Restore / Recover your messages / sms / text messages TO iPhone from iTunes Backup

I recently had a situation where I did an iTunes restore to an iPhone 5 (and iOS 7.1), and for some reason it did not restore all the personal data such as message history, call logs, photos, etc.

This was obviously highly frustrating! I have no idea why the iTunes Restore missed these things, and Apple support was no help. So, this article will probably help you if you are in a situation similar to what I was in: messages and other data were missing from iPhone after iTunes restore.

I found a lot of programs out there that would allow me to extract the messages and download them to my computer, but this wasn’t all that helpful. I really wanted to get them back on to the iPhone.

Well, I am pleased to report there is a program that does this, and it actually works! The program is called Backuptrans iPhone SMS Backup & Restore, you can find a link here: http://www.backuptrans.com/iphone-sms-backup-restore.html

I was able to restore over 75,000 SMS messages to the phone. No jailbreak required. I was able to merge those messages with a few message that were already on the phone since after the restore. I highly recommend this program! At the time of this writing, it costs $20USD, but in my mind it is well worth that cost as there is no other way (that I know of) to recover these to your phone (unless you are jailbroken, but this article is not about that).

One caveat: It will not recover MMS messages/pictures, only text. Also, it appears that it perhaps converts iMessages to Texts, but still, to get all these back on your phone is great! Also,  you do need to have a valid iTunes Backup that includes your messages.

There are instructions on their website but here are a few instructions to do the recovery:

  1. Purchase, download and install Backuptrans SMS Backup & Restore: http://www.backuptrans.com/iphone-sms-backup-restore.html
  2. You will have to turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup temporarily for this. So, go ahead and do that now.
  3. When you open the program, you will first want to load the iTunes backup that contains your messages. To do this, choose the option “Import SMS from iTunes Backup to Local Database.”Image
  4. You will be presented with a list of backups to choose from. Choose the backup that contains your messages, click “Confirm.” It will then ask you to give a name for the local database. Do this, and you will see it listed under Local Databases, like so:

    backuptrans2

  5. So, you will notice that it has all your contacts on the left, and all the messages on the right. NOTE: If you have downloaded the trial, it will only show you 20 SMS messages, so if you are not seeing all your messages, you probably don’t have the purchased version.
  6. Now, go ahead and plug in your iPhone. If you have a passcode you will want to unlock it. Also, make sure and turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup if you haven’t done so already (you can turn these back on once the process is complete).
  7. When you connect your phone it will “back up” your data. Give it some time to do this. You will now see your phone listed under “Devices”, and on the right side you should see all your messages on your phone (if you have any).
  8. This step is only if you want to merge the messages on your phone since recovery with your old messages. If you have no new messages, you can skip this step. Right-click on your phone under “Devices” and choose “Backup SMS from this iPhone to local database”.
    backuptrans3It will ask you which database to merge into. Choose the database that you created in step 4, the local database. It will now merge all your messages from your phone into the same database as your old messages.
  9. Now, once that’s done, it’s time to put your messages back on your phone! Right-click the database name under local databases (the one you created in step 4). Make sure to right-click at the databse level, not the individual messages level. Choose the option “Transfer SMS from Database to iPhone”.
    backuptrans4
  10. That’s it! It will now go through the process of uploading all those messages back to your phone.

One issue I did face was a message about insufficient disk space on the phone. I don’t know how much free space is required, they do not make that clear, however to be safe, you may want to do this process before adding music and other large media to your phone.

I hope this article helps! Let me know in the comments if this works for you.

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Outlook iCloud Calendar – The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened.

I got this error on iCloud Calendar for Outlook on Windows 8 and Office 2013.

The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened

The solution for me was quite simple. I went to Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs. Choose “iCloud” and click Change. Then, choose the “Repair” option (make sure Outlook is closed).

After doing the repair, my iCloud came back!

 

SOLUTION: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 iTunes 12 (iTunes 8, 9, 10, 11) iPhone / iTouch / iPad “software is not installed” error (Apple Mobile Device service missing) 32bit/64bit

Updated 11/12/2016: Added files for iTunes 12.5.3, + Drivers, 64-bit. I no longer have access to a 32-bit computer. If you don’t have the latest version of iTunes, you can download it here.

***NOTICE*** It seems every new version of iTunes breaks this fix. If this fix has worked for you, then I recommend you stay on the iTunes version you have and don’t upgrade. You can see the Release Notes of each version of iTunes and see if there is a feature that you need. Typically I have found the upgrades aren’t all that needed (except major versions like 11 to 12, of course).

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After searching the net and lots of forums and trying lots of things, I thought I’d post the solution that actually worked for me. I owe a great deal of thanks to Chris123nt for this post (link removed, blog post no longer exists) for pointing me in the right direction.

