Home / iPhone / How to access the iPhone backups stored on your Mac computer in 3 different ways – Business Insider

How to access the iPhone backups stored on your Mac computer in 3 different ways – Business Insider

  • You can access the iPhone backups stored on your Mac computer in three different ways. 
  • It’s possible to access the iPhone backups stored on a Mac through iTunes, iCloud, or by searching for it with a shortcut in Spotlight. 
  • You can delete, archive, or copy your iPhone backups — but if you want to move your backups somewhere, make sure you’re moving a copy, and not the original. 

It’s a good idea to back up your iPhone and keep a copy of your data on iCloud or an external hard drive.  

You can also store your iPhone backups on a Mac computer. But where exactly are your iPhone backups on your Mac, and how can you find them? 

They’re not so well-hidden, it turns out. It’s easy to access your iPhone backups on your Mac computer in three different ways — through Spotlight, iTunes, or your iCloud settings.

Here’s how to do it. 

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How to access the iPhone backups stored on your Mac computer through Spotlight

Let’s say you’ve opted to back up your iPhone to your Mac.

If you want to move those backups around, create space on your local drive, and add backups to your external drives or networked storage, use Spotlight and the following shortcut: 

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Spotlight search iphone backup

Type in the shortcut in Spotlight to access your backups.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

This will pull up a standard Finder window with your most recent backups on it (As you can see, my last backup was in February 2019, because I like to live my life on the edge).

iPhone backup folder via Spotlight

You’ll be able to access your most recent iPhone backups in the folder.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

How to access your iPhone backups on a Mac through iTunes

Your iPhone syncs through iTunes, so it’s no surprise that you can also access specific backups through the software. 

1. To access your backups, simply go to iTunes > Preferences.

iTunes preferences

Go to your Preferences in iTunes.
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2. When the Preferences box pops up, select Devices.

iTunes iPhone backup

Click on Devices.
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3. Here you’ll see all of your currently stored backups. To manipulate them, click the backup you want to delete, archive, or access in the finder. 

iTunes iPhone backup archive delete show in finder

Choose to delete, archive, or show your backup in Finder.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

4. Select “Show in Finder” and you can copy the backup. 

How to access your iPhone backups on a Mac with iCloud

Apple makes it pretty easy to access all of your iCloud backups from the convenience of your Mac. Here’s how to find your iPhone backups with iCloud. 

1. Click System Preferences from your Dock or the Apple icon in the top menu bar. 

2. From there, select “iCloud.”

System_preferences_for_iCloud_backup

Click iCloud in System Preferences.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

3. Click “Manage…”

iCloud_settings

Click on Manage on the bottom right.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

4. Select “Backups” from the menu to see your iPhone backups stored in iCloud.

iCloud Manage Backups

You can find your iPhone backups here.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

If you want to copy or move around your backups, Apple recommends leaving the source files in place in their originating folders. Otherwise, you might lose the ability to restore your iPhone from that backup.


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