How to Revert from iPhone 5s to iPhone 5 (iOS 7)

Yes, you read that right. I returned my iPhone 5s. In the past, I have felt that Apple, largely, has been good to me. I’m not a fanboi, however, and if they don’t measure up, they’re out.

I guess for me it is a combination of iOS 7 and iPhone 5s, but I think Apple is really stalling here. I hope they’re stalling to good end, i.e., they have some really great stuff in the wings they just haven’t been able to ship yet, but I am done waiting, for now. 🙂

The three big things with iPhone 5s were:

  • Touch ID/Unlock
  • Updated Camera
  • Faster Perf

My take on them:

  • Touch ID – yeah, it’s okay. I am one who has pretty much always used a passcode (unlike most people), so it is nice. That said, it definitely takes retraining. Not a big problem, but also not that big of a deal for someone who is adept at punching in his code.
  • Camera – I never noticed/had complaints about the iPhone 5 camera. Just a year ago, we were told how awesome it is, right? 🙂 The new flash is a nice idea, but I’ve grown used to just turning flash off except in unusual circumstances, so I don’t care really.
  • Perf – I honestly couldn’t tell, during normal use, that it is any faster than the 5. Usually that means whatever perf was improved was not the bottleneck. The bottleneck is and remains, mostly, network related. Sure, some animations in Safari are not smooth, but it’s mostly a non-issue.

In short, there’s no good reason to upgrade to 5s, as I see it. I thought/hoped the perf and touch ID would be cooler than they turned out. But no. So I returned my iPhone.

How to Revert from iPhone 5s to iPhone 5 (iOS 7)

This post is mainly to document the (minor) pains I went through to get back on my iPhone 5. It was not smooth as pie.

I tried:

  1. Backup iPhone 5s.
  2. Transfer Purchases from 5s.
  3. Plug in 5 and right-click, Restore, picking the backup from #1.

What I ran into:

There are 114 apps that can’t be restored.

I thought maybe it was something to do with the fact of the new one being a 5s, so I tried my last iPhone 5 backup.  Same problem.

(Note this is happening over the period of hours, since none of this is particularly fast.)

Here is what worked for me:

  1. Right-click, Transfer Purchases on the 5s.
  2. Sync 5s.
  3. Right-click and Backup 5s.
  4. (Reset 5 to factory settings using Erase All Content and Settings.)
  5. Start the setup process on the iPhone, until you get to the screen where it asks if you want to set it up as a new iPhone or restore from back up.
  6. Plug in/load iTunes and pick the option on your iPhone 5 to restore from backup/iTunes (or iCloud if that’s where you are backing up to in steps 1-3). At that point, it showed a little USB plug and said waiting or something like that.
  7. Select to restore from the backup created in Step 3 above.

This time it worked and restored everything.  And by the way, you should select Encrypted Backup because as I understand it, it will save your passwords so you don’t have to retype them for everything, which is a major PITA when doing restores without it.

I’m not sure what combination above was the magic. I am guessing it had to do with transferring purchases BEFORE the backup, but it could also be the Sync step.  Anyways, in the future, I will always do Steps 1-3 before moving to a new iDevice.  That is, assuming I don’t switch to Android permanently. 🙂