About the iPhone backup

Important data is saved into various files within the backup folder of a computer when using the software dino iTunes to backup your iThing.

Btw, I hate this bloated tool combining the work of DJs with that of users who just want to manage their iOS devices. Developers, isn’t it possible for you to give us a clean UI focused on backup, file management, and restoring app specific content without restoring the whole device?

The filenames are encoded so they appear as strings of letters and numbersThe known as a hex-encoded SHA-1 hash of their real filenames. In many versions of the iPhone operating system the same names are used.

Here are some of the core SQLite database files found in the iTunes backup folder. The file names are the same for both iTunes and iCloud backups.

Contents Real filename
Backup filename

SMS sms.db

Contacts addressbook.sqlitedb

Calendar calendar.sqlitedb

Notes notes.sqlite

Photos photos.sqlite

The backup of my iPhone 6s Plus (64 GB, 12 GB free) is 16.9 GB large and contains 26,500 files.

This all seems to be quite complicated and it hopefully works for you without bugs if you once need to restore your beloved iThing. If your device contains a lot of vital information you should follow the “Better safe than sorry” – strategy. Do an iTunes AND an iCloud backup. Do it always with a password otherwise essential sensitive data will not be restored. Don’t forget your password. Nobody can help you to restore it.

Location of the backup files …

Windows 10
\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

/Users/[USERNAME]/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

Running out of disk space …

Some users have large backups or backups from a number of iOS devices, and as a consequence they find themselves running low on disk space.

It is possible to configure a computer such that iTunes backs up to a secondary hard-disk, or to an external HDD or NAS.

Here’s how to do it:

Change iTunes backup location

Want to dive a bit deeper?

Apple about iOS backups

The iPhoneWiKi about backups

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