iPhone Backup Location for Mac & Windows

Sep 11, 2009 - 96 Comments

iPhone backup file locations for Mac OS X and Windows

If you’ve looking for the location of your iPhone Backup files in the file system of a computer, then you’ll be pleased to know they’re easy to find even if a bit hidden. Whether you use Mac OS X or Windows, the iPhone backup process is basically the same; iTunes backs up all of your iPhone files, pictures, media, and identifier information to a specific directory on the computer, which iTunes then uses in the future to restore and sync the iOS device.

We’ll point you to the proper directory locations of iPhone and iPad backup files on a Mac or Windows… but do note that you should not mess with these iPhone backup files unless you know what you’re doing and why.

Keep in mind the backup directory will have a name that is gibberish looking name of hexadecimal, do not change the backup names or they may fail in iTunes.

iPhone Backup Location for Mac OS X

In all versions of Mac OS X, your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch backup files are backed up and stored at the following location:

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

The (~) symbol signifies your home directory, which is the same place all your other personal documents are stored. The easiest way to go there in OS X is by hitting the Command+Shift+G keyboard shortcut and pasting that directory path in the Go To Folder screen.

Here is what the backup directory looks like on a Mac:

iPhone backup files directory location in Mac OS X

iPhone Backup Location for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, XP, and Vista

Different versions of Windows store the iPhone and iPad locations in slightly different locations, though the version of iTunes does not matter.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista backs up the iPhone files to here:

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

Windows 8, Windows 10 stores the iPhone and iPad backup files at the following directory path:

\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Windows XP stores all of your iPhone backup files in this location:

C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Obviously if your main drive is not C: then you’ll have to change that, same goes for ‘user’, be sure to replace with the username of your login in Windows.

Here is what the iOS backup directory looks like in Windows:
iPhone backup files location in Windows

Note to Windows users: the Application Data and AppData directories and their contents (iPhone backups included) are considered ‘hidden’ so you will need to enable ‘Show hidden files’ within Windows Explorer before you will be able to see the files.

iPhone Backup Files & Directory Notes

There’s various reasons you’d need (or want) access to the iPhone Backup files, but generally speaking you should be able to rely on iTunes to handle all your iPhone restoration and backup needs. If you’re interested in keeping your own backup copies though, say for Jailbreaking purposes, knowing the location of the iPhone backup is handy. You can also make a back up of your backups by copying this folder.

You’ll notice that the files in the directory are almost all unusual and randomized names, directory names are typically hexadecimal and random, looking like “97AAAA051fBBBBBff2b1f906577cbAAAAAef7112” or ffb541c48e97051fff2b1f906577cbef71123c4fb.mdbackup, these are all automatically generated. Multiple devices will have multiple backup directories with unique files in each. There’s also a few xml files in the directory that have unique identifier information about your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Again, don’t modify these files if you don’t know what you’re doing as you can damage the backup.

3gsiphone This probably goes without saying, but unless you know what you’re doing you should NOT edit any of these iPhone backup files! Editing or deleting any of these files could result in improper, malformed, or otherwise unreliable backups, and any other number of problems with your iPhone.

If you’re looking for a way to access your iPhone files through some kind of browser application rather than the Finder or Windows Explorer, you could try some of the apps out there, but many of them are poorly made in my experience.

This article was updated on April 8, 2015 by Paul Horowitz. If you have any questions or comments about where iTunes backs up your iOS devices locally, let us know!


Related articles:

Posted by: David Mendez in iPhone, iTunes, Mac OS


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  1. Lilli says:

    Does anybody know how to get the back up folder back on my iTunes if its not on iTunes to restore?

  2. Robin says:

    If anyone is still reading…i found the ‘hidden files’ represented by a long list of numbers but can’t open it….
    My backup must be accessible somehow?!?!?!

    • Nick Bigmore says:

      You open and restore the iPhone backup with iTunes, files are not directly accessible within the backup without restoring the iPhone backup to the iPhone using iTunes.

      • Robin says:

        Thankyou…i thought i could restore only individual items, like my calendar, only. Appreciate your response.

  3. MACNoob2016 says:

    Boss like… Very helpful indeed!

    Thank You!

  4. Airis says:


    • 1975 is overrated pop says:

      Yes you an restore your iPhone backup from iTunes to another iPhone. Just connect the new iPhone to the computer with iTunes backup, and restore the backup to the new iPhone. Easy.

