How to Backup iPhone to Computer with iTunes or Without iTunes

iPhone Solutions Backup iPhone Posted by Estrella H.| Last Updated: September 16, 2020

Follow this guide to backup iPhone to computer with either iTunes or WinX MediaTrans.

Data backup has been emphasized a lot, but some people still don't make a copy and regret not doing that until their data gets lost or leaked because device is suddenly lost, stolen, damaged or traded in without erasing your important info. iPhone users are very lucky, because Apple offers them two free ways to duplicate their precious data, iTunes and iCloud respectively. The previous one is designed to backup iPhone to computer hard drive, while the latter stores your backup files to cloud. However, iCloud provides 5GB free space only, thus many people would prefer to backup iPhone data to PC/Mac with iTunes. Here you will get detailed instructions to process this.

Update: Along with the arrival of macOS Catalina, iTunes is abandoned by Apple and replaced by Finder to sync iPhone, as well as back iPhone up and archive backups for emergency restores. Check how to back up iPhone with Finder on macOS Catalina & Big Sur. Windows users can still use iTunes as before if they want. Check part 1 below to learn how to backup iPhone to computer with iTunes.

For someone who fed up with iTunes errors and limitations, simply learn how to backup iPhone to computer without iTunes.

WinX MediaTrans makes it easy to backup iPhone to PC without iTunes
backup iPhone files to computer without iTunes
  • Copy iPhone photos, music, videos, voice memos, e-books, and more to PC.
  • Transfer movies, music, and audio books purchased from iTunes to PC.
  • Backup iPhone to multiple computers without data loss.
  • Bonus: remove Apple DRM, make ringtone, turn iPhone as flash drive, etc.

[Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, etc.]

Part 1. How to Backup iPhone Data to Computer Using iTunes?

Preparatory work:
1. Make sure that your iTunes is the latest version. You can check it by going to Help and selecting Check for Updates. If it isn't, download and install the newest version right now.
2. Turn off iCloud on your iPhone, because you're not allowed to backup iPhone data to PC/Mac computer via iTunes if iCloud is enabled. Steps: go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup -> switch off the iCloud Backup.
3. Connect your iPhone to computer via a USB cable. If you're required to input passcode, just do it. Besides, tap Trust or Allow to continue when there's a prompt on whether you trust this computer.

Steps to create iPhone data backup on computer with iTunes:

Step 1. Open iTunes on your computer, and click on the iPhone icon. If iPhone doesn't show up in iTunes, check how to fix it.

Step 2. Click on the Summary tab from the left panel.

Step 3. Go to Backups section. If you don't want to save Health and Activity data, just tap Back Up Now. If you need, you should check the box of Encrypt iPhone backup and type in a memorable password before tapping Back Up Now. Don't plug out iPhone before backup is done.

backup iPhone data to computer with iTunes

Backup creation requires a few minutes to a few hours. It varies with your iPhone's storage capacity, stored files and the speed of your computer's transfer rate.

You can check whether backup is created successfully through iTunes Preferences -> Devices -> Device backups. Then, verify your backup by checking the name of iPhone and the time created.

Where to find iPhone backup on computer?

Right click on the backup file at the Devices Preferences, and then choose Show in Explorer if you're using a Windows PC or select Show in Finder if you're a Mac user.

For Windows, iPhone backup files should be saved in \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\.
For Mac, they can be found at ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/.

Related article: How to Transfer iTunes Backup to New iPhone? || How to Restore iPhone iPad iPod from iTunes?

1. Your data is probably erased if you backup iPhone to more than one computer.
2. An iTunes backup covers nearly all of your iPhone's data and settings, except for content from iTunes Store, App Store and PDFs downloaded directly to iBooks, content synced from iTunes, photos already stored in the cloud, Touch ID settings, Apple Pay information and settings, and possibly Activity, Health and Keychain data.
3. It is unavailable to selectively backup iPhone data to computer.

Part 2. How to Backup iPhone to Computer Without iTunes?

iTunes is a nightmare, especially for Windows users. People have posted many memes about iTunes to vent grievance. Therefore, they wonder how to backup iPhone to computer without annoying iTunes.

A good workaround is WinX MediaTrans which allows you to selectively backup photos, music, videos, voice memos, e-books, iTunes U, and podcasts of iPhone to one or multiple computers without deleting data. iTunes purchases including music, movies and audio books can be transferred to computer as well, and can be decrypted to DRM-free file format for flexible playback if you are willing to do that. >> Check how to remove DRM from iTunes purchases

Specially designed for iOS file management, it isn't as bloated as iTunes. Therefore, it works fast and stably, without errors (e.g. freeze, crash, stuck in half, slow backup). It is very intuitive and well laid out, so anyone will have complete control over it without additional help.

Guide to backup iPhone to computer with WinX MediaTrans:

Preparatory work:
1. Download and install WinX MediaTrans on your computer. This tool is compatible with Windows 10 and lower, both 32 bit and 64 bit systems supported.
2. Connect your iPhone with computer via a supplied USB cable.
3. Check "Prevent iPods, iPads, iPhones from syncing automatically" in iTunes to avoid data loss.


Step 1. Launch WinX MediaTrans. If your iPhone is well connected, you should see your iPhone name, available and total storage, and iOS version. Surprisingly, this tool can backup iPhone to PC without passcode.

Step 2. Choose files of your iPhone for backing up to computer. Take backing up iPhone photos to computer as an example. You should click Photo Transfer, and then get access to a new panel where all your iPhone photos will be loaded immediately and you can browse and select images by day, by month, or by year.

Step 3. Click Export option at the top bar to copy iPhone files to computer right now. It runs badly fast. It only costs 8 seconds to move 100 4K pictures from iPhone to PC, and 1 minute for 1GB video transferring. Once done, you can directly view your iPhone backup files from computer.

Backup iPhone to PC without iTunes/iCloud

WinX MediaTrans is the best iTunes alternative for Windows computer, sporting features iTunes possesses and lacks. In addition to backup iPhone to computer, it can also transfer photos, music, videos, and miscellaneous files from PC to iPhone 12, 11, 11 Pro Max, XS (Max), XR, X, 8, 7, etc. iPad and iPod Touch are supported as well.

Let's start with the simplest way to backup and manage iPhone data now!

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