How to Delete iPhone and iPad Backups on a Mac

An iPhone plugged into a MacBook with a Lightning to USB-C cable.blackzheep / Shutterstock.com

Local iPhone and iPad backups can use a little space. Here’s how to view and free up the amount of space used by backups. These tips work on macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, and other recent versions of macOS.

Before deleting iPhone and iPad backups from your Mac, we suggest that you export them to an external drive. You can use Time Machine, or just copy and paste the backup folder. You can also activate iCloud backup. Before deleting a backup, make sure you have copied it to another location or are sure you no longer need it.

Delete backups from storage management

macOS Mojave has introduced a new storage management tool that lists iOS backups. Previously, you had to navigate to a specific Finder folder to view all iOS backup files on your Mac.

To access it, click on the “Apple” icon in the menu bar, then select the “About this Mac” option.

Click on About this Mac in the menu

Here, go to the “Storage” tab and click on the “Manage” button.

Click on Storage then on the Manage option

In the Storage Management window, click the “iOS files” option in the sidebar.

You will now see all iOS file backups here. Right click on the iOS backup you want to delete and click on the “Delete” option.

Click delete for iOS backup

Click the “Delete” button again to confirm your choice.

Click on the Delete option in the storage management window

The iOS backup will now be deleted and you will recover the storage space. Repeat this process to delete additional backups.

RELATED: Where is the backup of my iPhone or iPad on a PC or Mac?

Delete iPhone and iPad backups from Finder

Starting with macOS Catalina, Apple has divided the iTunes application into several applications:Music, podcasts and television. The responsibility of syncing iPhone and iPad now is based on the Finder.

If you are used to managing your device backups from iTunes, you can follow the same procedure from the Finder application.

First, connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, open the Finder app and select the device in the sidebar. Here, click on the “Manage backups” button.

Click on Manage backups from Finder

The pop-up window now lists all iPhone and iPad backups on the Mac. Select a backup that you want to delete, then click on the “Delete backup” button.

Select the backup in the Finder and select Delete backup

In the pop-up window, confirm your step by clicking on the “Delete” button.

Click the Delete button in the Finder pop-up window

The iOS backup will now be deleted. You can do this for any backups you want to get rid of.

RELATED: How to backup and restore your iPhone or iPad without iTunes

Find all iPhone and iPad backups in Finder

If you’re not running macOS Mojave, or if you just prefer to manually delete the files and folder, you can do it from the Finder app.

All iPhone and iPad backups are stored in a specific sub-folder of the Library folder.

You can get there quickly using the Spotlight Search. Click on the “Search” icon in the menu bar or press Command + Space to open it, paste the following text and press Enter.

~ / Library / Application support / MobileSync / Backup /

Paste the folder location in Spotlight and press Enter

The Finder will open instantly and you will see all the folders for iOS backups. The only problem here is that the folder names are not readable. You will not know the iOS device associated with the backup. However, you can use the time stamp to determine the age of the backup.

If you want to delete all iOS backups from your Mac, this is the quickest method.

You can select the backups (folders) you want to delete, right-click and select the “Move to trash” option to delete them.

Right click on the backup folder and select Move to Trash

To free up storage space on your Mac, right-click the “Trash” icon and select “Empty Trash.”

Click on Empty Trash

Do you want to free up more space? That’s some tips for freeing up disk space on a Mac.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space On Your Mac Hard Drive

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