How to Backup an iPhone to External Hard Drive with Mac OS X: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have a large storage-sized iPhone or iPad, backing up your device locally can eat up valuable disk space. Fortunately, there is a simple solution – backing up your iPhone to an external hard drive. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up your Mac to save iTunes backups to an external drive, freeing up storage space on your computer.

Why Backing Up to an External Hard Drive?

Backing up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to an external hard drive provides more disk space compared to your internal drive. By following this guide, you’ll be able to preserve local disk space and ensure your backups are stored securely.

Step-by-step Guide to Backup iPhone and iPad to External Hard Drive

  1. Close iTunes if it’s open on your Mac.
  2. Connect an external hard drive to your Mac and create a new folder on the drive to store your iTunes backups.
  3. Open Finder, press Command + Shift + G, and enter the path: ~/.Library/Application Support/MobileSync/
  4. Locate the “Backup” folder and copy it to the folder you created in the previous step.
  5. Once the copy is complete, go back to the original location of the “Backup” folder and either rename it to “Backup-Old” or delete it. Make sure to do this only after copying the folder to the external drive.
  6. Open the Terminal application located in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder.
  7. Type the following command, replacing the external drive and folder names if necessary, and press Enter: ln -s /Volumes/FileStorage/iTunesExternalBackupSymLink/Backup/ ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync
  8. Close the Terminal and confirm that the symbolic link has been successfully created by going back to ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ in Finder. You should see a “Backup” folder with an arrow, indicating the link to the specified location on the external hard drive.
  9. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer. Select the device in iTunes, choose “This computer” as the backup location, optionally encrypt the backup, and click “Backup now”.
  10. Once the backup is complete, check the external drive folder to ensure the backup files are present.

That’s it! Going forward, iTunes will automatically back up your iOS devices to the external hard drive instead of your internal drive. Just make sure to keep the external drive connected to your Mac during the backup process.

Benefits of Backup to External Hard Drive with Mac OS X

  • This guide is free to access and provides step-by-step instructions.
  • It helps users efficiently manage storage space on their Macs.
  • Backing up to an external hard drive provides an extra layer of security for your important data.


1. What devices are supported for this backup method?

This guide is applicable to all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

2. Can I use this method on both macOS and iOS?

Yes, this backup method is compatible with both macOS and iOS.

By utilizing an external hard drive to backup your iPhone, you can free up valuable disk space on your Mac while ensuring your data is safely stored. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or need additional assistance.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Best Telemedicine Software: for your healthcare practice

Telemedicine software has transformed my healthcare visits. It's fantastic for patients and doctors since they can obtain aid quickly. I...
Read more
I love microlearning Platforms in today's fast-paced world. Short, focused teachings that engage me are key. Microlearning platforms are great...
Think of a notebook on your computer or tablet that can be changed to fit whatever you want to write...
As of late, Homeschool Apps has gained a lot of popularity, which means that an increasing number of...
From what I've seen, HelpDesk software is essential for modern businesses to run easily. It's especially useful for improving customer...
For all of our important pictures, stories, and drawings, Google Drive is like a big toy box. But sometimes the...