Why are my app data missing after restoring my iPhone 4?

WK September 8, 2011
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Got the nasty “connect to iTunes” screen. Did the mandatory restore. Only had one backup point available, though. I sync’d every 2 weeks for a year. All apps, contacts, etc were restored, but my photos and all app data is missing. What the hell? On my wife’s phone, her app data restored perfectly. Again, what the hell?

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  1. Mike
    September 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

    From what I know and read and have encountered ~ you cannot count on iTunes successfully backing up and restoring application data. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

    I'm not an iOS Dev so I don't have the necessary insight but from what I read it probably depends on where and how the Application stores it's data.

    As for your photos ~ I never encountered this particular situation. 

    My first guess would be to try restoring from the backup again & again. Although this sounds like a waste of time I have read reports about people finally getting the data after the 5th restore or so.

    • Mike
      September 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

      You may want to "backup the backup" because Apple states that "iTunes only retains one sync-generated backup per device, and the first sync after setting up as new will replace your previous backup" ~ not sure if this applies to syncs after restoring from a backup. They should be maintained but I'm not sure.
      More in the article http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766