How to Fix the iPhone Disconnected Error During Backup or Restore in iTunes

Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iTunes, iPhone | View Comments

iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected.

If you're getting an error in iTunes that your iPhone “disconnected” during a backup or restore, this essentially means that the backup or restore stopped when iTunes didn't expect it to. The stop could be from an error, or from problems the USB connection from the iPhone to the computer.

The solutions for dealing with this are very different depending on if you're backing up or restoring a backup, so jump down to the heading appropriate for your scenario.

These solutions are for all iOS devices: iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the iPhone Disconnected

iPhone Disconnected Error During a Restore

If you're getting the iPhone Disconnected error while trying to restore a backup to your device, we need to find a solution that will keep the data you're trying to restore intact. (This is my way of advising you to avoid any solutions that involve deleting the backup!)

How to fix iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected:

  • Remove any USB hubs in the connection between your computer and your iPhone. These can potentially cause USB errors that make the restore process fail. Update 2/4/2019: If you're using a newer MacBook that only uses USB-C, and you're connecting your iPhone to your MacBook using a USB-C hub, we recommend either connecting your iPhone directly to the MacBook using a USB-C lightning cable or copying the backup to another computer with a regular USB port. (Feel free to contact us if you need help copying the backup.)

  • Connect the iPhone to a different USB port on your computer. If you have multiple USB ports on different sides of the computer (front and back or left and right side) switch to an entirely different side/set of USB ports. Also, if you have some USB 3 and some USB 2 ports on your computer, try using the USB 2 port.

  • Reboot the computer you're doing the restore with. This will fix any potential USB connection errors.

  • Reboot the iPhone you're restoring, by pressing the top or side (lock) button until a “slide to power off” slider appears. Slide to power off, wait a few moments, and then power back on. If the iPhone is not freshly setup, you can also try doing a Reset Network Settings in the Settings app > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

  • Assuming none of these solutions worked, there may be an actual error in the backup you're trying to restore. You can download our free trial of Decipher Backup Repair to diagnose the errors in the backup. Register Decipher Backup Repair to fix the errors so you can restore the backup in iTunes.

iTunes could not back up the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected.

iPhone Disconnected Error During a Backup

If you're getting the iPhone Disconnected error while trying to backup your device, we can hopefully solve the problem easily, since we don't need to worry about keeping the old existing backup intact.

How to fix iTunes could not back up the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected:

  • Remove any USB hubs in the connection between your computer and your iPhone. These can potentially cause USB errors that make the restore process fail. This is also a good time to try switching USB ports on the computer and USB cables if you have a spare.

  • Reboot the computer you're doing the restore with. This will fix any potential USB connection errors.

  • Turn off Background App Refresh in the Settings app > General > Background App Refresh. (If you are using iOS 8 or lower, then put the iPhone into Airplane Mode.) In our experience with customers, we've found that too much background app activity (incoming messages, etc) can cause problems that result in the “iPhone Disconnected” message. (Don't forget to turn back on Background App Refresh after the backup is done!)

  • Addition 1/10/17: I've seen a couple of backups where we had to put the iPhone into Low Power Mode in the Settings app under Battery to get the background file changes to slow down enough to get the backup working. Addition 4/12/17 We recommend setting all three settings: Background App Refresh off, Airplane Mode on, and Low Power Mode on. For some people, all three options are needed to quiet the background operations enough to complete the backup.

  • We likely need to remove (or move) the existing backup, so that we eliminate errors caused by reading or trying to update it. To move/remove your existing backup:

    On a Mac your backups are in /Users/your username/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.

    • (Open Finder, hold the Option key, and select “Library” from the Go menu to get to your user's Library folder.)

    In Windows, the fastest way to get to your backup folders is:

    • (Windows 7 and below) Start > Run > type %appdata% (with the percents) and press return.

    • (Windows 8 and Windows 10) Search > type %appdata% (with the percents) and press return. From Application Data, navigate to Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.

    • Addition 5/22/18: (Windows 10 - Microsoft Store iTunes) Search > type %userprofile% (with the percents) and press return. From there, navigate to Apple > MobileSync > Backup.

    You can match your device identifier with the backup folder name by clicking on the Serial Number field in iTunes (which will switch it to your device identifier.)

    Rename this folder to anything you like (like “old backup”) or delete it. Renaming the backup is sufficient to hide it from iTunes and force iTunes to make a new backup from scratch — this usually eliminates the problem.

  • Addition 7/31/17: We've had some people report that renaming the entire “Backup” folder (rather than the single backup inside) to something else (“OldBackup” is a great example) helps resolve the problem. If this works for you, I highly recommend running a hard drive scan/repair after you're up and running, since this could be an indication that there's some bad blocks on your hard drive. (I also advocate backing up any essential data on that drive before running a scan if you've noticed other weird behavior that could indicate a failing hard drive.)

  • If removing the previous backup didn't work, let's do it again in combination with another possible fix:

    • First, remove the unsuccessful backup from the previous step.

    • Remove the lockdown folder according to these instructions from Apple Addition 5/22/18: Apple took down their instructions for removing the lockdown folder, so if you get to this point, contact us for assistance. We can help with instructions, and I'd like to make sure this is still a useful fix to have in this article. :)

Addition 2/4/18: USB-C Lightning Cables

We've seen a couple USB-C hubs fail and cause a disconnection error while restoring a backup in iTunes. We're working on testing some USB-C lightning cables ourselves so we can make recommendations on cables that we know work well. So far, the only USB-C lightning cable we feel comfortable recommending is the USB-C lightning cable directly from Apple. (Beware, the cables we've seen on Amazon so far claiming to be Apple cables are counterfeits that don't work well.) We will update this list with other options as we discover ones that we confirm work well. If you have a USB-C lightning cable that you've used to backup and restore, please leave a comment letting us know so we can test it and add it to the list!



