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Where is your iPhone backup stored on your computer?

It’s somewhere in there, but we’ll help you find it.

ios apple iphone showing apps on table iphone 11 unlocked
Image: Unsplash

Setting your iTunes to automatically back up your iPhone every time you plug it into your computer is great, saving all your precious data if the unthinkable happens. So what happens if the unthinkable happens to the device your backups are saved on? What if you want to save another copy of your backups, so if you have to reinstall your computer, you don’t lose all your data?

Apple likes to make it easy for you to backup your devices, with a simple one-touch process in most cases. That ease-of-use doesn’t extend to showing you where those backup files get stored though.

Whether you use iCloud to back up without a computer, iTunes on your PC, or have your Mac set to backup when plugged in, just where are those backups stored?

So, where do my iPhone backups get stored?

  • Short answer: Apple always saves your backups to the same folder, which is different depending on the device you are backing up to.

Your iPhone backups always get put in the same location. You can copy whatever files out of it you want, but don’t try moving the folder itself as you’ll break the backup process. To find them, head to your search function:

On Mac:

macos finder

Image: Apple

  1. Open Finder
  2. Type or copy/paste ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ 
  3. Press return

On PC:

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Navigate to \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  3. You can also type %appdata% or %USERPROFILE% (if you installed iTunes from the Microsoft Store) into the search bar, then click through Apple or Apple Computer and then MobileSync > Backup

That’ll get you into the folder with your backups, which you can then copy to another drive if you need another copy while you reinstall Windows or your Mac. Make sure to copy the files back into the same folder when you’ve reinstalled though.

If you use iCloud Backup, you won’t be able to see a list of your backups if you sign in to iCloud on the web. You need to go into the settings menu for your device instead.

On iPhone, iPad or iPod touch:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on [your name]
  3. Tap on iCloud
  4. Tap on Manage Storage
  5. Tap on Backups

On a Mac with macOS 10.15 or later:

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top bar
  2. Go to System Preferences
  3. Click on Apple ID
  4. Click on iCloud
  5. Click on Manage
  6. Select Backups

On your PC:

  1. Open iCloud for Windows
  2. Click on Storage
  3. Select Backup

So there you have it. Now you know where your various iDevice backups are saved. If you’re still having issues finding them, head on over to Apple’s support page for additional resources.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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