Fix the Backup Cannot be Restored to This iPhone Software Too Old

What should you do when backup cannot be restored to this iPhone because the software is too old? Just follow the steps below to fix it or use another professional tool to backup/restore your iPhone easily.

Kathy by Kathy Updated September 15, 2023
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At times, when trying to restore an iCloud or iTunes backup, you might come across an error message like "the backup cannot be restored to this iPhone because the software on the iPhone is too old". And the restoration process cannot proceed.


This error commonly emerges when an attempt is made to restore an iTunes/iCloud backup that was synced from a more recent iOS version to an older iOS iteration. But don’t worry, now we will give you detailed guidance to show how to fix the issue.

How to fix the backup cannot be restored to this iPhone software too old

When the backup cannot be restored or the process stuck, you can update the software of your iPhone to restore the iTunes backup or erase iPhone as new to restore iCloud backup.

Additionally, you can also skip to the next section to make a backup and restore using a professional third-party backup app without fixing the issue.

Part 1. Fix restore iTunes backup issue on iTunes

You should follow the instructions to update the iOS system iPhone to the latest version first.

Step 1. When find the “software too old” message pops on the screen, click OK. Then go back to the Set Up Your iPhone wizard, and click Set up as a new iPhone > Continue.


Step 2. Uncheck the boxes associated with syncing contacts, media, apps, and more to your iPhone. Following this, click on the Done option.

Step 3. Bypass the configuration steps related to setting up a passcode, Apple ID, and similar elements on the device. Then return to iTunes, where you will encounter the Update/Restore wizard. Opt for Update, and confirm your choice.


Then iTunes will update the iOS system to the latest version. Confirm to restart your iPhone by clicking OK. Once the iPhone has restarted, select Restore to restore your iPhone from iTunes backup.

Part 2. Fix restore iCloud backup issue on iPhone directly

When encountering the backup cannot be restored to this iPhone because the software is too old error during the iCloud backup restoration process, the Setup Assistant will guide you through updating the iPhone to the latest version.

Step 1. When you reach the Software Update step in the Setup Assistant, click Download and Install to continue.

Note: If you have already set up your device, then you can reset your iPhone: Go to Settings app > General Transfer or Reset [device] > Erase All Content and Settings. Once your iPhone is restored to factory settings, it will restart and you can see the Hello Screen in the Setup Assistant.

Step 2. Key in your passcode and proceed to download the software.

Step 3. Click Install Now to initiate the installation of the latest iOS version on your iPhone.

Step 4. Once the update is complete, your iPhone will begin restoring from the iCloud backup.


The easiest way to backup and restore iPhone without any error

When the backup cannot be restored to this iPhone software too old issue can’t be fixed by the two methods above, or you don’t want to follow the complex steps to finish the process, then FoneTool can be your great helper to back up your iPhone without encountering any errors related to software version.

With this all-in-one iPhone data management tool, you can selectively back up photos, music, videos, contacts and messages or fully back up all iPhone data. In contrast, iTunes/iCloud only supports creating full backups.

For some people who need to switch to a new Apple ID, FoneTool can help you transfer data from iPhone to iPhone between different Apple IDs, or restore the old iPhone selective/full backup to the new iPhone.

Except for software version errors, you might also come across various iCloud/iTunes errors during the usage. With its wide compatibility, FoneTool can run stably on most iOS devices, including iPhone 4 to iPhone 15, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as the latest iOS 17.

Now you can know how to back up your iPhone and restore it from the backup with FoneTool from the instructions below.

Step 1. Click the download button to get FoneTool on your Windows PC. Connect your source device to the PC with a USB cable > If asks, click Trust on your devices.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 2. Launch FoneTool > Go to Phone Backup > Full Back > Get Started.


Note: If you have two USB cables, you can plug two devices into the PC at the same time, and go to Phone Transfer > iPhone to iPhone to effortlessly clone your iPhone to another one in just one click.

Step 3. Check Enable Backup Encryption to encrypt your private data if you need > Choose a storage path to store your backup on PC > Click Start Backup to begin the task.


Step 4. Once the process is finished, unplug your source iPhone and plug in your target iPhone to restore the backup: Go to Backup History > Click Restore dot to complete.


Final words

So when you encounter the backup cannot be restored to this iPhone software too old issue, try to update your iPhone with iTunes or Setup Assistant. After updating your iOS to the latest version, you can proceed with the restoration using either iTunes or iCloud.

Of course, FoneTool can be another available approach to fully/selectively back and restore your iPhone. Hope you can get great experience with its various functions.

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