Where are iTunes Backups stored on Windows & Mac?

Question: I have made a backup of my iPhone using iTunes. Where does iTunes store it in my drive?

Answer:

Find backups of your iPhone, iPad, or iPad Touch in Windows

On Windows, iTunes stores your backups in the Users folder. The location of them varies for different versions of Windows.

Windows 8 and 10: In the Windows search bar, enter %appdata% or %USERPROFILE% (if iTunes is installed using Microsoft Store) and Press Enter.

When the File Explorer window pops up, open these folders: “Apple” or “Apple Computer” > MobileSync > Backup.

Windows 7, XP, Vista: Click the Start Menu button in the button-left corner, select Run. Type %appdata% and hit Enter. It will take you to the Application Data folder. Then navigate to Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.

Find backups of your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch on Mac.

There are two methods to find iOS backups on your Mac.

Method 1: Navigate directly to the backup folder

  1. Click 🔍 in the menu bar or press Command + Space to use Spotlight Search.
  2. Copy and paste this: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  3. Press Return.
iOS backup File location on Mac

Method 2: Locate iOS backups through iTunes

  1. Launch iTunes. Click iTunes in the menu bar, select Preferences.
  2. Click Devices.
  3. From there you can find a list of your device backups along with time created. You can hover the mouse pointer over the backup to see more details such as Model Name or Software version.
  4. Right-click the backup you want, then choose Show in Finder. You can also choose to delete and archive your backup.

How do I view my backup content?

As you can see inside the backup folder, your backups are split into many files that are not stored in a format that you can read. Backups serve as a safe copy of your device, so Apple doesn’t make it easy to view the backup file’s content.

Obviously, you can restore your device with the backup file to see its content. If you ask me if there is a way to extract data from the backup so you can view the content on the computer, then the answer is yes.

Third party programs that can extract iOS backup do exist. They are usually paid or freemium programs that allow you to use a trial version for limited features. Personally, I have never used these applications so I cannot give my recommendation.

You can use their trial before making the purchase. And also beware of scam sites with fake applications.

Notes about your iOS backup files

  • You can make a copy of the Backup folder and move the copy to another location. However, you should never make any change to the original folder.
  • Don’t edit, rename, extract content directly from your backup files. These actions might ruin the files and you might not be able to use them to restore your iOS device.
  • If you want to edit, extract your content using a third-party tool, make sure you do it with the copy version of the backup files. Never touch the original ones.

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