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How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive on Windows 10/11

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Backing up your iPhone regularly is necessary, particularly if you don’t want to lose your data in the event that your iPhone malfunctions. However, iPhone backups typically take up a significant amount of storage space, ranging from a few gigabytes to tens of gigabytes. If your iCloud storage is getting limited and you do not want to take up space on your computer, backing up your iPhone to an external hard drive is a good choice. This article will demonstrate how to back up your iPhone directly to an external hard drive using a Windows 10/11 computer.

Method 1: Backup iPhone directly to external hard drive with iSumsoft BackupTo

iSumsoft BackupTo is one of the most effective ways to back up your iPhone directly to an external hard drive on your Windows 10/11 PC without using iTunes. This is a specialized iPhone backup tool that allows you to backup your iPhone directly to an external hard drive and restore the backup from the external drive to your iPhone when needed. The tool has the following main features:

  • Back up iPhone on Windows PC without using iTunes or iCloud.
  • Back up your entire iPhone or just the data you want.
  • Let you choose the path where you want to save your iPhone backup.
  • Let you encrypt your iPhone backup with a password.
  • Transfer data directly between two iPhones without prior backup.

Download and install iSumsoft BackupTo on your Windows 10/11 computer, then follow the steps below to back up your iPhone directly to your external hard drive.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to a USB port of your computer via a USB adapter.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to another USB port of your computer via a USB cable, and then tap Trust on your iPhone screen if prompted.

Step 3: Launch iSumsoft BackupTo, and it will automatically detect your iPhone and displays its information. Make sure the Back Up option on the left is selected, and then click Next to proceed.

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Step 4: If you want to back up everything on your iPhone, choose Full Backup; otherwise, choose Classified Backup and check the data you want to backup. Then, click the Choose button to choose your external hard drive as the path to save your iPhone backup. Finally, click the Start button and the software will immediately start backing up your iPhone to your external hard drive.

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Step 5: Wait for a while until the software page shows Backup Succeeded, and then you can go to your external hard drive to view your iPhone backup.

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Method 2: Backup iPhone to external hard drive using iTunes

Another option is to use iTunes on your Windows 10/11 PC to back up your iPhone to an external hard drive. By default, iTunes backs up your iPhone to your computer’s OS drive, but you can change the backup location to an external hard drive using Windows commands. Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1: Change iTunes backup location to external hard drive.

Connect the external hard drive to your computer, then open and create a new folder on it to save iPhone backups. You can name the new folder iPhoneBackup for easier identification.

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Open File Explorer and make sure the Hidden Items option under the View tab is selected. Then, navigate to the default iTunes backup location on your PC and rename the Backup folder, for example to OldBackup.

  • If you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store, the default iTunes backup location is: C:\Users\{USERNAME}\Apple\MobileSync\Backup.
  • If you downloaded iTunes from the browser, the default backup location is: C:\Users\{USERNAME}\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer\MobileSync\Backup.

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Open Command Prompt as administrator, then enter the command: mklink /J “Default Backup Path” “New Backup Path”. You need to replace Default Backup Path with your actual default backup path and New Backup Path with the new backup folder path you created on your external hard drive, for example the actual command I need to enter is: mklink /J “C:\Users\Madge\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “F:\iPhoneBackup”. Once you have finished typing the command, press Enter and you’ve successfully changed iPhone backup location to your external hard drive.

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Step 2: Backup iPhone to external hard drive using iTunes.

Open iTunes and it will automatically detect your iPhone. Click the small phone icon in the left top to enter the Summary tab.

Locate the Backups section, choose This Computer, and then click Back Up Now. If prompted, enter your passcode on your iPhone screen to start the backup.

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iTunes will start backing up your iPhone to your external hard drive, and you just have to wait for the backup to finish.

Can you backup iPhone to external hard drive without computer?

Sometimes you may not want to use a computer, or you don’t have one. So, can back up your iPhone to an external hard drive without using your computer? The answer is yes. One of the most straightforward methods is to connect the external drive directly to your iPhone using a compatible USB-C cable or adapter.

Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to the charging port of your iPhone using a USB-C cable or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter/Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.

Step 2: Go to the Photos app, select the photos you want to backup, and then tap the Share icon in the lower left corner.

Step 3: Select Save to Files, select your external hard drive, and tap Save. Your selected photos will be copied directly to your external hard drive from your iPhone.

If you don’t have a suitable USB-C cable or adapter to connect the external drive directly to your iPhone, you can first upload files to a cloud storage drive such as iCloud or Google drive. Then, download the files to your computer. Finally, copy and paste the files to your external hard drive.

Conclusion:

Backing up your iPhone to an external hard drive is sometimes a better option. With iSumsoft BackupTo or iTunes on your Windows 10/11 computer, you can back up your iPhone directly to an external hard drive with just a few clicks. If you have a cable or adapter to connect the external hard drive directly to your iPhone, you can back up your iPhone to the external hard drive without using a computer.

 

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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