How to restore the iPad/iPhone/iPod OS and all your settings and files.


By: jecs
May 18, 2010

Initial considerations
When an Apple application or the system itself stops working right on your iPod/iPhone/iPad there is nothing you can do to repair that particular part of the software or function. Or it is not mean to be for the average user but Apple provides one solution to fix all Apple software failures. This is the Restore function on iTunes available when you connect your device to your PC or Mac. If the problematic app is not from Apple try to remove the app first and then restore or sync again this app.

This is a documented restoring procedure that works with the iPad, iPhone and the iPod OS. I used an iPod Touch and a Mac Book Pro. Also, before you use the restore function on iTunes make sure you are having a consistent failure and not a temporal failure:

Restart your iPad/iPhone/iPod.
This is different from unlocking the device with the slide bar. If you know how to do it or you have done this and it doesn't solve the problem try the restore procedure next.

Step 1. First, shut down your device. Press the Power button on top of your iPad/iPhone/iPod for about 2-3 seconds. A red button with a "slide to power off" bar appears. Slide the bar, the rotating cursor indicates the process. The device turns off.




Step 2. Now turn it on again using the same Power button. The Apple logo appears. Unlock and check if your problem is gone. If the problem persists follow the restore procedure.

Restore the OS and your files:
This whole process involves 3 general parts and it took me an hour and 16 minutes.
Part A - Back up or Sync your files in iTunes or to a disk. I double-checked many files.
Part B - Download and Install the OS. (36 min to download on 1024 T1 DSL cable modem for a 250 MB file)
Part C - Install your settings, apps and files. (27 min for 6 GB of data)

Back up, back up and BU…

You may also want to try this first:
1) You can transfer your purchased files on your iPad/iPhone/iPod following the "Transfer Purchases from iPod" procedure under "File" on iTunes. 2) Back up everything to a CD/DVD.

Step 1Open your iTunes application.

Step 2. Connect your Apple device.

Step 3. When your device appears on "DEVICES" click on the icon. Allow it to sync and also Sync your entire iPad/iPhone/iPod on iTunes. Check on everything you purchased and all the files you want and need to keep.



Download the software:
Step 1
. In the iTunes "Summary" screen on the "Version" section you can see 2 buttons. The "Restore" button is the function you need.

Step 2. Click on "Restore". A dialog box appears asking if you want to "Back up" your settings. Click on "Back Up".

Step 3. Another window appears asking if you are sure you want to restore… "to its factory settings". Click on "Restore".



Step 4. A window with the message "Some purchased items will be erased…" Click on "Continue". - Note: I checked my files twice, everything was ok but the message still remained and I went ahead. I have not notice any file missing but I have a BU anyway.


Step 5. The iPod Software Update appears. Press "Next".



Step 6. The Software License Agreement shows. Press "Agree"

Step 7. Downloading "iPod Software Update 3.1.3" or the iPhone Operating System (OS): 36 min, 251.1 MB. Your download time may take longer depending on the device you use and the software version available. Your iPad/iPhone/iPod device is doing nothing. All this downloading is happening on iTunes, but don't disconnect your device.



Step 8. Restoring started. Your iPad/iPhone/iPod becomes active with the Apple logo showing in the screen and a progress bar.

Install your settings, apps and files.
Step 1
. Set up Your device depending on what you want to do. Choose an option and press "Continue". iTunes syncs your settings.

Step 2. No apps yet? At this point your apps and files still need to sync with your device. Check on the files you want and press "Sync". I had about 6 GB to transfer.


Done. Is everything in there and working with my settings?. Yes. Did it started from where I left? Yes.

Need More Help? Don't forget to check out the Computing.Net iPad Forum.


Need more help?
Describe your Problem
Example: Hard Drive Not Detected on My PC

Ask Question