Bob April 4, 2019

Hi, i backed up my iphone files to my computer and then edited and replaced one of the files with sqlite manager. I know i edited the right files but for some reason after i edit them and attemp to restore it always says iphone disconnected please help me.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW April 4, 2019

Hi Bob,

Many of the files in the backup also have checksums, and editing the file would make this checksum invalid now. Decipher Backup Repair does clean up these sorts of problems, if that's helpful for you! Or you can use the free trial to do the initial scan and verify that it's complaining about invalid checksums, or if it's complaining about something else (missing files, etc)


Sarah April 4, 2019

Thank you this really worked!

fijo johny

fijo johny March 3, 2019

thanks a lot , simple, and detailed way of explaining , a normal people can also try for this by following up steps properly.

J S (ViperJim)

J S (ViperJim) March 3, 2019

Using original Apple cable solved the issue for me.

Zanendra Parajuli

Zanendra Parajuli February 2, 2019

I am restoring my backup from iphone and the restore process uses all the free space on my computer. what I found is it creates copies of the backup file using timestamped folders can I delete those ffoldes to free up space till itunes restore my iphone? I cannot restore if it uses all my free space and itunes disconnect from iphone.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW February 2, 2019

Hi Zanendra,

Yes, you can delete those date-stamped backups to make room. If there's data on the iPhone when you go to restore a backup to it, iTunes sometimes/usually will make that last-minute backup while you're restoring. Assuming whatever is on the iPhone now isn't important (since it's about to be overwritten anyhow by the restore), you could also wipe the iPhone before restoring the backup.

If you're restoring the backup to the same iPhone that made the backup, you may want to rename the folder for the original backup you're restoring, so that iTunes doesn't overwrite it on accident with the freshly-wiped iPhone ;) "backup". If it's not the same iPhone, then there's no worry about this.

Valerie Jones

Valerie Jones February 2, 2019

It worked! Thank you so very much!

Apple fan

Apple fan February 2, 2019

Essentially all that means that if you do not know the magic apple spell it wont work. Thanks Apple.


Chris January 1, 2019

Thank you for the article. I renamed my old backup folder and finally - the backup worked!

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software January 1, 2019

Great news, Chris! Thanks for letting us know. ;-)

Tyerique Ogbourne

Tyerique Ogbourne December 12, 2018

Ive tried everything here and everything in the comments and it doesnt seem to work i still get the disconnected in itunes

Tyerique Ogbourne

Tyerique Ogbourne December 12, 2018

please help

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software December 12, 2018

We do all our support via email, Tyerique. The best way to contact us is via our website at -Drop us a note and we'll be happy to try and assist.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2018

Hi Tyerique,

Are you trying to make a backup, or trying to restore a backup you made before? If you're trying to restore a backup, and have tried everything in this post and the comments, have you tried using Decipher Backup Repair yet?

Tyerique Ogbourne

Tyerique Ogbourne January 1, 2019

i got it to work


DrugBourn December 12, 2018

Hi, I'm having struggles restoring my backup on a new Iphone 8. What happens is it keeps turning off in the middle of the restore, causing the disconnect. Any ideas?

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2018

The iPhone reboots after a restore fails usually, so the order of events here may not be what they seem. It's likely the restore fails & the phone starts rebooting.. and then iTunes later realizes that the iPhone essentially "hung up" on it :)

My ideas would be the ones under the section "How to fix iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected" in the article. Sometimes the problem is an error in the backup itself -- do you still have the previous iPhone with the data intact? If not, this is the scenario we made Decipher Backup Repair to fix backups for: errors in the backup and the device that made the backup is gone, so you can't try to make a new one.


John October 10, 2018

My phone is stuck on the apple logo and basicly trying to turn on but is stuck on a loop. im able to put it in recovery mode but whenever I try to recover it in itunes it reeboots itself and gets back to the loop.... any seguestions?

Kelly HW

Kelly HW October 10, 2018

Hi John,

Is this after restoring a backup to the phone, or did the phone just start doing this?


pixel8or October 10, 2018

Tried everything here, nothing worked. Finally got it to work by connecting the cable to a USB 2 port on the back of my computer. Even the USB 3 ports on the back did not work. Could have been related to the USB hub issue that another user had in here, as the front ports are pretty much an internal "hub". So try a direct USB 2 connection first before all of the other things. Low hanging fruit and all...

Kelly HW

Kelly HW October 10, 2018

Glad to hear that switching the port helped! I'll expand the USB port suggestion in the post to include making sure to try a USB 2 port specifically. Thanks for commenting!

Hamza Halabi

Hamza Halabi September 9, 2018

thank you so much ... it works


Ishan August 8, 2018

I wasted a week researching this. What finally worked for me:

First let me tell that there is a difference between back and restore.

Backup: It is when you store phone data in iTunes.

Restore: It is when you take a backup into your iPhone via iTunes.

I was struggling with RESTORING my phone as it was showing some strange error. After a lot of research i got to know that iTunes creates multiple data dumps in C drive and if your drive is getting full and there is no space for a further dump, then backup or restore wont happen. Basically when you backup your phone, a new folder will be created and if you restore, a temporary folder of whole backup will be created. Each case the folder is huge in size.

My case: My folder in C drive had already made 10-12 backups of 120GB hence when i was clicking on restore, iTunes couldn't find more space to create a folder of 20GB hence it was not happening. I simply deleted old backups and space on C drive got free and everything got smoothly done.


Kelly August 8, 2018

Thank you!!! Renaming my back ups and my back up folder worked!!!!

Richard Courtney

Richard Courtney July 7, 2018

You are AWSOME, I have tried unsucsessfully to back up my phone and the disconnect message kept coming up. I googled problem thank god you came up and I turned off app refresh and the backup went straight through. You have rocked my world today X

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software July 7, 2018

Thanks Richard! We're glad our blog post was helpful. Great news! ;-)

Mauro Nonnis

Mauro Nonnis July 7, 2018

Really thank you man!
After 2 days running around in circle, finally you saved me! Enabling low energy mode does the trick for me (iPhone 6 iOS 10.2)

Kelly HW

Kelly HW July 7, 2018

Hi Mauro,

Awesome, glad you got the backup working! Thank you for letting us know :)!


