Need to drastically speed up an iCloud restore? Use ice, ice, baby!

Need to drastically speed up an iCloud restore? Use ice, ice, baby!


Keep it cold to speed it up.
Photo: Justin Searls

If you’ve ever restored an iPhone or iPad from an iCloud backup, you’ll know it’s a long, mundane process. But there is an incredibly simply trick you can use to make it faster.

All you need is plenty of ice.

There are a number of reasons why an iCloud restore might be painfully slow. One could be a spotty internet connection, for which there is no quick fix. The other is CPU throttling.

Restoring gigabytes of data takes its toll on your device’s processor and storage chips. They start to get warm, and before long, speed has to be cut to cool them down.

The secret is to keep your iPhone cold — very cold — to prevent throttling from happening.

Put your iPhone on ice

Justin Searls discovered that he could “halve the time it takes to do an iCloud restore” by sandwiching his iPhone between ice packs.

“Lots of people asked, and yes, cooling an iPhone with ice packs will drastically improve restore speed,” Searls tweeted. “The phone will absolutely peg the CPU as it downloads the universe, and almost immediately throttle itself.”

But be careful

It’s a simple trick that’s definitely worth a try, but you should be careful. We don’t recommend you stick your iPhone in ice — even if it’s water-resistant — just in case damage is done when the ice melts.

You’ll have to be particularly careful when restoring an iPad, because not even the latest models are water-resistant. We recommend sticking them in a watertight bag before ice packs are added, or placing them in the fridge.

We obviously don’t take any responsibility for iOS devices that are damaged using this trick, so proceed at your own risk.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.