Restore an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch when a later version of iOS or iPadOS is required

If you're restoring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch backup from iCloud or a computer that requires your device to have a later version of iOS or iPadOS, learn what to do.

If you're restoring an iCloud backup

If you're restoring an iCloud backup that requires a newer version of iOS or iPadOS, you might be prompted to update your software. If you choose to download and install the update, your device will automatically update your software and then restore your backup.

If you're restoring from a computer

If you're restoring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch backup from a computer that requires your device to have a newer version of iOS or iPadOS, you might see an error that your backup can't be restored because the software on your device is too old. Follow these steps to update your device and restore the backup:

Set up, update, and erase your device

  1. From the Apps & Data screen on your device, tap Don't Transfer Apps & Data instead of Restore from Backup. If you already tapped Restore from Backup, tap Back to return to the Set Up screen.
  2. Follow the remaining steps. For now, you can skip the steps for Apple ID, Touch ID, and passcode.
  3. Once the set up is complete, update your device to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  4. Let the update finish, and wait for your device to restart.
  5. Erase your device: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. After your device is erased, it restarts and you'll see the Hello screen in the Setup Assistant.

Now you should be able to set up your device again, and select a backup to restore from.