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How to preview and restore photos from iTunes or Finder backup

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 14, 2022 6:18 PM

Apple either offers Finder or iTunes' Back Up Now option, or builds in an iCloud backup feature in iPhone to help users keep their valuable photos safe. If you just deleted camera roll photos on iPhone by mistake, you might only need Recently Deleted album to get back the photos, but for more serious problems, restoring photos from backup might be in order.

In this article, we will show you two ways to recover photos from iTunes backup or Finder backup. One is use the Finder & iTunes backup to restore everything onto iPhone at the expense of wiping out current data—the traditional way Apple does, the other is extract photos only from Finder & iTunes backup and get back to iPhone. Before diving in, the following article provides some great information:

1. Restore Photos from an iTunes Backup Free - Apple Route

The first way to try is get photos from iTunes Backup by restoring iPhone through "Restore backup" feature within iTunes, providing of course that you've made a backup of iPhone before your photos were disappeared. The keyword here being "Restore", as this is an all or nothing process. If you're ready to go, restoring photos from backup is simple and reliable.

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer and open iTunes.
  • Click on the device icon when it appears in the window.
  • In Summary tab, click Restore from backup.
  • Choose the backup that contains the deleted pictures.
  • Click Restore.

restore iPhone photos from iTunes backup free

How long the iTunes restore process will take depends on how big the backup is. When it is complete, your lost photos will be back on iPhone.

Also, it must be pointed out that photos already stored in iCloud (Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library) do not save in iTunes backup.

2. Retrieve Photos from Backup in Finder on Mac - Apple Way

If you have your iPhone backed up in Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or above, you may use the Finder to restore pictures from backup. Here's how to.

  • Connect the iPhone to your Mac, open Finder.
  • Click the device icon when it appears.
  • Select Restore Backup.
  • Look at the date of each backup and pick the most relevant.
  • Click Restore and wait for the restore time to finish.

3. Extract Photos from iTunes Backup Selectively - 3rd Party Route

While you can get back photos to iPhone by restoring an entire iTunes or Finder backup, doing so makes your device reverted to its earlier state — which will replace all current data on your phone with the data in the backup. Is it possible to view backed up photos and restore only photos from iTunes/ Finder backup without affecting current data on the device? The answer is absolutely YES! That is where iOS Data Recovery come in.

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The program is efficient and simple to use, letting you scan and preview data included in iTunes/ Finder or iCloud backup. You then can decide to recover what you want. As an Finder & iTunes backup extractor, it can retrieve as many as 19 types of data, including contacts, photos, messages, notes, reminder, calendar, call history, safari bookmark, voice memos, Whatsapp chats, and more. Better still, the program can even recover lost data from iPhone & iPad internal memory, making it really convenient for those who have not created backup beforehand.

Selectively retrieve photos from iTunes backup and Finder backup

If you're working on more than one computer, please ensure that you've installed the program on the computer that you normally sync iPhone to that contains the Finder & iTunes backup file.

To recover photos from iTunes backup or Finder backup, follow step-by-step guide here:

Step 1: Choose recovery mode

Start the program and pick up the mode labeled "Recover from iTunes Backup File" on the main interface. This will search your machine for any available iTunes/ Finder backup files automatically and display them in the window.

extract photos from an iPhone backup in iTunes

Step 2: Choose a backup to scan photos

Select a backup that contains the pictures you want to extract and click Start Scan. Wait for a while for the software to scan the backup until all contents in the backup are extracted and displayed on the result window, classified by different file types.

Step 3: View and extract photos from Finder & iTunes backup

Before restore process, you can view the pictures in the interface.

Next, select the photos you wish to retrieve by ticking the box under the photo thumbnail one by one. Then click the Recover button at the lower-right side.

restore Camera Roll photos from iTunes backup

When a small dialog box pops up, specify a folder to save the recovered photos onto a convenient location on your computer.

Afterward, press the Recover button again and you're good to go.

After you've restored pictures from iTunes backup (or Finder backup on Mac) successfully, you can open the folder on the computer and sync them back to your iPhone using Finder or iTunes [Top 5 iTunes Alternatives].

That's it!

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