Contacts Disappeared from iPhone
The limited 128GB internal storage in my MacBook gets eaten up rapidly with the backups of my iPhone 11 Pro Max and my iPad Air. I'm trying to move iPhone 11 Pro Max backups to an external hard drive through iTunes, as well as the iPad backups, to preserve enough space on the machine. What should I do? Btw, there're plenty of space on the external HD, around 2T I guess.
You've been putting it off, but now you might have to start backing up iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro (Max) to an external hard drive to save space in Mac or Windows computer for some reasons.
Probably you've stored the device content in iCloud to fix up a machine - especially a Mac - running tight on the disk space, but left exhausted by deleting unneeded archives back and forth or upgrading to a paid plan for more iCloud storage. Or you're just hurting for spending long hours on clutters clearance and old backups removal. For whatever's sake, copying iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups to an external hard drive is a truly efficient trick to both keep a physical local archive of your phone and narrow down the SDD storage space that's consumed on a Mac or PC.
How Can I Back up iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) to External Hard Drive
There're mainly two walkthroughs to get the jobs done:
It's worth pointing out that this tutorial is only designed for using external storage to store iPhone (or iPad) backups that saved locally in a computer. You can get detailed information here if you need to manage backups in iCloud.
1. Copy iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) Backups to an External Hard Drive
We'll start with moving iOS backups that take up a lot of space in Mac to external hard drive, followed by doing that in Windows computer. As there're a few tech terms in this part, you're required to read all instructions thoroughly before implementing. If you prefer a jargon-free process of saving iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups to external hard drive, jump straight to the method 2.
Back up iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) to External Hard Drive on Mac
Make sure that you've backed up your phone on the Mac and have both your device and the external hard drive attached to the USB port from the machine.
1 - Create a folder on external hard drive
To start with, create a new folder on your external hard drive and name it iPhoneBackup.
Note: If you get an alert "The backup disk is not in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which is required.", format the external hard drive first. Go to Disk Utility and click your external storage device. Under the Erase tab, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and hit Erase.
2 - Locate the iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups
Now, you should see a folder called Backup, which covers a list of iPhone backup files you've set up. NOTED: You'll risk destroying the backup archives if you intend to extract them from the folder.
3 - Move iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups to External Hard Drive on Mac
Next up, copy the entire Backup folder and paste it on the iPhoneBackup folder that you've created in the first step on the external hard drive. When completed, rename the original Backup folder in Finder OldBackup.
4 - Instruct iTunes (or Finder) to back up iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) to external drive in future
For this, you'll need to create a symlink (a.k.a., symbolic link) to enable iTunes or Finder to reach the required folder on the external hard drive and put the completed backup(s) on it automatically. Keep the external drive connected and do the following:
1. Grant Terminal Full Disk Access
If the screen is locked, hit the Click the lock to make changes at the bottom, type in the system password and choose Unlock.
2. Tell iTunes or Finder to set iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups to an external drive using Terminal
NOTICE: The "External" should be the name of your external hard drive and the "iPhoneBackup" should be the name of the folder made in the first step.
Once done changing the storage location for iPhone backups, you should see a newly provided symlink file named iPhoneBackup in the MobileSync folder. An arrow should locate in the bottom left corner of the file icon.
5 - Trigger a backup to confirm if iTunes or Finder start backing up to external drive
If everything goes well, you can delete the old backups for sparing internal storage in Mac. In case that you want to go back to perform the internal backups, you can type in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup in Spotlight Search and delete the symlink folder easily.
Back up iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) to External Hard Drive on Windows
iTunes iOS backups are filling up the C drive in your Windows laptop or desktop? No fear, as you can also move iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups from iTunes over to an external drive by building a symlink to change the location where iTunes stores them by default and delete them to preserve more free space in the disk. First, create a folder named iPhoneBackup in the external HD, then:
Essential: "Appge" is your Windows username and "External" is the name of the external HD.
If the process is over, navigate to the iPhoneBackup folder in the external hard drive and see if the backup is properly originated with the latest date and time. From now on, the backup(s) you make in iTunes will automatically go to the iPhoneBackup folder on the attached external hard drive.
2. Back up iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) Directly into External Hard Drive
If you're not computer literate or not familiar with either Macs or PCs, it might cost you more than an hour to master the complicated command within the methods above. Or even worse, you just can't figure it out at all, ending up with the knotty issues like:
If you're in urgent need of an efficient and secure way to save iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) backups into an external hard drive, iOS Data Backup & Restore is right at your disposal.
Without relying on iTunes (or Finder) or iCloud, it lets you make direct backups of iDevice onto the external storage accessories within only four steps. Simply keep both the phone and external device plugged in, set the target external drive as the output path, preview the types of data and choose specific one(s) or all of them to archive, then make a copy of iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) on an external HD on a Mac or a PC by hitting one single button. No intimidating command is included.
This lightweight software also delivers an intuitive platform, where you can have an immediate access to view the details of all backed-up photos, documents and other files without consuming any internal space on your machine.
Here's a quick guide on backing up iPhone with an external hard drive. All the steps are the same irrespective of the machine you're using, be it iMacs, MacBooks, or a Windows laptop or desktop.
On a Mac, choose Mac FoneLab in the top left corner and hit Preferences. If you're using a PC, click on the menu button (an icon with three horizontal line) and choose Preferences.
From the popping up screen, hit the icon represented with three dots under the "Backup" section. Then, browse to your external hard drive and press OK to confirm.
Mark Select All option if you need to get a full backup of iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) on an external drive.
One More Thing...
Now, you've got data off iPhone 11 (Pro, Max) and save the copies onto the external hard drive. Should you need to download previous iTunes purchases to the external hard disk drive for backups - music, movies, TV shows, etc., this article could shed some lights on your demands.