How To View iPhone Backup File On Mac Title Image

Are you curious about your iPhone backup?

Wondering where they’re stored, what they look like.

Perhaps you need to delete an old backup of an old iPhone.

In this article you’ll find 4 different ways to can see your iPhone backup file on your Mac.

And they are all easy to do.

How To View iPhone Backup File On Mac

1. To view your iPhone backup. Connect your iPhone to your Mac over USB.

2. Open a Finder window. Click your iPhone name under Locations.

3. Click the General tab in the button bar.

4. Scroll down to the Manage Backups button and click.

5. You’ll then view your iPhone backup file in the popup window.

How Do I View iPhone Backup Files On Mac Or MacBook

Apple changed the place you view your iPhone backups back in MacOS Mojave.

Before that you could view your iPhone backup in the iTunes app.

Since MacOS Catalina, through MacOS Big Sur. And now with MacOS Monterey you’ll view your iPhone backup through a Finder window. When your iPhone is connected with USB to your Mac.

Or you can manually search for your backup and look at it under your home folder on your Apple computer.

Revealed in this article is. How your view your iPhone backup through Finder, iTunes and a manual search.

How Can I View iPhone Backup Files On Mac In Finder?

The Finder app is the way you iPhone backup. And view your device backup file.

1. Plug your iPhone into a USB Port on your Mac.

With your USB lightning cable. Or you’d use your USB C cable on your iPad.

2. Open a Finder window.

3. Open your iPhone. With your passcode, Face id or Touch id.

Depending on a setting on your iPhone you may well need your iPhone open. And your home screen viewable before you can see your iPhone on your Mac.

With your iPhone open.

4. Click on your iPhone in Locations.

iPhone In Finder Window
iPhone In Finder Window

5. Then Click on General in the button bar.

IPhone Backup General Heading

6. You then scroll down to the Backups heading.

There you’ll find a Manage Backups button.

iPhone Manage Backups Button

Click on it.  A popup window will come up and in there you can view your iPhone backup. Or click the delete backup button to delete an old iPhone backup.

7. Right Click on your iPhone backup.

iPhone Manage Backups Show In Finder

8. Then click view in Finder.

A new finder window will open. Your iPhone backup will be highlighted in the list of files.

And that’s it. You’ve viewed your iPhone backup data file on your Mac.

You’ll quickly notice your iPhone backup’s name is a list of letters and numbers. And it’s a folder viewed at the top level.

Click into the folder and you’ll see a cascade of files and folders.

Don’t try and change any of the iOS files. Or you’ll ruin your iPhone’s backup.

Viewing Your iPhone Backup File On Mac In iTunes

You’d use this way to view your iPhone backup on Mac in earlier MacOS releases. You’ll view your iPhone backup in iTunes on all the MacOS releases earlier than MacOS Mojave.

1. Open iTunes.

2. Pick iTunes Preferences on your Mac.

iTunes Preferences

You can view your iPhone backup through there.

3. Click Devices.

iTunes Devices

All your device backup’s stored on your Mac you’ll find in this window. You’ll see your iTunes backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If they’re backed up to your Apple computer.

4. Click on your iPhone’s name. Right click. Click on Show in Finder.

iTunes Show In Finder

You’ll get a new Finder window.

And your iPhone’s iTunes backup file is highlighted.

Just like under later releases. What your viewing is the top level folder of your iTunes backup. Underneath are other files and folders that forms your device’s iTunes backup.

You can click through and view your iOS iTunes backup. But don’t edit or move the iOS files or folders around.

Or you’ll break your iTunes backup.

Manually Search To View Your iPhone Backup On Mac

Use a spotlight search to view your iPhone backup location.

Spotlight Search Symbol
Spotlight Search Symbol

1. In spotlight search type: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

Spotlight Search IPhone Backup File

This searches your home folder for the Library folder. Inside that the Application Support Folder. And inside there the MobileSync folder. And inside that the Backup folder.

This is where all your iOS device backups are.

2. Look for the Folder heading in spotlight search. Double Click.

You’ll then jump to your stored iOS device backups on your Mac.

iPhone Backup Location

If you’ve only ever backed your iPhone up to your Mac then you’re done. The file you see is your iPhone backup.

But if you’ve several iOS mobile device backups. Then you’ll find it tricky to tell from the file names exactly which backup your viewing.

The date of your last iPhone backup might give you a clue. If you remember it.

If not then it’s better to view your iPhone’s backup under a Finder window for later MacOS’. Or iTunes for earlier MacOs’.

View Your iPhone iCloud Backup On Your Mac

You can view your iPhone’s backup in your iCloud storage on your Mac too.

1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.

Click on the Apple icon top right of your Mac’s desktop and click on System Preferences from the menu.

Application Folder System Preferences
Application Folder System Preferences

2. Click Internet Accounts.

System Preferences Internet Accounts

On the next screen.

3. Click on iCloud. Then click the Manage button.

You’ll see where the arrows point to in the photo.

System Preferences iCloud Manage

4. Click Backups.

To view your iCloud backup file.

System Preferences ICloud Backups

And from there you can view your iPhone backup in your Apple iCloud backup.

And you’ve done it from your Mac.

Can You View iPhone Backup Files On Mac?

Yes, you can view your iPhone backup file on your Mac. You can see where it’s stored and look at the files. But your iPhone backup is not stored in a human readable or viewable way on your Mac. Your backup is stored efficiently in a Mac computer readable format.

And that means you can’t inspect the contents to see if a particular iMessage was backed up. Or look at the detail of a favorite iPhone contact in your backup. Or iPad backup.

Can You Open iPhone Backup On Mac?

No, you can view the iPhone backup folder and files. But you can’t open them on your Mac.

Opening your iPhone backup folder files. Or trying to edit and change them on your Mac will break your backup.

The files are not in a human readable, or editable way.

There are 3rd party software suppliers that claim to read an iPhone backup on Mac or in an iCloud backup. But you’ll have to judge whether the software is effective for what you want.

When you view your iPhone backup on your Mac you’ll see the top level folder. And underneath that there is a tree structure of other files and folders. The entire stack makes up your iPhone backup.

And this is true for your iPad or iPod Touch backups too.

How To Open iPhone Backup On Mac?

You can’t using the tools available as standard on your Mac. You can view your iPhone backup file on your Mac.

And you can also delete the iPhone backup file stored on your Mac.

Armed with a little know how you can copy or move your iPhone backup file to an external hard drive to save space on your Mac.

But you can’t open the files themselves and expect to see anything much that’s human readable.

There are 3rd party software suppliers that claim to be able to open up an iPhone backup. And take data out.  You’ll need to judge whether they meet what you want to do with your iPhone backup.

In Closing

After reading this article you now know how to view your iPhone backup on your Mac.

You now know where they’re stored. And you’ve got 4 different ways to can see your iPhone backups on your Mac.

And they were all easy to do.

Please feel free to check out our other iPhone backup related articles on the site below.

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