Andrew Coles
Posted by Andrew Coles,

When iTunes backs up your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it saves all your important data into various files within the backup folder.

The filenames are encoded so they appear as strings of letters and numbers. It turns out, however, that for each version of the iPhone operating system (iOS), they're encoded in similar ways.

Here are some of the main files.

iOS 6 iPhone Backup File Locations

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedb31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
RemindersCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
Notesnotes.sqliteca3bc056d4da0bbf88b5fb3be254f3b7147e639c
Call hist.call_history.db2b2b0084a1bc3a5ac8c27afdf14afb42c61a19ca
Locationsconsolidated.dbRemoved from iTunes backup, not iDevice

iOS 5 iPhone Backup File Locations

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedb31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
RemindersCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
Notesnotes.sqliteca3bc056d4da0bbf88b5fb3be254f3b7147e639c
Call hist.call_history.db2b2b0084a1bc3a5ac8c27afdf14afb42c61a19ca
Locationsconsolidated.dbRemoved from iTunes backup, not iDevice

iOS 4 iPhone Backups

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedb31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
Notesnotes.sqliteca3bc056d4da0bbf88b5fb3be254f3b7147e639c
Call hist.call_history.db2b2b0084a1bc3a5ac8c27afdf14afb42c61a19ca
Locationsconsolidated.db4096c9ec676f2847dc283405900e284a7c815836

iOS 3 iPhone Backups

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedb31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
Notesnotes.db740b7eaf93d6ea5d305e88bb349c8e9643f48c3b
Call hist.call_history.dbff1324e6b949111b2fb449ecddb50c89c3699a78

iOS 2 iPhone Backups

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedb31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb2041457d5fe04d39d0ab481178355df6781e6858
Notesnotes.db740b7eaf93d6ea5d305e88bb349c8e9643f48c3b
Call hist.call_history.dbff1324e6b949111b2fb449ecddb50c89c3699a78

iOS 1 iPhone Backups

ContentsReal FilenameFilename in Backup
SMSsms.db3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28
ContactsAddressBook.sqlitedbadb8c77534444e97c31ff15924d50f3ed1fbd3b1
CalendarCalendar.sqlitedb14ee8cdc3e6e0220399ff210246e1c92b7df89a0
Notesnotes.db740b7eaf93d6ea5d305e88bb349c8e9643f48c3b
Call hist.call_history.dba49bfab36504be1bf563c1d1813b05efd6076717


If you'd like an easier way to tell what's in your iPhone backup, we provide a tool that does all this decoding for you. Take a look at our iPhone Backup Extractor.