January 7, 2013

iPhone/iPad Backups with iTunes on Computer

I just discovered that my iPhone/iPad iTune back ups that I choses to store on my computer take up over 150GB of storage on my computer. Now that was a surprise!

I finally got the iPhone 5 yesterday - Black/64GB/AT&T. Yippy! Of course I wanted to sync all of my iPhone 4S information to the new phone so I plugged it into my laptop and clicked Restore in iTunes. That is when I realized just how many backups I had. There were a dozen or so some of my iPhones and some from my iPads (past and present). Some were dated, others were not so it was actually difficult to decide which backup I wanted to restore to. Well I picked one and the restore began. After a couple hours I discovered I picked the wrong one from about a year ago, so I once again, more carefully this time chose another.
Now I have to admit that I am low on hard drive space on my MacBook. (It seems that these iPhone photos take up more space then I thought.) I was down to only 28GB even after deleting (I first I backed them up on two external drives - one that is kept off site for safe keeping) several old iPhone image folders.
Back to Restoring my iPhone 5.... After choosing the second backup, I went to bed crossing my fingers that the restore would be complete by morning. What I did wake up to was an error message on my computer saying that there wasn't enough space on my computer to complete the process. I checked my hard drive space to discover I went from 28GB to 1.91GB - that was puzzling to me.
So I started to investigate. After some research on the internet I discovered where my iTune backups were stored.
Mac HD/Users/terilou/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/filenames.
Yes they are buried...and of course named/coded with lots of numbers that are meaningless to me. It was impossible to tell which were old backups and which were current. So instead of just deleting them randomly, I decided to back them up on an external drive. That is when I discovered that they were taking up 150GB of space on my hard drive. Why that surprised me when I have a 64GB iPhone and a 64GB iPad I am not sure but it did! After the MobileSync is completed on my external drive (6 hours is the estimated time needed) I will delete the old files and get back to the iPhone 5 restore sync.

BTW I love the feel of the iPhone 5 in my hand without a cover. I do use screen protectors on the front but usually nothing more. I also to purchase Apple Care that replaces the phone for only $49 if damaged in any way. I just can't wait to take a photo or two with it.

Hope this information is useful to some of you. I was quite surprised at the amount of storage the backups require but then again I do have the 64GB phones and iPads!

COMING IN JANUARY! NEW VIDEO COURSES Teri Lou is busy creating MyiPadLive processing videos that will be available for purchase in January. They can be purchased separately or as courses. Stay tuned for more information in the coming days.


  1. I thought the back up process replaces older ones as it moved forward.
    What about selecting to b/u to dropbox?
    I have 4S and am not sure I'd go to 5; interested in comments.

    1. George - Herer is some information on backing up to Drop Box. I know I would have to backup my iPhone and iTunes account to Drop Box so I am not sure if that is the best choice for me.

      I would agree that the backups on iTunes do right over themselves but I am presuming that the backup for my older phones and iPad stay in tact until deleted and that is one reason I have so many.

      I got my iPhone 5 a bit later than many and I will be posting my likes and dislikes on this blog as I progress.


      Thanks for asking!

  2. I use aptbackup and it works good on my device. It takes backup of all apps which you have installed. When you restore, it re-download all your apps in one chunk very fast. Try it!


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