How to Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive on Mac/PC

This post will tell you how to move iPhone backup to external hard drive and how to create an iPhone backup on PC. If you are used to syncing your iPhone on your Mac, it is worth reading this post!


By May / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Why Should Use an External Hard Drive for iPhone Backup?

There is a heated discussion about how to move iPhone backup to external hard drive. However, why need to use an external hard drive for iPhone backup? Choosing an external storage device is an efficient solution to protect your critical data to avoid any loss. Some benefits of using external hard drive for backup are as follows:

Increased Storage Capacity: External hard drives typically offer more storage capacity than the internal storage on iPhone. This allows you to back up large amounts of data - photos, videos, documents, and more - without worrying about running out of space.
Data Protection: By storing your iPhone backups on an external hard drive, you can create an extra layer of protection for your data. If your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can still access and recover your valuable information from the external hard drive.
Offline Access: With an external hard drive, you can access your backup data offline. This is especially useful when you are in an area with limited or no Internet connection.

Simply put, with an external hard drive for iPhone backup, you can ensure ample storage, enhanced data protection, offline access to your files, and reduced reliance on cloud services.

Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive

How to Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive on Mac

Before moving iPhone backup to external drive, you should know where iPhone backups are stored on Mac. Let’s check it out!

Where to Find Current iPhone Backup on Mac?

On your Mac, regardless of what iPhone you have, all data from your iPhone is stored in a designated folder called MobileSync, which remains consistent for all backups created through iTunes on your Mac. Here is how to find the current backup on your Mac:

Step 1: Click the Finder icon in the Dock (the icon that looks like a blue face) to open a Finder window > Click Go in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Then, a drop-down menu will appear.

Step 2: Hold down the Option key until the Library option only appears. Choose Library > navigate to the Application Support folder > then the MobileSync folder.

Step 3: Open the Backup folder, and you will find multiple folders with long, randomly generated names.

iPhone Backups Location on Mac

Each folder represents a different iPhone backup, and you can check the modified dates of the folders to identify your current iPhone backup.

Step by Step to Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive on Mac

Once you have located your iPhone backup on the Mac, the way to move iPhone backup to external drive is quite simple. Here are the steps to do that on a Mac:

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Mac using a cable or adapter.

Step 2: Navigate to the MobileSync folder and right-click the Backup folder to choose the Copy option.

Step 3: Switch to your external hard drive and right-click and choose Paste to move iPhone backup to external hard drive (here you can create a folder named iPhone Backup).

Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive on Mac

After that, wait for the copying process to complete. It may take some time, depending on the size of your iPhone backup.

Easiest Way to Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive on PC

The traditional method of how to move iPhone backup to external hard drive has its limitations, such as the inability to selectively back up specific files and the potential for errors with Terminal commands. Here it’s strongly recommended to use FoneTool – a free iPhone backup and transfer tool.

FoneTool is a comprehensive iPhone transfer tool that facilitates seamless connections between iOS and PC. One standout feature of FoneTool is the Phone Transfer which allows you to transfer iPhone backup to external hard drive directly. Here are some benefits of using FoneTool:

Quick and Efficient Transfer: FoneTool offers a fast and efficient way to transfer photos, videos, music, contacts, messages, and more to an external hard drive.
Versatility and Compatibility: FoneTool supports a variety of external storage devices such as SD cards and USB drives, making it compatible with a wide range of hardware options.
Preserves Data Integrity: You can use FoneTool to transfer iPhone backup to an external hard drive without the risk of data loss or corruption. FoneTool ensures that all your files are transferred securely, maintaining their integrity, and preserving their original quality.

Here’s how to transfer iPhone backup to external hard drive using FoneTool:

Step 1: Download and install FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to your PC via USB cable.

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Step 2: Choose Phone Transfer and then iPhone to PC > Click the Start Transfer button > Click the “+” icon to select photos, songs, videos, or anything you want to transfer.

Choose iPhone to PC

Step 3: Click OK to go back to the iPhone to PC page > Choose your external hard drive as the destination from Transfer Settings > Click the Start Transfer button.

Click Start Transfer

Once the transfer is complete, your iPhone backup is stored on your external hard drive. If necessary, you can also restore iPhone from external hard drive with FoneTool easily.

FAQs on How to Move iPhone Backup to External Hard Drive

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about how to move iPhone backup to external hard drive. Let’s have a look!

1. How to Clear iPhone Backup from a Mac?

If you’ve transferred iPhone backup to external hard drive and no longer need to store them on your Mac, you can free up space for other files. To clear your iPhone backup from your Mac, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Finder app on you Mac > Locate your iPhone and under Locations > Click the Manage Backups option inside the General tab.

Click Manage Backups

Step 2: A dialog box will appear displaying all the existing iPhone backups. Then, right-click the backup you want to remove and choose Delete Backup.

After that, you can clear specific iPhone backups from your Mac to free up storage space and manage your backups more efficiently.

2. Can I Encrypt iPhone Backup on an External Hard Drive?

Of course! With the help of FoneTool, you can enable backup encryption to encrypt your iPhone backup on an external hard drive. Please remember the password you set, as you will be asked to enter the password when you access your backup later.

3. What Type of External Hard Drive is Compatible with iPhone Backup?

iPhones can work with various types of external hard drives, including those with USB or Thunderbolt connections. Ensure the hard drive is formatted to a compatible file system like exFAT or FAT32 to ensure compatibility.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to move iPhone backup to external hard drive. If you are using a Mac, you can let Finder to make it. If you have a computer at hand, you can rely on FoneTool to transfer files to external hard drive via a USB connection. Besides, you can use FoneTool to create a full iPhone backup to protect your data from loss.

May · Editor
May is an editor who is passionate about sharing computer tips and providing reliable solutions, specializing in iOS/Android and file backup and recovery. In her spare time, May enjoys watching movies, going shopping, or chatting with friends.