How to backup iPhone to 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
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 11/10/8/7
Here we provide 2 tools to 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.
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 in Windows 10/8/7/11.
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.
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 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 FoneTool, which is professional iPhone backup software. It can be the best way to backup an iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 PC easily with its intuitive interface. You can move your iPhone to an HDD, SSD, USB drive within a few clicks.
Download FoneTool to computer, plug your external hard drive into computer, connect iPhone to computer with a USB cable, and prepare to backup iPhone to an external hard drive on your Windows 10/11/8/7 computer.
Step 1. Select Phone Backup on the FoneTool interface, and choose Selective Backup. Click "Get Started".
✍Note: You can also click the "Transfer to Computer" option to transfer photos, videos, contacts, music from iPhone to computer/external hard drive.
Step 2. Click an icon to preview iPhone data. Select what you need and click OK.
Step 3. Click the Backup Storage Path 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.
Storage shortage on computer might drive you to backup iPhone to external hard drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and save 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.
FoneTool is the most convenient iPhone backup software to backup or move iOS/iPhone files 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.
FoneTool Runs Perfectly on
- iOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
- iPadOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
- iPhone 14/14 Pro (Max), 13/13 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 12/12 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max)
- iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus
- iPhone SE (1st, 2nd, 3rd generations)
- iPod touch 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
- All models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPad