How to Backup & Restore iPhone from External Hard Drive
Wonder how to backup and how to restore iPhone from external hard drive? This guide will show you two ways to backup and restore iPhone from external hard drive on Windows PC.
Restore iPhone from backup on external hard drive
My computer don’t have enough storage to save my iPhone backup files. Therefore, I used an external hard drive to hold the file. Now, I need step-by-step process to restore my iPhone backup on external hard drive via iTunes on my Windows laptop.
- Question from Apple Community
You are given a variety of ways to backup your iPhone, such as cloud services, iTunes, and so on. If you choose to backup your iPhone to computer, you may consider storing the backup files on an external hard drive in order not to slow down your computer with a large amount of data.
Once the backup files have been saved on the external hard drive, you can restore backup from it to your iPhone at any time. Now, follow the guide below to explore how to backup and how to restore iPhone from external hard drive on Windows 10/11 PC.
Way 1. Backup & Restore iPhone from external hard drive via iTunes
When it comes to backing up iPhone to computer or external hard drive, iTunes must be the first tool that pops into your head. You can follow the detailed steps below to backup and restore iPhone from backup on external hard drive via iTunes.
How to backup iPhone to external hard drive
The first thing you need to do is to change the iTunes backup location to external hard drive. The process is kind of complicated, follow each steps below to make it.
Step 1. Plug external hard drive into the computer > Open Windows File Explorer and go to the default location of iTunes backup: C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync.
Step 2. Delete the files in the folder Backup > Create an empty folder named MobileSync in your external hard drive.
Step 3. Press Win and R key and input cmd in the box to open Windows Command Processor.
Step 4. From the popup window, enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync” > You may need to replace E with the letter of the external hard drive > Press Enter to confirm.
Now, you can backup iPhone to external hard drive via iTunes like what you used to do with it.
Connect iPhone to computer > Launch iTunes and click the phone icon > Click Summary > Back Up Now.
Now, the iTunes backup files are saved in your external hard drive and doesn’t take up the space of C Drive.
How to restore iPhone from external hard drive
The steps to restore iPhone from iTunes backup on external hard drive are pretty simple. Just connect iPhone and your external hard drive to computer > Go to Summary on iTunes > Click Restore Backup > Choose the backup version > Click Restore to begin.
⚠️ Warm Tip:
Chances are that iTunes restore backup greyed out, you can try the tool in the next part to restore iTunes backup to iPad. You can also try to copy and paste the backup folder from external hard drive to the iTunes backup folder. Depending on your Windows system, the iTunes backup folder differs:
• Windows Vista/7/8/10: \Users\[yourname]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.
• Windows XP and older: \Documents and Settings\[yourname]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.
• Microsoft Store version of iTunes: \Users\[yourname]\Apple\MobileSync\Backup.
Way 2. Backup & Restore iPhone from external hard drive by FoneTool
The complicated operation in iTunes and iTunes itself may fail to meet your demands. You may need a more professional iOS data backup tool, like FoneTool.
▶ Fast & Simple backup process. Without complicated setup process, you can backup and restore iPhone to external hard drive in one-click in a short time.
▶ Unlimited backup space. By changing the storage path, you’re free to backup iPhone to NAS, USB, external hard drive and so on as per your need.
▶ Fully & Selectively backup solutions. Different from iTunes, FoneTool enables you to not only create full iPhone backup but also backup only important iPhone files to computer.
How to backup iPhone to external hard drive
With a stable USB connection between iPhone and computer, you’re free to backup files at a superfast speed without effort. Here are the detailed steps.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone and external hard drive to computer with USB > Launch FoneTool and click Phone Backup from its main interface. Go to Selective Backup and click Get Stared. (You can also choose Full Backup to backup everything from iPhone to external hard drive.)
Step 2. Click each icon, and you can browse all your iPhone files > Select the files you’d like to backup > Click OK to confirm.
Step 3. Choose the external hard drive as the backup storage path > Click Start Backup to begin the task.
Restore iPhone from FoneTool backup on external hard drive
You can locate the iPhone backup files created by FoneTool in Backup History page. To restore iPhone backup from external hard drive, you can follow the steps below.
Keep both your iPhone and external hard drive connecting to computer > Locate the backup files from Backup History page > Click the circle icon > Click Restore.
You are able to select the wanted files from backup to restore to your iPhone. Finally, click Start Restore to finish the task.
Restore iPhone from iTunes backup on external hard drive
If you’d like to restore iPhone from iTunes backup on external hard drive via FoneTool, you can follow the step below to make it.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer > Open FoneTool and click the three-horizontal icon > Click Import Backup Files.
Step 2. Locate and choose your iTunes backup saved in external hard drive > Click Start Restore to begin the task.
Now, you have known how to backup and how to restore iPhone from external hard drive via iTunes and FoneTool. If you just want to backup and restore certain files from iPhone backup, it’s suggested FoneTool. If this guide is helpful, please share it with others.