After having gone through 3 iPhones and countless restores of different iPhones and iPod touches I had to get to the bottom of how to restore my layout of my apps on my home screens.
When you restore your iPhone / iPod touch to it’s factory defaults the device is not connected to an iTunes account. When you restore it from your backup (to put your apps and info back on) it will load anything that does not require authorization through the iTunes store (with the exception of free apps - though purchased from the iTunes Store they seem to get loaded anyway). So when you finish a Restore From Backup the first time around it will not load any paid apps or music until it’s authorized. It does it’s authorizations seemingly right after you’ve restored it as it accesses the iTunes Store as if it was just plugged in. Why that has no effect on purchased music I’ve no idea.
In the end you’re left with a phone / iPod that has only part of the data it had on it before and requires you to press Sync again to put your paid applications and purchased music on to it. The biggest issue here is that if you have any data stored in that application, like say Things, or high scores from a game, or just find reorganizing your home layout frustrating you’re out of luck. The paid apps are installed anew, and placed one at a time into the earliest empty spot on your home screens. Frustrating. Thankfully there is a workaround.
- Perform a backup before you restore.
- After restoring your Phone to the whichever OS version
- Restore from your backup (you can cancel syncing music when this part finishes - it will start up again after the next step)
- Restore once more - you may see two backups to choose from as it would have created a backup after the restoring. Choose the one that would have a timestamp just before you do the restore.
Annoying because a restore from backup may take as long as 5 or 6 minutes but at least you aren’t stuck reorganizing your applications the way you wanted them again.
EDIT: From what I can gather 3.0 has fixed this issue.