Before migrating to macOS Catalina, if I had old iOS device backups, I was able to remove them via the Preference window of the iTunes app. Now, the iTunes app is gone.

The backup files still reside in ~/Library/Application Support/MoibleSync and are eating up a huge amount of disk space (200GB+ in my case, since I have multiple devices).

In macOS Catalina, where can I access the UI which allows me to see available device backups, so that I can safely and selectively remove them?

2 Answers 2


There is a way to delete old backups in Catalina, it's just in a really weird area. From the  menu go to "About This Mac", then to the "Storage" tab, click on the "Manage ..." button and then click on the "iOS Files" item in the sidebar. (Credit to this site https://www.howtogeek.com/665890/how-to-delete-iphone-and-ipad-backups-on-a-mac/. They also have nice step by step pictures too.)

  • This looks weird but it looks like a reasonable way to do. thanks.
    – shigeya
    May 30, 2020 at 4:19

Starting with macOS Catalina, iOS device sync support has been moved from iTunes into the Finder app. iTunes app itself has been discontinued, and the iTunes media library now made available in standalone Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts.

This Apple Support document lists the steps to access the iOS device backups on macOS Catalina:

To find a specific backup:

  1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open the Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes. Click your device.

  2. In Finder, under the General tab, click Manage Backups to see a list of your backups. From here, you can right-click on the backup that you want, then choose Show in Finder, or you can select Delete or Archive. In iTunes, choose Preferences, then click Devices. From here, you can right-click on the backup that you want, then choose Show in Finder, or you can select Delete or Archive.

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Once located, you can delete a backup file like you normally delete any file in Finder.

  • Thank you very much. But it will be available only if I plug the device. that was a trick. I usually don't sync with iTunes lately. There were old backups during 2015-2018 which synced from old devices I'm not using anymore.
    – shigeya
    Feb 19, 2020 at 11:20
  • 1
    Yes, iOS integration with the Mac generally requires you to have the device attached to the computer to access any files or settings related to that device. I find that annoying. Unfortunately Apple does not care about what I find annoying. I would imagine that is true for the rest of us, as well... Feb 19, 2020 at 14:42
  • @SteveChambers nice use of "generally". cough... sync over Wi-Fi... cough
    – anki
    Feb 19, 2020 at 16:06
  • 1
    @shigeya You can just delete those backups from the ~MobileSync/Backups folder, it won't affect anything. Just make sure to check the date of the backup and not to delete any important fresh backup.
    – Minorite
    Feb 20, 2020 at 8:34

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