Search Files in iPhone Backup on Mac

Q

Can I search for information in iPhone bakcup on Mac? The backup was created with iTunes.

✍: FYIcenter.com

A

Yes, you can search for information or files in iPhone backup created by iTunes on Mac as shown in this tutorial:

1. Go to "/Users/{userid}/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup" folder. You see a list of Backups.

2. Go into the lastest backup. You see a list of files named with 40 hexadecimal digits organized into sub-folders of "00, 01, 02, ..., ff" based on their first 2 hexadecimal digits.

fyicenter$ cd ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

fyicenter$ cd 45219035443f09dccbcc469473f487ca5aee9f5a

fyicenter$ tree | more 
.
├── 00
│   ├── 000066a0006d022b601b82aa424925edf36621b9
│   ├── 00019983bebec182aef65f21253ef6b4fc919f7f
│   ├── 00019ae96e2031b8c3bc7b3fdc5cb5088f10c522
...
├── 01
│   ├── 01023a6680f60e33e33367f0fa90d422bbc3e0f9
│   ├── 0103f8d5216d8da292257950a1fbfdb8106ea806
│   ├── 01053454ce3cd93f880d70b2fbfe42269b641bd4
...
└── ff
    ├── ff00c72413e8367730ffd032c339757d3a5b3f5d
    ├── ff02ae430bab4659d7d424d3795f56fec02975e6
    ├── ff03e7b19868eb32f372e25168f1a73d8801945f
256 directories, 45512 files

3. Double click on some files, you may see one of the followings:

  • A picture file stored by an app on your iPhone. Majority of backup files are picture files.
  • A music file stored by an app on your iPhone.
  • A "SQLite format" file used by an app to store data on your iPhone.
  • A Javascript used by an app on your iPhone.

4. Search for 20 largest files in the backup. You may see some files are bigger than 100 MB. They are most likely video files.

fyicenter du -a -k | grep -e "\/.*\/" | sort -n -r | head -n 20
212448	./98/988474d25cb42f07ce3c2c81e20405c79470da61
143012	./70/7098a4c404482fa8906421fe6d4ae03a3c9a4da7
140240	./98/981df18667485d2dd7c85461d07efb70d4d90501
 91292	./b4/b4b8c82cbb72873a25577ded534d38ab16db4884
 67568	./b7/b720d84892451b1b845ffe5076a4cb34e923aa5d
 57028	./12/12b144c0bd44f2b3dffd9186d3f9c05b917cee25
...

5. If you are looking for music files, you can copy files with 1 to 10 MB to temporary folder and search for the MP3 signare 0x494433. See https://www.filesignatures.net for other file signatures.

 

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2020-10-10, 130👍, 0💬