Backup & Restore

Backup & Restore

How to...

View the contents of an iPhone or iPad's backup

View the contents of an iPhone or iPad's backup

iPhone and iPad backups contain nearly all your mobile data. They are a great way to make sure that your data is safe - lose your phone, and you'll be up and running in no time on a new one if you have a recent backup at hand.

But what if you need to access data from a backup quickly, without restoring it to a device? Or access and export data that is only available in backups, like Messages? Apple's iOS backup format is not human readable, and you'll need a dedicated software to do just that. Browsing backups in iMazing is 100% free, so there's no reason not to give it a go!

And if you've made your backups with iMazing, you'll have the option to choose between multiple snapshots of your devices (unlike iTunes, which only keeps one backup per device.)

Before you begin

Download and install iMazing on your Mac or PC computer

What content can I browse in a Backup?

If your device is not connected to your computer by USB or Wi-Fi, you'll still be able to browse its backup.

The following datasets are available when browsing a backup:
Messages iconPhone iconAddressBook iconNotes iconAppsCamera iconPhotos iconVoiceMemos iconFile System icon

When browsing a backup, you can browse your device's File System - even if it's encrypted. And there's no need to jailbreak your device!

For more information, see:


Browse Device Backup

To browse a device's backup:

  1. In the sidebar, select your device. iMazing's device view with device selected
  2. In the upper toolbar, click Backups. This will open the Backups List.
    iMazing's backup list
  3. In the Backups List, select the backup that you want to browse. iMazing's backup list with backups selected
  4. Click the View button.
    iMazing's backup list with view button selected
  5. You have now entered your device's Backup Browsing View, and you can view its content as it was when the backup was made. iMazing's backup browsing view

Switch back to current state

To switch back to a device's current state:

  1. In the upper toolbar, click the Backups button. This will open the Backups List. iMazing's backup browsing view with backup list selected
  2. In the backups list, select the current state. iMazing's backup list with current state selected
  3. Click the View button. iMazing's backup list with view button selected
  4. You are now back to Device View iMazing's device view

💡Tip: You can quickly switch to the current state by right-clicking your device in the sidebar and selecting Switch to Connected Device

What to keep in mind

In the sidebar, devices listed under the Available Devices section are currently connected, or can potentially be connected to via Wi-Fi.

All other devices listed in the sidebar are not connected. When you select one of those devices, iMazing displays the contents of its most recent backup. To view a different backup for that device, choose one from the Backups List.

When browsing a backup from the backup list, you'll notice changes in iMazing's interface: iMazing's backup browsing view with interface changes highlighted a. Sidebar - device is greyed out with a backup connection icon
b. Backup lists - button indicates the date and time of backup
c. Backup actions are available
d. Backups details - device thumbnail is in black and white
e. Disk usage - bar is full and shows how much space is being used by the backup.