I had a near death experience this weekend. After purchasing a new 13" MacBook Pro I migrated all my data from my old MacBook Pro over to the new one and in the process with iTunes auto-backup/auto-sync I almost lost all of my iPhone data. By going back to a full back up that I preformed right before the migration I was able to recover the iPhone data but it was too scary for comfort.

By default iTunes keeps only one backup of the iPhone or iPad data. I would feel a lot more comfortable if I knew that I had at least one archive version of my data. Is there a way to create and save multiple backups? If so how is it done?



6 Answers 6


Well, there is always the option to copy the contents of

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

to some other place on a regular basis.

  • Hi Patrix, that is an option. I would really like to see something a little more robust.
    – forrest
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 13:38

In iTunes, choose Preferences. Next, choose the Devices tab. You'll be presented with a list of Device backups. Select the most recent backup for the device in question. Invoke the popup menu for that backup; three choices are available. Select Archive and the backup will be archived with date and timestamp.

Now you have an archive that won't be overwritten on the next backup cycle. Do this with every backup you want to archive and you'll have a library of multiple backups.

See example here: enter image description here


Is there a way to create and save multiple backups? If so how is it done?

Other than manually or programmatically copying the files from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup to some other location, Time Machine is your best solution here, and will provide months of mobile device backups. You are running Time Machine on your Mac, yes? If not, a small external USB hard disk is really cheap insurance. Purchase 2 of them and have rotating backups. Keep one drive off-site for peace of mind.


Using the latest realise of 3rd party soft DiskAid you can keep versions of your backups by choosing the Backup & Archive feature. Backup & Archive

...and also define whichever location you want to store those.

Choose backup location

  • How can this software be used to solve the problem stated in the question? Also, please have a look at apple.stackexchange.com/help/behavior, especially the part about self-promotion.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 11:17
  • 2
    This is what I honestly try to explain here I believe: showing a way to create multiple versions of the iPhone backups packaged in archives files - it is true that this happens to be also promoting our own soft in a way. It's because the latter is designed to do things iTunes do not do and that we need as users ourselves (and apparently and given the question raised other do :)
    – Vic
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 11:39

Correct me if I'm wrong but I have a mac and I have never had to manually save or copy multiple back-ups to iTunes. This has always been done automatically. When I click to restore a previous back-up, I have the ability to select which one I would like to restore. I once restored five different back-ups (some were from several months to almost a year earlier) in the same night.


As far as I know, you can't have multiple iPhone backups on one and the same computer unless, you create multiple iTunes libraries and back up the iPhone via a new library each time (which is in itself a PIA). On PC there is a workaround worth checking out

How to save multiple iPhone backups without overwriting the old ones

but the method uses neither iTunes, nor iCloud.

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