Find iPhone Backup File On Mac Title Image

One of the first things that comes to mind when you lose your iPhone is where’s my backup?

There are different ways to find your iPhone backup.

And it doesn’t matter if you’ve backed up through a Finder window. Or through iTunes.

In this article, we’ll give you the detail on how to find your iPhone backup on Mac.

The things to watch for. And answer all those related questions swirling about in your mind.

Where Can You Find iPhone Backup On Mac On Latest MacOS’s?

The very easiest way to find your iPhone backup location is through a Finder window.

Apple changed the way you did iPhone backups with MacOS Catalina. And from that Mac OS and moving forward with MacOS Big Sur. The simplest way you get to your iPhone backup files is through a normal Finder window.

1. Connect your iPhone over USB. And Open a Finder Window.

2. Open your iPhone using your Passcode, Touch id or Face id.

3. Click on your iPhone’s name where it appears under Locations.

iPhone In Finder Window

How To Find iPhone Backup File On Mac Inside Finder?

When you’ve got your iPhone showing up in a Finder window, now you can find your backup file.

1. Click on the General heading in the button bar.

IPhone Backup General Heading

2. Scroll down to the Manage Backups Button. And Click.

iPhone Manage Backups Button

3. Next you’ll See the Device Backups Pop Up Window.

iPhone Manage Backups Show In Finder

In that popup window you’ll find your iPhone backup listed under its name. From there you can click on your iPhone backup and click the Delete Backup button if you want.

Understand that if you delete your backup. Then you can’t use it to restore your iPhone.

But if you’re getting an error caused by your last iPhone backup. And that error is  stopping you from backing up your iPhone. Then you can delete your iPhone’s backup from here in Finder.

Where Do You Find iPhone Backup On Mac On Earlier MacOS’s

Before MacOS Catalina you would iTunes backup. And the easiest way of finding your backup location on earlier MacOS’s like Mojave. Is using iTunes.

1. Use your iPhone’s USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac.

2. Open iTunes. And click on your device.

Phone Icon

How To See iPhone Backup Files On Mac In iTunes

1. At the top of your iTunes window.

iTunes IPhone Backup Window

2. Click iTunes Preferences from the menu.

iTunes Preferences

3. In the Preferences Pop up window Click the Devices option.

iTunes Devices

And then you’ll see your iPhone iTunes backup.

From there you can click to highlight your backup. And click the Delete Backup button if you want.

But if you do delete your iPhone backup files. You can’t restore iPhone later if you need to.

Where Are Apple Backup Files Stored On Mac

All the Apple backup files made directly on your Mac are stored in under your home folder. They’re in a backup folder called.

Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup.

Find iPhone Backup File On Mac With Spotlight Search

You can manually find your iPhone backup file on your Mac using a spotlight search.

And this way of finding your backup location works whether you’re on MacOS Mojave. Or an earlier MacOS release. Or on Big Sur or a later MacOS release.

1. Click on spotlight search at the top of the Mac desktop.

Spotlight Search Symbol

2. Type in: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

Spotlight Search IPhone Backup File

3. And double click under the Folder heading in spotlight search.

You’ll then go to the contents of the backup location folder.

iPhone Backup Location

Now You’re In The Backup Folder On Mac How To Find iPhone Backups?

When you’re in the MobileSync/Backup folder. If you’ve only ever backed up your iPhone to your Mac computer. Then your job is simple.

You’ll see just the one backup folder. And that folder is your iPhone backup location. But if you’re like me and you’ve several iPhones, a couple of iPad’s and an iPod Touch backed up.

You’ll straight away notice that the backup folder doesn’t list your device name. It’s a complex series of letters and numbers.

You could work which is your iPhone backup from the date of your last backup. Because you can ask Finder to show you the date modified in your Finder window. And you’ll get the date and time.

Other than that. You’ll need another way to find your iPhone backup location.

Read on to the next section to find out how.

Where Are IOS Backup Files Stored On Mac

When you’ve got several iOS devices backed up to your Mac. And you’ve gone directly to your MobileSync/Backup folder. You’ll see the backup folder name as a series of letters and numbers. And it’s tricky to work out which folder is which device’s backup.

Because the backup iOS files for iPad. And your iPod touch are also stored in this backup folder.

The easiest way to find out where exactly each backup folder is located. Is through a Finder window on the latest MacOS releases.

Or through iTunes on MacOS Mojave or earlier.

How To Find IOS Backup File On Mac – Backup Location Detail

Connect your iPhone to your Mac using it’s USB cable. And open your phone with its passcode.

