How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive

If you have a tiny space in your iPhone, such that it cannot accommodate more things, there are alternatives available to you. The best thing to do is to relocate that information to an external hard drive and create space on your phone. You back up data in different apple products such as iPad, and other devices that use iOS. You can back it on iTunes through your Mac OS. You can transfer this data from your phone internal drive. If you backup iOS devices using iTunes, it is often stored on the Mac. You can buy an external hard drive for Mac to backup your iPhone, iPad or Mac data. There are different ways of doing that, and here is a review of various steps.

Step 1: Find the iPhone backup

This step is perhaps the simplest and easiest of all the methods. If you use this step, your backup data is kept in a folder known as Mobile Sync. To find this folder, you can input this formula.

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

In addition to that, it is possible to locate specific devices backup from iTunes. Here is how to go about it.

  • Launch the iTunes
  • Locate your Mac and click iTunes, which is located in the upper left corner
  • There will be a drop menu and look for preferences and click on it
  • Look for the Devices tab and choose the specific device you are looking for.

When you have done that, hold down on the Control key, and then click the device. Different options will be available to you and choose the Show in Finder option. This is the end of step one and you proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Move Backup to External Hard Drive

This is the time to move that your backup to the external hard drive you have already made available.

This is another easy step. However, to avoid making unnecessary mistakes you must observe the hard drive name as well as the folder name you are creating new. You must be very careful the way you type such as spacing, punctuation as well as words. You have to remember this or you write them down somewhere. This is because you will need it again in the course of the backup especially during the Terminal pathway creation. If in the Terminal pathway command that you use another name, you have to make them the same.

Procedure of iPhone Backup on External Hard Drive:

  1. Get your external hard drive and have it connected to your Mac
  2. Open the external hard drive
  3. Go back to what you have earlier done in step way and locate the Finder window located in the iOS’s backup and choose the device backup folder and drag them to the external hard drive where you will store them.
  4. Provide the administrator password to cement the action
  5. Furthermore, change the name of the backup folder, which you install in the external hard drive. Change its name to something like “ios_backup” and so on.
  6. You have to differentiate this from the old backup folder located in the finder. You can change the name to old backup. This will be the end of this step.

Step 3

It is time to inform iTunes of what you have done and the best way to do that is to create a symlink. This will help iTunes to remember the location of the backups that you have done.

You must pay close attention to this step. It is the most difficult of all the process and it remains the most important. Any error here will invalidate all you have done so far. Moving data to external hard drives would be impossible if you make any mistake here. It is just important that you perform this section or the backup will not be done by iTunes.

The most important thing you must master about this step is that you must have a symblink. It is also called a symbolic link. This simply means that you are in another path for your iTunes, and with this, it can always get to your folder when you need it. This will help it to identify the data and it is like an alias in the iTunes. It uses to remember the data you have backup to the system.

Symlinks is the newest method of doing that. If you know how to use this method, you can achieve that purpose better. Remember that this stage is the most important and you must do that perfectly. There could be older methods of doing that, but this method is unique because it is modern and it can deceive iTunes to facilitate the backup process for you.

The symlinks or symbolic links can be used through Mac’s terminal app to create the wonderful backup you deserve. While you are doing this process, it is important that there could be other people doing the same. With thing great with the process is that both backup name and the backup names are not going to be the same. The essence of using Mac Terminal is to make iTunes think that you are doing a boot drive while you are actually backing your external drive.

It is therefore important that you use the Terminal the correct way if you want to achieve the expected results. Identify the proper pathway and do it that way. Moreover, you must use the correct anatomy for your Terminal. The most common code many people use for this is

ln -s /Volumes/External/ios_backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup/4f1234a05e6e7ccbaddfd12345678f1234b123f

You must know the meaning of the terms used here if you want to achieve the result you want. For instance, In –s is that actually command that informs your system where your information is located.

Volumes on the hand refer to your hard drive, while the external on the other hands refers to the hard drive. This is the generic method, you can decide to name your own anything that suits you and which you can always remember.

Remember however that in that Terminal command that you can change that external whatever you want to name your external drive. The name as said before has to be specific to you and it must be something that you can always remember.

Ios backup refers to that backup folder which you introduced the hard drive. Here is where you have to store that your backup. /Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup on the other hand is simply informing the operating system where you stored the back up.

The most important thing here is that you know what you use the backup and you can always refer to them when it becomes necessary. If you want to transfer everything in the backup, then you can just give it the generic name backup. If on the hands that you are not transferring all the backups, but you want to transfer just a generic backup you have to name it backup for the item you want to transfer. The name given above as said is generic and it is just there to guide you. The best way to do that is to change the folder name to the folder name that you want to transfer. It is better this way.

If space is in the name that you give to the external hard drive, it is recommended that you use the correct coding. The best way to do that is to use a backslash. Do not forget that you must use a capital letter where it becomes necessary that you use it.

Here is the procedure to follow when you doing step three. The first thing that you have to do is to locate Terminal and you can get it using Spotlight.

When you have done that, it is time to type the code you have made. In doing that remember that you must change the name of the hard drive and that on the folder backup and it must now reflect your hard drive name as well as that of the backup folder.

When you do that, you have to complete that process by hitting the Return button and then leave the Terminal.

When you do that, a new folder will appear in the Mobile Sync folder. You can also call this the backup folder, because it has a series of words and numbers that represent your device and you can recognize because of the numbers and words that represent your device. It is certain that it represents the symlink as it features an arrow at the bottom and the left corner of the product.

You now have the backup, but is not necessary that you delete the old file. Before you do that, you must ensure that your setup is properly done and that it is working. If you are convinced that it is working, then you can go ahead and delete the old file since you have backup everything.

How to confirm that everything is working

If you want to confirm that everything you have so far is working, then you must follow these steps.

  • You have to launch the iTunes
  • Secondly connect your iPhone and then back it up
  • Thirdly try to open that iOS backup folder you have in your external drive

Furthermore, ensure that it is just what you have done by checking the date. If the date tallies with what you have done, then you just completed the work.

The best way to confirm that what you have done is working is when the pathway relocation is working perfectly. If you want to delete the old folder, then you can go ahead and do that.

Step 4

When you connect to the iTunes, then you have to disable automatic backup. You can leave it if you are sure that the external hard drive will be connected to your Mac when you are working. Where you do not intend to always have it connected, you can disable the backup. If you do not do that, you will continue to get an error message when you connect the apple product to your Mac operating system. If you want to carry out the disabling, here is how you can go about it.

  1. First, you must launch your iTunes
  2. Secondly, when you have done that, click the appropriate place in your Mac operating system.
  3. Thirdly, preferences that appear from the drop menu and select the Devices tab. When you do that, you have to tick that has the message Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPad from Sync automatically. This is done and you can begin to work with your system.

Most importantly, you should not forget to back up your phone manually when you have it connected to the iTunes and plug your external drive when you do that. If you like, you can also remove the symlink.

These simple processes can guide you in backing up your iPhone to an external hard drive. Once you follow the steps and instructions as provided below, you cannot make any mistake. The most difficult step is the third step and you do that very well, you will not have any issue.

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