First off, you will know if the solution below will work for you if you have the following set-up and symptoms:

  • Windows 7 (or Windows 8, Windows 10) and iTunes 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 (I tried all versions, and many commenters have indicated this issue still exists in iTunes 12)
  • An iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad
  • You receive the following error when you plug in your iPhone: “This iPhone cannot be used because the required software is not installed. Run the iTunes installer to remove iTunes, then re-install iTunes.”
  • The Apple Mobile Device Service was not installed (to check this, click Start, Run, then type “services.msc” Look for “Apple Mobile Device”. If it doesn’t exist, keep reading. If it does, you have a different problem.)
  • You have tried installing and re-installing iTunes already and it didn’t work
  • According to other forums / posts, you might have tried extracting the Apple Mobile Device Software install files separately from the iTunes installer and installing manually that way, and it still didn’t work

The problem is, for some reason, iTunes won’t install the Apple Mobile Device software or service. Even if you extract out the AMDS installation files, it still fails. The SOLUTION is to take the software and service from a working machine for AMDS and manually install it. Then, it will work!

Luckily for you, I have provided the files you will need and installation instructions. This is a bit technical, but obviously worth it to get your iPhone,  iTouch or iPad working on Windows. These instructions are for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, 8 or 10 and the latest version of iTunes 12. Depending on whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, make sure you select the appropriate files and follow the right instructions, otherwise it won’t work.

If you don’t know whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, right-click on “Computer”, click Properties, then look under “System type”.

Good luck!

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  1. First of all, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed. You can download it from here. These instructions will NOT work for iTunes 8, 9, 10 or 11 anymore. If you’re unsure, just uninstall iTunes then re-install with the latest files.
  2. Next, you need to manually copy the Mobile Device Support directory from a working machine to your Windows 7 computer. Luckily, I have conveniently provided these files for you. You can download them here:
    64-Bit iTunes 12.5.3: Please click here to download this directory for 64-bit Windows.
    32-Bit
    iTunes 11.1.5: Please click here to download this directory for 32-bit Windows.

  3. Once you download that file, you need to Unzip it to this directory. IMPORTANT: Make sure you unzip the CONTENTS of the zip file, don’t just copy over the zip file:
    32-Bit: Unzip to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple
    64-Bit: Unzip to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple
    There are a large number of files in that directory, so it may take a little time, please be patient.
    So, after unzipping, you should have a new folder “Mobile Device Support” in the Apple folder
  4. 64-BIT ONLY STEP: If you have 32-bit Windows, skip this step. It seems that Apple has put the “Drivers” in a separate location (don’t know why). You will need to download the drivers separately. Please click here to download the files for 64-bit Windows.
    Once downloaded, you need to Unzip it to this directory. IMPORTANT: Make sure you unzip the CONTENTS of the zip file, don’t just copy over the zip file:
    Unzip to: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple
    So, after unzipping, you should have a new folder “Mobile Device Support” in the Apple folder
  5. Next, we have to merge the registry entries that will install the Apple Mobile Device service.
  6. First, download the registry entries that I have provided for you here:
    64-bit iTunes 12.5.3: Click here to download the registry entries for 64-bit Windows.
    32-bit
    iTunes 11.1.5: Click here to download the registry entries for 32-bit Windows.
    After you download the registry entries ZIP file, unzip it to your desktop and double-click each to install it. Say “Yes” to any prompts or confirmations about adding it to the registry. There are 2 entries, make sure you click BOTH and add BOTH to the registry.
  7. Now, we need to install the correct driver for your iPhone / iTouch. Windows 7 incorrectly identifies the device  as a digital camera. To fix this:
    – Plug in your iPhone / iTouch (don’t have iTunes loaded at this time)
    – Go to Device Manager (Click Start, right-click Computer,  then click Properties. In the window that appears choose “Device Manager” on the left)
    – Scroll down and find “Apple iPod” or “Apple iPhone” or “Apple iTouch”. It will likely be under the “Portable Devices” category.IMPORTANT NOTE: If your device is already listed under “Universal serial Bus Controllers” and not Portable Devices, you can skip these steps and go to Step 7.
    –  Right-click the Apple device and choose “Update Driver Software…”
    – Choose “Browse my computer for driver software” in the window that appears
    –  It will ask you for a location; you want to Browse to this folder (location is the same in 32 and 64 bit Windows):
    32-bit and 64-bit: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers
    – Click Next
    – It should find the driver for your device; let it install that driver
  8. Once you complete these steps, reboot your computer. Once you reboot everything should work exactly as expected!

***NOTICE*** It seems every new version of iTunes breaks this fix. If this fix has worked for you, then I recommend you stay on the iTunes version you have and don’t upgrade. You can see the Release Notes of each version of iTunes and see if there is a feature that you need. Typically I have found the upgrades aren’t all that needed (except major versions like 10 to 11, of course).

Please write in the comments and let me know if this worked for you.

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