Restore a backup to my phone

When you update your phone using the Zune software on your primary computer, we automatically back up your phone software and settings for safekeeping. If your phone has problems after an update, you can restore it to its pre-update version and state.


  • When you connect your phone to a computer for the first time, the Zune software will automatically create a primary sync relationship between your phone and that computer. Other computers you connect to after that will have a guest sync relationship with your phone. Your primary computer remembers your linked phone and all of its settings and history, which is why it's the only computer that will create a backup of your phone during the update process. If you need to change this relationship between your phone and your primary computer, see How to sync your Zune player or Windows Phone 7.
  • To create or restore a backup on Windows Phone 7, you need the Zune software, which is only available for PCs.

What gets restored

All of these items are restored automatically (assuming they were included in your last software backup):

  • Email and social network account settings. After restoration, your phone will sync the email messages, contacts, and calendar appointments associated with your accounts.
  • Other system settings, including your preferences for theme, lock screen, wallpaper, and data connections.
  • Apps. Any apps you purchased will still be available to you. However, in some cases, you might need to download some of them again (you won't be charged). You can find a list of the apps you've purchased in the My Phone section of For more information, see Delete or reinstall apps.
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Documents

If you've previously uploaded files to OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), those items will continue to be available to you.

What doesn't get restored

When you restore your phone, you might lose any items that are new or have changed since your phone was last backed up (that is, when you last installed a phone update). This means you might lose text messages, ringtones, music you've downloaded, and settings you've changed since your last backup.

If you're using Outlook without Exchange, your recently-added contacts might not be restored. For more information, see Import contacts from my PC.

For apps you've installed—whether you bought them from your phone or from your PC—the data and settings you added or changed won't be restored. Trial versions of apps can't be restored, but you can reinstall them from Marketplace on your phone.

During the restoration

  • You won't be able to make or receive calls from your phone.
  • Don't use or disconnect your phone from your computer until the restoration is complete. You'll be notified when it is safe to disconnect your phone.

Restore a backup using your computer

Before you start, you'll need to:

  1. Make note of any changes you made since your last update so you'll know what to do later to set up your phone the way you want.

  2. Ensure you're installing the backup from your primary computer, where you installed the original update.

  3. Get your phone and primary computer ready. To learn more, see Make room on my computer for phone updates and Make room on my phone to update it.

  4. Connect your phone to your primary computer using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  5. In the Zune software, click Settings > Phone > Update.

  6. Click Restore.

  7. Follow the on-screen instructions in the Zune software.

After you've completed these steps, your phone will be restored to its state from the most recent available restore point. You can see this date to the right of the Restore button.


  • If you've changed the PIN since your phone's last software update, you'll need to enter your previous PIN to unlock your phone after restoring it.
  • Although you can use the Zune software to sync music, pictures, and videos from your phone to your computer at any time for safekeeping, you can't use these programs to manually back up your phone's software and settings. Backup is an automatic process that only occurs when you install a phone update.

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