Fixed: How to Solve iPhone Backup Error Reading or Writing

What if you have the problem that iPhone backup error reading or writing when you restore iPhone from a previous backup? You could find the solution in this guide or choose a better free iTunes alternative mentioned below to back up your iPhone.


By Dylan / Updated on May 31, 2024

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iTunes could not backup the iPhone because an error occurred while reading from or writing to the iPhone.

My iPhone 15 cant backup to the computer with iTunes. It keeps said "iTunes could not backup the iPhone because an error occurred while reading from or writing to the iPhone". Why does my iPhone keep failing to backup? How do I fix this? Thank you.

- Question from Apple Community

iTunes Error Reading or Writing

iPhone is always around you in your daily life. So the data on iPhone could be important. And losing it might be a disaster, so you should back up your iPhone.

Many users choose iTunes to back up iPhone. It creates full backup to store most local data and settings on iPhone. When you use that backup to restore this iPhone or another iPhone, iTunes would totally rewrite the device with the data from this backup.

Sometimes it may show that iTunes could not back up the iPhone because an error occurred while reading from or writing to the iPhone. This could be caused by a blocked connection or a shortage of computer storage. The following content would help you troubleshoot the problem.

If you have already been tired of the frequent iTunes error, you can also skip to the next part to use a better iTunes alternative to back up your iPhone to PC for free. 

Solution 1: Check iPhone to make it readable and writable

First, you should restart iPhone when iTunes tells the issue when reading from or writing to iPhone. Usually, you would find iPhone issues has been solved after you restart iPhone. This is because when system is running a command in the background, something is blocked and there is no other way to bypass it. It is like that the “bridge” is broken. When you restart the system, the “bridge” would be repaired, so it works this time.

You should use a standard USB cable. If you use the non-standard USB cable, when you update iPhone to the latest iOS, the non-standard USB cable might not support transferring data anymore. You might think that if the USB cable could be used to charge iPhone, it would also be OK when transferring data. In fact, there would be a chip in the standard USB cable, it is vitally important to build the connection between iPhone and computer.

Apple Lightning Cable

☛ Tip: It is suggested to use a standard USB cable even if it works fine when connecting iPhone to computer, because Apple says that repairing the damage caused by the non-standard accessories would not be included in the after-service.

Solution 2: Make your computer be trusted again

If the iTunes could not restore the iPhone because an error occurred while reading or writing to the iPhone issue still exists, something about the permission might go wrong. iPhone might be taken as a threat to computer. You could temporarily stop the antivirus on computer. Except for that, you could also try making your computer be trusted by your iPhone again.

Every time you trust the computer on iPhone, the certificate would be created in a folder called, Lockdown. You could reset the folder to grant permission to this computer again.

The location of the lockdown folder is C:\ProgramData\Apple\Lockdown. You could delete everything in this folder after disconnect iPhone from computer and quit iTunes. After that, plug the USB cable to computer again and tap “Trust” on iPhone.

iTunes Lockdown Folder

Solution 3: Make sure you have enough storage on computer

The issue about reading or writing iPhone could also be caused by the shortage of space on computer. You might wonder that there are 500GB left on your PC, so how could it be insufficient? iTunes always store your iPhone backup in C drive. If you always save data to C drive, it would be full while you are not aware of it.

How much space do you need to save a full backup of iPhone? You should know what iTunes backup includes. Generally, it nearly includes the same thing as iCloud does. You could check the iCloud backup size on iPhone to estimate the iTunes backup size.

Go to iPhone Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > device name. You should see the estimated backup size of your iPhone. Make sure you have checked every app to get a more accurate result because iTunes would save all the app data.

Where’s your iPhone backup stored in C drive? Usually, the location would be C:\Users\[user name]\Apple\MobileSync\Backup or C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup. If you wish, you could change the path to save iTunes backup to external drive or another location on computer, but the process would be a little bit complicated if you still use iTunes.

iTunes Backup Location Windows

Better free iPhone backup alternative to avoid iTunes backup error 

If iTunes keeps failing to read or write your iPhone, you could try another tool to back up your iPhone. You could try the free professional iPhone backup software - FoneTool to make it. It has various advantages and features to meet different demands, making it the best backup choice.

yes FoneTool runs stably on various Windows systems and you are unlikely to encounter operational errors.
yesFast backup speed allows you to finish the process efficiently, even beyond your expectations.
yes You can choose to selectively or fully back up iPhone to PC as you like.
yes You can flexibly change the backup storage location to easily back up iPhone to external hard drive, etc.
yes FoneTool's wide compatibility could support various iPhone models and iOS versions, including the latest ones.

Now, you can click the download button to install this tool. And we will show you how it works. You can go to Part 1 to selectively back up iPhone to go to Part 2 to fully back up all iPhone data.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Part 1. Selectively back up iPhone

Step 1. Run FoneTool, and click "Phone Backup" on the left pane. Move the mouse to "Selective Backup". Click "Get Started".

custom backup

Step 2. You can select the file type to back up. And click the icon to choose the specific items > Click OK to continue.

select files

Step 3. Click "Backup Storage Path" to choose a location to save the backup, and click "Start Backup".

click backup

Part 2. Back up all iPhone data

Step 1. On the main interface, choose "Phone Backup"> "Full Backup".

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

full backup

Step 2. Now you can encrypt and backup to backup private data. Then choose a location to save the backup files by clicking the "Backup Storage Path". Click "Start Backup" to begin.

start backup

If you need to view or restore your backup after the process, you can go to the My Backups page and click the View or Restore dot to make it. With this feature, you can even restore your iPhone backup to another iPhone/iPad, even if they are logging with different Apple IDs.

my backups


If you have the iPhone backup error about reading or writing, this issue might be related to permission, connection, or storage. This passage gives you the solutions and if you don’t want to use iTunes anymore, you could try FoneTool to easily back up your iPhone. Besides, FoneTool is a versatile iPhone data transfer tool with plenty of features. For example, you can transfer photos, music, videos, contacts, etc. to computer.

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Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.