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Why Do My iPhone Photos Say “Restoring”? (EXPLAINED! 2024)

If you’re an iPhone user, you might’ve experienced this recently: Opening your gallery, and all you see is the “Restoring” notification on the screen.

At first, you may fear you’ve lost your data- and start panicking as a result.

But don’t worry, that isn’t actually the case!

If your iPhone says that it’s restoring photos, that only means your phone is still retrieving them from your iCloud account.

Having a backup on iCloud isn’t necessary, but it’s certainly handy.

It allows you to access your media on a new iPhone and solve potential storage problems.

Although backing up to iCloud has its share of benefits, many users report that restoring photos takes a bit too long to complete.

We’ll explain how you can solve that problem and take advantage of this feature in great detail throughout the article!

What Does Restoring Photos From iCloud Mean?

iphone with icloud login on screen

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, iPhones don’t necessarily keep photos and videos in the device’s memory.

You actually have the option to keep your media (such as your photos) in your iCloud if you want!

However, your pictures and videos aren’t entirely removed from your device even after they’re backed up.

The low-resolution versions of these media are kept on the phone. If you tap on one of the items, your phone then retrieves the high-resolution version from iCloud.

This helps with the overall speed optimization and storage management of your phone.

Apart from the high-resolution version of your photo, iCloud lets you keep a backup in iCloud if you so wish.

This is especially useful should there be an unfortunate incident, and your device needs to retrieve the backed-up photos.

In any case, if you see “Restoring Photos” when you open your iPhone’s gallery, it just means that pictures are coming back to your phone from iCloud!

Why Should I Connect An iCloud Account To My iPhone?

icloud on iphone and laptop

We all know that Apple isn’t so generous when it comes to providing large storage capacity on their phones.

Instead, they automatically ask you to connect your iPhone’s data to iCloud.

It’s entirely possible to store a large amount of data, including photos, videos, documents, on iCloud (based on the level of subscription that you choose).

This enables you to have more space for other things like apps and messages that you need to keep in your iPhone’s internal storage.

Keeping a portion of your files in iCloud instead of your device’s built-in storage prevents it from slowing down due to low memory.

Aside from the benefits of having more storage, having an iCloud account can help you store your data safely and securely.

In cases of malfunction or loss of phone, you can rest easy if you know that your important data is stored safely in iCloud.

Even if you delete a photo from your iPhone by accident, you’ll still have it in the iCloud backup!

As such, it’s like having your own personal memory bank. Handy, right?

Moreover, if you have the same iCloud ID on two different devices, you can access and edit your pictures on both of these devices.

“How is this helpful?” You may wonder.

Well, let’s say you’ve taken a photo on your iPhone, but have the editing software on your iPad or any other Apple device.

Thanks to iCloud, you can view the image on the device you need. When you edit the image on the connected device, it will store the changes on iCloud in real time!

As a result, you’ll be able to access the new version from any of your devices. Nifty, eh?

How To Enable The iCloud Library

Follow the steps below to see if your iCloud Photo Library is enabled (and enable it if it’s not!):

  • Go to “Settings” on your iPhone.

locating settings

  • Locate your Apple ID with your name and tap on it.

locating your name in settings

  • You will have multiple options. Select “iCloud“.

locate icloud in apple id

  • You will see a list of apps and options with toggles next to them.

icloud settings

  • Tap on “Photos“.

locating photos button in icloud settings

  • Tap on the toggle next to “iCloud Photos” to enable the library.

locating icloud photos toggle

The iCloud Photo Library is successfully enabled if the toggle is green. You can tap it again to disable it if necessary. The toggle will turn white if you choose to disable the feature.

Why Is My New iPhone Taking Forever to Restore From iCloud?

First things first: No, it’s not normal for a new iPhone to take forever to restore photos from iCloud!

Usually, file restoration from iCloud doesn’t take more than a few minutes or hours. Understandably, this depends on the amount of data you’re restoring.

Apple claims that standard data download time is about one to four hours per gigabyte of data.

The total amount of gigabytes you’re restoring will increase in relation to the number of photos and their resolution.

In addition to the data size, your phone’s available storage and your internet’s speed or stability significantly affect how long this process takes.

If it’s an old iPhone that has a lot of data stored, then it’s understandable that restoration will take more time.

