Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Tale of backup and restore

When Apple released the iPhone 5, I got myself a 16GB CDMA version. I knew this space limitation meant that I have to rethink several of my on-device data concepts and strategies. Later on that. This article is talking about something else.

My strategies of managing with the 16GB limitation worked out pretty well for the past 6 months or so, but recently I noticed that I am hitting free space left in MB's. More in the last month because of the wonderful Appgratis™, which was sending out great deals everyday. If you haven't checked it, read my previous article here

Now I was facing the worst crunch of space. I considered deleting a few heavyweight apps or removing all of the music from the device. But then I remembered an article  which talks about gaining reclaiming space on iOS devices via a backup & restore. Time to try that out :) 

Holy moly!!! I seriously did not think the approach will give me any space, so I did not measure what the free space was before the operation. But I am pretty damn sure it was only about 150MB's. Now I have close to 3.6 GB available for me. That's some serious gunk that has been removed. I repeat - No apps were removed, no music was deleted, no animals were hurt in the process, nothing was lost. Even the pictures and videos were back in the photos library which I think would have parted me [I forgot to backup a small set of recent pictures from the photos app ;)]

<Warning: Strong winds and extremely hot temperatures ahead>

I expect you reading this meant you did not take heed of my warning above. Good. That was a joke. Anyhow I advise you to backup pictures or any valuable data that you have on the device manually - either to iPhoto or your desktop or anywhere you think it is safe. The whole process is time consuming so make sure you do this when @ home, when you have free time and when you have a backup phone to receive calls. The whole process took me about 2 hours, not bad since you can watch a movie meanwhile.

1. Connect your device to iTunes
2. Right click on the device and do 'Transfer purchases'
3. Right click on the device and do 'Sync'
4. If you are backing up to iCloud, temporary change that to backup to this computer.
5. Right click on the device again in iTunes, and this time select 'Back up'. This should be done in about 5 minutes.
6. Right click for the last time, and this time select 'Restore from Backup'. It will show you a pop up where you can select the last backup you made, a few minutes before. Select that and hit continue.
7. Pray to god, cross your fingers, go watch a movie :)
8. Your device will reset to factory condition, all the data, apps and music will be copied back and you will have the device restored to previous state in a matter of hours.
9. A few apps might need to be logged into, but most of the apps even retain that info. 

Enjoy the reclaimed space!!!

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