How to Retrieve Photos from iPhone Backup

Have you lost some valuable photos from iPhone and want to retrieve them from iTunes or iCloud backup? This guide tells you how to retrieve photos from iPhone backup in easy and quick ways.

iMobie Last Updated: Mar. 27, 2020

Q: “Unfortunately my iPhone has been stolen. Thankfully I have an iTunes backup of all its data on my PC. How do I view or retrieve photos from this backup? I do not have another Apple device that can view photos and my iCloud account does not contain any photos. Cheers for any answers!

It is a pity that our important data including our valuable photos get lost. This can happen because the iPhone gets lost or stolen, or of some other situations, like OS upgrading, device jailbreaking, water damaged, etc. However, what can comfort us a little is that we still have the backup for some possibilities of getting back the lost pictures, if you have backed up your iPhone before, no matter to iTunes or iCloud.

And in this guide, what we mainly talk about is teaching you how to recover the photos from the iPhone backups. But for the exact methods that you can apply, there will be a bunch. We will go for them one by one.

Recover Photos from iPhone Backup with iTunes Restoring

If the users have backed up iPhone to iTunes, the iTunes restoring way must be first coming to most of their minds. Truly, the iTunes restoring can help you recover photos from the iPhone backup, but there are just several notices you need to know,

  • iTunes will not allow users to preview what is inside the backup. So there is no chance to figure out whether the backup contains what you want unless the whole backup is restored;
  • The restoring means that the device will be erased first, and then replaced with the backup files. So the existed data and files on iPhone before will be totally removed. There would be a high chance of losing some other important data;
  • iTunes will restore the whole backup to the iPhone. Individually selecting photo items is infeasible.

Besides, the iCloud restoring way, which we will talk about in the next part, is also with these three things. If you are not happy with these shortcomings of the iTunes restoring, then you can directly move to the third part, which has no such annoying problems. If you are OK with these shortcomings of the iTunes restoring, here we go with the detailed steps,

1. Connect your iPhone with the computer you usually sync it with and open iTunes.

2. When your iPhone appears in iTunes, click the Summary option.

3. Click the Restore Backup option. If this option is grayed out, you may need to change your backup preferences from iCloud to Computer. You can always change this back after you have restored your iPhone.

4. This process can take a while. Wait for its finishing, and then you will see the missing contacts in your Contact app again.

Recover Photos from iPhone Backup with iCloud Restoring

If you have backed your iPhone to iCloud, then you can apply this iCloud restoring way to recover photos from iPhone backup.

1. Reset your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

2. Set up your iPhone. Follow the onscreen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup > Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID > Choose the backup you want.

3. Wait for the process of completing it. Stay connected and wait for a progress bar to appear and complete. Depending on the size of the backup and the network speed, the progress bar might need a few minutes to an hour to complete. If you disconnect from Wi-Fi too soon, the progress will pause until you reconnect.

How to Get Photos from iPhone Backup Selectively and without Erasing

Like we have mentioned in the first method, this way requires no data erasing first. But you can preview the iTunes or iCloud backups, and individually select the photos you want to get back on iPhone again. To make it workable, we need a data recovery tool – PhoneRescue – which is capable of retrieving both Android and iOS data. With PhoneRescue for iOS, you can easily access and view photos on iPhone backup that you created with iTunes and iCloud, no matter what iPhone or iPad you are using. And it also helps you extract pictures from backup to your computer (no matter Mac or PC).

PhoneRescueiPhone Photos Extractor

PhoneRescue for iOS can help you extract 31+ types of data like videos, text messages, voice memos, contacts, notes, etc. from iPhone or from iTunes/iCloud backup without erasing. Besides, it is compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/Xr/X/8/7/6s running iOS 13.2/13.1.3/12/11. Now you can download one to your iPhone to have a try!

When downloading PhoneRescue for iOS to your computer, then you can quickly access photos on your iTunes backup and export them to your Mac or PC.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Install PhoneRescue for iOS and choose Recover from Backup.

Install and run PhoneRescue for iOS on your computer, choose “Recover from Backup”, and then click “Next” to scan photos on iPhone backup.

You needn’t connect your device if you want to get only pictures from iTunes. If you plan to recover photos from iCloud backups, just select the Recover from iCloud option.

How to Get Photos from iPhone Backup

How to Get Photos from iPhone Backup

Step 2. Choose A backup first, click the Select All button and then choose the Photos on the screen.

After you click the OK button,  it will scan your photos on your backup. You may need to wait for a while.

How to Get Photos from iTunes Backup – Step 2

How to Get Photos from iTunes Backup – Step 2

Step 3. Choose the items that you want to recover.

After a scan, just clicks Photos to preview pictures. You can select any items and download them to your computer by clicking the “To Computer” button or the “To iPhone” botton to your iPhone.

Retrieve Photos from iPhone Backup – Step 4

Retrieve Photos from iPhone Backup – Step 4

Besides restore photos from iTunes backup, PhoneRescue for iOS also allows retrieving photos from iOS devices and iCloud.

The Bottom Line

PhoneRescue for iOS gives you full support on retrieving photos from iPhone backup, and all of the retrieved photos will be transferred to your computer. Any questions about this guide or PhoneRescue is welcomed, at the same time, don’t forget to share this guide with your friends.


Member of iMobie team, an Apple fan as well as an anime lover. Like to share solutions on iOS and Android related problems.