Last week I finally received my new iPhone 7 Plus. I held off a few days even before unpacking, since I had too much to do and didn’t want to get distracted. Then the day came and I decided to switch phones. Usually this has been a very painless effort and only took a little bit of time, but I never had any big problems.
My usual procedure for new phones is to restore from the previous’ phone encrypted backup, since that saves me from entering all the passwords anew. This was the plan for this time as well.
Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy this time and it took me a few days to finally get it done :(
I did have a local backup and until then never backed up to iCloud before, since the free 5Gb just isn’t enough, so I keep those for documents like Keynote and IA Writer.
I plugged in the new phone and started the restore process and as usual, iTunes asked for the backup password. Since I used the same password as my machine, this should have been an easy one… Unexpectedly this wasn’t the case, since iTunes complained this wasn’t the correct password. I tried again, and again, and again. Still not correct. I double checked the password within Keychain.app, since I stored it for convenience. After confirming I wasn’t wrong and the password was indeed the same as the one I entered, I gave it another shot. This went on for a little while and iTunes would just not want to take that password, thus I was not able to restore from that phone.
When creating an encrypted backup, there is no way to reset that password, since it’s somehow tied to the phone being backed up. The only way to reset the backup password is to reset the phone and start over. Since I wanted the data on that phone, this was definitely not an option.
I believe this is a bug in iTunes, since I've heard the same story from a friend of mine as well.
In the end I signed up for the 200Gb iCloud plan and started to backup and then restore from there. It took a little time, since it's obviously not as fast as directly to the computer, but after all it worked out and I got everything transfered and restored that I wanted to. It seems that the iCloud backup is seen as a different/new backup for that device, since you can set a different password on it.
Never before did I have such a hard time to be able to restore a new phone and I I start to miss what I love so much about Apple products over the last years: Everything always just worked. This was one of the main advantages over other systems and I truly hope that Apple will improve these things and can keep this up and alive.
And now I'll enjoy my new iPhone 7 Plus and will take the camera for a few spins ;)