Apple Home app - how to backup/restore settings?

Hello everyone!

In a bind and hoping someone here can help. For reference days were spend researching and multiple L2 calls with Apple resulting in solution.

Anyone know how to backup and/or restore settings? Three L2 apple support agents, hours of calls and Apple does not appear to know. Yale points to Apple while Apple looks at Yale.


  • Lost 70+ device home network
  • Unable to restore network


  • Desktop mac, backed up to Time Machine Daily and monthly drive backups. iCloud on only for HomeKit and Keychain (and FindMy.)

  • ​HomePod, which was the hub for many months.

  • iPad as most recent hub: keychain and home app are iCloud enabled.


  • Needed to re-add a Yale lock to the network. From only working from within the Yale Secure app the lock and home were removed to start fresh.
  • Removing the home from Yale Secure app resulting in wiping the home and all of its devices from the home app across every mac device and shared

Perhaps try to look through your Time Machine or other backups for folders relating to these manufacturers that you could possibly restore? Suggest “Application Support” or “Containers” folders in the Library folder in your home folder? (I’m assuming the folders have gone missing from your live hard drive.)

As far as I understand Apple HomeKit, there is currently no regular backup!
The only solution I know so far (for the future!) is this


The excellent Home+ 5 also claims it can do this (I use this App, but have never tried this particular feature).

1 Like

I can see what i expect are the configuration/data files located under user/library/HomeKit.

That said not a single file from that directory will enable the Restore button.

Priory one is to somehow restore. Then reliable backup once restored or manually recreate.

Are you looking at your Mac’s boot drive or some sort of backup? Please better describe what you are doing.


I was able to retrieve the files from a time machine backup. Drop the files in, turn off wifi and restart the computer and surprise, the network appears as wanted, everything is there.

Now, the moment wifi it turned on icloud overwrites the Mac with the bad network. Cant get past this. Tried modifying every replaced file for updated file stamp dates, toggling on of accounts settings signing in and out of apple ID etc .

How can i replace the right files so i Cloud picks it up and Home app works accordingly? So close i can taste it…

iCloud considers itself “the source of truth” and restores its data to its non-obvious locations on your Mac. It has never done me any good to restore iCloud data from one of my own backups, because iCloud simply overwrites those locations itself.

I believe you may have to restore your own backups to an alternate location on your Mac, let iCloud do its thing, and then move “your files” to their desired location.

Mind elaborating further? I have the my backups restored to another location on the mac icloud is doing its own thing. How can i get icloud to pick up my data? When something is modified icloud keeps the latest - that was the idea behind updating time stamps on said files…but didn’t work

I would locate the files in the mac desktop, enter time machine and bring forward a copy of the homekit files. So long as icloud was not enabled this solution seemed close to working.

Enable icloud and then the mac home app would be updated to the new empty home.

Not at all, but I don’t understand how your settings data in Time Machine got out of sync with what iCloud is storing. Or why iCloud is storing the settings for local devices. I’ve been making general guesses at a solution based on the imperfect information that you are providing.

When inside Yale Secure app , I deleted a lock and the home - never dreaming anything dreaming Yale would impact devices or systems that w5343 not Yale.

Once home was gone, ALL devices (man, ipads, iphones and shared accounts) vanished from everything.

I found a good copy of the data from a time machine backup … plugged it in and it works on the Mac. However once iCloud is enabled iCloud overwrites everything with the zero device home.

So tonight gave up trying to restore it and start over rebuilding network. After adding the HomePod and Yale lock and thats as far as I get.

Unable to add a single device as it appears iCloud thinks the devices still exist!! No way of clearing that misunderstanding.

Add > Add Accessory > I Don’t Have a Code or Cannot Scan > Select an Accessory to Add to My Home…all of my accessories are listed here, yet can not get one added. Can not manually re-add - no choice hut to select one and enter code which never works.

Hours again woth Apple and Lutron and no way to get those items in the list to go away. Even did a delete all content from the iPad and no change.

So can not restore the network, and can not rebuild the network.

@pixr, in this comment @karlnyhus’s suggestion was to try restoring the data after enabling iCloud (rather than before). Have you tried that? What was the result?

Yes, even went so far as modifying all the desktop home app file dates for iCloud to pick up and distribute.

On the phone yet again with Apple - and it is honestly looking like i need to creat a new Apple ID in order to start over… which is bonkers!

Awaiting call back. Apple support is also very different these days. L2 support agents are essentially more polished L1 agents now, referencing decision trees, chatting with experts in the background… i have spent over an hour with multiple Senior Advisors and every single one of them has vastly different theories and none of them actually truly understood or had appropriate levels of domain knowledge.

Decided years ago never to use my primary apple id for homekit etc and SO glad for that decision. Damage, as bad as it is, has been at least contained to a less important apple id.

One of the key reasons for the second apple id is because of how apple force feeds icloud and HomeKit will not work without storing ALL passwords on iCloud. If you use keychain to store passwords, then using Home app forces every passwords into the cloud. Deal breaker. Apple, the one who Speer heads personal choice and privacy as primary values, does not give users a choice as to which passwords are ok to store online and which to keep local…,

…so only option was a second appleid with just the few required passwords for HomeKit.

This plan has actually worked well for years. I can use all of Home app as a shared user…only known limitation would be core edits to the network which is then handled when at home from a device on the secondary id…hasn’t been a problem or even inconvenience.

Yep. Comes at a cost of paid apps, changing account across other devices and a host of inevitable future gotchas.

Not sure what ios 16 plans are when they remove ipad as host (killing us.) while they say the host can be a home pod, bet there will be some iphone requirement and then chase begins for a used iPhone to leave at home for just homekit. Parts of homekit are amazing and things like this make me wish i was still on Wink.

We have two homepods and a mini, and would still want to have the ipad as the hub. When saying it is buggy and not supported, please elaborate. My issues, grave as they are, are not a result of the platform being iPad.

I ended up rebuilding from scratch… Apple support was actually terrible… disappointingly bad. Got an engineering response back that, after sending three sets of logs and such granular detail, was a generic copy/paste indicating no one even read the issue or took a moment to look deeper.