How to Upgrade from iPhone Running iOS 13.1 Beta to iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro Without Losing Any Data

Sep 20, 2019 - Leave a Comment

iPhone 11 and iOS 13.1

If you had a prior iPhone running iOS 13.1 beta releases and just got a new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max, you may have noticed that you can not restore the iOS 13.1 beta backup to the new iPhone 11 with iOS 13 device. This is because you can’t restore backups from new versions of iOS to older versions of iOS (and iOS 13.1 is newer than iOS 13.0).

There are a few solutions to this problem; setup the iPhone as new and then restore when iOS 13.1 is available, or install the iOS 13.1 beta on the new iPhone 11 / iPhone 11 Pro and restore it from the backup.

Option 1: Setup iPhone 11 as new, then update to iOS 13.1 on September 24 and restore

One option is to setup the new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro as a new device without restoring it from a backup initially, then update it to iOS 13.1 when it is released next week, then reset it and restore it from the prior iOS 13.1 beta backup. Apple is releasing the final version of iOS 13.1 on September 24 for iPhone (along with iPadOS 13.1 iPad), so the delay isn’t too long.

Once you install iOS 13.1 on the new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, it will be able to restore using the backup made from the prior device. To do that, you simply reset the iPhone to factory settings and then choose the backup you had made with the iOS 13.1 beta.

Obviously waiting to setup a brand new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro is not particularly desirable, so most users probably won’t choose to do this. The next option is probably the best option for most iPhone 11 users who are trying to restore from an iOS 13.1 backup.

Option 2: Install iOS 13.1 Beta on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, then Restore from Backup

The other option is to install the latest iOS 13.1 beta on the new iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, or iPhone 11. This allows you to restore from the iOS 13.1 beta backup that won’t install onto iOS 13.0.

  1. Setup the iPhone 11 as a new device as usual
  2. Install the iOS 13 public beta (or dev beta) onto the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max, this will install iOS 13.1 beta onto that new device
  3. After the update to iOS 13.1 beta has finished on iPhone 11, reset the device to factory settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings (this wipes all data on iPhone 11 / iPhone 11 Pro)
  4. Now setup the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max from the backup you had previously available

For most iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro users in this situation, this will likely be the preferable decision.

Once iOS 13.1 final is released, you can then delete the iOS beta profile from the device to stop getting iOS beta updates on the new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro.

Another third option is to completely ignore your prior backup and setup the device as new entirely, but that would incur data loss on the device which is highly undesirable to most users.

This is a sort of unusual scenario that has unfolded because of the nature of this years iOS 13 and iOS 13.1 releases, and Apple has acknowledged two of the aforementioned solutions in a support document.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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