Where does iTunes store data for iPhone and iPad backups? I know that—on a Mac—the following folder is ostensibly the only location.

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

I actually replaced this with a symlink to an external hard drive to free up space on my laptop, and was thus a bit surprised to find that backing up my iPhone nevertheless continued to decrease the free space on my laptop's hard drive. I eventually discovered that the following folder was the culprit.

~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media

Are there any other folders that iTunes uses for its backups?

  • The ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music path isn't just for backup. The content there (1) allows you to access/play them on your Mac using iTunes, and (2) syncs with devices that you've marked to sync using iTunes (instead of iCloud) saving you from using up download bandwidth again for each iOS device. As you correctly stated, those two paths are where iTunes backup content. Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 1:53
  • There is no application support file in the library on my mac. Where would i find this backup file?
    – user72865
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:52

3 Answers 3


Mobile applications (.ipa files) are stored in the following folder and can take up a lot of space:

~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications

Based on @Strah's response, I did a quick search for "MobileSync" on my mac and found the folder with the backups. You should be able to find yours here:

/Users/(USERNAME)/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

Hope that helps

  • From reading the question it seems that the OP is aware of that but can't find the backup in said folder...
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 14:37
  • @patrix Actually, I was wondering if there were any other folders that iTunes uses for mobile backups. The two I listed above may be the only ones, but I just wanted to check with the community to see whether that is indeed the case. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 2:49

The backup file location on Windows system:

On Windows 7/Vista, the file is stored in: \Users\ (username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

On Win XP, the file stored in: \Documents and Settings\ (username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

  • 2
    Thank you for answering but the question was for Mac OS X and was tagged osx. Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 1:37
  • The file ? You must mean the folder with thousands of files ! Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 14:59

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