How to Archive Your iPhone’s iTunes Backup to Prevent It from Being Overwritten

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If you’re an iPhone user, it’s a good idea to regularly backup your device to iTunes. One way to do this is through iCloud. But, of course, the free version of iCloud only comes with so much storage, so sometimes a more practical route might be to backup your iOS device to your computer’s hard drive.

Of course, if you continually backup your device, older backup files are in danger of being overwritten by new ones in iTunes. To prevent this from happening, you can archive old backups in the macOS version of iTunes. Here’s how to do it.

How to Archive a Backup on Mac

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Devices.
  3. From here, you’ll see a list of available backups.
  4. To safeguard a particular backup, right-click it and select Archive. The backup will then be marked with the specific time and date that it was archived.

Once you do that, your archived backup will be available in the Preferences section of iTunes — even if your device isn’t plugged in. To restore from an archived backup of your phone, in iTunes, just go to File > Devices > Restore from Backup, and select the particular backup you want to restore from.

An important note: the above method only works for iTunes users on Mac. To archive a backup on the Windows version of iTunes, follow these steps.

How to Archive a Backup on a Windows PC

  1. Open iTunes, and backup your phone.
  2. Open File Explorer, and click on Local Disk.
  3. Click on Users, and then your username.
  4. Click on the AppData folder — if you don’t see the folder, it’s because it’s hidden. To fix that, click on View in File Explorer and ensure that the box next to Hidden items is checked.
  5. Navigate through Roaming > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.
  6. Here, you’ll see your backup folder — it’ll be named with a long string of random characters.
  7. To “archive it” and ensure it won’t get overwritten, just rename it — it’s smart to include the date in the folder name so you know exactly when the backup is from.
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