The week ended well with my iPhone, some nice art created and a wonderful reception for my #30edits exhibition.
On Monday, I had the day off work. I was home, listening to roofers bang above my head all day (no more leaky roof!) and keeping my anxious dog from freaking out. I decided it was time to update my phone to iOS 9.2.1 because the nag-o-grams had been driving me crazy.
I backed up the phone in iTunes and then started the update. Nothing went right from there. My phone suddenly became a useless brick. It took an hour-long call to Apple (using Skype on my iPad… Because hey, no working phone), and an hour-long visit to the local Apple/Mac dealer to do whatever magic full reset they have, and I finally had a phone again. But it was a brand new phone at that point, no data left on it.
But that’s ok… I had a fresh backup, right? No big deal, restore the backup and I’m good to go.
Except the backup wouldn’t restore. At all. I tried again and again. I was starting to worry. Not so much about my settings or apps. Or even photos: Those all transfer automatically to Dropbox. I realized the one most important thing I have on my phone… The one thing that’s not backed up anywhere other than my iTunes backup… Are my Contacts.
So many contacts! Friends phones and addresses. Business contacts. My doctors office. Email addresses. Years in the making and collecting, this list. I don’t even know my son’s phone number by heart! I would be lost. Regenerating that contact list would take weeks, months, maybe years.
Another hour on the phone with Apple (thank you AppleCare+) and we finally got the backup to restore. It was not looking good for a while there. But you know what I learned on the phone with support? There is a simple fix for to ensure your contacts are not lost: All you need to do is back up your contacts to iCloud.
I don’t use iCloud for much, it’s not my favorite cloud service by far, and I had most everything turned off. But now I have contacts turned on and backed up to iCloud:
I came out of this ok but it was 24 hours of worry. If the worst had happened and my iTunes backup was too corrupted to restore, I could have used a third party backup extractor to get my Contacts out. I could have restored from an earlier backup. But it would have been more work and hassle than I had time for. I had spent enough time on the update as it was.
Learn from my experience, get those contacts backed up!
Our phones, in addition to being the most awesome art-making device ever, really do store our lives. Consider what you would be lost without, and get it double backed up.