iPhone backup in iTunes is so big

rctneil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 29, 2013
129
28
Hey,

I did a backup of my iPhone to iTunes a few days ago. My iPhone is a 256gb XS. The iCloud backup of the iPhone is 1.1Gb. The backup in iTunes is 93.56Gb!

Any idea why this is and how I can reduce it? I'm running out of space on my MacBook Pro and this would help a lot!

Thanks,
Neil
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,537
2,304
Delaware
So, your useraccount/Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder is more than 93GB, and the Backup folder has only one folder (holding many folders, of course, just that Backup folder would have only one folder)?

You could copy that backup to an external drive, then delete it from your boot drive.
Copy it back to same folder if you need to restore from your iTunes backup.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,478
889
No pun intended, but apples to oranges, re: iCloud vs local backup.

iCloud, very "limited" backup. Nothing that's already in iCloud, iTunes/App stores (eg. media and apps), no Apple Mail, no cloud service data, etc. iTunes backup, just about everything.

So, if big user of non-Apple cloud services, might be getting that backed up. And if using a mail app other than Apple Mail, that too can be coming along. Ditto things like Office. Health tracking apps on my device are eating up a lot. Messaging apps with lots of attachments? Alternate music managers?

Dig through the list of apps in Settings > iPhone Storage. Tap on all the heavy hitters to see which ones have a lot of data possibly being backed up (separate line-item for data under each).

But, yeah, 90+ GB is a lot. My last backup was "only" 950MB of a 64GB device (about 30GB in use).
 

rctneil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 29, 2013
129
28
Yeh, the MobileSync folder is 93.56Gb. Everything you said above matches my file system. My question is why is the backup that large compared to the iCloud backup? Surely this is not correct is it?
- - Post merged: - -

I'll check through the Settings > iPhone Storage list in a bit and double check.

I don't use a separate music app or Mail app.

I thought iTunes backups backed up the same as iCloud backups? eg, still limited to stuff that is not online or retrievable from another source?
 

Futurix

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2011
430
393
London
I thought iTunes backups backed up the same as iCloud backups?
It could not be further from reality - iTunes backup is a complete back-up, including all photos and data that are downloaded from iCloud. It only excludes OS and various app caches that are marked as purgeable.
 

mikzn

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2013
1,457
714
Vancouver
Yeh, the MobileSync folder is 93.56Gb. Everything you said above matches my file system. My question is why is the backup that large compared to the iCloud backup? Surely this is not correct is it?
It could be that you have other back ups in the library folder? ie other devices, iPhones?, iPad? iPod? you can check in the iTunes preferences (show in finder) and delete the back ups that you don't need - see picture

archived-backup-itunes.png