Fix: iPhone Backup Corrupt or Not Compatible [Backup & Restore]

Get the error: iTunes could not restore or back up the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone when backup or restore with iTunes? Read this guide to fix this iPhone backup corrupt or not compatible problem easily.

By Joy Taylor | Posted on: Nov. 02, 2018, Last Updated: Jul. 09, 2019
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Many users reported that they were stuck on an iTunes backup corrupt or not compatible problem when backing up or restoring iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Normally, when iTunes notifies you the iTunes backup was corrupt or incompatible, it has two situations:

1. When backing up iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, an error message pops up and says, “iTunes could not back up the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone (or iPad, iPod touch)”. Just like the following screenshot shows:

iTunes Could Not Back up the iPhone Because iTunes Backup Was Corrupt or Not Compatible

iTunes Could not Back up the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

2. When restoring iPhone with iTunes, an error message pops up and says “iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone that is being restored”. Just like the following picture shows:

iTunes Could Not Restore the Because iTunes Backup Was Corrupt or Not Compatible

iTunes Could not Restore the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

This iPhone backup corrupt or not compatible problem is very common, it happens in every iOS version and almost every iPhone models, like iPhone 5s/6/6s/7/8/X, even the latest iPhone XR/XS (Max). In this guide, we will focus on the iPhone backup corrupt or not compatible problems, no matter which situation you are stuck on, and no matter what device model you are working with, we will offer you solutions to fix it effortlessly.

Part 1: iPhone Backup Corrupt or Not Compatible – iTunes Couldn’t Back Up iDevice

In this part, we will show you how to fix iTunes backup corrupt or not compatible when backing up iPhone iPad iPod. To fix this iTunes backup problem, normally you have two solutions. One is just like the error message shows “ Delete this backup for this iPhone (iPad or iPod touch), and try again”, and the other one is backing up your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch with an iTunes alternative. We will discuss both of them in detail below.

What Makes It Happen: iTunes Backup was Corrupt or Not Compatible When backing Up iDevice

When you are creating a backup of iPhone iPad or iPod with iTunes, this error message – “iTunes could not back up this iPhone (iPad or iPod touch), because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iPhone (iPad or iPod touch)” pops up, what makes it happen?

Normally, this is because there is a problem with the previous backup of your device. And iTunes typically updates the backups of making an entirely new backup. To fix this iTunes could not back up iPhone problem, we will show you several possible solutions below.

Solution 1: Delete Corrupt or Incompatible iTunes Backup and then Back Up Again

Before backing up your iPhone iPad iPod touch with iTunes again, you need to delete corrupt or incompatible backup firstly. Here are 2 methods you can apply to delete corrupt or incompatible iTunes backup, as followed:

Method 1: Delete Corrupt or Incompatible iTunes Backup via iTunes Interface

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer (PC or Mac).
  2. Click iTunes at the upper left corner of your Mac (on PC: you need to click Edit on the top left corner of your iTunes interface) > click Preferences.
  3. Select Devices > find your device in the backup listing > Find and select the incompatible or corrupt backup > Click Delete Backup button > Confirm it and click Delete button.

Fix iTunes Corrupt or Not Compatible – Delete Corrupt or Compatible Backup

Fix iTunes Corrupt or Not Compatible – Delete Corrupt or Compatible Backup

Method 2: Deleting Corrupt or Incompatible iTunes Backup By Locating It

Except for deleting incompatible or corrupt backup with iTunes interface, you also can delete it by locating it. To locate it, you must know where iTunes backups store on computer firstly. But this method will delete all the backups of your device. The iTunes backup files are stored:

Step 1: According to the storing path mentioned above, open the backup folder.

For Windows users: Open the folder one by one.

For Mac users: Right-click Finder from the dock, then select Go to Folder, and then input: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/. At last, click OK to open this folder.

Step 2: You will enter the Backup folder with one or more folders named by your devices’ unique identifiers.

Step 3: Normally, most of us don’t know what the exactly identifiers of our device are. To help you delete the right backup, you can click the Serial Number of your iDevice in iTunes when your iDevice is connected to iTunes, and then the Serial Number filed will switch to your device identifiers. Then delete all folders match the identifier in the iTunes backup folder from your computer.

Fix iTunes Corrupt or Not Compatible – Delete Corrupt or Compatible Backup

Fix iTunes Corrupt or Not Compatible – Delete Corrupt or Compatible Backup

Solution 2: Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative

If you still fail to fix this iTunes backup was corrupted or not the compatible problem with above methods, you can try to back up your iDevice with an iTunes alternative – AnyTrans for iOS, which helps you to make an iPhone backup in an easier and quicker process.

Now, Free Download AnyTrans for iOS on your computer, then follow the steps below to make a quick backup of your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Run AnyTrans on your computer > Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable > Click on “Device Manager” mode > Choose “Backup Manager” mode.

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative - Step 1

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative – Step 1

Step 2. Select the “Full Backup” option to backup all the files on your device.

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative - Step 2

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative – Step 2

Step 3. If you do not want to encrypt the backup, please ignore it and click  button to start backing up. To protect your data safe and private, you can check the “Enable Password Protection” option and set the password.

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative - Step 3

Back Up iPhone/iPad/iPod with An iTunes Alternative – Step 3

If you are tired of backing up iPhone manually, you can enable the Air Backup mode of AnyTrans to help you backup your iPhone automatically (within Wi-Fi or when you connect the device to computer) as scheduled – daily, weekly, monthly...

How to Backup iPhone Automatically

How to Backup iPhone Automatically

How to Backup iPhone iPad Content to iTunes Library

If you just want to back up some media contents from iPhone iPad to iTunes library, like Music, Playlists, Apps, Ringtones, Movies, etc. (they are also not included in iTunes backup), you can make it in one click with AnyTrans for iOS.

