Restoring from backup, Arc not detecting Previous Backup

Hi there,

I setup a new device using the direct WiFi transfer.

When I launched Arc on my new device, none of my previous data was present. I uninstalled Arc, and reinstalled it. When I launched the app, I was asked if I wanted to restore my data from iCloud Drive. During that restore process, it got stuck restoring 1/344 weeks of data. My backups folder was renamed “Previous backup…”. When I came back to Arc after about an hour, the restore screen was gone but none of my data had actually been restored.

What’s the best way to force Arc to begin restoring from the iCloud Drive “Previous backup” folder again?


I was able to start a restore again by coping the folders inside "Previous Backup to “Import/Restore” but now I’m stuck on the “Restoring” screen again.

Any advice on how to help it along?

I noticed it says “Errors 8,656” but the error log is a giant empty file.

Hi @cwong!

As coincidence would have it, I’m currently going through the same process on one of my test devices. It is quite a tedious job!

First up, I’ll explain why this happened: Arc records much more data than other apps of this kind, which means its database is massive, and ends up being one of the last files to finish restoring from an iCloud backup or transferred over wifi when moving to a new phone. If you launch Arc before the database file has finished restoring / copying, Arc won’t know that restore / copy is in progress, and will set itself up as though it’s a fresh new install. iOS really shouldn’t allow that to happen - the app should be blocked from launching until its data has been restored! So it’s a bit of a gap in the system, unfortunately.

You’ve already done all the automatic steps as well as manual steps! Make sure that Restore folder is still there in the Import folder, and Arc will see that on launch and offer to restore from it, with the pink banner at the top.

The restore unfortunately can be very slow, if the iCloud Drive files aren’t synced to your phone yet. But on iOS 16 thankfully there’s a new feature in the Files app to tell it to quickly sync all the files to your phone in one go. All you have to do is long press on the Restore folder in Files app, and it’ll offer a menu, with the first option being “Download Now”.

Arc’s restore process also does the same: it asks iOS to download all those files. But for some reason it’s much more efficient to do it in the Files app, so that trick can get the restore moving along much faster, and avoid it stalling for hours while waiting for iOS to sync the files locally.

Hey Matt,

Thanks so much for the reply.

I did manually force iCloud Drive to download the files before I started the restore. When I woke up this morning, the restore folder had been removed and a “previous backup” folder was created. The restore banner and progress screen within Arc had disappeared, and only about a week of data had been restored.

It seems like things may have silently failed over night? Any advice on what I could do to help things along?

Hm. If the Restore folder has gone, then it means the restore has finished. Try swiping Arc closed then reopening it, to see if the calendar view updates. It might be that the calendar view hasn’t updated to show you all the days that’ve been imported.

Good news! I started from scratch and eventually got the restore to complete.

My steps were:

  • Uninstall Arc to wipe all local data
  • re-create the “Import/Restore” folder in iCloud Drive
  • copy all my “Previous Backups” folders into “Import/Restore”
  • Force the newly created “Import/Restore” folder to be downloaded to the device with the
  • “Download Now” recommendation you provided above.
  • disable auto screen lock on my device so Arc would stay in the foreground and plug in to power
  • Install Arc and run the restore

It took about ~2 hours to fully restore ~3 years of data. During the restore process, Arc locked up and crashed a few times, but relaunching the app seemed to resume the restore and eventually complete after 3 re-launches over the course of the ~2 hours.

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Out of curiosity, how is the “high frequency user” calculated? Is this a rolling average?

Because I’ve kept my phone unlocked with Arc in the foreground for the last few days trying to get the restore working, it seems I’ve unfortunately hit the restriction for high frequency users, even though my usage has really just been to get my data restored into the app.

Thanks for all the help, really enjoy Arc and appreciate you responding on the forums.

Glad to hear you got it all restored in the end! Yeah, it can be a bit of a struggle if there’s a lot of data. I’ve tried to make it as smooth as possible, but there’s still more work I need to do there. And when there’s a lot of data, inevitably it is going to be a pretty big process.

Bad news there unfortunately. In the next big update, arriving hopefully today/tomorrow, the free tier will go away and all users will be required to have a subscription.

This is because the Foursquare API used for Place name lookups is no longer free, and is now very expensive - in fact it’s gone from being free to being Arc’s largest single monthly expense! So I can’t afford to provide any level of the app’s functionality for free anymore :disappointed: