I messed up. What are my options?


New Member
Jul 5, 2012
I just got a new 4s yesterday. I was planning to transfer everything from the touch to the 4s, but I did something wrong. None of the apps are at the same level of progress (even after backing up the touch before syncing the iPhone), I don't have as many pictures or the same number of songs, and the apps aren't even all there. Essentially, I think it synced a previous backup. Unfortunately, all my notes are gone - irretrievable. After syncing the phone, I deleted them OFF the touch... and for some reason, they are not on the phone now. Unfortunately, I backed up the phone again after that happened, so they are all gone.

Here's what I did. When I first plugged in the phone, it asked me if I wanted to set up as a new device or backup from an old device. I chose the latter. Probably an unwise idea. So now (I'm guessing) it thinks the touch and the iPhone are the same device.

Then, I unplugged it to back up the touch, since I realized that I had not recently backed that up. Then I synced the phone again. Still not the same stuff (but more of it).

Then, after getting home from fireworks, I decided to sync it again... figuring it hadn't synced all the way. Well, guess what that means? It backs up first. So the backup is what gets "synced" on to the phone.

I can find ways to make sure the apps are the same (the important games have ways to save your game and upload it to a new device... except one) and the number of photos/music is the same, but now the format of the iPhone is different. When the Verizon guy transferred my contacts from my old phone, the format was different than it is now - along with the format of the home screen. I would also like to note that those contacts are gone.

So, my question is... if I click restore in iTunes, will it reverse it to the actual iPhone format (instead of the touch format)? The messaging, calling, Siri, and all that are there.... it's just the format is wrong.

And can I somehow go back and make these two devices two separate devices now?

What are my options to fix what I've messed up?



Oct 23, 2007
Louisville, KY
iTunes still considers them separate devices. They might have the same name due to restoring from the backup, but you can rename the phone and it won't interfere with the name of the iPod.

There is no need to worry about losing Siri or the other phone apps when restoring from the backup of an iPod. The system software is untouched, it only puts your data back as it was in the backup. What restoring from a backup means is that iTunes places a snapshot of what data (settings, photos taken, homescreen layout, messages, etc) and apps (downloaded apps) were on there at the time of the backup and then starts backing it up as a separate device.

With any luck, you might still have a recent backup of the touch on file. Look at iTunes preferences, in the Devices section, and check the date and time of backups of your iPod touch. It goes by device name, but if you mouse over the right side of the window, a little yellow thing will pop up containing the serial number of the device. You can match it up with the serial number on the back of your touch to make sure it's a backup of the touch and not the phone.


When you find the one you want to try to restore to, write down the date and time. You'll need to select that when you go to restore the phone from backup again. You will of course lose any recent calls or text messages.

Tip for faster restores: right-click the device in iTunes' sidebar and hit "Restore from backup". This is a different kind of restore (compared to the Restore button in the main window) that won't go through the whole process of downloading the OS and reinstalling it all. It only replaces the data and installs apps.

There is a tool called MobileSyncBrowser that you might be able to use to see what a backup looks like before you pull the trigger to restore to it. It's free to browse, and shows you the same names of backups as iTunes shows.

Unfortunately, if you do not see the desired backup there, you are out of luck. iTunes overwrites the main backup of a device each time it is synced and only keeps around the pre-restore backups.

As for contacts, if you can't find them, go back to Verizon and see if they'll transfer contacts from your old phone again. And then use a cloud service to back them up or sync. I have my contacts stored in iCloud, but I could easily sync them to Gmail by using iTunes. It will merge contacts for you the first time you set up an account that supports contacts

Hope this information helps...at the very least it'll serve as a harsh reminder not to delete anything on the old one until you're sure it's all there on the new one :)