A Comprehensive Guide to Demystifying iTunes Backup

iTunes is an Apple software that lets you manage and sync your iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, and iPod. One of the essential features of iTunes is its ability to make backups of your iOS files. iTunes backup has long been popular for Apple users, offering a seamless way to protect various data. These backups can be useful in cases of device loss, damage or when you want to transfer your data to a new device.

This article will delve into everything you need to know about iTunes backup, its features, benefits, and how to effectively secure your valuable data.

iTunes Backup

Part 1. Understanding iTunes Backup

iTunes backup is a feature provided by Apple that creates a copy of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch data and stores it securely on your computer. It includes important files like contacts, messages, photos, videos, app data, and settings.

Why Should You Use iTunes Backup

iTunes backup ensures that your essential files are safeguarded in case of device damage, loss, or theft. You can easily retrieve your iPhone or iPad data from a backup if you switch to a new device or encounter data loss scenarios. iTunes backup allows you to update your device's software or restore it to a previous state if something goes wrong during an update.

Part 2. How to Backup iPhone and iPad on Windows PC Using iTunes

If you don't already have iTunes installed on your Windows computer, download it from the Apple website and follow the installation instructions. Then follow the steps below to back up your iPhone or iPad data on iTunes.

Step 1:
Connect your iPhone to your Windows PC. Once connected, launch iTunes if it doesn't open automatically. You may see a prompt asking you to Trust This Computer on your iPhone. Tap Trust to create a connection between your iPhone and the computer. To proceed, you may need to sign into your Apple account for the first connection.
Step 2:
Locate your iPhone icon near the top-left corner of the iTunes window. Click it to access the Summary page.
Click iPhone Icon in iTunes

Under the Backups section, you will find options for backups. By default, iTunes stores the backups within your user folder. To find out the exact iTunes backup location, go to the AppData folder, open the Local folder, then enter the MobileSync folder inside the Apple folder. This is where iTunes stores the backups.

Step 3:
Back in iTunes, choose to back up your iPhone manually or automatically. To manually create an iTunes backup, go to the Manually Back Up and Restore section and click Back Up Now. To automatically back up iOS files on iTunes, select the This Computer or iCloud option under the Automatically Back Up section.
Backup iPhone on iTunes on Windows

Depending on your iPhone's data size, the iTunes backup process may take some time. Ensure not to disconnect your iPhone or close iTunes until the backup is complete. After the backup process, you can check the backup by going to iTunes Preferences. Click the Devices tab to see your iPhone's backup listed there with the date and time.

Part 3. How to Backup iPhone on iTunes on Mac

Depending on the macOS version, you can use iTunes or Finder to back up your iPhone or iPad data to a Mac. If you use macOS Catalina (10.15) or later, you can use Finder instead of iTunes.

Backup iPhone to iTunes on Mac

Step 1:
Connect your iPhone to your Mac. Launch iTunes and click iPhone in the upper left corner of the iTunes window. This operation will take you to your iPhone's Summary page.
Step 2:
Under the Backups section, there are two options which are iCloud and This Computer you can choose from. Select This computer if you want to back up your iPhone using iTunes. Click the Back Up Now button to make the iTunes backup process starts. Ensure that your iPhone remains connected to your Mac throughout the process.
Backup iPhone on iTunes on Mac

Depending on the amount of data on your iPhone, the backup process may take some time. You can track the progress of the iTunes backup at the top of the window. Once the backup is complete, you can verify its success under the Latest Backups section. Here you should see the date and time of the most recent backup.

Backup iPhone and iPad to Mac Using Finder

Step 1:
Connect your iPhone to your Mac and open a new Finder window. In the left sidebar of the Finder window, under the Locations section, you should see your iPhone listed. Click on it.
Step 2:
You will see various tabs related to your iPhone in the main window. Click the General tab and choose Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac option under the Backups section. If you prefer to encrypt your backup, check the box that says Encrypt local backup and provide a password when prompted.
Step 3:
Click Back Up Now to initiate the process. Be patient and let the backup complete. Avoid unplugging your iPhone until the backup is finished.
Backup iPhone Data to Mac Using Finder

Part 4. How to Backup Your iTunes Library to an External Drive

Build the connection between your external drive and computer and ensure the drive is properly recognized. Open iTunes on your computer and ensure you have the latest version installed.

