How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive | Follow the Best Guide of 2021



What fun is having an iPhone if you don’t have pictures on it? Right. If you are worried about memory, then backup iPhone to external hard drive and keep all your old photos safe there to make more space on your device for pictures from the outings and the brunches, and the movie nights you are going to attend. 

If you take a survey with the question “Why did you get an iPhone?” Most of the answers from it would resemble “to click pictures.” I am not kidding. Most people buy iPhones to click the perfect pictures and upload them to their Instagram feed. For what? 

The answer is simple to get more followers and increase their Instagram engagement. But with so many pictures and videos, the device memory often ends up getting full. You can’t delete the images because they are essential. So, what do you do? Simple, you backup iPhone to external hard drive and keep all your data safe and protected. 

Now backing up the data to external sources from an iPhone may sound like a challenge. However, with our easy-to-follow guide, you will end up completing the process in just a few minutes and thank us later. 

How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive?

Backing up your data to an external hard drive may seem like a simple task, but doing it when you have an iPhone can get complicated and lead to failure and data loss. You need to complete the process with extra attention and focus. Once you are done with the backup, don’t run and delete your old iOS backup. 

#1 Steps to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive 

Always make sure that your iTunes account is set to back up from an external hard drive and then move forward. Now without wasting time, read through the steps below and backup iPhone to external hard drive. 

Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive
  • Please take out your hard drive and connect it to your Mac. 
  • Open the folder on your system and then move to the backup folder you wish to select. 
  • You can find the backup folder from your iTunes account or the Finder window. 
  • The account is named after a combination of random letters and alphabets, so it will be easy to locate it. 
  • Drag and drop the backup folder to your external source. 
  • Once you drop the folder, your system will ask you to enter the password. 
Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive
  • Enter your Admin password and then change the folder name to Backup for your convenience. 
  • Once you get done with this step, enter your password again to confirm the action. 

This part of the process is complete. Now let’s move onto the other part, where you will have to create a path between your iTunes account and the external hard. After doing this, all your future backups to the hard drive will be done externally. This path is also known as a Symbolic link for iTunes. 

Before you do this, follow the quick steps below to ensure that you have allowed Full Disk Access for Terminal. Remember, if you are using the macOS Mojave, you will have to turn on the access manually. 

Full Disk Access for Terminal
  • Open System Preferences on your laptop and go to Security & Privacy.
  • From there, move to Privacy and enter your Admin password to unlock. 
  • Please turn on the Full Disk Access option by tapping on it. 
  • Use the + button to add the terminal to the list of apps that have full access permission. 

Now that you have enabled the access, you are ready to move on to the next step. Here you have to type every word with precise attention and utmost focus. Open the terminal on your Mac via Spotlight and type the following command without and rush. 

ln-s/Volumes/External/ios_backup~/Library/Application\Support/MobileSync/Backup/ 4f1234a05e6e7ccbaddfd12345678f1234b123f

Now there can be areas where you will have to rename this command. The Externalhere stands for the name of your hard drive. Change this part as per the name, and the last part of the sequence that starts from 4f and ends with 3f, it stands for your folder name. So, change it accordingly.

Once you get done with renaming and matching your command, tap on Return and quit the Terminal window. Go to the Mobilesync folder and look for a symlink file with an arrow icon in the bottom life corner. If the folder is there, that means you have performed the procedure in the right way.  

#2 How to Check the External Hard Drive Backup Process?

Perform this small test to ensure that your backup process has worked successfully. Follow the steps to see what you have to do to perform the test. 

Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive
  • Please take out your iPad or iPhone and connect it to your Mac. 
  • Go to the iTunes app or open your device via Finder. 
  • Select the Back Up now option. 
  • Once the backup is complete, go to the backup folder on your hard drive. 
  • Check the date and time of your last backup. If it matches correctly, you have got nothing to worry about. 
  • Once you perform all the steps above, you are good to go and delete your old backups. 


Here is how you can perform the task of backup iPhone to external hard drive. I know the process and the steps can be overwhelming, but once you do this, you won’t have to worry about managing your device space and the performance of your Mac system.