Where are iPad and iPhone backups stored on PC or Mac?

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If you accidentally deleted some information from an iOS device and hope to recover it, an iTunes backup can be a great help.

iTunes backups happen automatically, each time you connect your iPad or iPhone with iTunes (if you didn’t turn on the iCloud Backup option), or manually, when you right-click the device in iTunes and choose ‘’Back Up’’. They are saved on your computer and contain important data, such as contacts, text messages, calendar, notes, call history and app data.

So where are iPhone or iPad backups stored? It depends on which operating system your computer is using, although the default backup location is the same between iOS versions.

Where is the iTunes backup folder on Windows?

iTunes backups are stored in %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync on Windows.

On Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista, this'll be a path like \Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.

With Windows XP that'd be similar to \Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.

The Microsoft Store version of iTunes is a little different: it stores its backups under %HOMEPATH%\Apple\MobileSync. That'll be a path like \Users\[USERNAME]\Apple\MobileSync\Backup.

Where is the iTunes backup folder on macOS / OS X?

iTunes backups are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync on macOS.

That folder is typically at /Users/[USERNAME]/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.

In macOS 10.15, Finder creates iPhone backups, instead of iTunes. However, these backups are stored in the same location.

How to find the iTunes backup folder automatically

iPhone Backup Extractor automatically finds the iTunes backup folder for you, and can open it with a click. This functionality is in the free version, so this won't cost a thing.

  1. Download and install iPhone Backup Extractor
  2. Open the Preferences window from the app's pull-down menu
  3. Select the Backups tab.
  4. Where the window says "We always look for backups in your default folder", click the "default folder" link. Easy!

iPhone Backup Extractor showing the default iTunes backup folder
iPhone Backup Extractor showing the default iTunes backup folder

Opening the iTunes backup folder on Windows

Open the default Backup location in Explorer using the Windows Run command. Press ⊞ Win + R and the Run window should appear. Enter %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync and press ⏎ Enter.

For the Microsoft Store version of iTunes, you could do this: Press ⊞ Win + R and the Run window should appear. Enter %HOMEPATH%\Apple\MobileSync and press ⏎ Enter.

Here's what this looks like on Windows 10:

Find iTunes backups on Windows 10
Find iTunes backups on Windows 10

The Explorer window that opens will show a folder named "Backup". This contains any iTunes backups which are already present on the computer.

Finding the iTunes backup folder on macOS

The default backup location can be shown in Finder using Spotlight. Pressing ⌘ Cmd + and type ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync before pressing ⏎ Enter.

The Finder window that opens will show a folder named "Backup". This contains any iTunes backups which are already present on the computer.

Changing the iTunes backup folder location?

If you'd like to change the folder that iTunes backups up to by default, we have a handy guide in our support centre.

About the author

Andrew Dancy co-founded Reincubate in 2008 and pioneered techniques with recovery of location data from iOS. He sits on the company's board, with a law-tech background and a particular interest in privacy and security.

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Pictured above are members of Reincubate’s team meeting HM Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ at Buckingham Palace, after being awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work with Apple technology. Read our position on privacy, safety and security.

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Comments (2)

Thanks alot.

Cheers.. .. .!!!

First of all; Thanks for the easy and helpful steps to get this far in the process. I am just curious as I am copying my backup off of my pc if it just as simple as me copying this backup off of my (non internet accessible) pc onto a hard drive, then I can drag and drop into the list of backups on the new Mac. I am trying to restore my old backup onto my new iPhone six, but my pc has lost ability to connect to the Internet, so I can't download the new iTunes update to be able to work with my iPhone six.

Justin! Thanks for writing. Yes, it really is that easy. You can move iTunes backup folders between Macs, or even between Macs and PCs.


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This is iPhone Backup Extractor, think of it as a "personal forensics" utility. It's pretty awesome.

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