How to Fix a Corrupt iTunes Backup for iPhone/iPad/iPod

--Tuesday, Nov.29, 2016

Compared to iCloud, iTunes seems more reliable on restoring data from a backup file. That's why people prefer iTunes to iCloud. However, it might happen that users fail to restore an iTunes backup somehow. Normally, users will receive a pop-up on iTunes as an error message prompting "iTunes could not restore the iPhone/iPad/iPod because the backup was corrupt or not compatible the iPhone/iPad/iPod that is being restored". 

Corrupt iTunes Backup

Apple nevertheless has not yet come out with a feasible solution and the only solution that Apple seems to propose is to Contact Apple Support. However, don't be frustrated. I'm going to introduce two solutions for you. Please read on and check them out.

Contact Apple Support

Reasons: Why is an iTunes Backup Corrupted?

There are some causes that might result in this situation, and the most popular ones are listed as followings. Please check out one by one and see which one may be the culprit in your case.

1. iTunes is not yet up to date. Reportedly, it might be caused by an obsolete iTunes, so please make sure that your iTunes is already the latest version. Or, please update it. To ensure this:

Mac: Launch iTunes and go to "iTunes" > "Check for Updates"

Win: Launch iTunes and go to "Help" > "Check for Updates"

2. There is no enough space for the process of restoration to work properly. Please ensure that you have enough storage to perform the operation. The best thing to do is to free up some space in the disk. (Mainly in 'C:' drive for Windows).

3. Make sure that both iPhone/iPad/iPod and iTunes are well-connected. If the connection is not good, please try another USB cable instead.

4. iOS model or version is not incompatible to the backup file. Different iOS versions on your iDevice cause the problem. For instance, if you made an iOS 6 backup, it is impossible to restore it to your iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2. Or sometimes you created iTunes backup of iPhone 6 running iOS 9.1, but after upgrading to iOS 9.3, this backup file might fail to be restored due to iOS update bugs.

5. The iTunes backup is originally corrupted. It happens that some errors arise during the process of backing up an iOS device. Though the backup would be finally done without any warnings, it might already be corrupted. That's why it cannot be restored.

Why iTunes Backup Corrupted

Tips: Try again after the Following Steps

Before you come to the solutions, you might as well try the tips listed below and see whether it works.

1. Ensure that iTunes is updated to the latest version.

2. Turn off both your computer and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Then turn them on again.

3. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable, then select your device in iTunes.

If your device doesn't appear in iTunes, you need to fix that issue before you can continue.

4. You might need to update, change, disable, or uninstall your security software. Sometimes your security software might prevent iTunes from working due to malfunction.

5. Many users have reported that deleting old and unwanted backups is helpful as well in the case. Therefore, simply go ahead and delete these in iTunes.

Tips for Corrupt iTunes Backup

Solution 1: Deleted the iTunes Backup and Restore Later

Step 1. Locate the iTunes backup on your computer.

Find iTunes backups on Mac

To find a list of your backups, click in the menu bar, then enter ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Or you can locate a specific backup via iTunes:

Launch iTunes, go to "iTunes" > "Preferences" > "Devices", then Control-click the backup that you want and choose "Show in Finder".

Find iTunes backups in Windows 7/8/10

To find a list of your backups, navigate to \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

Or you can follow these steps:

Find the Search bar:

In Windows 7, click Start.

In Windows 8, click the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner.

In Windows 10, click the Search bar next to the Start button.

In the Search bar, enter %appdata% and press "Return", and then go to "Apple Computer" > "MobileSync" > "Backup".

Step 2. Copy and paste the folder to the desktop or somewhere else.

Step 3. Launch iTunes on the computer.

Windows: Head to "Edit" > "Preferences" > "Devices".

Mac: Head to "iTunes" > "Preferences" > "Devices".

Now, please select the backup and delete it via "Delete Backup".

Step 4. Move the previous backup file back to the default backup folder.

Step 5. Restart iTunes on your computer and try to restore data from the backup again.

Solution One Move Original Backup

Solution 2: Restore the iTunes Backup in Another Way

If the Solution 1 doesn't work as expected, I'm afraid you might need to try another software instead. Here I recommend you iPhone Data Recovery, which enables to retrieve data from iTunes backups, iCloud backups and even directly on iOS device. Better yet, it can help restore data from iTunes backups without your iPhone/iPad/iPod connected.

Step 1. Scan the iTunes Backup

Please download and install iPhone Data Recovery at first for the first time. Then, launch the software and select "Restore from iTunes Backup File" from the left panel. It will automatically scan out existing iTunes backups on your computer with information like Name, Model, Date, Size and Serial Number. Please click one and hit "Start Scan" to begin scanning the backup.

Note that if the desired backup file is not found, please manually locate it by yourself.

Scan iTunes Backup

Step 2. Preview and Restore Data in the iTunes Backup

It might take a while to finish scanning. When it completes, you will be able to view all the data currently stored in the iTunes backup. Please check out the contents. If you'd like to restore those data, please highlight those desired ones and click on "Restore to Computer".

Note that you can quickly select all the items via "Right Click" > "Check All".

Preview and Restore iTunes Backup

Please check out all the things above and fix your corrupt iTunes backup. If you're still having lingering question in your mind, please leave your comment below. I will give you reply as soon as possible. Hope it helps. Have a nice day.

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