Carter June 6, 2018

I've tried this suggestion and now my phone won't power on. Mann this sucks time.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW June 6, 2018

Hi Carter,

Are you trying to make a backup, or restore a backup?


Eric June 6, 2018

The steps in this articles is worked for me, thanks a lot.

Louie Feyt

Louie Feyt June 6, 2018

Thanks Guys much appreciated the following worked !!
For some people, all three options are needed to quiet the background operations enough to complete the backup.


schumannhertz April 4, 2018

Thank you very much, Kelly! I turned on low-power mode and airplane mode and that finally got it "quiet" enough I suppose? to backup my phone. It took damn near an hour for me to find this article. Thank you for the recommendation; this is is a damned nuisance.

Carolien Braakenburg

Carolien Braakenburg April 4, 2018

This seems to be an old discussion but non the less going to give it a try. Working in 2 countries i was also working with 2 iPhones. Turns out only the iPhone 5 was backing up not the iPhone 6. Now im going back to 1 number and want to back up the iPhone 6 as most the of the info is on there but it is giving me the disconnected message when I try to back up. I want to back up to my computer. Have tried everything on this list, removed all old backups from the phone and it has never backed up to iTunes before so there are no files there, or if there are i can't find them. can someone please help because without the back up i can't move on to my next iPhone.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW April 4, 2018

Hi Carolien,

If you want to reach out and send us an email, we can help run some debugging logs while you try to back up, and hopefully see a more interesting underlying error message to help us figure out the problem.

Jamie Martin

Jamie Martin March 3, 2018

My problem was "disconnect during backup/sync". I tried the various steps above and renaming the last backup and moving it out of the "Backup" folder finally did the trick. Thank you!

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software March 3, 2018

Great news, Jamie! We're happy our blog was helpful. Thanks for letting us know! ;-)

Hillary Keyes

Hillary Keyes February 2, 2018

Ive tried everything, nothing works...getting battery done because it got recalled and I cant seem to save anything onto my computer or onto icloud!

Kelly HW

Kelly HW February 2, 2018

Hi Hillary,

If you'd like, send us an email via our support page ( and we can help you take a look at your specific situation!

Rodrigo Reis

Rodrigo Reis January 1, 2018

What worked for me: Removing my old backup files.

Christopher Reay

Christopher Reay January 1, 2018

For my iPhone 6sPlus on a HP Windows 10 computer - I tried various suggestions here with no luck - except for the following: Rename the "Backup" folder. The path to find it is

C:Users/Your Name (Chris, for me)/AppData/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync

I renamed the folder "Backup" to "Old Backup". My phone finally synced after trying tons of things.

Good luck guys, and thank you for all of the suggestions.


Mimo January 1, 2018

Thanks a lot <3

PixelMaster 505

PixelMaster 505 November 11, 2017

A couple of things... It may show up in Roaming > Apple Computer and the backup file mightn't be the serial number, but it might be the "UDID" My serial number backup theory might only work for iPads

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2017

Hi PixelMaster,

Correct on both points: the %appdata% folder on some Windows systems will take you all the way to Roaming. And, the backups are made with the UDID, not the serial number - you click on the serial number in iTunes to change it to the UDID.


Kenji November 11, 2017

Thank you for the solution. I renamed the whole backup folder and forced iTunes to create a new backup. It worked like a charm. Thanks again

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software November 11, 2017

Great news, Kenji! Thanks for letting us know! ;-)

Ham's Dad

Ham's Dad October 10, 2017

I worked on this issue on my iPhone 7, 10.3.3, for hrs last night, tried airplane mode, low power, app refresh off, renamed backup, deleted backup, updated windows, updated iTunes, restarted the PC (Win10) numerous times, new lightning cables, different USB ports, checking to make sure USB port wasn't in power save mode (tuning off phone), reset my network settings in my phone, windows defender is off. I haven't put my PC in safe mode, and still disconnects when iTunes gets to step 3 on the backup process. So I updated my 7 to 11.0.3 and everything worked perfect. 10.3.3 is the problem.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW October 10, 2017

Sounds like you had the unicode character in a filename error! That was an issue making a backup that was fixed in 10.3.3 to iOS 11. In case you wanted to see a little bit more about it: https://openradar.appspot.c... So glad your backup is working now!

Gabriel Bergamini

Gabriel Bergamini October 10, 2017

I downgraded from ios11 to 10.3.3 and since I did that I wasn't able to back up my iPhone - Error:
"iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the iPhone Disconnected". I tried to move the old back up files as showed in this tutorial and it has worked fine. Thanks guys.

Jared Blaut

Jared Blaut September 9, 2017

I had the backup issue and tried (most) everything listed, and nothing worked... until I simply chose to sync my iPhone and iMac over wifi. I'll spare you the boring diagnostic stuff; the short version is that after much fuss, I believe the problem is some sort of physical damage with my iPhone 6's lightning port. Taking the port out of the equation resolved the issue for me, and might for you. If nothing else it's a good first step to try before getting into fiddling with files and reboots and whatnot.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW September 9, 2017

Hi Jared,

Thank you for sharing your experience! If you get a chance, I'd try making a backup on another computer (you can back up on any computer regardless of whether it's the iTunes library you sync with, you just won't do the sync step) to verify if it's your lightning port, or if it's something with the USB on that computer (could be hardware or software).

Diamond Towiwat

Diamond Towiwat September 9, 2017

Update to ios11 will solve all the problem.