  5. Angela Cooper says:

    Can I do a backup to chrombooks???

  6. Asim says:

    Would it be possible to copy the backup files and put them in a new macbook then have it synced to a new iPhone??

    I can see the files but my mac’s usb ports are broken and i need to restore my backup to my new iPhone!

  7. Sandra says:

    I have just made a back-up of my i-phone. And want to thank you for letting me know that AppData could be a hidden file ( I have been going crazy for two hours…)
    But now that I have found the folder and the ‘gibberish’ files I still don’t know what has been stored and what not.
    Is it possible to find my info on contacts, notes, calendar etc (without an additonal app)?
    And if not, which app would you advice me to use?

    Thank you so much already!

  8. […] excellent for backup restoration purposes, but technically anyone with access to the computer can easily dig around in the backups locally if they wanted to. For this reason, it can be a good idea keep these locally stored iPhone backup […]

  9. Ashish says:

    hi guys,
    need some help here.
    i have located the sms backup file on my windows 7 but when i m trying to open it in Sqlite Database Browser 2.0 it is not opening.
    It is giving me error msg – “the file is not a database file probably.”

    please Help.

  10. fsdf says:

    C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

  11. Trucker says:

    Just a simple question, does itunes only keep the latest backup in the directoty, or is it possible to find a backup made 4-5 times back ?

  12. bunayya says:

    1.itunes open next
    2″.Edit” open
    3.0pen “preference”
    4.”Backup” select then delete full delete after ok few minute waiting

  13. Rick says:

    I need a little advice…

    A few months ago, for some reason out of nowhere, my iTunes said it couldn’t find my library. So, inadvertently, I hit create new library. Now everything was gone. I attempted to import the library. I did and some of my playlists came back. However, not the ones I really wanted.

    On top of that, all my apps were missing, all of my mail preferences, etc.

    So here are my questions…

    1. How can I get my apps back without losing data? I have documents and files, in some. I’m addicted to a couple of games and I don’t want to lose my data/records, etc.

    2. Is there a way to keep my apps the way they are on my phone, because right now on iTunes, there is all 150+ of my apps on the screen ready to go to my iPhone.

    3. Do I have to make a new playlist with a new name, or do I make a new playlist with the same name as the old ones and put all the same songs in again?

    Please help me! Thanks.

  14. Priyanka says:

    when I was using my iphone, it got switched off due to low battery and then when I switched on my iphone all messages were vanished from the messages. what could be the possible reason behind this and how can i get them back? I’ve followed your procedure and got that folder but after that i dont get the next step I’ve perform. How can I do backup wd these files?? I am so confused,can you please help??

  15. […] How to speed up slow iPhone backups * Find the location of iPhone backups and access the files directly stLight.options({ […]

  16. Mayjel says:

    So my husband lost a years worth of photos with his last restore/backup-in theory these files would be in a previous backup because they were never lost before–would he be able to restore the phone using one of these backups to get the pictures back? And if so, how woud he do that?

  17. […] as bundles with a .ipa file extensions, but they are stored in different places than your default iOS backups location. If you want to access iPhone and iPad apps manually, here’s where to find them for both Mac […]

  18. […] If you’re going to attempt these tweaks on your own, it’d be wise to make a manual copy of iOS backup files, you can find those locally on your drive. […]

  19. Andrew says:

    Did this article just tell me not to use a backup file if I don’t know what I am doing? Then what good is the backup file? What process should be simpler on any system then doing a restore?

  20. […] want to move or copy Address Book data and contacts to a new Mac but not include all of the other iPhone Backup files, this allows for that […]

  21. Michial says:

    Ok I am trying to move my itunes and iphone settings from a windows 7 pc to a new iMac running Lion. I have the following files from pc

    C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

    C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Apple Computer

    My Music\iTunes\

    Do I put all but the itunes media in the following folder?
    ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

    I tried that and all my media showed up in itunes:apps,music,books,etc but my log of previous iphone back ups did not show up?

    Any help is appreciated

    Where exactly do I put the above windows files, other than the itunes one I got to work, in the mac?

