iOS5 Wiped My Contacts: The Importance Of Backing Up

I had a slightly massively frustrating time of it this weekend when trying to update my iPhone 3GS to the new iOS5. The actual software update went pretty smoothly and I’m happy with the new operating system. What I wasn’t too pleased with was my own lack of due care and attention when it came to backing up my phone’s content before I updated to iOS5.

Firstly let me point out that this is not a pop at Apple – in retrospect I was given several warnings about the situation that eventually befell me. Part of the update would require the phone to be restored to factory settings, so the Apple installer recommended to me that I backup my content. This is where it gets tricky – the laptop I originally activated my iPhone on is no longer with me, and I hadn’t synced it for a while, so I was a little apprehensive about syncing my phone to an iTunes account that bares no resemblance to the content of my phone, for fear of losing it all. A short time Googling and looking on the Apple site later, and I had managed to ascertain that I could perform a straight backup of my phone directly to my computer – happy days. So I did this, and then went ahead with the iOS5 update.

Yet again, I was confronted with the “you do know this will wipe your phone, don’t you?” messages (or words to that effect), to which I smugly clicked ‘Proceed’, safe in the knowledge that I had all of my data backed up. When the new operating system had finished installing, I then had to restore my phone from the backup, and one by one my apps began to reappear.

Then I checked my contacts. Uh-oh. Hang on. No, surely not? Maybe they’re just…? Why you  son of a bi… and other such expletives later, my fears were realised.  For whatever reason (probably the fact I had one eye on the TV while I was doing this) it seemed like I’d made a mistake somewhere and not backed up my contacts. I synced, I restored, I tried going to the backup folder to find them manually, but alas this was all in vain. Eventually I just started going through all of my old messages to work out who I’d been talking to, and saved numbers from there. That took an awful long time. Obviously I’m missing loads of numbers, but at least it’s a start and it’s the people I speak to the most.

However, the irony was not lost on me. I spend the majority of my week harping on about how important it is to keep a backup of your digital content, yet then I go and make a relatively simple error that leads to a massive inconvenience. Ok, losing phone numbers is not the end of the world, but it’s a hassle I could really do without. If anything, this little episode just serves as a reminder that a reliable backup service should be as important for social interactions as it is for business.

About Andrew Robertson

I'm Andrew, I work as the Social Media & Marketing Assistant at SocialSafe. I've been writing blogs on here for over two years now, so you'll find pieces from me about anything relating to social media and tech, as well as the changing face of personal data. There's also room for the occasional post on some slightly off topics stories... just for the sake of variety!!

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