Manual iPhone backup data locations

Jul 14, 2010 - 8 Comments

iphone data backup locations jailbreak If you want to manually copy or backup iPhone data, you will need to know the locations of the database files on your iPhone. We’ll cover where to find SMS messages, Notes, pictures, videos, call history, voicemail, address book, and the calendar, they are all located within your iPhone /private/var/mobile/Library directory.

Remember, you will not be able access these locations directly unless your iPhone is jailbroken! Without a jailbreak you have to backup your iPhone normally since you can not access these files.

iPhone data backup locations

These are all located on the iPhone. In most cases you are looking for a database backup file named something like “sms.db” and “call_history.db”:

iPhone SMS/Text Message backup
(If you want to, you can access and read iPhone SMS backups directly on your computer)

Notes backup

Call History backup

Voicemail backup
Voicemails are stored as 1.amr, 2.amr, within this directory. The custom greeting is stored as Greeting.amr

Contacts/Address Book backup

Mail backup

Pictures and Video Recordings

Calendar backup

This is really only relevant to those who have an iPhone with jailbreak, since you can’t access these directories on the iPhone without an SSH/SFTP client. Without a jailbreak, you probably just need the local Mac/PC iPhone backup location so check that out instead.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Mylar says:

    After 3 days of calling everyone, it seems my visual voicemail on my iPhone 4s, (which I lost recently after switching to a fresh sim card, but same phone) was actually stored on the servers of Fido, and not my iPhone itself. But according to this site, they actually secretly are? And I can access them somehow if I jailbreak it? GAHHH. After days of calling I’m really frustrated. Last ditch effort. Can anyone actually confirm this?

  2. Mohamed Taleb says:

    Dear Sir

    I have updated my iphone software today by itunes, unfortunately, i have lost all contents of my old operating system and the new version not operating and my iphone shows this message: there is no SIM card installed in iphone you attempting to activate, even the SIM card is already has installed.
    so, I am wondering if you can please help me to restore my old software with all applications, informations and settings that was stored in my iphone before the ubdate process

    my best regards

    Mohamed Taleb

  3. Dan J says:

    Im wanting to backup my iPhone to my external drive. I found some blogs to help if i were running a more recent operating system. Windows 2003 i believe is what im working with.
    how can i set the path to my external drive?
    Please help,

  4. […] If you’re curious about more technical details, iPhone voicemails are stored as .amr files on the phone itself at: […]

  5. jens_miller says:

    I want to use a tool, can support back up or export only SMS ? what apps can i use ?

  6. Gio says:

    He, He… But the iphone is their design and if you don’t like it you don’t have to use it…

    • Dirka says:

      By that logic none of us should live because we don’t enjoy suffering.

      He has reason to want access to every part of something he purchased and telling him after the fact that he purchased it that he simply shouldn’t do so is pointless. Furthermore your response is childish and ignorant, and if their actual sale point was that stupid they’d have a lot less sales. There’s a reason they hide these things initially from customers, and there’s a reason that because of it many people then go onto to jailbreak and modify said items.

  7. tres bien says:

    I want Apple to release a way to access these files directly, even if its through the SDK. Jailbreaking to access parts of my phone make no sense to me, it’s my phone and my files. I want direct access.

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