Where Are iPhone Backups Stored on My Computer?

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Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iTunes, iPhone | View Comments

You may need to access the files for your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch backups on your computer in order to delete or rename them.

Each backup of a device is typically named by the unique device identifier (UDID). You can find your device's UDID by clicking on the Serial Number field in iTunes (which will switch it to your device identifier.) Some folders will have a date/time stamp after the UDID as well.

If you're using an iPhone XS or XS Max, iTunes won't show you your UDID, so you'll need to use one of our other methods to get your UDID on Windows and Mac here.

macOS

On a Mac your backups are in /Users/your username/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.

  • Open Finder, and select the “Go” menu at the top of the screen. Hold the Option key, and select the “Library” menu option from the Go menu. (On OSX Lion and above, Library will only appear with the Option key held.)
  • From Library, navigate to Application Support -> MobileSync -> Backup.

Windows

On Windows, your backups are stored in *your user account data folder*\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup. The user account data location varies for different versions and configurations of Windows.

  • Windows 8 and 10: In the Windows search bar type %appdata% (with the percents) and press return/enter. A file browser window will open to the Application Data folder.
  • Windows 7, Vista, XP: From the start menu, select Run. In the run box, type %appdata% (with the percents) and press return/enter. A file browser window will open to the Application Data folder.
  • From there, navigate to Apple Computer -> MobileSync -> Backup.

Update May 18, 2018: There is now a version of iTunes available in the Microsoft Store as well as from the Apple website. If you installed iTunes from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10, then your backups are stored in a slightly different location.

Windows 10 (iTunes from the Microsoft Store)

  • In the Windows search bar paste %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup and press return/enter. A file browser window will open to the iTunes backups folder.

I'd be remiss if I didn't say: Make sure you know what you're doing before you muck around in your iTunes backups :)


10 Comments



  • Mike Henry September 9, 2019

    Kelly -- I have the issue that Ivy describes-- my backup was not reflected in Itunes but originally found in the %appdata% file, however, the apple adviser could not solve the issue (allow the file be accessed). Upon a follow up conversation with Apple, the adviser had me uninstall Itunes and reinstall. This, as you mention, moved the backup files to the other directory, %userprofile%, etc. My question is how do I get Itunes to recognize this file so I can access to restore my phone? Thx

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW September 9, 2019

      Hi Mike,

      Is the backup still in the %appdata%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup folder, or did it move to the %userprofile% folder?

      If it moved to %userprofile%, but still isn't being picked up by iTunes, you could use the free version of Decipher Backup Repair https://deciphertools.com/d... or Decipher Backup Browser https://deciphertools.com/d... just to see if the free trial versions of the programs can see the backups properly.

  • Ivy March 3, 2019

    Hi Kelly, thank you for the above, I have a quick question. I have a
    backup stored in Windows 10, I can see it on my harddrive based on the
    information you provided above. However I do not see it on my Itunes
    account. I havent been able to connect my backup file on my computer
    hard drive with Itunes. If i backup my iphone it creates a new link
    between Itunes & Mobilesync/backup but there isn't a way to restore
    the older back up (which has 2016-2018 photos/information) vs the newly
    created back up which has march 2019 only. Ive tried deleting the new
    backup march2019. but Itunes cannot locate the old back up which is just
    sitting there *your user account data folder*\Application Data\Apple
    Computer\MobileSync\Backup

    Do you know how to connect
    Itunes with a backup that is stored under the following, *your user
    account data folder*\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

    Thanks for the help

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW March 3, 2019

      Hi Ivy,

      I've definitely seen this when iTunes is uninstalled, and then reinstalled from the Windows 10 Microsoft Store. The old backup is still at the old location %appdata%\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup but the new iTunes will only show you what's in the new location %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup.

      Close iTunes. Rename that folder inside of %appdata%\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup from the long pile of letters and numbers for the device identifier to something like "2018 older backup" and then move it into the new location %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup. Don't rename anything inside of that folder (like the two letter folders or the plist files), but renaming the long string of letters and numbers to something more memorable is fine to do and good to make sure it's not overwritten if you're using the same iPhone still. :) Then after the move finishes, reopen iTunes and the backup should show up now.

  • jeric23

    jeric23 December 12, 2018

    Thank u Kelly. This is the best answer was i looking for. Very informative and easy to understand.

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW December 12, 2018

      Thank you for the comment and the kind words Jeric! Happy New Year!

  • AnnFairfax December 12, 2018

    I have a new phone and want to restore the data from my old phone onto it. But, I had to reinstall Itunes, and now it says the phone has never been backed up. I found the backup file on my computer, but how do I make it visible in itunes so I can put it on my new phone?

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW December 12, 2018

      Hi Ann,

      Are you on Windows 10 by chance? (If not, what operating system are you running?) My hunch is that the original backup was made on iTunes downloaded directly from Apple, but now you're running iTunes from the Microsoft Windows 10 store (or the reverse). In which case, we may have to manually move your backups from %appdata%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup to %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup (or the reverse) if you have both folders. Do you remember where you installed iTunes from (downloading from the Apple website or Microsoft Windows 10 Store) when you just reinstalled it?

  • ASHOK GOYAL June 6, 2018

    my iphone is blocked by ur system because i have put a password with my finger to lock it
    not to be used by my grand son
    when i was not at home my grand son who is about 7 tryied with other password so many times to unlock my i phone 6 +
    but got blocked
    pls let me know how to un block it
    i have also purchase i cloud storage 50 gb
    i have itunes user id and password
    thanks

    ashok goyal

    • Decipher Tools Software

      Decipher Tools Software June 6, 2018

      Decipher TextMessage won't ever block your phone. ;-) If you chose to encrypt your phone via iTunes in the past with a password, you would need to know the password to un-encrypt the backup. We have info on that in our FAQ should it help: https://deciphertools.com/s...