How to View iPhone Backup Files on PC/Mac and Access Backup Data

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.

Author Avatar Roger Smith Last Updated: Nov. 10, 2021
PhoneRescue for iOS – View iPhone Backup Files on Mac and Windows PC

If you want to check and find photos, videos, contacts, WhatsApp, etc. from iPhone backup, free download PhoneRescue for iOS to view and extract iPhone backup files with ease. Supports iTunes and iCloud backup.

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.

Also Read: iTunes Could not Back up the iPhone Because an Error Occurred >

How Can I View iPhone Backup Files? [PC & Mac]

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.

Where Are iPhone Backup Files Stored on Windows PC?

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: 

iTunes Backup Location on Windows PC

  • On Windows XP: C\Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • On Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10: C\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
iTunes Backup Location on Windows 10

iTunes Backup Location on Windows 10

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:

  • Please do not copy the Backup folder to move it to a different folder, external drive, or network drive.
  • Don’t edit, relocate, rename, or extract content from your backup files, because these actions might ruin the files. For example, to restore from a relocated backup file, you need to move it back or the file won’t work. Backups serve as a safe copy of your entire device. So while you might be able to view or access a backup file’s contents, the contents usually aren’t stored in a format that you can read.

Further Reading: What Does iTunes Backup Include >

View iCloud Backup Location on Windows PC

  1. Open iCloud for Windows.
  2. Click Storage.
  3. Select Backup.

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.

Where Are iPhone Backups Stored on Mac?

Check iTunes iPhone backup files on Mac

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:

  1. Open Finder and click the General tab > Manage Backups.
  2. There will pop up a window that contains the backups you have made on the Mac.
  3. Click on the backup and there will show 3 options – Delete, Archive, Show in Finder.

    View iPhone Backup on Mac

    View iPhone Backup on Mac

  4. Once you choose to show the backup in Finder, you will see the backup folder on Mac.

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.

See backups on iCloud On the Mac

  1. Go to System.
  2. Tap on Apple ID.
  3. Choose the iCloud on the left panel.
Where the iCloud Backup Is on Mac

Where the iCloud Backup is on Mac

How to View iTunes Backup on Mac/PC and Extract Data without Restoring

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.

PhoneRescue for iOS – Top iPhone Backup Viewer

  • Scan and view iPhone backup files even with a broken iPhone.
  • Extract data from iTunes backup, or iCloud backup.
  • View iPhone backup files on Windows PC and Mac.
  • View photos, messages, contacts, videos, etc. from iPhone backup.

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

3 Steps to View iPhone Backup Files on PC and Mac

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.

How to Access iPhone Backups Files on Mac/PC – Step 1

Choose Recover from iTunes Backup

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.

Select the Data Type

Select the Data Type

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.

Recover Photos from iPhone Backup

View and Extract Photos from iPhone Backup

How do I View my iCloud Backups on Mac/PC without Restoring

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.

Recover iMessages from iCloud

Choose Recover from iCloud

Step 2. Sign in with your iCloud account to access all iPhone Backups.

Log into iCloud Account on PhoneRescue for iOS

Log into iCloud Account on PhoneRescue for iOS

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.

Select the Data to Recover from iCloud Backup

Select the Data to Recover from iCloud Backup

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.

Recover the Data from iCloud Backup via PhoneRescue for iOS

View and Recover Contacts from iCloud Backup

How to View iPhone Backups Files with Restoring

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,


  1. Connect your iPhone with the computer and open iTunes.
  2. When your iPhone appears in iTunes, click the Summary option.
  3. Click the Restore Backup option. If this option is grayed out, you may need to change your backup preferences from iCloud to Computer. You can always change this back after you have restored your iPhone.
  4. This process can take a while. Wait for its finishing, and then you will see the saved data in the backup on your iPhone.


  1. Reset your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. Set up your iPhone. Follow the onscreen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup > Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID > Choose the backup you want.
  3. Wait for the process to complete. Stay connected and wait for a progress bar to appear and complete. Depending on the size of the backup and the network speed, the progress bar might need a few minutes to an hour to complete. If you disconnect from Wi-Fi too soon, the progress will pause until you reconnect.

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.

How to Delete Old iPhone Backups?

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: 

  1. Go to Settings > Click [your name] > Tap iCloud.
  2. Tap Manage Storage > Backups.
  3. Tap the backup you want to delete and Delete Backup.
  4. Click Turn Off & Delete to confirm.

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:

  1. Also, go to Finder and click the General tab.
  2. Choose Manage Backups.
  3. Choose the backup you want to delete and right-click on it.
  4. Select Delete.

The Bottom Line

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.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Author Avatar
Roger Smith Twitter Share Facebook Share

Work for iMobie team for 5 years as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS or Android related issues.

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