[Fixed] iPhone Backup External HDD Not Working in 2023

Are your iPhone backup external HDD not working? Don’t worry! Read this post and learn how to fix the iPhone backup error occurred issue. Please keep reading!


By May / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Why does my iPhone backup to HDD keep failing?

Hello, I have an iPhone SE running iOS 15.6.1. I connected the HDD to my phone using a Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter. I’ve tried to back up large amounts of photos directly to an external HDD, but it failed. Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be?

- Question from Reddit

iPhone Backup External HDD Not Working

Why Is My iPhone Backup External HDD Not Working?

The iPhone has a limited storage capacity, and as data accumulates, the amount of free space on your iPhone rapidly decreases. In this case, you can free up space by backing up your iPhone to an external HHD.

However, many users have encountered the “iPhone backup external HDD not working” issue when backing up data to an external HHD. Why does this happen? Some common reasons are listed below:

Connection Issues: The external drive isn’t properly connected to your computer or iPhone.
Software Conflicts: Software conflicts stop the external drive from working properly.
Drive Format: The external HDD is formatted with a compatible file system.

How to Fix iPhone Backup External HDD Not Working

If you’re experiencing the iPhone backup error occurred issue with the external HDD, you can try these methods one by one to solve the problem. Let’s have a look!

Method 1: Try a Different USB Port or Cable

When there is a problem with the USB cable or USB port that connects your PC to your iPhone and the external HDD, you are unlikely to experience the “iPhone backup external HDD not working” issue. In this case, try using a different USB port or cable may help you fix this issue.

Try a Different USB Port or Cable

Method 2: Check for Software Updates

To ensure optimal performance and compatibility with external devices, it’s critical to keep your PC or iPhone up to date with the latest operating system version. Software updates often contain bug fixes and enhancements that can help you solve software conflicts.

Method 3: Format the External HDD

Sometimes, formatting the external HDD can resolve compatibility issues. However, it is worth noting that formatting will erase all data on the drive, so be sure to back up all data before proceeding. For Windows, the external HDD should be formatted as NTFS or exFAT. Here is a full guide to use the Command Prompt to format the HHD as NTFS:

Step 1: Connect the external HDD to your PC using a cable > Type Command Prompt in the Windows search box > Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt window.

Step 2: In the Command Prompt window, enter the following commands one by one, pressing Enter after each command:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk * (Replace * with the number assigned to your disk.)
  • list volume
  • select volume * (Replace * with the number assigned to your volume.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick
  • exit

Format the External HDD to NTFS

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, you can also restart your devices or check if the external HDD is faulty or damaged to troubleshoot the problem.

Bonus Tip: Directly Back Up iPhone to External HDD

If you’re experiencing repeated failures when trying to back up your iPhone to an external HDD, in this case, you can use FoneTool to back up your data from your iPhone to the external HDD. FoneTool is a free and safe backup and transfer tool that offers a range of features that make it easy to back up or transfer various types of data such as photos, videos, and more.

Highlights of Using to Directly Back Up iPhone to External HDD:
Direct backup to external HDD: FoneTool allows you to backup iPhone with external hard drive directly without intermediate steps.
Data preview and selective restore: FoneTool lets you preview the backup data and selectively restore iPhone data instead of restoring the entire backup.
User-friendly interface: FoneTool has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows users to easily navigate and easily perform backup operations.

So, how to back up your iPhone to an external HDD directly using FoneTool? Now click the download button to install it on your PC and then follow the instructions to back up your iPhone.

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

Step 1: Run FoneTool > Choose Phone Backup in the main interface > Choose Selective Backup > Click Get Started.

Choose Selective Backup

Step 2: Click an icon (such as Photos, Music, etc.) to preview and select what you want to back up > Click OK.

Choose Files to Back Up

Step 3: Click the Backup Storage Path option to specify the external HDD as a destination to save iPhone backup > Click Start Backup to copy everything you have selected to the external HDD.

Click Start Backup

In addition to creating a backup of your iPhone, you can choose Phone Transfer to transfer photos, videos, contacts, and music from your iPhone to an external HDD or PC.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to fix iPhone backup external HDD not working. If you are tired of fixing this issue, you could choose an alternative way to back up your iPhone to an external HDD. FoneTool will be the top choice in this case. With this backup and transfer tool, you can easily save your iPhone data directly to your external HDD or computer, transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone with one click, delete duplicate photos, wipe your iPhone clean, etc. Why not try it out? Download and use it now!

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.