How to Backup and Restore iPhone to External Hard Drive

Is it possible to backup iPhone data to an external hard drive? The answer is Yes. This article shows you how to backup and restore iPhone to external hard drive.


• Filed to: Backup iPhone • Proven solutions

We love our iPhones, don't we? From clicking selfies to flashing our iPhones and making our friends jealous, it's probably our most beloved possessions. But they are not all flashy and flawless all the time; issues do exist, which are quite annoying. One of them is iPhones not backing up to iCloud.

So disturbing, I KNOW! With all the shiploads of selfies, memes, GIFs, our favorite playlists, and whatnot, we need to back everything up just in case we lose them.

Fortunately, iCloud is there to do just that, but for issues like improper Wi-Fi connectivity, account verification issues, or lack of storage space, it often fails to back up. Thus, you resort to backing everything up on an external hard drive. So, if you're wondering how to perform an iPhone backup to external hard drive, look no more!

If you want to know the tips about itunes backup to external hard drive, click here Backup iTunes to an External Hard Drive

Part 1: How to Backup & Restore iPhone to External Hard Drive

Those of you wondering how to backup iPhone to an external hard drive, just follow these 3 steps accordingly, and it will be done.

1. Backup iPhone to an External Hard Drive

Step 1 Prepare your Hard Drive

backup iphone to external drive

Step 2 Backing up iTunes and Terminal

backup iphone to external drive

Step 3 Quit Terminal and Launch iTunes to Backup

quit terminal and launch itunes to backup

Tada! So, in these few steps, your question on how to backup iPhone to external hard drive is finally answered!

2. Restore iPhone from an External Hard Drive

After the backup iPhone to external hard drive is done, you may want to restore the data (obviously). Let's take a look at how to do that.

Step 1: Exit iTunes on your PC where you plan to restore the iTunes library backup.

Step 2: Next, connect the external hard drive and open it on your computer. Go to Finder on Mac or My Computer on Windows to find it.

Step 3: Find the iTunes folder and drag it from the hard drive to its PC location.

Step 4: Hold the Option key and launch iTunes.

Step 5: A window will pop up, which will ask you to either Quit, Create Library or Choose Library. Select "Choose Library".

Step 6: Locate the iTunes folder that you just restored, click "Choose" and select the iTunes Library.itl file, and launch iTunes.

Thus, after backing up iPhone directly to an external hard drive, you can easily restore data by following these steps!

Part 2: How to Backup & Restore iPhone to Computer

After you've done the ‘backup iPhone to external hard drive' part, if you still can't restore data, go for dr.fone - Phone Backup (iOS), the best alternative solution. Compatible with all versions of iOS, including iOS 11, dr.fone will easily help you backup all your data and also restore them! Let's take a look at some of its features.

dr.fone - Phone Backup

Key Features of dr.fone - Phone Backup:

  • You can read, preview, select, and restore the data you have backed up with dr.fone. All the data is under your control!
  • Backup and restore your iPhone with just one click! Whenever you need the data, they are easily available for restoring from dr.fone!
  • Supported file types that you can restore include contacts, photos, messages, media files, WhatsApp chats, call history, and lots more!
  • Supported iOS devices including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. (iPhone 8 and iPhone X supported)
2,965,271 people have downloaded it

For understanding the method of how to backup and restore iPhone to external hard drive, you need to follow the guide provided below.

Step 1 Launch The Software

Download and install dr.fone on your Mac computer and then launch the application. The start screen has listed all features in this toolbox, tap "Phone Backup" menu from the main interface.

launch dr.fone

Step 2 Tap Backup

Connect the iPhone and conputer, there are two buttons, click 'Backup' to start scanning your iPhone.

backup iphone

Step 3 Select the File

Select the types of data that you want to backup, you can also click 'Select all' to backup completely.

extract iphone data to computer

Step 4 Preview the Backed up Files

Wait for the backing up process ends. The files that you have selected will be stored on your computer. You can also preview them on your computer.


This article has focused on backing up and restoring data from the iPhone to a hard drive. If you find this article is helpful, please share this article with you friends or follow us on Facebook, Twitter to get more helpful tips.


staff Editor

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