2023 Guide: Backup iPhone from iTunes to External Hard Drive

This post will give a step-to-step guide on how to backup iPhone from iTunes to external hard drive. The way to use iTunes to create an iPhone backup is quite simple. Please keep reading!


By May / Updated on June 15, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Why Need to Backup iPhone from iTunes to External Hard Drive?

iTunes is one of the most popular ways for Apple users to back up their devices. However, why need to backup iPhone from iTunes to external hard drive? Some benefits are listed below:

Data Protection: iPhones contain irreplaceable data such as contacts, messages, photos, and more. Creating a backup ensures that your data is protected in case of device loss, damage, or software issues.
Additional Storage: By backing up to an external hard drive, you can free up storage space on your computer and iPhone, allowing you to continue using your device without storage space limitations.
Offline Access: By keeping your iPhone backup on an external hard drive, you can access your data even without an internet connection. This is particularly useful when you need to restore your iPhone when Internet access is limited or unavailable.

Backup iPhone from iTunes to External Hard Drive

How to Backup iPhone with iTunes to External Hard Drive

iCloud and iTunes are two common ways to back up your iPhone. Compared to iCloud backup (which offers only 5GB of free storage), iTunes back up your iPhone locally on your computer. Therefore, many Apple users are used to using iTunes to back up their iPhone. Here is a detailed guide on how to backup iPhone to external hard drive with iTunes:

Step 1: Download the latest iTunes on your PC > Connect your iPhone and external hard drive to your PC.

Step 2: Press Win + E on the keyboard to open Windows File Explorer > Go to the path: C:\Users[YourUsername]\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer\MobileSync\Backup\ (the default location where iTunes saves your iPhone backup on PC) > Delete the contents in the Backup folder.

Default iPhone Backup Location on PC

Step 3: Create an empty folder called MobileSync in your external drive > Press Win + R to open the Run window and enter cmd in the box to open Windows Command Prompt.

Step 4: In the prompt window, enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync” and hit Enter.

Change iTunes Backup Location to External Hard Drive

When your external hard drive is connected to your PC, your external hard drive will appear as drive E. (The drive letter may be different depending on different PC.)

Step 5: Launch iTunes on your PC > Click the phone-shape icon in the upper left corner > Choose Summary > Click Back Up Now to backup iPhone with iTunes to external drive.

Click Back Up Now

Once the task is complete, you need to check if your iPhone backup has been saved to an external hard drive. If you are not familiar with Command Prompt, you can also try to copy iTunes iPhone backup to external hard drive.

Alternative: Directly Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive Without iTunes

Using iTunes to back up your iPhone isn’t a bad option, but many users have reported the iTunes stuck on backup issue. Why does this happen? Like iCloud, iTunes needs a network connection to create and finish an iPhone backup. In this case, it’s highly recommended to use FoneTool – a free iPhone transfer and backup tool.

FoneTool doesn’t require your cellular data or Wi-Fi to perform a backup. With the help of FoneTool, you can easily back up your iPhone to PC, external hard drive, or USB flash drive. More advantages of using this backup tool are as follows:

Changing Path: You can change the path to your desired destination with a simple click and back up your iPhone directly to an external drive.
No Internet Required: FoneTool eliminates the need for cellular data or Wi-Fi connectivity when performing backups. Your backup process is seamless and does not rely on a data or Internet connection.
Versatile Backup Options: FoneTool offers two backup methods to suit your preferences. You can flexibly back up your entire iPhone data or selectively back up your iPhone.

So, how to backup iPhone to external hard drive using FoneTool? Please follow the steps below to do that:

Step 1: Free download and install FoneTool on your computer > Connect your iPhone and external hard drive to the computer and ensure it is recognized as a storage device.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2: Launch FoneTool to access its main interface > Click Phone Backup on the left interface > Choose Full Backup and click Get Started.

Choose Full Backup

Step 3: Enable Backup Encryption to encrypt your backup files > Click Backup Storage Path to specify your external hard drive as backup destination > Click Start Backup.

Click Start Backup

By following these three steps, you can back up your iPhone data directly to the external hard drive. Once the backup is complete, you can safely disconnect your devices.

FAQs on Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive with iTunes

Here are 3 frequently asked questions about how to backup iPhone from iTunes to external hard drive. Let’s have a look!

1. Do I Need to Encrypt the iPhone Backup?

If have sensitive data like Health and Activity information, it is necessary to encrypt your iPhone backup. You can enable encryption by choosing the Encrypt iPhone Backup option in iTunes or clicking the Enable Backup Encryption option in FoneTool to set a password.

2. What Happens If I Disconnect the External Hard Drive During Backup Process?

If you disconnect the external hard drive during the backup process, the backup will be interrupted and may result in an incomplete or corrupted backup. It is important to keep the external hard drive connected until the backup process is fully completed.

3. Can I Use the Same External Hard Drive to Back Up Multiple iPhones?

Yes! Each iPhone backup creates a separate folder on the external hard drive. Ensure that the external hard drive has enough storage capacity to accommodate the backup files from your iPhone.

4. How Long Does It Take to Back Up an iPhone to an External Hard Drive?

The time it takes to back up your iPhone from iTunes to an external hard drive depends on the size of your iPhone data and the speed of your computer and external hard drive. Larger backups may take more time, so it’s best to be patient and wait for the process to complete.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to backup iPhone from iTunes to external hard drive. Backing up iPhone to an external hard drive is sometimes a better option because it doesn’t take up storage space on your pc and makes iPhone backups safer and more portable. If you want to directly back up your iPhone to your external hard drive without iTunes, FoneTool can help you to create a full iPhone backup and restore it with one click. Try it out!