Apoorva Joshi

Apoorva Joshi September 9, 2017

I tried all the above techniques. can't take a back up of my iPhone 7+ on Mac book air. It simply doesn't sync and it always shows the same error

Kelly HW

Kelly HW September 9, 2017

Hi Apoorva,

Sent us an email via our contact link at the top of this page. We'll followup with some instructions for getting more information about the error while trying to make a backup.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith August 8, 2017

No renaming needed here. I tried all these tips and what finally did the trick was turning off Windows Defender. Hope this helps someone. My system is Windows 10. So no rename- Airplane Mode, Battery Low Mode and turn off Win Defender. Fixed and Restored!

Kelly HW

Kelly HW August 8, 2017

Hi Mike,

Thanks for letting us know about this interesting fix!

Arun Rai

Arun Rai August 8, 2017

i was able to backup with my macbook pro when i was on ios 11 beta4 but when i downgraded my iphone to ios 10.3.3 than i couldn't backup my iphone.
i tried everything making my phone in power mode ,background app refresh off, flight mode, deleted my previous back up and tried to back up neither this all helped me.
~Could any one have solution for this?

Stanislav Snajberg

Stanislav Snajberg August 8, 2017

I have tried everything including backup on iCloud, where it wrote that some of files are missing after two days of backing up...... iTunes always and every time writes "disconnected". Problem has started this spring by that time everything went well. What I am thinking about is how they want to program artificial inteligence if the best paid developers at Apple and Microsoft are not able to write reliable operating system. God save our souls when AI moron will get crazy.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW August 8, 2017

Hi Stanislav,

There's definitely an issue with unicode characters in filenames, that has gotten worse in iOS 10.3.3 -- I'm working on an automated solution to help people find the files, but feel free to send us an email via our support page if you want to try to dig in and see what the iTunes backup issue is. (I'm not currently digging into the iCloud issues yet, but I assume that those files that are missing are the ones with the broken unicode in the name.)

Arun Rai

Arun Rai August 8, 2017

i was able to backup with my macbook pro when i was on ios 11 beta4 but when i downgraded my iphone to ios 10.3.3 than i couldn't backup my iphone.
i tried everything making my phone in power mode ,background app refresh off, flight mode, deleted my previous back up and tried to back up neither this all helped me.
~Could any one have solution for this?

Stanislav Snajberg

Stanislav Snajberg August 8, 2017

Hi Kelly, thanks for a quick reply. This is precisely what I thought and that is why I wrote that rude notice at the end of my post. I tried to remove all suspicious files from iBooks and Notes but there can be tons of email attachments and and other "hidden" files so finding them manually is almost impossible.


Steven August 8, 2017

Hello guys...Though I'm not a tech geek, I'm familiar with softwares. So I tried every possible steps guided by an apple technician and every solutions listed here. Nothing worked. I'm not exactly sure but maybe there are device issues. Because this "iPhone disconnected" message showed up since I've used a 3rd-party cable just for one day. Did anyone have the same issue?
So I'm trying my back up through iCloud. If the iCloud backup works, reset the iPhone, then try the iTunes backup again. And if that fails, it will be more convincing that there's a problem on the device (since if icloud backup works).
But before I do all these steps, can anyone please tell me any other possible solution? To be honest, I've never had such problems in my 8-year use of iPhone.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW August 8, 2017

More recently, I've seen some inappropriate filenames in app stored data cause issues making a backup, in addition to the run of the mill USB stile issues and hardware items addressed in the article.

If your experiments don't pan out and you'd like us to help you dig a little deeper, you can send us a note via our support page and we can help look at some debugging logs while the backup is being made.


Tyson August 8, 2017

NOTHING WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software August 8, 2017

Hi Tyson, if you are having troubles feel free to drop us a sport email via our website and we can try to help from there. ;-)

Santiago Rivera

Santiago Rivera July 7, 2017

Still works but you may have to try a view different. I was upgrading to 10.3.3 and consistent error msg indicating my iPhone 6s was disconnected. I tried changing cables with no results. I started at the top of this tech note and worked thru until the end. Problem solved for me when I renamed the "Backup" folder to "OldBackUp". I then was able to manually backup my iPhone 6s for upgrade to 10.3.3. FYI I did have Airplane Mode=on, Low Power Mode=on, Background App Refresh=off


Renato September 9, 2017

Hi Santiago, Have tried everything in this forum except the fact that I am working in a windows 7 environment. Nothing has worked nor the renaming the bachup folder, the setting of airplane mode, low Power, and Background App refresh. What may I have to try next?


Jean July 7, 2017

Thank you Kelly! Renaming the folder did the trick!!!! I love it when problems get solved. :)


vetsvette July 7, 2017

Solved mine by going to iTunes> preferences> devices and deleting all backups having to do with IOS 11 Beta. For some reason Beta wouldn't interface with my car or my HUD/NAV (heads up display). The disconnect problems started when I reverted back to 10.3.3. All good now. I'll wait for official release of IOS 11.


MothersBasementBrigade July 7, 2017

I've tried everything in this forum. I even got the Backup Repair app. This app "worked" and sorta restored my phone but all my settings were at their default, my apps had my old data but it was like the first time using them. Now when I tried to backup my phone a week later I'm back to getting the same disconnect error. I've again tried all the fixes in this thread but I still get the error. I don't want to use the app again and have all my settings moved back to the default and have to re-sign-in to all my apps again. PLEASE HELP!

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software July 7, 2017

The best thing to do is email us via our support page and fill us in on the details there. Then we can get back to you with help.

Dominick Oranika

Dominick Oranika June 6, 2017

Deleting the previous backups, although I just moved them into a subfolder, work for me. Thanks for your guide!

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software June 6, 2017

Great news, Dominick! ;-)

Sulam Burk

Sulam Burk June 6, 2017

A=HA!!!!!!!!!!!!! this entire article is only worth the COMMENT by "DENNIS"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dc Usman Choo

Dc Usman Choo May 5, 2017

Thank You!!! Airplane Mode + Low Power Mode + renaming the old backup folder did the trick. i am able to backup and sync my iphone to my mac. Thank you very very much.


stacie May 5, 2017

Thank you so much after spending 5 hours with apple support and nothing worked. I found this page and renamed my previous download which allowed me to back up my phone today! THANK YOU!!!

