By Dylan / Last update June 28, 2021

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Backup iPhone X to my external hard drive on Windows 10?

My iPhone needs to be backed up now, and I would like to save the backup files to my Seagate external hard drive. I have an iPhone X and a Dell PC running Windows 10. Thanks for any help.

- Question from iPhone User

iTunes Logo

When iPhone storage is going to be used up or there is important data on it, you need to backup iPhone to safely release iPhone storage and never lose the important iPhone data.

To give double insurance to your iPhone data you can move iPhone backup to external hard drive or flash drive. However, every time iTunes creates an iPhone backup, a folder of over 7GB will be saved to C drive so it is not a good long-term plan for backing up iPhone.

This is not the only disadvantage of iTunes, if you have ever used iTunes to import photos to iPhone, you would find that photos synced from iTunes will be removed when you use iCloud Photos.

To avoid your C drive being occupied, you can change iTunes backup location to external hard drive on Windows 10.

How to backup iPhone to external hard drive on Windows 10?

Here we provide 2 tools for move iPhone data to an external hard drive on Windows 10, 8, 7 computer or laptop. You can either iTunes or powerful backup software. But you may need to change the backup location if you want to backup with iTunes. And the steps would be completed.

Method 1. Backup iPhone to external hard drive with iTunes?

iTunes is a strict software. You can just make a full backup of iPhone (some local data in apps and all the settings) and you can’t view what’s inside of it, but you can have an overview of what iTunes backup includes.

Changing iTunes backup location is a little complicated. There are no options in iTunes to do that so you can only use Windows CMD to force iTunes to save iPhone backup to another partition. If you just need the pictures, it will be very easy to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive.

Step 1. Download iTunes to your Windows PC.

Step 2. Connect iPhone to the computer with a USB cable and plug external hard drive into the computer.

Step 3. Open Windows File Explorer and then go to C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync. That's the default location where iTunes saves your iPhone backup on computer.

Step 4. Delete the content in the folder Backup and then create an empty folder called MobileSync in your external drive.

Step 5. Press Win + R and input “cmd” in the box. Press enter to open Windows Command Processor.

Step 6. In the window, enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync” and press Enter. You should be aware whether E is the drive letter of your external drive, or you need to modify the command. If it runs successfully, go to the next step.

CMD Change iTunes Backup Location

If you don’t see AppData, it is hidden. You should navigate to View at the top of the toolbar in Windows Explorer and check Hidden items.

Step 7. Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to computer. Remember to tap Trust This iPhone to allow this computer to scan it.

Step 8. Click the phone-shape icon in the upper left corner > Summary > Back Up Now. It could take several minutes to complete the task.


After the task is finished, you need to check whether your iPhone backup has been saved to external hard drive. In fact, you could find the iPhone backup both in C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync and your external destination, but then it is actually stored in your external hard drive and doesn’t use the space of C Drive.

Method 2. backup iPhone to external hard drive without iTunes (Easy way)

Method 1 is effective, but if you are not familiar with Command Prompt, it may be not suitable for you. Besides, When you restore an iPhone from an iTunes backup, it requires you to erase all data on the iPhone.

To avoid these issues, you can turn to AOMEI MBackupper is professional iPhone backup software. It can be the best way to backup an iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows PC easily with its intuitive interface. You can move your iPhone to an HDD, SSD, USB drive within a few clicks.

● Support multiple file types: This tool can help you to backup photos, videos, messages, contacts, and other data on Windows PC.
● Selective backup: You can choose one file type and one or several files if you don't want to backup all data on your iPhone.
● Fast speed: Compared with other tools, like iTunes, iCloud, AOMEI MBackupper can help you to process a backup in a very short time.
Widely Compatible: AOMEI MBackupper supports iPhone 12/11 Pro/SE 2020 and previous iOS devices.

Download AOMEI MBackupper to computer, plug your external hard drive into computer, connect iPhone to computer with a USB cable, and prepare to backup iPhone to external hard drive on your Windows 10 computer.

Step 1. Select Custom Backup to backup the whole 5 types of iPhone data.

Custom Backup iPhone

Step 2. Click an icon to preview iPhone data. Select what you need and click OK.

Select iPhone Data

Step 3. Click the path in the lower-left corner to change iPhone backup location to external hard drive on WIndows 10 and then click Start Backup to copy everything you have selected to external drive. In this step, you could backup iPhone to NAS or network drive if you have mapped it into a local drive.

Change Path

● This backup would be easily used on another Windows 10 computer.
● Click the eye icon to view iPhone backup in AOMEI MBackupper.
● Click the pin icon to view the iPhone backup files in File Explorer.

Restore to Device


Storage shortage on computer might drive you to backup iPhone external hard drive on Windows 10, 8, 7, and saving the backup files to external drive makes them safer and easy to use. These 2 methods can be also applied for backing up files from iPad to external drive.

AOMEI MBackupper is the most convenient iPhone backup software to backup iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows 10 computer. It supports all the popular external hard drives and export what you want with one click. You can also change iTunes backup location but it is a little complicated.

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