dialog informing you that all of your apps and data will be restored.

The entire process took about 30 minutes for me over a less than spectacular WiFi connection, however your mileage may very depending on how many apps need to be re-downloaded again.

Oddball bug: Before I restored my iPhone, I had turned on the option in Settings > General > Accessibility to use the LED flash for alerts, however that never worked for me. For some reason, after restoring from a backup, this started working immediately. I don’t really know why the restore fixed the LED flash alerts, but that was my experience. On another note, now that the flash alerts issue is fixed, I turned it off after realizing that this is really annoying.