Amos Lim

Amos Lim May 5, 2017

Tried all suggestions but still doesn't work.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW May 5, 2017

Hi Amos,

Feel free to reach out to us directly via our support page - so we can talk more about your specific situation. Or let us know here if you're trying to restore a backup or make a backup, and whether you're on Windows or Mac.

Abhin Chhabra

Abhin Chhabra June 6, 2017

Kelly HW Dennis please help me out. I am not able to take backup as it says iphone disconnected. i have tried renaming backup folder too, restting network also.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW June 6, 2017

Hi Abhin,

Are you on Mac or Windows? Did you try the other items listed in the post above (airplane mode/background app refresh, safe mode, etc?)

St K

St K April 4, 2017

iTunes could not back up the iPhone because the iPhone disconnected....

all done, nothing successful ;-(

for deleting lockdown I had to give rights to my own at first
then it was possible, But also no solution

I did a call with apple support at least 4 hours!!!
no solution anyway

I did all other described possibilities on other websites to get normal function, but no chance
I reinstalled Sierra and iTunes
I did NVRAM reset
I did SMC reset
I did a earlier backup from time machine
I did all on iPhone
.... nothing happened positive

I´ve no more idea, that´so bad

But it´s also total confusing because it´s also the same with the iPad
But apple an I we found no failure on iMac

Is there any other possibility to find it (on iMac)!?

Kelly HW

Kelly HW April 4, 2017

Hi St K,

Do you use a symilnk to map your backup folder to an external or network drive?

I assume you tried low power and airplane mode during the backup?

If you want to send us an email (with the contact link above), we can help you collect some debug logs while you try to back up.

St K

St K April 4, 2017

Hi Kelly,

thanks for your answer and trying helping me!

Let´s rock the party now :-)))

It´s unbelievable, but perhaps 3 settings could be the solution at least‽ I´m not sure, I´m really not sure, I´m still totally confused!
I only tried always 2 from 3 steps below, but never 3 together!

My iPhone and my iPad is doing well now after this 3 settings:
low power mode and airplane mode and background actuality in one step!!!
After this, I switched all 3 back and the backup did well again!

But I´m not sure if this was the real solution at all‽
I also have had a syncing problem with my Synology DS at the same time!
Syncing with Goodreader App was not able to do well to the password protected and hidden folder on DS, but in function modern unprotected mode.
It seems, that all was good with the folder and the connection between iPhone and DS, but I think it wasn't!
But I´m really not sure about...
I reinstalled Goodreader on iphone and iPad
I brought the normal function back between iPhone and folder on DS. And I did a restart of the DS.

Shortly after, I did the step above mentioned with the 3 settings.

I don't know if it was coincidence‽ I can´t reconstruct it!

But I´m very very satisfied now and really happy!!!

Spliffy Hat

Spliffy Hat March 3, 2017

"I've seen a couple of backups where we had to put the iPhone into Low Power Mode in the Settings app under Battery to get the background file changes to slow down enough to get the backup working."

Thank you
This worked :)

Kelly HW

Kelly HW March 3, 2017

Hi Spliffy Hat - Awesome I'm glad to hear it! Thank you for letting us know!

El Màgico

El Màgico March 3, 2017

i red on some apple discussion that an possible sollution is backup-ing the newley restored as new iphone on a different user,then copy the status. file overwriting the one you have in the old backup,i dunno i'll give it a try


David February 2, 2017

My 6s started the 10.1.2 update but stopped in the middle. Its now boots up with the "Hello" screen and asks for language, country etc..I cannot access anything on the phone. I've tried restoring from Itunes several times and it errors out at about the 13-20 minutes left mark.. If I setup as a new phone, can I then restore to my old settings?

Kelly HW

Kelly HW February 2, 2017

Hi David,

If you haven't gone through the setup screens, I'd do so, and yes select "Setup as New" -- then see if the settings and your data are still there.

Is the restore that is erring in iTunes the Restore Backup or Restore iPhone?

Igli Panariti

Igli Panariti February 2, 2017

I tried all of the above for a backup and it still doesn't work :/ The error message I receive now says 'the backup session failed.' Are there any new fixes? Much appreciated.

Laura Hodos

Laura Hodos January 1, 2017

Renaming the folder worked! Thank you so much!


Ryan January 1, 2017

I feel dumb that the classic, "Did you try turning it off and then back on?" worked for me haha.


AJ January 1, 2017

Unfortunately, none of the suggestions worked for me. I am trying to backup my phone to itunes. The backup seems to be proceeding fine, but then I get the dreaded "disconnect" message on my computer. At the very same time, I get a message/alert on my phone that there's an issue with lack of storage space ON MY PHONE (not my computer) and that I can manage my storage in Settings. I have 2GB that is free on my phone, which I can't imagine isn't enough to do a backup. Thoughts? Thanks!

Kelly HW

Kelly HW January 1, 2017

Yeah, there shouldn't be very much of a size check for making a backup. Just to be sure: it's not a message on your iPhone about your iCloud storage, correct? Plugging in to the computer may also trigger an iCloud backup simultaneously by plugging in to power.

I assume you tried putting the iPhone into power save mode, but if not, try that. Otherwise, if you want to use the contact link way at the top of the page, send us an email and I can help you collect the debug logs from the iPhone while you're trying to make a backup, and we can take a look with you.

Stephen Hall

Stephen Hall January 1, 2017

Moving my old backup to a new folder worked for me! After I moved it, I restarted my PC.


