EFF Urges Apple to Encrypt iCloud Backups Effectively

Learn how to find iOS backups on Mac, PC and iCloud

Having a backup of the data of your device (s) is something fundamental not only for iOS users, but from other platforms and services (such as your WhatsApp conversations, for example).

In the case of owners of iPhones, iPads or iPods touch, backups can be stored in two different ways: on Mac / PC (locally) and also on iCloud (in the cloud). Although both methods have their particularities, it is good to keep at least one of them always up to date so that you can retrieve your most recent data.

However, it is as important as having a backup to know how to locate it, so that you can recover, copy or delete this information according to the need. To find out how to locate the iOS backup on your Mac or PC, follow the next steps.

On Mac

  1. On the menu bar, tap the Spotlight icon (a magnifying glass) and copy / paste the following directory: ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / Backup /.
  2. Press Enter and see all backups of your iOS device (s) saved on Mac.

When accessing the folder, Apple suggests that you do not edit, change, rename or remove the content of these files, as this may damage them. If you transfer it to another folder, for example, it will not be possible to restore it as the Mac only recognizes it as a backup in the original folder.


  • Copy / paste the following directory into the Windows Explorer search: Users (user name) AppData Roaming Apple Computer MobileSync Backup or Users (user name) AppData Roaming Apple MobileSync Backup.

If you prefer, follow the steps below:

  1. In the search bar (in Windows 7, in the Start menu; in Windows 8, in the magnifying glass in the upper right corner; in Windows 10, in the search bar on the side of the Start menu) enter% appdata% or% USERPROFILE% (if you downloaded it iTunes via the Microsoft Store).
  2. Double-click on the “Apple” or “Apple Computer” folder, then access MobileSync Backup.

In iCloud

Here's how to view the latest available backup:

  • IOS 10.3 or lower: access Settings (your name) iCloud and tap on “Manage Storage” in the graph showing the use of iCloud.
  • On iOS 11 or higher: Open the Settings app and touch your name. Then go to iCloud Manage Backup Storage.

    ICloud backup on iPhone

  • On macOS: in the Apple menu, go to ICloud System Preferences Manage Backups.

    IOS backups from iCloud on Mac

  • On Windows: open iCloud for Windows and click Backup Storage.

To view details of a backup, simply tap / click on it. On iOS, it is possible to delete specific information from a backup, but if you want an app to no longer use iCloud backup, you need to disable it manually. It is also worth mentioning that it is only possible to choose the content to be included in the backup from the device that stores the content.

Copy and delete backups

As we said, it is not recommended to change or edit the backup folder. However, if you need copies of these files, just find the folder on your Mac or PC (as shown above) and copy it (do not move it) to another location, be it an external drive or an online storage service. If you use Time Machine, iOS backups are automatically copied to the device when stored on the Mac.

IOS backups on iTunes

To delete an iOS backup on Mac, open iTunes. On the menu bar, click Devices Preferences and select the backup you want to delete. On the PC, also open iTunes preferences from the menu bar and click on “Devices” (if there are multiple devices or backups, hover over the backup to see more details).

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Were you able to view / delete your iOS backups? We hope so! Check out more tips from iOS, macOS, watchOS, watchOS and tvOS in our tutorials section.