Restore a backup from a newer version of iOS to an older version of iOS

Q: Can I restore a backup from a newer version of iOS (e.g., iOS 6.x) to a device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) using an older version of iOS (e.g., iOS 5.x)?

Related: How to back up your iOS device

A: No, iOS and iTunes does not support this. If you try this, you may see the following error messages:

  • You cannot see or select the most recent backup from the list of available backups in iTunes or iCloud.
  • iTunes displays the alert “The backup …. cannot be restored to this …. because the software on the …. is too old.”
  • iTunes displays the alert “No backups available.”

To resolve this issue, you need to update your iPad, iPhone or iPod to the latest version of iOS.

Related: How to update your iOS version: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

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