Do you backup your iPhone or iPad to your Mac? It used to be that we had to grab a cable, plug it into the iPhone and plug that into the Mac, fire up iTunes, and go through the backup process. Backups are good, but there’s an easier way these days. Backup wirelessly. Leave your Mac on, keep the iPhone or iPad nearby and let iTunes do it automagically in the background.
Win, win, win, right? Almost.
Those backups start to take up a lot of storage space on a Mac, and before you know it you’re largest storage block is backups. iPhone and iPad backups are good for emergencies but what if you want to rummage through the backup and extract just a few files rather than restore the whole shebang?
That’s easier said than done unless you have iBackup Viewer, a handy utility that does not dig through the iPhone or iPad files on each device; instead, it digs through the iTunes backups. The problem is caused by Apple. Those backed up files are not easily found and mostly unreadable anyway. Apple is telling us not to muck around in there.
iBackup Viewer does the mucking around for you, and lets you extract a bunch of useful information and files from iPhone and iPad backups stored by iTunes.
iBackup Viewer finds the backed up files, including those backed up as encrypted files, and makes them easy to view, easy to navigate, and easy to copy select information.
For example, you can pull contacts from Contacts and add them to your Mac without going through a sync or using iCloud. View SMS text messages and save them as a backup file, or convert them to a PDF. Bookmarks can be synced to your Mac’s version of Safari. Photos can be copied to your Mac. Files for specific iPhone or iPad apps can be viewed and downloaded, too.
Did I mention that iBackup Viewer is free? It is. Almost. Not all the cool features are available on the free version, but everything is on the Pro version, which has a bunch of professional recovery features added on, like copying files from the Mac to the iPhone or iPad. The single user license is about average for this type of utility, but if you need support or technical assistance to retrieve important files which are backed up but not easily found or restored, you’ll pay for the privilege.