How to Find & Restore iPhone Backup on External Hard Drive

Do you know how to find iPhone backup on external hard drive? Luckily, this post will tell you the way to find your iPhone backup on your external hard drive and offer you corresponding method to retore your iPhone easily.


By May / Updated on June 16, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

My computer doesn’t have enough storage to save my iPhone backup files. Therefore, I used an external hard drive to save the file. So, how to find my iPhone backup on external hard drive and restore them?

- Question from Apple Community

How to Find iPhone Backup on External Hard Drive

“How do I view my iPhone backup from an external hard drive?" If you use iCloud to make an iPhone backup, you cannot directly access backups on your external hard drive. iCloud backups are managed through iCloud settings on your iPhone or through the iCloud website.

How do I find my iPhone backup on an external hard drive? If you use iTunes to back up your iPhone, you can follow the steps below to find iPhone backup on external hard drive:

Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to your PC or Mac > Open File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

Step 2: Navigate to the directory where you normally store your iPhone backups. The default location is:

For Windows: C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

iPhone Backup on PC

For Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

iPhone Backup on Mac

Step 3: You will see folders named with long strings of numbers and letters. Each folder represents a specific backup.

After finding the iPhone backup on external hard drive, can I restore my iPhone backup from external hard drive? Yes, please read on for detailed steps to restore your iPhone.

Restore iPhone Backup from External Hard Drive Using iTunes

If you backed up your iPhone with iTunes, you can follow the steps below to restore your iPhone:

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your PC > connect your iPhone to the PC via a USB cable > Click the phone-shape icon in the upper left and choose Summary.

Step 2: Press Win + R keys to open the Run window > Type cmd in the box to open Windows Command Prompt > Copy mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync” and paste it in the prompt window > Hit Enter on the keyboard.

Change iTunes Restore Location

1. By doing this, you can change the restore location to your external hard drive so you can use iTunes to restore your iPhone from the external hard drive.
2. If your external hard drive doesn’t appear as drive E, you need to change and replace the drive letter E.

Step 3: Switch to iTunes > Choose Restore Backup under the Backups section.

Click Restore Backup

1. iTunes only allows you to make a full iPhone backup and doesn’t support previewing and selecting backup content.
2. When restoring your iPhone backup data, iTunes will overwrite the original data on the target device before starting the backup, resulting in the loss of important data.

Bonus: Backup & Restore iPhone on External Hard Drive - FoneTool

When you use iTunes to make a full iPhone backup, it is possible to experience the iTunes stuck on backup issue. Also, you may meet the stuck issue while restoring your iPhone from external hard drive with iTunes due to an unstable network connection.

Therefore, it’s highly recommended to use FoneTool – a free, safe, and reliable iPhone data management tool - to back up and restore your iPhone on external hard drive. Why choose FoneTool? Some common reasons are listed below:

Data Encryption and Security: FoneTool uses advanced encryption algorithms to ensure that your backup files remain secure on your external hard drive, protecting your sensitive information from unauthorized access.
Selective Backup and Restore: FoneTool offers the selective backup and restore feature that can help you save storage space on external hard drive and selectively restore iPhone backup, thus minimizing the time and effort required for the backup and recovery process.
External Hard Drive Compatibility: FoneTool works seamlessly with a variety of external hard drives (such as SSD, or any other compatible external storage device), allowing you to choose the one that suits your preferences and requirements.
User-Friendly Interface: FoneTool provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows users to easily navigate and operate the software.

How to Back up Your iPhone to External Hard Drive Using FoneTool

To back up your iPhone to an external hard drive using FoneTool, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Download FoneTool on your Windows PC > Connect your iPhone that needed backup through a USB cable > Launch FoneTool.

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

Step 2: Choose Phone Backup in the left menu bar > Click the Get Started button under the Full Backup option.

Choose Full Backup

Step 3: Enable Backup Encryption to back up your private data > Click Backup Storage Path to specify your external hard drive as backup destination > Click Start Backup.

Click Start Backup

How to Restore Your iPhone from External Hard Drive via FoneTool

Here is how to save iPhone backup to external hard drive using FoneTool:

Step 1: On the Home page, choose Backup History to view what you have backed up. Then, click Restore.

>Click Restore

Step 2: You can choose the backup files that you want to restore and the target device (your iPhone) and then click the Start Restore button.

Click Start Restore<

In addition, using FoneTool is a good way of how to transfer iPhone backup to external hard drive. With FoneTool, you can transfer your iphone data (such as photos, contacts, messages, WhatsApp, and more) from iPhone to PC, or iPhone to iPhone.

The Bottom Line

Where are iPhone backup files located? This post has shown you how to find iPhone backup on external hard drive and how to restore them from external hard drive to your iPhone. If you worry about the iTunes stuck issue, you can use FoneTool to back up your iPhone to your external hard drive and selectively restore your iPhone from the external hard drive.