EaseUS MobiMover

All-in-One iOS Content Manager & Free Video/Audio Downloader

  • An iOS data transfer tool to transfer files to or from iPhone/iPad
  • An iPhone manager to manage files on iPhone/iPad from a computer
  • A free video downloader to download online videos to a computer or iPhone/iPad

How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive Easily and Directly

Katrin updated on May 15, 2020 to iPhone Data Transfer | How-to Articles

"Hi, I have a question for you guys. I have a large-capacity iPhone 11, in which I've stored many precious photos and videos. Usually, I use iTunes to back up the iPhone data to my MacBook Pro that gets a tiny hard drive. Now, I am worried about running out of space on Mac due to all the content from my iPhone. So, I want to be able to back up my iPhone to an external hard drive, how do I do that?"

If you have the same problem as stated above, you won't have to worry any longer. On this page, we will teach you how to use two simple tricks to back up the iPhone to an external hard drive rather than the internal hard disk on both Windows computer and Mac easily and straightforwardly.  

What can you learn from this how-to article:

Part 1. How to copy iTunes backup to external hard drive

Saving iPhone backup files to an external hard drive is a relatively smart move when there's not enough storage on your computer. If you just need to cut and paste after iTunes backup, it's easy for you. Before you start, we will tell you something about where are iPhone backup stored and how to move them to an external drive.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your PC/Mac.

Step 2: Find the iPhone backup location using the following ways.

On Windows:

Windows 7 and Vista: C:/Users/AppData/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup/

Windows 8/10: C:/Users/YOURUSERNAME/AppData/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup/

Windows XP: C:/Documents and Settings/Users/Application Data/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup/

On Mac:

Press Command+Shift+G on the keyboard to open the Go To Fold interface, then copy and paste: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Step 3: Find the folder, then copy and paste it to your external hard drive.

Notice: 
there are two shortcomings of using iTunes and iCloud
  • First of all, if you’re backing up your iPhone with iTunes or iCloud, you’ll never know what files are covered. Instead of copying and extracting specific files from your backup folder, you have to transfer the whole folder to your external drive without knowing what’s inside. 
  • Another thing is that the terminal commands can easily go wrong. Even a single mistake can ruin the whole process, so you’ll have to start again.

Luckily, you can use some third-party tools like EaseUS MobiMover to directly back up iPhone to external hard drive without using iTunes and iCloud. Now, following the Part 2 to do it.

Part 2. How to backup iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows & Mac

To solve these two tricky issues, you can try the simplest way by using an iPhone data transfer tool - EaseUS MobiMover. As a professional and reliable data transfer software, it can help you move all the photos, audios, videos, contacts, messages, books, and more from iPhone to external hard drive on Mac/PC/laptop straightforwardly. What's more, you can browse, edit, and delete the files you stored on the external hard drive. And as an all-in-one iOS data manager, MobiMover has a built-in media downloader that enables you to download videos from 900+ websites, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Dailymotion.

To use this data transfer software, you need to make sure:

  • Your computer is running Windows 7 and later or macOS 10.13 - OS X 10.7
  • Your mobile device, namely iPhone or iPad, is running iOS 8 and later, including iOS 13

Now, download MobiMover by clicking the download button below. Then, connect your external hard drive to your computer and follow the detailed steps below to learn how it works for iPhone backup.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone/iPad to your Mac with compatible USB cable and tap on Trust This Computer on the device to continue. Run EaseUS MobiMover Free for Mac and click iDevice to Mac to move to next step.

how to transfer data from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive - step 1

Step 2: MobiMover enables you to transfer every supported file from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive on Mac free unlimited. You can move all the data at a time, or selectively copy one or more categories. 

how to transfer data from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive - step 2 

Step 3: Move your mouse to the upper-right corner and click the File icon to set the external hard drive as the destination for exported files on Mac.

how to transfer data from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive - step 3 

Step 4: Now, click Transfer to copy iPhone/iPad to your external hard drive on Mac without iTunes. When the process finishes, click View to check the downloaded files. 

how to transfer data from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive - step 4 

Other brilliant features of MobiMover worth a try

Part 3. How to restore iPhone from external hard drive

Actually, restoring your iPhone backup from an external hard drive is simple. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1. Quit iTunes on your computer where you plan to restore the iPhone backup.

Step 2. Attach the external hard drive that contains the backup to your computer > Double click the external hard drive to open it > Find the iTunes backup you'd like to restore to the iPhone.

Step 3. Open the original location on the computer where you keep your iTunes backup.

On Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista: \Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

On Windows XP: With Windows XP that'd be similar to \Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

On macOS/OS X: /Users/[USERNAME]/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.

Step 4. Drag the iTunes folder from the external hard drive to the correct location on your computer.

Step 5. Hold the Option key and launch iTunes.

Step 6: A window will pop up to ask you to either Quit, Create Library or Choose Library. Select "Choose Library."

Step 7: Locate the iTunes folder that you just restored, click "Choose" and select the iTunes Library.itl file, and launch iTunes.

The Bottom Line

That's all bout the methods to backup iPhone to external hard drive. Among the 2 methods mentioned above, Part 2 is more recommended since it is simple to operate, even for new and inexperienced iOS users, they can easily back up iPhone data via MobiMover. However, if you are a computer technician, Part 1 is worth a try.