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What method of browsing the root filesystem is least likely to make any modifications to it? Hooking to a pc is an option. Jailbreaking is not an option for this question.

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You cannot access the root filesystem without jailbreaking the device. At best, you can only access parts of your mobile account but not root. – user10355 Mar 18 '13 at 8:34
If your device is still iOS 6, plugging it in on Ubuntu 12.04 (maybe earlier Ubuntu versions too) will allow you to browse the entire AFP file system. I haven't tried this with iOS 7 and I don't think it works, but maybe some upgrades will help. – Sridhar-Sarnobat Apr 10 at 21:10
@Sridhar-Sarnobat - This is interesting. How can I access an iPhone in iOS 6 on a Mac? – Nicolas Barbulesco Oct 26 at 23:17
Unfortunately I don't know any way to do it on Mac. – Sridhar-Sarnobat Oct 26 at 23:18

4 Answers 4

Despite the fact Steve Jobs didn't support this idea because it's making things complicated for the users, there are some apps which will allow you to do so.

There is i-FunBox which allows you to browse through your iPhone files on your Mac. And if you're a Windows user, you've more options. There is iPhoneBrowser or iPhone Folders.
All of these solutions will allow you to browse the iPhone file systems using your computer.

If you want to be able to browse on your iPhone yourself, I'm afraid I only know one solution, called iFile. But this is only accessible on a jailbroken device...

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iFunbox just crashes when I launch it. – Nicolas Barbulesco Oct 26 at 23:50
The older version of iFunBox works, but does not give me access to the full file system. I am looking for a Safari file, but no access. – Nicolas Barbulesco Oct 26 at 23:58

Sorry to break the news...but...

You cannot reach the root directory without something being compromised on the phone itself. You may be able to access your music/photos/ringtones, but the root directory is off-limits to non-jailbroken iPhone users.

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I'm using DiskAid which is a good file manager to access the iPhone file system from your desktop Mac or Windows. You can connect to your device through Wi-Fi or USB, access your App contents, Music, SMS etc. Transfers are stable and reliable, for example if you disconnect your USB cable during a transfer the transfer will automatically continue via Wi-Fi.

The root file system is accessible in DiskAid but as the other similar solutions only if your device is jailbroken.

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Please have a look at the FAQ, especially the part about self-promotion. Also, "best" is a relative term, maybe you can elaborate a bit on the features you like and use? – patrix May 9 '13 at 7:36
iMazing, which replaces the older DiskAid product, looks to be pretty solid -- although it carries a US $30 price tag after a 15-day free trial. – Jon Schneider Nov 14 '14 at 15:56
This link gives iMazing. But iMazing does not work on Mac OS X 10.6.8. Too bad! – Nicolas Barbulesco Oct 26 at 23:37

Theres more than 1 option. Download dropcopy on your iPhone. Press the circle. Press preview. Press Root Filesystem. There you go! You don't have to be jail broken.

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FYI - I believe this requires iOS 8. – Sridhar-Sarnobat Apr 10 at 21:11
the drop copy doesn't work, i am currently working on a way to make it possible to install AFC2(Apple File Conduit 2) without jailbreak that will allow you access to root files without jailbreak – kekemeke godspower May 28 at 17:07
What is "dropcopy"? – Nicolas Barbulesco Oct 26 at 23:21

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