Home > Resources > How to back iPhone 8 Plus data up onto an external hard drive

How to Back Up iPhone 8 (Plus) to an External Hard Drive Effortlessly

Blake Sullivan Updated on Apr 15, 2022 3:31 PM

Nowadays, backing smartphone has become a necessary and commonplace task. This gives you a backup of the important data on the device in case things go wrong. Speaking of your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, you have a list of choices to choose from in order to get the data backed up, and one of the most common suggested ways is using external hard drive.

Unlike traditional flash drive and internal HDD on computer, external hard drive offers a handy, fast and flexible way to carry large amounts of data.

A fast way: back up iPhone 8/ Plus to external HDD by Fonelab

It's far and away our pick for the best backup tool to at your disposal — Fonelab (iOS Data Backup & Restore). All-around, dependable, user-friendly, this utility performs ahead of the similar packs on backup work from iOS to the internal storage (computer) or even to an external storage (external HDD), while equipping with the excellent iOS data recovery function. It has been designed from the ground up for user experience, and saves you from the complicated operation steps, allowing you to make backups of iPhone 8 data on a computer or external storage based on the file type in simply a few steps.

Other than the configuration of iOS Data Backup & Restore, this suite provides iOS users with repair feature for fixing iPhone issues covering frozen, broken screen, or stuck in Apple logo screen, on a restart loop, and so on.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

Well, it's time to view the guide over how to complete the iPhone 8 to external drive backup. Before you jump right in and start backing up, do not forget to get your EHD connected to computer.

Step 1: Connect iPhone and PC

Run the software, and get your smartphone plugged into the PC machine via a lightning cable. On the app screen, move over to the bottom left corner and select More tools.

Then you should see a new window, where you can choose iOS Data Recovery, iOS Data Backup & Restore, or iOS System Recovery. Obviously, here you should select iOS Data Backup & Restore.

Now, move on to the top right corner of the window, and press the sign which is made up of three horizontal lines. Then press Preferences.

You'll see a mini screen, allowing you to set up the location of your iPhone 8 to external HDD backup file. In order to set it: click the three-dot button from Backup column, and choose a folder on your external hard drive to store backup file. Then click OK.

Select iOS Data Backup. Once you have entered into a new interface, you should decide to encrypt your backup or not. You will be provided with two options — Standard backup and Encrypted backup. If you wish to set up an encryption for the backup file, just select Encrypted backup, press Start, input the password and click on OK to confirm.

If you're not required an encryption, you can check Standard backup and then choose Start button.

Note: If you want to add an encryption, it's better to set a memorable password for your backup file to avoid forgetting it. When you forget the password, you can not access the backup file.

Step 2: Choose files to be moved and begin backup job

The app will start to present some iPhone file types on the window. You can navigate through these types and select your goal file type to save on the computer. Of course, you can have Select All checked if you're going to do back up all files showed on the screen to the external hard drive.

With your files types picked, click Next. After a moment, the program will start backing up iPhone 8 contents onto the external hard drive.

Once the backup process is done, you will be greeted with a window which shows "Congratulations!" You can directly close the window, or choose Backup More (or Restore iOS Data) as needed.

Note: Pay attention to keeping the connection between your EHD and Windows or Mac computer in the entirely procedure. If the connection is interrupted, the backup comes a failure.

Move iPhone 8 backup to external hard drive by command way

iTunes can also be a good bet as long as you don't mind consuming time. This service assists you to complete general iPhone backup work while still being possible to backing iPhone 8 files up to an portable hard drive. To create backups on an external HDD, you need to tell iTunes where those backups will be relocated by creating a Symbolic link. Don't worry, next we will teach you the detailed steps.

Obviously, you should plug the external HDD into the computer whether you are on a Mac or PC. And keep your hard drive name in mind, including punctuation and spacing since the name will be used in creating a Terminal pathway.

On Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15/ later:

  • Create a new folder on your external hard drive that you want backups to now go. Name it like iPhoneBackup
  • Type "~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync" into Spotlight on Mac to navigate to yout backup.
  • Rename the backup to OldBackup.
  • Drag the OldBackup folder into iPhoneBackup folder which is on external HDD.
  • Click on  Applications > Utilities to activate Terminal. Then input symlink: ln –s /Volumes/Your External Drive Name/iPhoneBackup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
  • Hit Return on the keyboard.

On Windows or a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14/ earlier:

Firstly, you should trigger the search bar on PC or Mac. To find it: just click Start in Windows 7. On windows 8, head to Start and click the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner. In Windows 10, press Windows + X, and then choose Search or directly press Windows + S on keyboard.

  • Build a new folder on your external hard drive named MobileSync.
  • In the search bar of computer, input: %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync or %USERPROFILE%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup (for Microsoft store iTunes users)
  • Press Enter on keyboard and find the backup file called Backup. Remember the path of your file, it should be: C:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup or C:\Users\Your UserName\Apple\MobileSync (for Microsoft store iTunes users)
  • Cut and paste Backup file to MobileSync folder on external drive.
  • Run the Run box by pressing Windows + R, and then type cmd in it.
  • In the command window, type this: MkLink /J "C:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "E:\MobileSync\Backup" . "E" is the letter that your computer assign to your external hard drive.
  • Press Enter key and close the window.


Although using a Symbolic link to change a storage location seems a proper plan. It shouldn't be the best or easiest answer for that. In case you pursue a fast and stable method to make a backup of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus to an external hard drive, Fonelab should be the most to do this.

By clicking "Agree" you allow cookies that improve your experience on our site, help us analyze site performance and usage. See Cookies policy.Agree