Yesterday we walked through how you can backup and restore individual apps on your iOS device, but we can actually take things a step further for those who didn’t take the time to make the individual app backups. As long as you have an iTunes backup of your iPhone/iPad/iPod and it is unencrypted you can actually extract the app files as well as photos directly from that. If you, for example, accidentally deleted an app this can be a useful way to get the data back without having to restore your entire device. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the iPhone Backup Explorer
  2. Open the app and click Read Backups. Select the backup you wish to restore your apps/photos from.
  3. Find the app you want to restore. The names may look a little obscure, but you should be able to find what you are looking for. If you want to restore photos scroll all the way to the bottom and select iOS Files:
    Ios backup extractor
  4. Click the Extract button
  5. Follow our previous instructions for getting the application backups restored to your device without jailbreaking. (using iExplorer, copy the Documents and Library folders back over)
  6. For photos navigate to the iOS Files directory that was restored, and then go to Media -> DCIM. In there you may see a series of folders that are named 100APPLE. Each one of those folders should contain up to 9,999 images. You can start navigating through them to find your lost images.

iPhone Backup Explorer Homepage (Mac only; Freeware)