How to Backup iPhone/iPad to an External Drive

By Emily Watson, Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You Need to Backup iPhone/iPad Immediately

It is important to backup your iPhone or iPad files from time to time, because this can save you from data loss of your iOS devices. In daily life, we could lose iPhone files on many unexpected occasions, such as the iOS 11 upgrade failure, factory resetting, jailbreak failure, white Apple logo screen of death and most possibly, the accident deletion. So, it is urgent to backup your iPhone and iPad to external hard drive, computer, iTunes or iCloud.

Tips: Not only iPhone needs to be backed up to external drive, more and more computer users choose to backup operating system to external drives avoid data loss. Learn more how to backup Windows 10 to external drive with Windows backup software.

How to Backup iPhone or iPad to External Drive

We have previously shown you:

In this post, we continue to discuss how to back up your iPhone to external hard drive to save space on your iDevice.

When it comes to backing up iOS device to external drive, I strongly recommend FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore and  FonePaw iOS Transfer.

Backup iPhone/iPad to an External Drive via iOS Data Backup & Restore

FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore enables you to do a backup for your iPhone 8/8 Plus selectively or entirely. What's more, it can protect your backup with a customized password while other tools may not do. Now, I will show you how it works.

1. Install FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery on your PC and connect your iPhone/iPad to PC via a USB Cable.

Windows Version Download

2. Go to "iOS Data Backup & Restore" page to do a backup in "iOS Data Backup".

iOS Data Backup


3. Select "Standard backup" or "Encrypted backup" to start the process. If you have significant data, please choose the second one to encrypt it with password.

Start Backing Up


4. Choose data types and then the program will go into backing up. Be patient for its backing up. As it finishes, you're allowed to check the results with clicking "OK".

Finish Backing Up

Backup iPhone/iPad to an External Drive via iOS Transfer

Why FonePaw iOS Transfer is mentioned here, as the merits of this program are so prominent:

• It allows you to backup iPhone photos, contacts, music, SMS, videos, etc. to an external drive directly, which means that you don't need to move iTunes backup files from computer to external drive afterwards.

• Different from iTunes, this program makes all backed up files visible and readable. Better yet, it empowers you to selectively backup the files you need.

Download FonePaw iOS Transfer on your Mac or Windows computer and follow the guide below to back up your iPhone or iPad.

Windows Version DownloadMac Version Download

1. Connect both iPhone and external hard drive to PC

After downloading and installing FonePaw iOS Transfer, you can plug in your iPhone/iPad to the computer, and in the meantime, connect the external hard drive to the same computer.

Main Interface of FonePaw iOS Transfer

Note: Both the Windows and Mac versions of FonePaw iOS Transfer support backing up files on iPhone SE, iPhone 6s/6s Plus, iPhone 6/6Plus, iPhone 5s/5c/5, iPad Pro/Air/mini, iPad 4/3/2 and more iOS devices that running from iOS 6 to iOS 9.

2. Export iPhone data to external drive

After your device is detected, you can see Media, Playlists, Photos, Books, Contacts, SMS and a Toolkit in left panel. Click each category and mark down any items you need. Then, click "Export to" > "Export to PC". In the pop-up window which asks you to select a destination folder, please choose your external drive as the output folder.

Friendly reminder: On Mac, the external hard drive is usually on the desktop; as for Windows computer, the external drive is in "My Computer".

Export iPhone Data to External Hard Drive

Alternatively, if you want to backup iPhone or iPad data to external hard drive once for all, you can click "ToolKit" > "To Folder" > "Start" and then choose the external drive as the output folder.

Backup iPhone Data to External Drive

With FonePaw iOS Transfer, you can save iPhone/iPad/iPod files to any external drive without a hitch. Do you find this post useful? What method do you use to backup your iOS devices? I'd love to hear your feedback. 

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