Apple has made it extremely simple to back up your iPhone to your Mac.
Your iPhone backup will include all your contacts, notes, music even apps.
In fact, all your crucial iPhone information is in this backup.
But what if you want to delete your iPhone backup from your Mac computer.
Can you delete it safely? Should you delete it? What happens when you do? And how do you go about it?
This article answers those questions. And other crucial queries.
How To Delete iPhone Backups On Mac
Connect your iPhone to your Mac over USB.
To delete your iPhone backup the easiest way. Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
You’ll have previously taken a backup. So connect on up the same way.
Use the USB cable that came with your iPhone and connect your iPhone into a USB port on your Mac.
You’ll need an USB C to USB type A adaptor if you don’t have the right cable ends.
Or a lightning to USB C cable.
On a Mac running MacOS Catalina, Big Sur or later MacOS. You find and delete your iPhone backup using a finder window.
If your Mac is running MacOS Mojave or earlier. Then scroll down to the deleting iPhone backup on iTunes section.
Delete iPhone Backup On Mac Finder
1. Connect your iPhone to Mac.
2. Open a finder window. And click on the name of your iPhone in Locations.
3. Look Under Backups for the Manage Backups button.
Scroll down the Finder screen a little till you get to the Manage Backups button.
Then click on the Manage Backup button.
Next, you’ll see a pop up window. It lists all the iOS device backups stored on your Mac. or MacBook Pro. Along with the date and time of the last backup. And that list includes the backup of your iPhone.
The Mac pictured also has an iPad backup on it. You’ll see the iPad backup listed.
Click on your iPhone backup. And Click the Delete Backup button on the screen.
The arrows in the picture shows you where.
And just like that you’ve deleted the backup of your iPhone.
Delete iPhone Backup On Mac iTunes
When you’re using MacOS Mojave, MacOS High Sierra or earlier operating systems on Mac. You’ll have an iTunes backup. To delete your iTunes backup.
1. Connect your iPhone to Mac.
2. Open up iTunes. Click on the small device icon in iTunes. You’ll then see a screen like the Finder window backups in later MacOS versions.
3. Click iTunes Preferences.
4. Then click Devices from the window that pops up.
In that window you’ll see each iOS backup on your Mac or MacBook.
In the picture above there’s an iPad and iPhone backup on this Mac.
5. Click on your iPhone’s Backup. Then click Delete backup.
To delete iTunes backup of your iPhone on your Mac.
And if for some reason deleting your iPhone’s iTunes backup file won’t work in iTunes. You can also right click on the backup in the iTunes Device Preferences window.
And pick to show in Finder.
A Finder window will open up on your iPhone backup location. And you can delete your iPhone backup folder directly from there.
Can I Delete iPhone Backup On Mac?
Yes, you can delete your Mac’s iPhone backup. And you may have to delete your backup. When you get an error on your Mac telling you the back is corrupt.
Then you’ll have to delete it.
Should I Delete iPhone Backup On Mac?
If you’re looking to save space on your Mac. Then you can delete your iPhone backup. But understand if you do then you can’t use that backup to restore from.
The idea of backing up on to your Mac is so you have a local backup of your iPhone. And should you need to restore iPhone you can from that backup.
Or when you’re upgrading your iPhone. Or your iPhone is lost or stolen you can restore that backup. And have your new iPhone set up the way you like it. Just like on your old iPhone.
When you’re getting an error with your Mac iPhone backup.
Then you should delete the backup. And take a new backup of your iPhone.
If you’ve decided to have an iCloud backup of your iPhone. Then you might want to delete your local iPhone backup on your Mac. But there’s a good reason to still keep backing up to your Mac.
It always pays to have more than one backup of your iPhone. Just in case.
Should I Delete Old iPhone Backups On Mac?
Is the backup an old iPhone Backup? And you’ve upgraded and replaced it long ago? Or is the device backup your current phone. And you’re worried that there are lots backups taking up space on your Mac.
When the backup is of an old iPhone you no longer use. And you know you’ll never need that backup again. Then sure, you can delete the old backup.
You’ll see it under Manage Backups in your Finder window when you connect your iPhone. Listed by the name you gave it. And the date and time of the last backup you made to your Mac.
But if your worry is that there are multiple backups of your current phone using space on your Mac. Then don’t worry.
Your Mac doesn’t keep any old iOS backup.
Your Mac only holds the last backup of your iPhone. And overwrites the previous iPhone backup.
That’s why it’s best to take a backup of your Mac to an external hard drive. Or external SSD drive. After you’ve backed up your iPhone. Saving that version of your backup. And then you can always go back to that backup. Restore that version. And restore our iPhone to that date and time if you need to.
Where Is iPhone Backup Stored On Mac?
You’ll find your iPhone backup stored under your home folder > Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup.
But as you’ll see from the picture above of the contents of this folder. When you’ve got several iOS device backups on your Mac. It’s a challenge to identify which one is your iPhone backup. As the backups are not stored by the name of your iPhone.
But if you look at the date on the folder, you can tell when it was last changed and work it out that way.
Or you can make use of an option in your Finder window when you connect your iPhone to your Mac.
Click on the Manage Backups button.
Click on your iPhone backup to highlight it. Then right click. And from the menu that comes up pick the option to Show in Finder.
And another Finder window will pop up with your iPhone backup highlighted.
Now you’ve the exact stored location of your iPhone backup. And you can delete it. Or copy if off onto an external drive for safe keeping.
Can I Delete Parts Of My iPhone Backup On Mac?
No, you can’t.
Be warned. Your iPhone backup file is not in a format you can read or understand. Don’t move or delete parts of your iPhone backup stored on your Mac’s hard drive.
If you archive the backup onto a USB stick or an external drive. Because you need to save space on your Mac computer. Copy the contents of the entire folder and all the folders underneath.
And restore it back to the exact same position if you need to restore your backup to your iPhone.
Or you’ll ruin your backup.
What Happens When I Delete iPhone Backup On Mac
What happens when you delete iPhone backup on Mac, is that the iPhone backup folder. And the sets of files and folders under that folder, move into your Mac or MacBook Pro’s bin.
And you can no longer use that backup to restore your iPhone from.
But you are free to take another fresh backup of your iPhone to your Mac. Or backup your iPhone elsewhere like to iCloud storage.
Cannot Delete iPhone Backup On Mac
When a Mac error means that you can’t delete your iPhone backup under a Finder backup window. And for some reason it just won’t go.
Then you’ll need to delete the file manually.
Right click on your iPhone backup under Manage Backups.
Pick the option to show your backup in a Finder window.
Then you can delete the iPhone backup folder from that Finder window. Or make a note of the file location and name.
Go to the folder location in another Finder window and delete it from there.
We hope this article has helped you to understand how to get to your iPhone backups on your Mac. And know where and how they are stored on Mac.
And if you want to delete your Mac’s iPhone backup – you now know what’s involved in doing this.
Thank you for reading. And please feel free to look at our other iPhone related backup articles on the site.
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.