Hal January 1, 2017

My iTunes began misbehaving AGAIN (see my post from two months ago) two days ago. This time, it was a Windows 10 issue. A number of things occurred: every time I synced, I got a message stating that a file could not be read. Each time I saw this message,it was for a different song that has been in my itunes all along. I also got messages like "the iphone cannot be synced because it cannot be read from" and "device not connected."
This time around, helpful Apple rep Max resolved my issue. We did a few things:
- Turned off Autoplay.
- Connected device to usb port on the back of the PC. Added some speed and efficiency.
- Uninstalled the device (iphone/ipad) under device manager/portable devices, because Windows 10 automatically treats your device like another storage device instead of a smartphone or tablet.
- Discussed purchasing a new computer ; )
Hope this is helpful to anyone with a similar set up to mine.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW January 1, 2017

Thanks for sharing this Hal! I'm researching what may be a similar kind of issue. What kind of computer do you have now that was having the Windows 10 related trouble? Curious to see whether they could be related.


Hal January 1, 2017

Hi Kelly,
I have the HP HPE-410y (64-bit, 2.70 GHz, 8GB). It's obviously becoming increasingly incompatible with the latest software/tech. I love my iMac at work, so the time for a new system looms ...

Niraj Makwana

Niraj Makwana January 1, 2017

the resetting network setting worked for me first time, if it happened again I would consider changing the cable i sycned with as i know its not a genuine one


Elizabeth December 12, 2016

If you're still having this problem, what worked for me was using the cord that came with the phone! I had an iPhone 7 that would not restore the backup from my iPhone 6.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2016

Ah great Elizabeth! I'm sorry your old cable is not working properly, but glad you're up and running again! When I find a broken cable, I like to take a sharpie and draw a sad face (or X, if you're not a faces kind of person) on the white part of the lightning plug end. That way I can still use it to charge, but remind myself not to use it for data transfers. (And sometimes I relegate that cable to my car just to make sure!)


exbert December 12, 2016

The solution that worked for me was to delete the most recent iTunes backup. Preferences/Devices/Backups/Delete backup. If the most recent backup is corrupted, all subsequent backups will fail.


KathyOz December 12, 2016

You guys rock!! Apple, not so much... :((
I'd like to add that for me the only way to delete previous backups was through Itunes > preferences > devices (more details here: .
Could not locate the backup files directly in my Finder folders...


Hal November 11, 2016

I lost everything on my iPhone 6S - photos, texts, contacts, etc. - a few days ago when I installed the latest iTunes update. I've been working with Apple to retrieve my files but nothing has worked thus far. I've tried restoring from a recent backup, which can take an hour or two, and after an hour, it stops and says that the phone disconnected!
I've tried four different usb jacks on my Windows 10 PC and four different charge cables, and nothing. For a while, the phone could not even be recognized by my computer.
I have several backups in that MobileSync - Backup folder, so I know it's all there.

UPDATE: With the help of another determined Apple tech, I got everything back by restarting iTunes in safe mode (Cntl + Shift + iTunes)! This, of course, was after spending a couple of hours jumping through various hoops. We also saved my last backup to another folder and renamed it, then deleted the original file and other old backups, and ran another backup using the copied backup.

Anyway, I used the trial version of Decipher and it works really well.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2016

Thanks for the comments Hal! The safe mode trick is a great idea, I'm going to try that for the next person I talk to with Windows 10 related USB issues!


Hal December 12, 2016

You're welcome, Kelly!

Austin Probasco

Austin Probasco December 12, 2016

Did you end up getting texts back? I'm trying to get my stuff back with no luck (on a Mac)


Hal December 12, 2016

Hi Austin, yes, I was able to retrieve my texts along with everything else. When you get your texts back, I recommend using SMS Export for backing them up/saving them on your desktop.

El Màgico

El Màgico March 3, 2017

hi hal,so you basically pressed crl shift and enter while you were highlighting itunes? because is what i did and the restore is going but i'm not sure,because i left it last night and this morining when i checked,it showed me tha the iphone was disconected,thing that is not true!now i put the iphone on airplan mode and pretty much opened itunes with ctrl shif enter

Kelly HW

Kelly HW March 3, 2017

Hal started safe mode version of iTunes, correct :) Holding Ctrl + Shift while double-clicking the icon or however you normally launch it. I have not seen this to be a common actual fix from my experience though.


RAL October 10, 2016

Just renaming the previous backup worked for me (IOS 10.0.2 / Mac OS X Sierra 10.12)


Cheese October 10, 2016

I downloaded the tool, it said my repair was good, it seems it restored some stuff like apps, but contacts and messages are still missing?

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software October 10, 2016

Hi Cheese, happy to help. Sounds like the corrupt iOS errors in your backup have caused some data to be missing. Email us via our support page and then we will write you back with instructions ;-) The link is:


Jasmin October 10, 2016

I have tried everything in the forum but nothing has worked! any other suggestions? thank you

Henry Robben

Henry Robben October 10, 2016

For my combination of MacBook Pro and iPhone 5s what worked was to rename the Backup folder, so iTunes created a new backup. In the end, an easy solution!

Heath Seastrom

Heath Seastrom October 10, 2016

My fix was to use a genuine Apple lightning cable. I could do everything except restore with the other off brand cable but it disconnected in the middle of the restore every time with the off brand cable.


Martin October 10, 2016

With Windows 10 and ios 10 renaming the backup folder did the trick.

El Màgico

El Màgico March 3, 2017

renaiming what ?

Ian Cuthbert

Ian Cuthbert October 10, 2016

My problem was solved by deleting the current backup.

I first renamed the back-up folder, as described. I then did a successful new backup, with no error messages. I then went back and deleted the old backup folder.

Many thanks - a great diagnostic and fix article.