Go to the File tab of iTunes. From the dropdown menu, select Library and then click Organize Library.

In the Organize Library popup window, check the box next to Consolidate files and click OK. That will ensure all your media files are organized and included in the iTunes backup. Once the consolidation process is complete, close iTunes.

iTunes Organize Library

Locate your iTunes library folder on your computer. The default iTunes backup location depends on your operating system.

Windows: C:\Users\<username>\Music\iTunes\

macOS: /Users/<username>/Music/iTunes/

Copy the entire iTunes folder to your external drive. You can do this by dragging and dropping the folder or using the Copy and Paste commands. Once the iTunes folder is copied to the external drive, you have successfully backed up your iTunes library.

Part 5. How to Restore Your iPhone and iPad from iTunes Backup

Restoring your iPhone or iPad from an iTunes backup can be useful for a few reasons. It can help you recover your iOS data. Restoring from an iTunes backup can be helpful when upgrading to a new iPhone. When you encounter software issues, you can revert your device to a known stable state by restoring it to a previous backup. This part tells how to restore your iPhone from an iTunes backup. You can use similar steps as an iPad user.

Step 1:
Run iTunes and connect your iPhone to the computer. Click iPhone in the iTunes window.
Step 2:
On the Summary page, you can see a Restore Backup option. Click it to display a list of available iTunes backups. Turn off Find My on your iPhone to proceed.
Step 3:
Select the most recent backup you want to restore and click Restore. iTunes will then begin the restore process, which may take some time, depending on the backup size and your computer's speed.
Restore iPhone 14 from iTunes Backup

Once the restore process is finished, you can disconnect it from your computer. On your iPhone screen, follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

Part 6. How to Backup Your iPhone to Computer Without iTunes

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Step 1:
Download and open the iOS Data Backup & Restore software on your computer. You get two options to backup and recover your iPhone data, like deleted videos, iOS Data Backup and iOS Data Restore. To back up your iPhone data to a computer without iTunes, here you can select the iOS Data Backup feature.
Open iOS Backup and Restore on Mac
Step 2:
Connect your iPhone using a USB cable. The software will detect your iPhone automatically. You can choose Standard backup or Encrypted backup according to your need. Click the Start button.
Select iPhone Backup Mode
Step 3:
You will be prompted to choose the types of data you want to back up. Choose the categories you wish to include in the backup, such as photos, videos, contacts, messages, etc. After selecting the desired data types, click the Next button.
Select iOS Data Types to Backup
Step 4:
Select a suitable folder to store your iPhone backup. Click the Backup button to let the backup begin. iOS Data Backup & Restore will create a backup file of your selected data on your computer.
Select iPhone Backup Location on Mac

Using the iOS Data Backup & Restore software, you can back up your iPhone and iPad data to your computer without iTunes or iCloud. It gives you the flexibility to manage and restore your backup whenever needed.

Part 7. FAQs of iTunes Backup

How to select the iTunes backup location?

To select the iTunes backup location, open iTunes, click the top Edit or iTunes menu, then go to Preferences. Click the Devices tab when you reach the Preferences window. Find the Backup option and click the Change button next to it. A file browser window will pop up and let you select a new location for your iTunes backups.

How can I delete the iTunes backup?

To delete your iTunes backup, you should run iTunes on your computer first. Then select the Edit in the menu bar and click Preferences. Next, switch to the Devices window, select the backup you want to delete, and click the Delete Backup button.

Does iTunes backup everything on iPhone?

iTunes can back up most iOS data on your iPhone, including contacts, messages, photos, videos, apps, settings, and more. However, some exceptions exist, such as certain app data types that may not be included in the backup.


iTunes backup offers an excellent way to protect your iPhone and iPad data, enabling easy restoration of your devices. This post guides you to know associated information about iTunes backup. You can learn to create backups, restore them when needed, and manage your existing backups using iTunes on your computer. Regularly backing up your device ensures your data is safe and can be recovered whenever necessary.

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