  22. Osarumen Osama i. says:

    Thanks this was helpful to locate the backup

  23. Ricardo says:

    Olá, alguém sabe me dizer como faço para recuperar os arquivos salvos na pasta mobilesync?
    Já consegui restaurar as fotos tiradas com iPhone 4 buscando dessa mesma pasta (convertendo para jpeg através do iPhoto num Macbook) e queria fazer o mesmo com os vídeos que foram gravados através do iPhone 4 e também estão na pasta mobilesync em formato de arquivo!!!

  24. Jeff says:

    I would like to back-up my iPhone (not synch it), so that a copy of all my phone’s music is on my pc, such that it could be restored later.

    Seems simple. iPhone directions on this seem simple.

    Until you get to the details: either the backup doesn’t include music, or, it isn’t really COPYING what is on your phone TO your pc, but instead is REPLACING what was on the phone with what is in your pc’s iTunes library.

    This “synch” stuff is great if your main world is your pc’s iTunes library, and you always want everything to be just like it. But that is not the case with me. In my case, the phone itself is primary; I want the pc backup to be like the phone. I have spent a lot of time manually moving stuff to the phone, stuff that is not in my iTunes library. I never synch.

    I am afraid to try the directions as they are written, as I fear it will hose what I have on my phone. Am I wrong? Thanks! I appreciate your time and knowledge on these matters.

  25. Kaitlynnn says:

    I followed your instructions on showing my hidden files and such and got as far as “C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming” but i can’t find a file named “Apple Computer” HELP?

  26. Rebecca says:

    If i have multiple from 2 separate phones can i just merge all the info from each backup into one and (cross fingers) have all the info sync back to my new phone when i restore?
    or is this going to blow up my computer or phone? :)

  27. […] Just to be extra sure, you might want to copy that backup to a different location. You can find this backup using these instructions. […]

  28. vishwa says:

    hi frds my laptop got corrupted so i lost my iphone backup after installing itunes 10 now i could not backup my iphone the error says it cannot backup in this system

    kinldy help me
    regards vishwa

  29. Barbara Marcin says:

    I personally am tired of Apple’s assumption that I don’t want to do much on my computer except type. I don’t like the libraries, I hate its file system, and I don’t like being unable to arrange things the way *I* want them.

    I know they made a bundle putting them into schools years ago to try and get kids to grow up to be Mac lovers and I think in the process of making sure they had something kids and adult beginners could use, they did too much *for* the consumer.

    I regularly use someone else (in the household’s) Mac and there is much to like about it but it limits the user – ties your hands – too much.

    Now that I have an iPhone, I am personally coming up against the Apple limitations. The iPhone makes it harder than my 2003 Siemens phone to do some things, and in fact, the version I have, 3Gs, doesn’t even have the native ability to do Groups (which I know has changed in the next version) unless I do them on the computer first and sync. Yet, my 8 yr old phone did that with literally 1 click, after you put the phone in your hand, to get into Groups. (I don’t like Windows 7 for some of the same reasons so there’s equal opportunity criticism here. I think MS made it too “mac-ish” in some ways, especially it’s hideous mail program).

  30. Drye says:

    Why is it Apple’s responsibility to code their app different than 99% of all apps made to run in Windows? They’re obviously using set variables for a default installation. It’s not “Choosing” anything but %SYSTEMDRIVE% and %MYDOCUMENTS% or %CURRENTUSER% for these paths. Nothing new…this type of thing goes back 20+ years.

    When have you moved other applications from one computer to the next and had it be super easy? (Adobe Photoshop?, Microsoft Office?) Why should this be any different. Why would Apple waste more of their time on this than another company?

    If you lose your iPhone backup is it a big deal???? Install iTunes to your new computer and sync your phone to back it up…done.

    Install Itunes to C:\itunes and you can always drop the folder anywhere you want…The only thing you wont get is iphone backups..which i guess unless you jailbreak your phone you don’t need to keep…

  31. […] works by parsing through locally stored iPhone backup files and placing stored location data on a […]

  32. Brian says:

    this is a little off topic but, im trying to find a way to view the backup on my computer rather than syncing to over to my broken phone and not being able to view the backup on it. is there a way to view the backup encrypted files on my computer, using like a program or anything. im trying to view the sms texts that were on my phone. if there is a way to do this and someone knows how that would be great! thanks hopefully theres a way.

  33. K.K.P says:

    Thankyou for a very bright reply

  34. Mark says:

    Hi everyone

    Im hoping you can help. I have found my back up files on my PC. But how do i put them back into itunes. The problem i have is that i have had to go back to using the first edition iphone as my other broke. When i try and back it up it wont show the back up i did last week.