Mike October 10, 2016

Worked! For this error with and iPhone 6S & iTunes in Windows 10, after trying all of the above fixes it was eventually the last option that worked for me..... ie: moving all of the old backup files to an alternative folder. Thank you for these suggestions :-)

Jeng Bibal

Jeng Bibal October 10, 2016

Hi, question. How do I boot my mac into safe mode? I tried the suggested solutions above but it's getting worse, at first itunes say "cannot backup cos iphone disconected". Now, it can't recognize my iphone anymore. This is frustrating.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW October 10, 2016

Hi Jeng,

Here's a little information about Safe Mode on macOS: -- I'm definitely curious to see if it helps the situation any. If you haven't tried unplugging the iPhone and rebooting both the iPhone and the Mac, I would try that first.

Jeng Bibal

Jeng Bibal October 10, 2016

thanks for your reply. I tried unlugging and rebooting both gadgets. but it just got worse. My messages were gone, contacts also. And the pics are seemingly corrupted , i cant view them... This is frustrating.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW October 10, 2016

Hi Jeng,

Rebooting the iPhone caused your messages to disappear?


marnixava December 12, 2016

He didn't say he rebooted. He did a reset. Depending on what kind of reset, he could lose data.


Melissa November 11, 2016

Jeng, were you able to get your iPhone backed up? My iPhone showed I had no photos after I reset it by pressing the home and lock button....some other information seems to be missing too, like my notes and reminders. But my iphone still has the same amount of used and available storage that it did prior to resetting it so I'm assuming that all of the data is still there, but it's showing as if it was deleted on the phone display... Were you able to resolve this problem? If so, please share your solution with me. I would be forever greatful.

Lynda Ryba

Lynda Ryba September 9, 2016

I've done everything listed here in the article and in the comments, with the exception of the Lockdown file instructions, because when I follow them I get an error saying I'm not authorized to view the files, even though I'm the only administer on this Mac.

NOTHING has worked.

My problem started when I tried setting up an encrypted backup. It immediately ate up 16+gb of my hard drive and then told me it couldn't finish because I didn't have enough free space. After performing my usual backup, the encrypted back up was still there and filling my hard drive. So I deleted my backup by going into iTunes > Preferences> Devices, chose the backup and deleted. Now it won't let me back up or update my phone. I can't restore the backup because it's gone.


I'm on a iPhone 6 running iOS10.11.6 and the most recent iTunes

ETA: It freezes during "7 of 8" when it tries to "read the Photo Library."


Rob September 9, 2016

Yes, thank you all! I turned off background app refresh, changed cables to the one that came with my 7, moved to the next USB jack, and rebooted everything first. So I'm not sure what did it exactly, my guess is #1 because I tried 3 other cables that have always worked, rebooted many, many times, and used all 4 USB jacks on my computer in prior efforts. Thanks!


cirtbrethren September 9, 2016

It took until the last step, removing the lockdown folder, to fix my backup problem! Thank you!


Howard September 9, 2016

I found that doing the backup separately from the OS update cursed the problem for me.


Howard September 9, 2016

cured not cursed, cursing at autocorrect!

Pardeep Singh

Pardeep Singh April 4, 2016

This was super frustrating but I managed to work it out by doing a change of the lightning cable, preventing any other applications on my computer from being on, and having to restart both the computer and iphone a number of times. I can't say for sure which one worked but have hope and keep at it, something is the answer. Unfortunately I couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was though

Serina Yang

Serina Yang March 3, 2016

thank you soo000000000000000 much

Serina Yang

Serina Yang March 3, 2016

Dennis, thank you soooooooo much!!!!!!


stephenfleming January 1, 2016

I've tried these steps and many more. I still cannot get a reliable backup going. Details at <https:"" message="" 29669268="">. Any suggestions or inspiration would be welcome!

Kelly HW

Kelly HW January 1, 2016

Hi Stephen,

I see your post on the apple forums ( -- I see this a lot on Windows, but not on Mac. I see you've tried all of the normal USB cable swaps, even the port. I'm reviewing my notes on all of the socket failures now. Thanks for posting the console log on the apple thread -- that saves some steps :)

If you want to email directly about it, feel free to send a note to us:


esolesek December 12, 2015

This is absolutely ridiculous that a major company like APple has to force its custoimers to resort to this garbage. Why can';t the phone just show up as a HD like any other device. Because its private...olike anyone gives a rats!

Lisa Temple

Lisa Temple December 12, 2015

Anyone got another idea? Deleted backups, lockdown folder, reset network settings... Nothing. Still disconnecting.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2015

Are you trying to make a backup, or restore one?

Joe Manley

Joe Manley December 12, 2015

Hi, I have updated my Ipad, when trying to restore it brings out an error message, worst is this the last step, any advise

G Clutton

G Clutton December 12, 2015

Getting all sorts of different error messages when trying to sync and update, itunes was seeing the iphone, but not connecting. Getting iphone disconnected messages etc. Borrowed an original iphone 4 lead, hey presto everything worked as it should, synced and updated. Moral of this story if you want to do anything other than charge your phone use an original lead. I had saved a few pounds but wasted hour after hour after hour trying to resolve the problem.

Adam K

Adam K September 9, 2016

Thank you this worked with me! I have a old iPod Touch 4th gen iPod that not only is on it's last leg but, it has refused to back up since 4/27. (paired with the fact it has over 1600 songs that are not authorized.) Every time I tried to sync it, it would take hours and, the update would always fail. Like you said after switching to a regular 30 pin Apple Cable, I was able to get my important data backed up! This is all on good old iTunes 11.4 for Windows.

I feel much safer now that if it indeed suddenly dies, I will be prepared to use my restore file to set up my new one!


Dee December 12, 2015

Oh my word, unbelievable - it's working! After so much messing around, time wasting and stress, what was the solution? Change which port the phone was connected through!!!!! *Sigh*

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2015

Glad you got it working though :)!


j238 November 11, 2015

None of these worked for me. That happens whenever I see a page with a fix with good responses, from everyone else.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2015

Are you trying to make a backup, or restore one?


j238 November 11, 2015

Trying to take backup. Having trouble with both.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2015

Does the backup fail immediately, or after a good chunk of time? If it's the latter, try Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh and turn off the switch Background App Refresh. (If you want the full effect, and can stomach it, also turn on Airplane Mode.) Try the backup again.