To backup music, ringtones, movies, etc. from iPhone iPad to iTunes library, you just need to: Download AnyTrans for iOS > Install and Run it > Click Device Manager Tab on homepage of AnyTrans for iOS > Click Content to iTunes > Select the categories you want to back up to iTunes > Click button to start transferring. Read the detailed guide here >

How to Backup iPhone iPad Content to iTunes Library

How to Backup iPhone iPad Content to iTunes Library

How to Selectively Back Up iPhone iPad Content to Computer

Except backing up iPhone iPad content to the computer, iTunes library, AnyTrans for iOS also allows you to selectively back up anything you like to computer, like Messages, Ringtones, Contacts, Photos, Music, Videos, iBooks, Apps, Notes, etc. Just like the following screenshot shows, to back up the contents you like, you just need to Download AnyTrans for iOS, install and run it > click Device Manager tab > Click button > Select the contents you want to backup > Click To PC/Mac button.

How to Selectively Back Up iPhone iPad Content to Computer

How to Selectively Back Up iPhone iPad Content to Computer

Part 2: iPhone Backup Corrupt or Not Compatible – iTunes Can’t Restore iDevice

If you are stuck on this iTunes backup corrupt or incompatible problem when restoring iDeivce, in this part we will show what makes it happen and how to fix it. Let’s get it started!

What Makes It Happen: iTunes Backup was Corrupt or Not Compatible When Restoring iDevice

iTunes could not restore your iPhone/iPad/iPod and remind you “This iTunes backup was corrupt or not compatible”, two reasons make this happen.

When you are creating a backup with iTunes, it may happen some errors but didn’t give you any message. So you thought you have made a backup with iTunes successfully, however, when trying to restore your device with it, only to find you have a corrupt backup.

It also happens when you try to restore your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch with an incompatible backup. This is because of different iOS versions. For example, if you upgraded your iPhone 6s to iOS 11, or even the latest iOS 12 or iOS 12.1, and make a backup with iTunes, and then you downgrade it to iOS 10.3.2, without doubt, you can’t restore your iPhone with the iOS 11/12 backup, because this is not compatible with your iPhone.

Now that you have known that using iTunes to restore iDevice with a corrupt or not compatible iTunes backup isn’t feasible. Then, next, we will show you an iTunes alternative to help you restore from a corrupt or not compatible iTunes backup.

How to Fix: iTunes Backup was Corrupt or Not Compatible When Restoring iDevice

Since you can’t restore iDevice with a corrupt or incompatible backup in iTunes, so you need an iTunes alternative to make it. Based on your needs, here we recommend you one iTunes backup extractor – PhoneRescue for iOS, which makes it possible for you to restore your iDevice with this corrupt or incompatible backup.

Moreover, this method brings you more benefits. This “restore” is not the same as the traditional restore, you can view iTunes backup files, select and extract what you like from iTunes backup to your iPhone iPad iPod touch directly. More than anything, this method won’t replace or wipe any current data on your iDevice.

Most importantly, PhoneRescue is produced by Apple officially certified software manufacturer. It guarantees 100% safe & clean, 100% risk-free, and 100% works for you. Then, how to restore iPhone iPad with corrupt or incompatible backup via PhoneRescue? The restore steps are followed:

Step 1: Free download PhoneRescue and choose download for iOS on your computer, install and open it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 2

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 2

Step 2: PhoneRescue for iOS will scan your computer and list all the iTunes backup stores on your computer. And the corrupt or incompatible backup will be marked with an exclamation point. Select the backup you want to restore with your iDevice, and then click the right arrow button.

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 3

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 3

Step 3: Select the files you want to extract from iTunes backup, and then click OK button.

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 4

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 4

If your iTunes backup is encrypted, please enter your password to decrypt and verify your backup so that PhoneRescue for iOS can scan your data. If you, unfortunately, forgot your iPhone backup password, you can have a try on all possible passwords or with the aid of some iPhone backup unlocker software to get it back.

Step 4: Preview the files in iTunes backup, and select the categories or items you want to extract to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch by clicking To Device button (Note: Please connect your iPhone iPad to the computer before clicking To Device button). In this guide we take the message as an example, you can extract all the supported files from corrupt or incompatible iTunes backup. And you also can extract the files directly to the computer by clicking To Computer button.

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 5

Fix Corrupt or Not Compatible iTunes Backup: Restore iPhone iPad with PhoneRescue for iOS – Step 5

Just as you can see from above, PhoneRescue for iOS can help you easily fix iTunes can’t restore iPhone iPad with a corrupt or not compatible backup issue, and enables you to preview & restore what you really want, without further data loss. Simultaneously, when you encounter data loss or some iOS system problems, PhoneRescue also can do you a favor. Now,  download and enjoy the full function with the trial version, then you can solve your problem easily.

The Bottom Line

We have talked about how to fix iTunes backup corrupt or not compatible problem above, no matter you are stuck on this problem when backing up iPhone/iPad or restoring iDevice. If you want to make a new iTunes backup, you can follow Solution 2 in Part 1. If you aim to restore data from backup, you can follow the method in Part 2.

Except stuck on the problem of iTunes backup is corrupt or not compatible, when backing up or restoring your iDevice, you may be failed due to other reasons, like the firmware files are not compatible, having not enough space on iDevice, the device is not eligible for the requested build. Absolutely, you may also meet many kinds of other problems when backing up your iPhone iPad to the computer with iTunes, like iTunes can’t recognize your device, having not enough space on the computer, iTunes backup can’t be saved on the computer, etc. If you meet any problem mentioned above, check this iMobie guide to fix it with ease. By the way, if you have other solutions, be free to tell us and other iDevices users by leaving a comment.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iPhone related issues.