    Is there a way i can just drag the back up files from the pc folder and drop it onto itunes?

    Sorry but i am a beginner in these sorts of things.

  35. […] disk space (like the MacBook Air 11″ with a 64GB drive), you might consider moving your iPhone backup folder to another drive to save some of that precious SSD […]

  36. […] digging I discovered that each time you sync your iPhone a copy of its text message database is saved on your computer which can be accessed without […]

  37. Simon says:

    Thanks to this site, I managed to salvage my contacts back to my iphone.

    I now plan to save one good backup just in case I face a similar situation the next time. My question is, which of the two files is the actual folder to use to replace a “corrupted” backup the next time?

    Folder 1 – 71efe76025f78f4ff4e153fa16c8ad09b2caaf22
    Folder 2 – 71efe76025f78f4ff4e153fa16c8ad09b2caaf22-20110216-090843


    • Claire says:

      I have 8 folders totaling 20GB.
      Potentially one of these is a back-up of my former 3GS and the other is for my 4G.
      The 4G is only 16GB.

      What to do??

  38. nev says:

    is there a location for backed up photos. i lost all of my photos (photo roll is empty) however my screensaver is still a photo i took, and when i sync with itunes it is telling me there are 100 mb of photos in my phones memory, but i cant find them anywhere.

  39. shiva says:

    dear friends

    i have backed up my iphone into windows xp laptop through itunes. it is in C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
    i would like to keep this file in some place so that i wont loose it if i loose my laptop or if it crashes.
    i am planning to store it as an email attachment.

    my question is
    when i redownload from email and put it into any windows xp computer c drive folder and if i ask itune store to restore from backup will it work?

    thanks for your response in advance.


  40. Lokeshjb says:

    Thanks mate.. Its nice and comprehensive

  41. Rene Pardon says:


    i’m developing an application which needs encrypted coredata. To see if it is working as expected i searched for the backup but can’t find my xy.sqlite file. What would you suggest to find my database? Its not a jailbroken iPhone and i won’t do this just to be able to browse the iPhone :)

    regards René

  42. Bill says:

    Itunes does allow you to choose where your library is, I have a E drive with my MP3 share on it, it is close to 1 TB. I point Itunes there, and it finds the library.

    For your individual backup files, it stores them wherever your Windows profile is, you can move your profile to a different drive if you wish using the built in Windows tools.

  43. Sam says:

    Anyone that says problems people are having with this application are to do with the operating system are incorrect. Yes you can change profile locations etc in windows but that is not what people are trying to do. One of the basic functions of itunes is that it is a frontend for managing large amounts of data. To not have a basic option in the application of this nature like where you want that data to be stored is an EPIC fail.

  44. tom says:

    is there a possibility the backup location is now out of date for itunes 10 on Mac OS X? i can’t find it?

  45. Angela says:

    Ive followed the steps to find my backup and all goes well until i try and find the “MobileSync” folder which isnt in the “Apple Computer” folder (Win XP) Ive allowed hidden folders to be shown and know there is a backup..any advice on where it is? I cant backup my Iphone to my computer, I keep getting the error msg “iTunes could not back up iPhone because the backup could not be saved on the computer”…dont know if this has anything to do with it but thats why i’m trying to get my backup so i can move it elsewhere and delete my backup in iTunes to see if then it will let me backup my iPhone (incase the current backup is corrupted)…

  46. Tara says:

    I did try the back but can’t find the proper backup folder as mentioned above?

  47. leky says:

    to John: it should be posible to restore your iphone from any backup you have. even if you would copy the backup of the phone to another computer, you would be able to restore it from there… samo goes with the old backup and a new iphone.

  48. John says:

    Is there a way to take a back up file from a previous phone and put it onto a new one. Say if you broke your old phone, bought a new one and want to use the back up files on that?

  49. leky says:

    does it mean that i can copy this file to another computer and then restore my iphone from there? i need it because my coputer desn’t detect the iphone or i get an error in itunes when i want to restore it. thanx!!

  50. P4u1 says:

    all those complaining, ever heard of how to mod your operating systems? why caste blame on others when we can do it ourselves? I know its frustrating, I’ve been on both sides of the table, I use a range of operating systems… everyone of them have its flaws… if there is something out there that’s rock solid, please for the love of God, let everyone know about it….

