2 Easy Ways to Access iTunes Backup Files on PC without iPhone
It may not be commonplace for every iPhone user to view iPhone backup files on PC, but there are quite a few of us who need to do that in daily life. For example, when you are restoring your iPhone from an iTunes backup or cleaning up the old backups, you probably want to know what is included in the backup, or better yet, selectively extract what you need. However, the iTunes backup is a kind of SQLITE file which cannot be opened with any existing app on the computer. Don’t get disappointed. If you find yourself in such demands, read on and find out how to access and read iPhone backup files on PC.
Part 1. Read iTunes Backup Files on PC by Restoring iPhone
Apple offers no official way to directly read iTunes backup files on PC as well as Mac, except restoring the whole backup to your iPhone. If you have any old iOS device out of use, you might as well restore that device from an iTunes backup so that you can access all the data and settings inside your backup.
However, this will mess up the current data on your iPhone. If you would not use this method, you can skip to Part 2. If you have a clean device and want to give it a try, the detailed steps are as below.
- Go to Settings > [your name] > Find My iPhone and turn off Find My iPhone on your iPhone. If your device is running iOS 12 or earlier, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone.
- Open iTunes app and connect your iPhone to the PC via a USB cable.
- Once your phone is detected, click on the device icon.
- Then click the Restore Backup button.
- Select an iTunes backup from the small popup window and click the Restore button to confirm that.
When the restoring process is over, you can view the iTunes backup details on your iPhone.
Part 2. Access iPhone Backup Files on PC without iPhone
Though restoring iPhone is a feasible way to access the iPhone backup files on your PC, it is not the best way. Using that method will make all current data on your iPhone be overwritten by the data inside the iTunes backup. So you’d better get a spare iPhone. And if the iOS software of the spare iPhone is too old, you may fail to restore the device from a computer backup. Furthermore, the restoring process can take a long time, which means you are going to spend a lot of time if you want to read multiple iTunes backup files on PC.
To solve the problems above, you can resort to some third-party software like iPhone Backup Extractor which allows you to access the iPhone backup without restoring iPhone. The freeware will automatically detect all iTunes backup files on your computer, help you extract all contents of a backup and output data in a readable way. With it, you can easily access and read iPhone backup contents, like photos, videos, messages, contacts, call history, notes, WhatsApp, etc.
Here’s how to access iPhone backup files without restoring iPhone:
- Step One: Download iPhone Backup Extractor and install it on your computer.
- Step Two: Start the application, select the backup you would like to read from the list then click the “Next” button.
- Step Three: The program will then display a list of file types that can be extracted. Make a selection from the list then click on “Next” to begin scanning.
- Step Four: When the scan is finished, all scanned files will be displayed in categories and enable preview. Mark those you want and click “Recover” to save them on your PC in readable formats.
- If your iPhone backup is encrypted, the program will ask you for a passcode in order to proceed scanning. You can still read detailed contents of your encrypted backup in the program.
- iPhone Backup Extractor will not allow users to extract and save data from encrypted iTunes backup. In such case, your option is upgrading it to the Pro version.
Part 3. How to Find iPhone Backup Location on PC
Some users who want to access iPhone backup files on PC may simply want to know where the backup is stored, then the thing will be much easier. You don’t have to restore the whole backup to your device or install any third-party tool. The backup files are stored locally in the disk drive on your computer and you can easily find it by reaching the relevant folder.
- Get to the Search bar. On Windows 7, click Start; on Windows 8, click the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner; on Windows 10, click the Search bar near the Start button.
- Type in or copy and paste “%appdata%” or “%USERPROFILE% ” in the Search bar and hit the Enter key on the keyboard. Or you can go to [your name in computer] > AppData > Roaming.
- Then head over to “Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup”.
You may delete or copy backups on your PC, but don’t edit, rename, or relocate them. Any small change can make your iTunes backup corrupt, or iTunes may not install on Windows 10. The specific files in the backup folder are actually not editable nor playable. To know which kind of data is included, you have to apply the above solutions.
These are the 2 methods of how to access and view iPhone backup files on your PC. You can read the iTunes backup files by restoring it to the iPhone, or you can make use of a third-party iPhone Backup Extractor to access the iPhone backup without restoring your iPhone. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages. You can pick out the one that suits you best according to your needs. We hope this article is useful. If you have any suggestions or queries, please leave them in the comment section below.