In this tutorial, we present an alternative method how to backup iPhone to external hard drive without iTunes, CopyTrans Shelbee. It will help you create a backup with app documents, preferences, contacts, calendars, messages, and more. If your iPhone won’t back up to iTunes or you’re on a quest for a more flexible solution, follow our lead.
Backup iPhone to external hard drive
without iTunes | Text guide
Backing up iPhone using iCloud or iTunes has its pros and cons. The biggest problem, however, is storage. The larger the backup files, the less space you have in limited iCloud storage or on your PC. That’s why more and more users are wondering “How to backup iPhone to external hard drive“.
If you want to use CopyTrans Shelbee as an alternative way to backup iPhone without iTunes, here is what you need to do.
Why people choose CopyTrans Shelbee:
🔹 Choose any folder to store your backup;
🔹 Validate integrity of the backup file after each backup*;
🔹 Add a password protection to encrypt your backup;
🔹 Choose between a full Backup or only latest changes backup;
🔹 Set up reminders when it’s time to do a backup.
🔹 Backup and restore apps.
* Unlike iTunes, CopyTrans Shelbee validates integrity of each backup after it is done. Let’s say you have done 10 consecutive backups over a period of time, attempt #3 was corrupted in the process, but you were never made aware of this, that means that the rest of them were done in vain. Restore attempt will give you an error message. We make sure this does not happen.
Download and install CopyTrans Shelbee:Download CopyTrans Shelbee
If you need help installing CopyTrans Shelbee, please refer to the installation guide.
Run the program, connect your iPhone or iPad to your PC and click on Backup -> Full Backup.
Select the backup destination by clicking on a green pencil. By default, iTunes saves your backups to C:\Users\*your user name*\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.
⚡ With CopyTrans Shelbee, you can choose any folder!
⚡ You can move iTunes default backup folder and transfer all previous backups there.
⚡ You can save a backup to external drive.
Here are 3 simple steps to backup iPhone to external drive:
If you want to backup your apps, check “Save the apps“. You will need to log in to the App store and have a stable internet connection.
⚡ Your apps will be backed up from the App store in .ipa format. CopyTrans Shelbee will also back up app data, but only if the app developer allowed that.
If you chose to back up apps, log in to the App Store.
If you see this screen, it means you have an iOS backup password. CopyTrans Shelbee asks for it to validate the backup and make sure you can restore later. iTunes would backup at once, but not restore until you’ve inserted the right password. What password again?
Now please wait until the backup is complete.
And done! The backup is saved to the folder of your choice. Here is what it includes.
Here is how CopyTrans Shelbee fares compared to the two most popular backup methods:
|🖥️ iTunes||🐝 CopyTrans Shelbee||☁️ iCloud|
|Requirements||iPhone and lightning cable, uses PC space||iPhone and lightning cable, uses PC space||iPhone and Wi-Fi,
uses iCloud space
(with latest changes)
*you can’t choose the type of backup
*choose the type of backup
|Check backup integrity||❌||✔️||❌|
|Check for password issues||❌||✔️||❌|
|Choose backup folder||❌||✔️||❌|
|Move default backup location||❌||✔️||❌|
|Backup to external drive||❌||✔️||❌|
|Backup passwords, Wi-Fi settings, browsing history||✔️
*backup should be encrypted
*backup should be encrypted
|Backup apps in .ipa format||❌||✔️||❌|
|Selective restore (only photos, only messages, etc.)||❌||✔️||❌|
iTunes could not backup because the iPhone disconnected
“I have just updated my iPhone SE, now I can’t do a backup anymore, and always get the error message that iPhone keeps disconnecting from iTunes.
I tried to back up multiple times with the same result.”
Starting with iOS 10.3.3 and on, Apple introduced a bug that made backing up your iPhone through iTunes impossible. The backup in iTunes fails for some devices running iOS 10.3.3 with the following error message: “iTunes could not backup the iPhone because the connection to the iPhone was disconnected.”
For some customers who cannot do iPhone backup in iTunes, Apple Support recommends the following procedures:
Restart your PC and iPhone. By the way, this can solve many problems.
Update iTunes. Open iTunes, click “Help” > Check for Update.
Disconnect all other USB devices from PC..
Enable low power mode. Go to Settings > Battery > enable Low power mode.
Disable background updates because some apps load data even when they are inactive. Go to Settings > General > turn off Background App Refresh.
Enable Airplane Mode. Go to Control Center (swipe up from the bottom), and tap the Airplane Mode icon.
For some users, these three options are enough to reduce the background processes enough to complete the backup.
The most radical solution is to completely delete all contents and settings of the iPhone and then restore it from an existing iCloud backup. But this process is very time-consuming, even if you have a current iCloud backup.
CopyTrans Shelbee does everything iTunes does and more:
Backup iPhone without iTunes
This is a simplified version of how to use CopyTrans Shelbee to backup iPhone to external hard drive or PC in a couple of clicks.
Backup latest changes only
Let’s say you already made a full backup of your iPhone at least once.
The next time you back up your iPhone you will get two full backups that are almost identical. Most of the backup content is redundant and takes up extra space on your PC.
How do I backup my iPhone to my computer and also use a bit less space? This is where you use an incremental backup: it takes the previous full backup as basis and creates a much smaller file that “completes” this backup file with the latest changes.
Latest changes backups take less time to complete and save PC space.
When restoring, you only need to select a single backup from the point in time of your choice. That’s all! If you want to know more about incremental backups, turn to Wikipedia.
Here is how to backup latest changes only using CopyTrans Shelbee:
First, make sure you already have at least one full iPhone backup.
To make an incremental backup, run CopyTrans Shelbee, connect your iPhone and select Backup -> Latest changes
Click on the green pencil to choose the backup you will be completing with new data. The backup will be placed into the same folder.
Select the latest backup file (recommended), then click on Start.
Your latest-changes backup is in progress.
Your backup is complete! Here is what the backup includes.
Once your backup is done, you may want to make a full or selective restore with CopyTrans Shelbee.
Download CopyTrans Shelbee