Saving storage space by deleting old iPhone backups: How you do it

It’s always smart to back up your devices. But if you’re not careful, your hard drive or iCloud storage will fill up unnoticed with old versions of devices that you no longer use. This is how you can delete these old iPhone backups.

How To Delete iPhone backup

On Techlargest we have been several times the importance of iPhone backups underlined. Nothing is more annoying than an iPhone that breaks, after which you also lose all your photos, documents, apps and data due to the lack of a backup. However, deleting your backups every now and then won’t hurt either.

On average, someone buys a new iPhone every two years, but the backup of the old device remains. Since these backups often take up a lot of space, it can fill up your iCloud storage or hard drive unnecessarily over time.Delete iPhone backup

Especially if you also keep a backup of your iPad, iPod and Mac. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to take a look at all the data you have stored on your Mac or in iCloud every now and then. This data is somewhat hidden, but if you know where to look, this is done in no time. In the steps below we distinguish between the Mac and iCloud.

Delete an iPad, Mac or iPhone backup in Finder or iTunes

Whether you use an external hard drive or store your backups locally on your Mac or Windows PC: it works just a little bit differently. First, connect your Apple device to your Mac or PC with a cable. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or a Windows PC, open iTunes.

Delete backup in Finder

  1. Open Finder (or iTunes);
  2. Click in the menu on the left under ‘locations’ on your Apple device;
  3. Click on ‘Manage backups’;
  4. Select which backup you want to delete;
  5. Click on ‘Delete backup’ and confirm your choice.

Delete backup in iTunes

  1. Open iTunes;
  2. Click on iTunes in the menu bar;
  3. Choose ‘Preferences’;
  4. Click on ‘Devices’.

A window will now open showing all locally stored iPhone, iPad or Mac backups. You can recognize them by the name you gave the device itself and the date on which you saved the backup. Then click on the copy you want to delete and confirm your choice to delete the file.

Delete an iPad, Mac or iPhone backup in iCloud

Fewer and fewer people wire their iPhone to a Mac, and prefer to sync and backup via iCloud. However, these backups are often unintentionally kept for a long time and accumulate. Fortunately, you can quickly delete them again to free up some space. This is possible on both your Mac and your iPhone.

Delete backup in iCloud on iPhone

  1. Tap Settings;
  2. Choose ‘iCloud’ by tapping on your name;
  3. Select ‘iCloud;
  4. Choose ‘Manage storage’;
  5. Select ‘Backups’;
  6. Choose the backup you want to delete;
  7. Select ‘Delete backup’.

Delete backup in iCloud on Mac

  1. Go to the Apple menu (the Apple icon at the top left of the screen) and click on ‘System Preferences’;
  2. Click on ‘Apple ID’ at the top right of the window;
  3. Choose iCloud;
  4. Click on ‘Manage…’.
  5. A window will now open where you will see the iCloud storage.

On a Windows PC, skip these steps and open ‘iCloud for Windows’ and go to ‘Storage’. Under ‘Backups’ you can see the saved iPhone, iPad, or Mac backups. Then click on the (older) copy you want to delete and confirm your choice to delete the file by clicking on the minus icon.

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