This post gives you a quick way to view iPhone backup files on Mac and PC computer, and helps you easily preview the contents on iTunes backup files.
Backing up the iPhone (Surely as well as other devices you are using) to iTunes and iCloud must be the greatest way to save you from data loss. Because we cannot imagine how and when the data probably disappears. However, what if iPhone won’t restore from iTunes, iTunes backup restoring failed, or iCloud backup restoring takes too long?
Here in this post, we can easily find the data back from the backup file(s) and locate where are iPhone backups stored on Windows PC or Mac. Besides, we will figure out how we can access the backup on the PC or Mac easily and quickly.
Well, this is really depending on what you mean. If you just want to check the file itself, not including what is inside it, then the answer is YES. While, if you mean that you want to view what data, like photos, messages, etc. there are in the backup file, then you probably would feel a little disappointed, because Apple rewrites the saved data in different formats and encrypts them. You cannot view the saved data directly.
However, that does not mean that there is nothing we can do with it. To view the backup, we need to take some different ways. Before we head to the detailed methods, we first need to figure out where exactly the backup files are saved on the PC and Mac. Here we go.
You can first view iPhone backup files on PC by checking iPhone backup location and finding the files. Because if you backed up your iPhone with iTunes or iCloud for Windows, the backup files will be stored locally on your computer. Now, you can follow the disk path below to find iTunes and iCloud backup files on your PC:
Or, you can search %appdata% and double-click Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup. When you find the location where your iTunes backup is, please remember these tips before you take some other operations, to avoid ruining the backup file:
Further Reading: What Does iTunes Backup Include >
To find photos from iCloud backup:
Download iCloud for Windows and sign in your Apple ID > Open This PC and click iCloud Photos > Here you can click Downloads to view the photos and videos stored in iCloud.
Find the search icon in the menu bar > Copy and paste: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ > Enter it and you can view iPhone backups list on your Mac.
And, you can view a specific backup file on macOS Catalina 10.15 or later:
For macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier: Open iTunes and click Preferences > Tap on your iPhone > Right-click on the backup and also choose Show in Finder.
As we discussed, to view the contents on your iTunes backup, you have to restore your iPhone in an official way. Or, you can seek help from iPhone backup extractors. Here we recommend PhoneRescue for iOS, which requires no restoring and enables you to view the backup file directly on PC/Mac.
So below we take PhoneRescue as an example to tell you how to use a backup extractor to view the contents on iTunes Backup without restoring. If you want to follow us to view files on iTunes backups, just download the PhoneRescue and then follow the steps below.
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Step 1. Install and run PhoneRescue for iOS on the computer, select Recover from Backup and click on the arrow button to get all iTunes backups.
Step 2. Select an iTunes Backup file and choose the type of data you want to view in the backup. If you want to check all kinds of data, just tick Select All and click on OK.
Step 3. All data will be grouped into some categories. You can select any category to have a preview, and can even extract files from backup to computer or directly to your iOS device.
PhoneRescue of iOS can also access iPhone backup files on the iCloud server and list all contents on the backup for previewing or extracting. To get the hidden files stored in iCloud using PhoneRescue, you can follow the below steps. And don’t forget to download PhoneRescue for iOS to your computer firstly.
Step 1. Select Recover from iCloud and click on the arrow button.
Step 2. Sign in with your iCloud account to access all iPhone Backups.
Step 3. Select an iPhone backup file and click on Download to download the backup to computer, and then select the data you want to view and click Okay to access them.
Step 4. After downloading the whole iPhone backup, you can view the contents on the backup, and you can even click Recover button to get them back to your device or computer.
After we find where the iTunes and iCloud backup files locate, it is time to figure out how to view the backup files. As we have mentioned before, we cannot directly access the backup, since the data are encrypted. But we still can do it with some other methods which Apple allows.
The first method is by restoring your iPhone from the backup files. Well, this seems very silly and probably is not what you are looking for, because the restoring will require the device erased first. And after restoring, you view the backup file on the iPhone, not on the PC and Mac directly. However, it is truly a workable way for the users to access and view the backup, isn’t it?
And here are the detailed steps for both iTunes and iCloud restoring, respectively,
If this restoring method is not what you want, then we have other ways to help you view the backup files. Check them in the following content.
If you want to delete old iPhone backups, you can delete them on your computer or on iPhone. And, iCloud backups are available for 180 days after you disable or stop using iCloud Backup.
To delete iCloud backup on iPhone:
Note that: When you delete a backup, it also turns off iCloud Backup for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
To delete iTunes backup on Mac:
That’s it! Now you will be free to view and access iPhone backups on your Mac or PC. You can easily view your iPhone backup files with PhoneRescue for iOS. If you have any questions on this guide, please feel free to let us know. Or you can just discuss other methods to view iPhone backup files on the comment bar below.
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