However, if that isn’t the case, the following reasons may be causing your new iPhone to take forever to restore photos:

  • Not having a steady and fast Wi-Fi or cellular data connection
  • Apple server is temporarily down for whatever reason
  • There’s currently some issue with your Apple or iCloud ID

Suppose you have a new iPhone, a steady connection, and plenty of storage; in that case, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to restore all of your photos- even if you have a large number of them!

What Can I Do If The iPhone Says That The Restore From iCloud Is Paused?

If the restoration from iCloud pauses, you can resume it again by following the steps below:

1. Go to the “Settings” on your iPhone and find the Apple ID with your name on it.

2. Tap on your name and find “iCloud” in the list and tap on it.

3. Go to “iCloud Backup” at the end of the list.

4. Tap on the option for resuming the restoration, and the process will start again.

How Do I Stop Photos From Restoring From iCloud?

person using a rose gold iphone

Before you stop your photos from restoring from iCloud, we recommend you backup your data on a different device.

While it’s a simple and easy process, you should still be on the safe side!

Keep in mind that once you confirm “Stop restoring“, you cannot take it back.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to stop photos from restoring from iCloud:

  1. On your iPhone, select the “Settings” app.
  2. You will see the “Your Name” option in the settings list, that’s your Apple ID.
  3. Tap on your “Apple ID.
  4. Select the “iCloud” option.
  5. Select “Cloud Backup” at the bottom of the list.
  6. Tap on “Stop Restoring” .
  7. A confirmation message that asks you if you want to continue this step will pop up. This message warns you that this action will delete your pictures entirely if they do not have a backup.
  8. Select “Stop” if you are sure of this action.

(We recommend choosing “Don’t Stop” if you don’t have a backup yet.)

Again, you won’t be able to restore the images once you choose the “Stop Restoring” option. There’s no way to recover your data after that action- even if it’s accidental.

Therefore, we recommend you always double-check to see if there is any picture you didn’t make a backup of.

You can follow these same steps to stop restoring photos on your iPad as well.

Related Questions

Do I need a computer to fix the restoring issue on my iPhone?

No. A computer isn’t necessary to restore photos or solve restoring issues if you have an iPhone.

It’s one of the most advantageous things about having an iCloud account connected to your iPhone!

If your iPhone’s having an issue with restoring photos, you can solve it anywhere with an available Apple device.

All you need is your Apple ID information, a steady internet connection, and enough storage space on the device you’re going to use.

We highly recommend having a Wi-Fi connection rather than using cellular data as this process may take up to a couple of hours and use up a lot of bandwidth.

If you have all of the above criteria available, you can restore photos from iCloud to your preferred Apple device!

Can I lose my iCloud photos?

taking a photo with an iphone

Whether the answer is yes or no depends on the situation.

Losing files from iCloud by accident can happen, but it’s pretty rare.

One potential avenue of data loss is when you log out from your iCloud account.

The reason behind this is that iCloud automatically deletes your stored data when you log out from your account and don’t reconnect for 30 days.

Even if you mistakenly log out of your iCloud, you’ll have 30 days to notice, reconnect, and restore the data on your device.

If you’ve connected the same iCloud ID on two different devices, there’s also a chance that you may lose the data of one device.

Don’t worry; this only happens if you log out from the iCloud on one of the devices!

You may lose the images on the other device as you lose access to the database the two devices share on iCloud.

However, you can prevent this from happening if you download a backup on the device before logging out.

Another option to retrieve those lost images is to log in to your iCloud account again as soon as possible.

As a result, we can say that it’s nearly impossible for you to lose your data once it’s saved in iCloud.

The only way to lose the data backed up on iCloud is to lose access to the account, or not notice you’ve logged out for more than 30 days!

In Conclusion

In summary, if you see your iPhone display “Restoring photos”, you don’t need to worry.

It only means that your phone had stored your photos on iCloud, and now it’s restoring them back to your iPhone.

This is normal, and actually very helpful for your device’s speed and storage optimization.

Although you might not have set this feature yourself, nearly all iPhones ask you to connect an iCloud account while setting up your device.

After that, they automatically start keeping photos in the iCloud storage or as backups.

You can check by going to “Settings,” then selecting your “Apple ID” and choosing “iCloud” if you have an enabled iCloud library or backup.

If you have these enabled, your device is now capable of the restoration process.

To restore photos faster, make sure you have access to a fast and stable internet connection, your iCloud ID information, and enough storage on your device.

As one of its most convenient features, having an iCloud account connected to your iPhone allows you to access your photos from other devices any time you want!

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