  51. […] SMS/text messages are backed up and buried deep within the standard iPhone backup location located […]

  52. justin says:

    hey my itunes is not working it is telling me that there is a dep issue, and i uninstalled and reinstalled it but i can not launch it it keeps telling me that error and i cannot find my back up files for windows vista please help

  53. jl9za says:

    Its all just amateurish. One of the most useful aspects of a computer is to manage your media files for media players; you expedite this by separating data and programs for support and maintainability; apple prevents you from doing that…. its pants.

  54. Helen says:

    My iphone 3g will not backup to my computer. I looked in my C: Drive and I can’t find a file APPLICATION DATA.

  55. neo says:

    the only solution to this craziness by apple is to install virtualbox and install a virtual xp in a different drive and use it just for itunes back up!!

  56. Brian says:

    I have Windows XP, SP3 on one computer and Windows 7 on another and I cannot find the folder (c:\Documents and Settings\Application Data) on either one. I know it is there somewhere. I am decent with computers but it is hidding well. iPhone Backup Extractor can find it on my Windows 7 computer but my data is on the XP machine and I cannot get iPhone Backup Extractor to even work on that machine. The XP machine crashed right ater an iPhone backup and the iPhone was replaced by Apple with a brand new one. Windows was somehow crupted and will not boot. I cannot even repair it with a legit windows disc so I slaved the crashed XP to another XP machine freshly rebuilt just to get my backup info. I can find most any file I want this way except my Outlook contacts and my iPhone backup (with SMS, etc). the damn AppData file just doesn’t seam to exist. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Editor says:

      Brian, the folder in Windows is considered ‘hidden’ so you need to enable show hidden folders before the Application Data directory will be visible within.

      So for Windows: go to Tools > Folder Options > View > Show Hidden Files and Folders then click Apply

  57. Apple have better things to do...? says:

    “I feel that Apple have better things to do … … if you want to do that, look up how to use symbolic links yourself”

    Rubbish. You’re making excuses for Apple.

    Rule #1 about designing ANY product: the onus of putting in man-hours so that the product usable and convenient should ALWAYS be on the company providing the product, not on the customer. Saying that end-users should have to put in their own work to attain what should be basic functionality is nothing more than rude and disrespectful to your customers. Admittedly only a small proportion of iTunes users are going to worry too much about these things (especially once they learn how damn awkward it is), but at a minimum that still means several thousand users across the globe at many man-hours each (learning how to set up symbolic links? are you kidding?) in order to achieve what Apple could do for the entire iTunes population with a few simple lines of code and sensible directory structuring. Moreover, it would make it simpler AND more reliable for everyone.

    Think I’m exaggerating? Consider this: if you have your iTunes Media folder (you know, the path listed under ‘Edit > Prefs > Advanced’) anywhere other than the default location, there’s a MINIMUM of 3 entirely separate locations you will need to search out, backup, and later restore in the event that you’re reinstalling an OS, building a new PC, etc., and want to keep iTunes exactly as-is. You need:

    1) the iTunes Media folder. (Obviously; contains all your actual media files)

    2) the ‘My Music\iTunes\’ folder. (Yes, even if your iTunes Media folder path is set elsewhere. Apple will ALWAYS store your core Library files and Album Artwork here, because they’re not bright enough to keep them with the actual media files in your designated iTunes Media folder location.)

    3) C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer . (In the interest of making things even more unnecessarily complicated, all your iPhone backups, CD information, iTunesOutlook sync settings, and assorted other iTunes settings and preferences are located here.)

    Miss any one of those locations and your new iTunes installation is going to be incomplete.

    Backed up (1) but didn’t realize you still needed (2)? Bad luck, you just lost ALL your playlists, along with play counts and your carefully-matched downloaded artwork.

    Smart enough after reading around the web to realize you needed both (1) and (2) regardless, but had no idea about (3) … and just had an iPhone crash while your PC was being rebuilt? Oh dear, you didn’t copy your iPhone backups from (3) before you slicked the HDD; no choice but to restore the phone to factory default. Hope you didn’t have any important info on the phone — emails, texts, contacts, phone numbers — that you didn’t have written down elsewhere because you just lost them all permanently, along with all the application data and settings for every other app that was on your phone.

