Where Is My iPhone or iPad Backup on a PC or Mac?

A question mark in front of an iPhone and an iPad.

While we all want automated backups to run smoothly, sometimes you have to find files manually to restore a backup to your iPhone or iPad.

If you want to restore an iPhone or iPad backup using the conventional method of local backup (and your computer knows where these backups are located), you can use iTunes for Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier. If your Mac is running macOS 10.15 or later, you can also restore via Searcher.

However, if you have to recover iPhone or iPad backup data from an old computer, transfer it to another machine, or find it on a remote backup drive, you will have to dig.

Use an iCloud backup if possible

Before you go looking for iPhone or iPad backup files, you may want to see if your device has been backed up via iCloud. iCloud Backup saves backup files to Apple’s servers on the Internet rather than locally on your computer.

Here’s how to check your iCloud backups:

iOS 11 or later: Go to Settings> [user name] > iCloud> Manage storage> Backup.
iOS 10.3: Go to Settings> [user name] > iCloud. Tap the bar graph that shows iCloud usage, then tap “Manage Storage”.
iOS 10.2 or sooner: Go to Settings> iCloud> Storage> Manage storage.

Once you’re on our device, hit “Backups”.

You see a list of devices linked to your account that have backups in iCloud.

If there is an iCloud backup that you want to restore, you must first perform a full factory reset to erase data from your iPhone or iPad.

After resetting your device, use the Apple ID with which you created the backups to connect to iCloud. Then select the appropriate backup during the restore process.

How to restore a local backup

If your PC or Mac already knows where your iPhone or iPad backups are located, it’s easy to restore them locally. As mentioned earlier, you can do this via iTunes (under Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier) or Searcher (on macOS 10.15 or later).

After connecting your device, click “Restore iPhone” or “Restore iPad”, then select the backup you want to restore. From there, follow the instructions in the links above.

Locate iPhone or iPad backups on a Windows PC

If iCloud backups don’t do the trick, you can also locate iPhone or iPad backups on Windows PC.

Follow the paths below:

On a PC with a standalone iTunes installation: Open Explorer and paste the following into the address bar:% APPDATA% Apple Computer MobileSync
On a PC with iTunes from the Microsoft Store: Open Explorer and paste the following into the address bar:% HOMEPATH% Apple MobileSync

You will notice that each iPad or iPhone backup is stored in a separate folder and named with a long chain of letters and numbers. Each folder represents a full backup for a single device.

These long coded names make it difficult to determine which folder matches which device. So you will have to check in a different way.

If you want the most recent backup, right-click on the Explorer window, then click View> Details. Right-click again, then click Sort By> Modified Date.

You can now see the dates next to the folders and choose the backup you want.

Moving and restoring data from a Windows PC

If you need to move a backup folder to another device (such as another Windows PC or Mac) to restore it, simply copy the folder of your choice to the appropriate location on the new machine, as shown below :

On a Windows machine with a standalone copy of iTunes: Copy the folder (s) to the following location:% APPDATA% Apple Computer MobileSync
On a Windows machine with iTunes from the Microsoft Store: Copy the folder (s) to the following location:% HOMEPATH% Apple MobileSync
On a Mac: Copy the folder (s) to the following location: ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync

Connect your iPhone or iPad via USB, then restore the backup via iTunes (under Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier) or Searcher (macOS 10.15 or later).

Locate iPhone or iPad backups on a Mac

On Mac OS X, you can find iPhone or iPad backups created by iTunes (macOS 10.14 or earlier) or Finder (under macOS 10.15 or later) in ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync.

Each backup is stored in a separate folder named with a long chain of random letters and numbers. Each folder represents a complete backup instance for a single device.

Again, these long coded names make it difficult to know which folder matches which device, so you’ll have to check in a different way.

If you want the most recent backup, click the List View icon in the Finder window. Check the “Modification date” column to see which folder corresponds to the backup you want.

Moving and restoring data from a Mac

If you need to copy this backup to another device (such as another Windows PC or Mac) to restore it, simply copy the folder to the appropriate location on the new machine, as shown below:

On a Windows machine with a standalone copy of iTunes: Copy the folder (s) to the following location:% APPDATA% Apple Computer MobileSync
On a Windows machine with iTunes from the Microsoft Store: Copen the folder (s) in the following location:% HOMEPATH% Apple MobileSync
On a Mac: Copy the folder (s) to the following location: ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync

Connect your iPhone or iPad via USB, then restore the backup via iTunes (under Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier) or Finder (macOS 10.15 or later).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.