Someone posted this question before giving the following location as the directory

 ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

I am downloading the latest version right now and it is NOT in this directory. I've tried a system wide search for the .ipsw extention and checked to make sure it wasn't hidden, nothing has worked. Does anyone know where the files are actually being stored? All software and OS are up to date as of 12-15-15..

  • If you are currently downloading, and the download has not finished, it will be in a temporary file (probably buried somewhere in /var/folders). Once the file is downloaded and confirmed, then it is moved to its "final" location.
    – Kent
    Dec 16, 2015 at 4:45
  • I could see that being the case since I'm still downloading it but. About 3 weeks ago I downloaded the 9.1 version and wanted to save it. After downloading I went to that location "~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates" and it wasn't there, just downloaded it and couldn't find it. I even verified the file was good to go in Tunes. The only thing I had/have in that folder is a "iTunes Plug-ins"folder. Dec 16, 2015 at 5:25
  • If the only folder you see is iTunes Plug-ins, then make sure you are actually in your user specific iTunes folder (/Users/USER/Library/iTunes). Typically, only seeing that folder would indicate you are in the system's version of the folder (/Library/iTunes). Dec 16, 2015 at 5:43
  • Thanks #netherlinks I'm already on to that now but I appreciate the input just the same. Dec 17, 2015 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


The file should be in ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates not /Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

The first is your personal User Library, the second is the System Library.
The tilde ~ sign is an abbreviation recognised by the System meaning Boot Drive/Users/Your Name/ & saves having to know the names of the boot drive & current user.
It's kind of the Mac equivalent of using %appdata% in Windows to find the current user's Roaming folder - an environment variable.

By default ~/Library is hidden, so delving down the file hierarchy manually you won't find it.

You can get to ~/Library from the Finder > Go menu if you hold Opt ⌥ whilst selecting the folder, but if you have a specific destination, I find it easier to Go directly there…

  • In Finder, Cmd ⌘ N for New window
  • Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ G for Go…
  • Copy/paste ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates including the tilde ~ & hit Enter ⌅
  • Perfect man, you got it! Thanks, I knew something had to be going on when every article kept pointing to the same location. It's crazy though that literally ALL the articles asking this question, at least the 5-10 I found NEVER specify that if's the "USERS" library, and the directory is hidden.... That is some useful information.. And, most people describe the ~ as signifying your boot drive, NOT your user root on that boot drive, the "appdata" was a perfect comparison. Thankts a lot @Tetsujin, I appreciate it man. I was starting to think my system was crazy.. Dec 16, 2015 at 16:21
  • While trying to figure this out I did come across a VERY convenient way to hide/un-hide files on your MAC if you'd have any interest, as a way of thanks. Dec 16, 2015 at 16:23
  • Glad it made it all clear :) The 2 ways I know to hide things on mac are adding a dot to the name, or using chflags...
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2015 at 17:29
  • 1
    Ha, yes indeed,, similar. Well it looks like we're both good to go then. Thanks again @ tetsujin Dec 17, 2015 at 15:48
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    @EJMak - that's probably worth a new question. I only ever keep the current one, old ones wouldn't ever re-authorise anyway once Apple closed the signing window.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 6, 2018 at 6:36

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