In Finder

1. Click General in the button bar.

IPhone Backup General Heading

2. And move down to the Manage Backups button. Then click on it.

iPhone Manage Backups Button

3. Click on your iOS device in the popup window to highlight it.

4. Then right click. Pick Show In Finder from the menu that comes up.

iPhone Manage Backups Show In Finder

5. A new Finder window will open up with that iOS device’s backup folder highlighted.

And you’ll have the exact backup folder location for that iOS device.

In iTunes

1. Open iTunes

2. Click iTunes Preferences from the top of your Mac’s desktop.

iTunes Preferences

3. Click Devices.

iTunes Devices

4. Click to highlight the iOS device you want to find the iTunes backup location of.

5. Right Click and pick Show in Finder from the menu.

iTunes Show In Finder

A new Finder window opens. And in it is your iTunes backup file highlighted. This is your device iTunes backup folder.

How To Find iCloud iPhone Backup On Mac

You can also get to your iPhone’s iCloud backup through your Mac. And it’s pretty straight forward to do.

1. Start System Settings or Preferences.

You’ll find System Settings (from Mac OS Ventura). It’s called System Preferences in earlier Mac releases under your Application Folder.

System Settings From Dock
For Mac OS Releases From Mac OS Ventura

2. System Settings > Internet Accounts

Scroll down the left hand side of your System Settings to Internet Accounts. Click there.  Then click on the Manage button on the left hand side of the System Settings pop up window.

System Settings Internet Accounts Manage

Then you can click on iCloud Storage Backups.

System Settings ICloud Backups

To find your iPhone backup on your iCloud storage from your Mac.

For Earlier Releases Of Mac OS Like Monterey, Big Sur.

You can find System Preferences under your Application folder.

Application Folder System Preferences

2. Click on Internet Accounts.

System Preferences Internet Accounts

On the screen that comes up.

3. Click on iCloud Followed by Manage.

The arrows in the photo shows you where.

System Preferences iCloud Manage

4. Then click on Backups.

System Preferences ICloud Backups

You’ve then found your iPhone backup on your pre Mac OS Ventura iCloud storage from your Mac.

Now That You’ve Found iPhone Backup Folder On Mac

You’ll notice that your iPhone backup file isn’t just one file. It’s a folder. And under the folder are a bunch of other folders.

Your iPhone backup isn’t stored in a human readable way. Its special format is efficient. And means your iPhone backup takes up less space on your Mac than you’d expect. Much less.

How To Find Last iPhone Backup On Mac

Your Mac computer only keeps one backup of your iPhone. The last backup. There’s no need to worry about your Apple computer holding many backup copies of your iPhone.

Can I Edit My Macs iPhone Backup

Your Mac holds your iPhone backup in a certain structure. Don’t try and change or move any of the individual backup files. Or folders inside the backup tree structure of your iPhone backup. Or you’ll ruin your iPhone backup.

The same is true of your iPad backup on Mac.

What If It’s A Backup Of An Old IPhone?

Sure, if it’s an old iPhone backup. And you know you no longer need the backup. Then delete the old iPhone backup folder at the top level. In your MobileSync/Backup folder. And you’re done.

You can delete an old iPad backup if you no longer have the iPad or need the backup.

What If You Want To Move Your iPhone Backup To An External Hard Drive?

The easiest way to do this is to do a backup of your Mac to Time Machine on an external drive.

And run a backup to Time Machine each time after you’ve backed up your iPhone. That way you’ll keep an iPhone backup over different dates in time. And you can restore a backup from a particular date.

Pick a regular backup schedule. Time Machine backup your Apple computer to a SSD or hard drive. Then backup your iPhone. And backup your other iOS devices. Run another Time Machine backup at the end. Job done.

Otherwise, You can move the entire backup folder and its content to an external drive if you really need to save space on your Mac.

Copy the folder at the top level in your MobileSync/Backup folder.

Don’t change any of the files or folder names in the backup.

Once the entire folder structure is copied then you can delete it off your Mac.

When and if you want to restore that backup to your Mac. Because you need to restore your iPhone.

Then copy the entire folder structure as is. Back to its original location in the MobileSync/Backup folder.

In Closing

Now you know that there are different ways to find your iPhone backup.

There are many reasons why you want to do this. You might be trying to get your files back onto a new iPhone after your iPhone was stolen.

Or you need to delete a corrupt iPhone backup and gotta know where it is.

The next time you need to find your iPhone backup, you now have the tools to do it.

Feel free to checkout our other iPhone on Mac related articles below.

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