Each user wants his data to be automatically backed up, and this mechanism worked clearly and debugged. But sometimes you have to resort to manually restore the backup to your iPhone or iPad and manually search for the files you need.
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Suppose you need to restore a backup of your iPhone or iPad. You want to use a regular local backup and your computer already knows where it is located. In this case, you can simply use iTunes for Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier. If your Mac is running macOS 10.15 or later, then you can recover through the Finder.
But if your goal is somewhat different and involves restoring the backup data of your iPhone or iPad from an old computer, transferring them to another computer or searching for a deleted backup drive (for example, to delete them), then you will have to dig a bit into the files.
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Check for an up-to-date backup in iCloud
Do not rush to immediately search for backup files for iPhone or iPad on your computer. First, you should find out if your device’s backups are already created using iCloud. This Apple cloud storage on the Internet contains backup files. But this information is not located on the hard drive of your computer.
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If you don’t know if iCloud has backups, you can check it like this:
- iOS 11 or later: go to Settings → [имя пользователя] → iCloud → Storage management → Backup.
- iOS 10.3: go to Settings → [имя пользователя] → iCloud. Click on the histogram showing iCloud usage, and then click on “Storage Management”.
- iOS 10.2 or earlier: select Settings → iCloud → Storage → Storage management.
Once on your device, click “Backups“.
You will be able to find a list of devices associated with your account and having backups in iCloud. Optionally, old backups can be deleted to free up space in iCloud.
If in the list of backups in iCloud you find the one that will be needed to restore the iPhone or iPad, then to restore it is necessary to perform a complete reset of the settings of the mobile device to delete data on it.
After resetting the device, use the Apple ID used to create the backups to log in to iCloud. Now you can select the required backup to start the recovery process.
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How do I see a list of iPhone or iPad backups on a Windows or Mac?
As mentioned earlier, you can use iTunes (on Windows or macOS 10.14 or earlier) or Finder (on macOS 10.15 or later) for these purposes.
To view available backups in iTunes, go to Settings programs.
Select tab Devices.
If desired, select the unnecessary copy and press the button Delete backup to remove it.
Starting with macOS 10.15, a standard file manager is used for these purposes. Finder.
Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac with a cable.
Select a device in the side menu. Finder.
In case the device is not detected, open the Finder Settings, go to the tab Sidebar and check the box next to CDs, DVDs, and iOS devices.
Press button Manage backups.
If desired, select the unnecessary copy and press Delete backup to remove it.
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Where are iPhone or iPad backup files located on a Windows computer?
If you need to transfer backup files to another computer, then you can find backups of your data from iPhone or iPad on a Windows computer. For this:
- If iTunes was not installed from the Microsoft Store (for example, the installation file was downloaded from Apple.com), open explorer and paste the following text into the address bar: % APPDATA% Apple Computer MobileSync
- If iTunes was installed from Microsoft Store open explorer and paste this text into the address bar: % HOMEPATH% Apple MobileSync
You can see that each iPad or iPhone backup is stored in a separate folder, whose name is a long combination of letters and numbers. Each directory is a complete backup for one device.
But long coded names make it difficult to determine which folder corresponds to which device, so verification will have to be done in a different way.
If you need the latest backup, then right-click in the explorer window and select View → Table. Click the column heading again. Date of change. So you can see the dates next to folders sorted by this criterion and select the backup you need for subsequent work.
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Where are iPhone or iPad backup files located on a Mac?
To go to the backup folder on macOS, open Finder, in the menu bar, select Go → Go to folderpaste the path below and click Go to.
~ / Libraries / Application Support / MobileSync
Each folder contains a complete copy of a specific data backup. The name of the directory is a long chain of random letters and numbers.
And in this case, we can again say that long coded names make it difficult to determine which folder corresponds to which device. In order to find a backup with a specific date, you need to open the backup list in iTunes or Finder (see above).
To see which folder corresponds to the required backup, select the view List in the Finder window, and check the information in the column “Date of change”.