    This is why having iTunes secrete information away in a dozen different hidden locations on your computer is A Bad Thing ™. There’s no good reason why iTunes shouldn’t store ALL its data under the single iTunes folder you designate, to make things simpler, more convenient and safer.

    • Buddy says:

      Amen !

    • Chad says:

      Well said. This is merely the tip of Steve Jobs’ iceberg of idiocy. He takes what is admittedly good, while hideously overpriced, hardware, and makes it absolutely unusable with resrictions of every conceivable type. I hate Apple, I hate my iPhone, and I hate everyone who preaches how great their stuff is. Tricycles are great too.

      • Dan says:

        I hear ya. This is my first, and last iPhone. It’s nice, but the limitations if you want to do something more than play songs or make a call are frustrating. And the backup system is terrible.

    • Rakan says:

      i totally agree, it is so frustrating that you just can’t choose the folder in which itunes stores its data files and backups. I am running out of space on drive C: as i have drive D: designated for all of my data- i even have the huge outlook data file (outlook.pst) located on drive d and i thought for sure i will simply find this same option (change the data file location) in itunes- how stupid can that be!

      Apple has better things to do?!! well i have better things to do than having to format my computer in order to allocate more disk space on the same drive just for the sake of itunes!

      • bluefishman says:

        My C:drive — 40G SSD . What can I do ???

        • rrfk says:

          MacBook Air is a netbook not a mobile computer (although it may be marketed by apple differently). No one but Apple would recommend it for multimedia libraries. Use your desktop for your itunes library and share it across your network – then use your Macbook Air as you would an iPod, iPad or other such portable device.

          If you want a mobile computer, plan to spend three to four thousand dollars on a MacBook Pro or similar PC product (I sugest Lenovo)

          My opinion as an Mac – not necessarily Apple – lover… iPod touch rules. iPone sucks. Android is a playground (free Angry birds too!)

    • willis says:

      Hallelujah Brother!

    • le2 says:

      i do agree. every single word.

    • Jeff says:

      I agree.. I connect to a domain controller and after I backup my phone my Profile is too big and it will not save back to the server.

      I need to be able to back it up outside my Windows profile.

    • Bob says:

      You’re an idiot! It’s a stupid backup file. Get over yourself and complicated ‘tidy’ nonsense. On the flip-side, you should NEVER have to ‘backup’ your stupid phone. You should have everything ported out to the cloud anyway – get your head out of the sand and up-to-date!

      • iCue says:

        Actually, everyone should backup their iPhone, otherwise you can lose all of your stuff. Apple should raise the backup limit to the size of the iPhone sold, however. 5GB isn’t going to backup anything neither is 20GB.

  58. Disagree with the above 2 comments says:

    I feel that Apple have better things to do than worry about whether or not you wish to force applications to use places other than ~/Library etc. if you want to do that, look up how to use symbolic links yourself.

    • Andy says:

      shut up!

      • Andy Pacer says:

        He’s right. Look it up. I have symbolic links set up on my computer so that my profile is on whatever drive I want it to be on, because it’s not just software that EATS up your C drive, it can be you’re profile. In my case I have 100s of GBs of VST instruments and effects that are in my profile. Anyway, no reason to get hasty. I don’t know why this guy is freaking out about an apple product not having advanced user features. DUH! it’s freaking apple! They make their products idiot proof and not very customizable as far as advanced features go. That’s what PC is known for. Too many god damn advanced features and not enough happy Apple user friendliness. Now in a perfect world people would act like adults and realize there’s better stuff to bitch and moan about than some product feature not being in their latest greatest product they’re so in love with. If you love your products so much, take some extra time out of your day to find out how to make them work right for you. Even if you have to do something fancy, in this case Google symbolic links and make yourself a bit more educated instead of another annoying twit.

  59. Totally agree with the fellow above!!! says:

    You’re absolutely right. It would be so simple for Steve and Apple to give the user a choice as to which drive to place the backup files, but no. Apple insists that it must be on the drive where the operating system is. Ah!

  60. Simply change the function of your C: drive? Yeah, thanks. says:

    I am blown away by the simple hand wave which is given to Apple’s decision to disallow simple and often important user choices:

    “Obviously if your main drive is not C: then
    you’ll have to change that, same goes for ‘user’”

    So, I just plunked down several hundred bucks so that Steve Jobs can tell me which hard drive on my own computer is “data”? I keep a tidy computer, so like most good users, I keep “data” on a separate drive partition for data. (and all swap and other “memory substitute” files are on their own physical drive, BTW)

    I don’t understand why Steve (Peace and blessings be upon His name) won’t let me use a drive or partition of my choosing. I have freeware and $5 shareware applications that let me choose the drive. In fact, I can’t think of another piece of software I have that forces “C:” (the operating system partition!) to be a data drive.

