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I think I may have unintentionally done something wrong on my laptop. I am using a Windows 10 laptop and had iTunes version 12.6.5.3 installed.

I was updating my old iPhone 6s from iOS 9 to iOS 15. I thought everything was going smoothly when it displayed an error saying iTunes could not update the device unknown error (4). I thought it might be the iTunes version, so I installed the latest version and it updated the iPhone to iOS 15.

But I noticed that I could no longer see the apps which I had on my PC. So, I uninstalled the new version of iTunes and reinstalled version 12.6.3.5. But then it could not find the iTunes Library.itl file. After some reading around, I found a recent version (it had many versions) of it in the Previous iTunes Libraries.

But now I cannot see the backups in iTunes > Edit > Preferences > Device Backups. I can see them in the MobileSync folder, but not via iTunes.

I was going to uninstall iTunes 100% and back up the MobileSync folder and the iTunes Media folder which has all the voice memos, etc., and reinstall version 12.6.3.5 to see if this works.

But I was hoping someone could shed some light on this, maybe there is a workaround for this.

2 Answers 2

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There are two different locations where iTunes stores backups on Windows 10 and 11, for the two different versions of iTunes (direct download from Apple vs the Microsoft App Store.)

Do you have both of these MobileSync\Backup folders?

  1. %appdata%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
  2. %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup

I'd wager you have the backups in the first one (direct from Apple download) but now have iTunes that uses the second one (from the Microsoft App Store). The uninstall & reinstall is supposed to migrate the folders for you, but it doesn't work sometimes. You can try closing iTunes, moving the folders from the one Backup folder to the other, and then reopen iTunes and see if that helps.

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  • Both iTunes were downloaded from Apple. Older version I had saved on my external HD. From what I can see the MobileSync folder is located here C:\Users\Cosmic\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
    – Cosmic
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 0:52
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I think I may have solved it. I uninstalled iTunes and everything associated with it. Restarted the PC. Then installed iTunes 12.6.5.3 again. This time it seemed to work. I can see the back ups again.

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