(Then don't forget to turn back on Background App Refresh, and turn off Airplane Mode!)


j238 November 11, 2015

Thanks for the suggestion. Gave it a shot. No go, as usual.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2015

Interesting. If you want some help taking a closer look, it may be easier to discuss via email. (feel free to mention me, Kelly, by name so the message gets sent my way immediately.)


rich_in_nfpa September 9, 2015

Yay! Renaming the old backup folder worked -- after trying a LOT of other suggestions. Thanks!


JL September 9, 2015

New library file worked for me. Thanks!


Dennis September 9, 2015

Tried the recommended steps in this article and a handful of other things. Only thing that worked for me was resetting the network settings on the iPhone itself. Go to Settings App. General. at the bottom is Reset. Reset Network Settings. Sync again and it should work.

(Amended below:)

So resetting the network settings on the phone can work one time and then fail for subsequent backups until reseting them again but I just found another workaround without having to reset network settings on the phone. Try booting your mac into SAFE MODE by holding SHIFT key at startup. Worked like a charm. It keeps 3rd party additions from booting with the system software. I wonder what applications installed all of us have in common. hmmmmmmm.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW September 9, 2015

Great suggestion Dennis, we'll add it into the suggestions. Were you trying to back up, restore, or sync music/photos?


Shoeguy September 9, 2015

Deleting the Lockdown folder was the only thing that worked for me. Deleted it, rebooted, finally backed up onto the hard drive.


Dennis December 12, 2015

Yes. Obviously backing up photos and music is part of the sync process.

John Munroe

John Munroe September 9, 2015

Resetting the Network Settings worked for me with Yosemite and iOS 9. Wonderful!

David Moses

David Moses October 10, 2015

Worked a treat. I want to have your baby. Thanks!

Rahma Al-Sini

Rahma Al-Sini October 10, 2015

I tried your Steps and it worked with me finally!!! I hv tried many times with other solutions but I couldn't,,, Thanxxxxxxxx Dennis :)


Krauklens11 December 12, 2015

You are my God Dennis! Thank you for solution! :))

Serina Yang

Serina Yang March 3, 2016

Dennis, thank you you saved my life


TW June 6, 2016

Thank you Dennis!!! Back up completed!

Clement KH Young

Clement KH Young September 9, 2016

Thanks!!! Finally I can backup my iPhone6 again after tried hundred of solutions! Don't know which one is the correct answer to make my phone can backup again, but want to share what I have done here. "Reset Network Setting" on my iPhone / Put the phone to "Airplane Mode" / Switch off the "Background App Refresh" / Restart my Mac in "Safe Mode".

Wanlin Koh

Wanlin Koh March 3, 2017

I've tried everything stated in the post and your comment but nothing is working for me! I'm using MacBook. Cannot seem to locate the lockdown folder as well. Please help me!

Kelly HW

Kelly HW March 3, 2017

Hi Wanlin,

Are you trying to make a backup, or restore a backup, or sync? If you'd like, you can click the "Contact" link at the top of our site to send us an email directly so we can discuss your individual issue.

Maddy Cashman

Maddy Cashman April 4, 2017

i cant sync music on my phone from my laptop comes up not supported or devise as been dissconected

Kelly HW

Kelly HW April 4, 2017

Hi Maddy,

What version of iOS is running on your iPhone? Also, are you on Windows or Mac on your laptop?

Maddy Cashman

Maddy Cashman April 4, 2017

my ios version is 10.3.1 and i use windows on my laptop

Maddy Cashman

Maddy Cashman April 4, 2017

my ios version is 10.3.1 and i have windows on my laptop

Brendan Edward

Brendan Edward May 5, 2017

omg..... i have been trying all the other methods for hours and nothing worked until i tried what you recommend! THANK YOU SO MUCH

Decipher Tools Software

Decipher Tools Software June 6, 2017

Great news, Brendan. Thanks for letting us know. ;-)


jek003 October 10, 2017

worked for me! thank you!

Jeanine Bubach

Jeanine Bubach November 11, 2017

impossible to me, I'm just trying to restore my backup but the error message don't disappear... It keeps "iphone.... is disconnected". I tryed to reset network, low battery, plane mode, without sucess. I've tryed change the name of backup paste and isn't worked because restore mode didn't open.. Someone can help me? My IOS is 10.2.1

Kelly HW

Kelly HW November 11, 2017

Hi Jeanine,

Sometimes errors in the backup would cause the disconnected message while trying to restore -- the low battery, airplane mode, etc are suggestions for trying to make a backup, not restore one.

Assuming none of these solutions worked, there may be an actual error in the backup you're trying to restore. You can download our free trial of Decipher Backup Repair to diagnose the errors in the backup. Register Decipher Backup Repair with a license code to fix the errors so you can restore the backup in iTunes.


Erb October 10, 2018

thank you!


Gwyll January 1, 2015

In my (special) case the solution was to disconnect the USB cardreader/HUB from the computer even the phone was connected directly to the computer. Iphone was connected to USB1 and the hub was connected to USB2.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2014

If all of these don't work while you're trying to make a backup, you can also try a Reset Settings (only, NOT CONTENT) in Settings -> General -> Reset. For older devices running iOS8, I've seen this help. Do note that this will remove your settings like keyboard clicks, wifi passwords, restrictions, ringtones, etc.

Kelly HW

Kelly HW December 12, 2014

Since erasing settings is a bit heavy handed, I'll also add the following: I've seen this work when the backup agent is actually crashing on the device. So you can also go to Diagnostics & Usage Data and look for a crash report from the backup agent process to see if this is applicable. (In iOS8 Diagnostic & Usage Data is under Privacy.)