    Because the people at the Apple (May the light shine down upon their greatness) decided to be inflexible about this, I know you’re all going to tell me why it is so much better to put data + backups on the drive with the OS (in defiance of what most system admins will tell you).

    It makes no sense. It simply makes no sense.

    When I spec’ed out this machine, I estimated my C: drive’s size needs based upon my prior use and some “padding” for future expansion of use (accounting for all application data to go on “D:”). Then I put all my data on the D: drive which is software labeled “data”. Now my *phone* is raping my C: drive and forcing its data into my limited OS space. Luckily I added the padding, but this *phone* (good God, a fricking *phone*!!) is gobbling up the bulk of my free space, and it is getting closer to being totally “consumed” every week.

    I guess I should give up good practices and “simply” make my C: drive into a data drive. I’ll just get right on that: I’ll just resize and repartition my operating system drive to accommodates the demands of Mr. Jobs. Because that never fails, and there’s no risk or time involved.

    After all, I’m his employee right? Oh, I forgot, I pay *him*. So why doesn’t he get off the respirator and come over and do all of this for me while I eat Oreos and watch him?

    • Ahchay says:

      Actually, it’s a Windows OS decision, and you are completely able to host your user profile on any drive or folder that you like. Look up the User State Migration Tool, although you can do it with regedit if you prefer.

      BTW; a better way to remember the path is as %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming etc

    • Holly says:

      I understand your frustration with not being able to select which drive the itunes data is stored on. A large amount of Apple users are not advanced computer users. Having to pick a storage location would be a very complicated for many users. You are able to change the location of the backup file once it is created to a different location if needed.

    • Chaos says:

      I would just like to point out how much of a fool this guy is, just saying…. Because YOU CAN CHOOSE where your iTunes profile and listings are stored because YOU CAN CHOOSE where your user profile folder is stored. just saying

  61. Kim says:

    Is this something you’d recommend if the orginal computer my iphone was synced to crashed? the crash restored the computer to factory settings. So…There is no itunes… so I can’t sync my iphone to it right? I’m assuming if I download a new itunes the iphone won’t recognize it? Or is there another recomendation someone has

  62. laura says:

    I need to access my iPhone backup folder and looked using the location provided, but the file isn’t there. (Using a Mac)
    Any idea why it isn’t there and where I might be able to locate it??

    • Editor says:

      Make sure you look in the proper directory, the iPhone backup files are definitely there in Mac OS X. They usually have a weird file name which is a series of randomly generated characters.

      • Amber says:

        No matter which library I look in on my Mac running Lion once i get to application support there is no MobileSync folder and no matter how many times i have searched my computer I can not locate this folder. Do you know why this could be?

    • Olive says:

      The back Up is in the User’s library folder… not in the main library folder.

    • mary says:

      Location of iPhone backup iniTunes

      On MAC
      /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

      On Windows XP
      \Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

      On Windows vista and Windows 7
      \Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

      • Kit says:

        It’s now 2015 and this issue is still a stumbling block – but well-intended as a security aspect.
        Under Mac Yosemite the Library folder is hidden. Search for “Show hidden files” and use Terminal utility as instructed. Look under /User/[username] as above. All becomes clear!

  63. iPhone Backup Software says:

    Nice info. It will be helpful for many iPhone users that are willing to backup files on their Windows or Mac systems.

    • Chuck says:

      Thanks, I make manual backups of the backup files themselves and this is helpful since it provides direct access to the iOS backup itself.

      Location in OS X El Capitan (10.11.4) is:

      ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/

      The “Backup” folder contains as many subfolders as there are iOS devices backed up to the Mac, in my case it’s one iPhone backup folder within there but a friend has 5 for his family devices.

      • Robin says:

        Desperately seeking advice…electronic calendar just disappeared from my ipad. I’m hoping i can retrieve it in a backup on my PC (it doesnt appear in icloud?!?).
        Pls contact me if you have any ideas….sadly, i dont really understand how to accomplish the above.

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