iTunes could not restore the iPhone “<name>” because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone that is being restored.

Buying a new phone is exciting but migrating your data,contacts, text messages and settings can be quite easy or a real pain.

There are many articles on HOW TO RESTORE so I won’t go into that here. This article is for people who are having problems RESTORING.

After spending hours thinking it was an iOS issue (as one phone was 6.01 and other 6.02), it seems it WAS the backups even though I rebackuped the old iPhone a number of times.

** Before Deleting any Backups, ensure you still have your old phone handy and has not been wiped at this stage. If you have wiped it, do NOT continue and seek advice from an Apple store or contact Sterling IT **

The way to resolve this is DELETE all your backups, rebackup your old device and then do another restore.
To delete your old backups (non technical way), just go to iTunes, Preferences, Devices and select all your backups, select DELETE then rerun a backup.

Once backup is complete, redo your restore.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Sterling IT for more information. Please ensure you notify us you found this from our blog so we can refer back.


  • As Mark mentions in this article, you DON’T want to delete the previous backup UNLESS you have the data you want still on a device, so you can make a new backup.

    If you no longer have the data on an iPhone/iPad/iPod (like if it was the same iPhone, and/or you were getting a replacement), you don’t want to delete the previous backup, since that is the only trace of the data you have.

    I work on a program called Decipher Backup Repair that can help in these cases. It will fix issues in the backup, so it will restore in iTunes without error. We hope you’ll search for us if this is the situation you’re in, so we can help!