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How to Backup & Restore iOS Device on Mac

iTunes is discontinued on macOS Catalina, with device managing utilities moved to Finder. Even though you still can use iTunes on macOS Mojave and on lower versions, iTunes or Finder fall short in the task of selective backup & restore.

DearMob iPhone Manager adopts an incremental backup mechanism, with additional options to selectively backup or restore iOS content without data erasing. You can create a full backup of your device, or go ahead with more custom options such as backup iPhone to Mac without photos, or only backup iOS photos to Mac.

Before you start:

Free download DearMob iPhone Manager:

Free DownloadFor Mac OS X 10.9 or later

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Backup iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without iTunes:

In DearMob iPhone Manager,
You can create a full device backup offline to Mac, at utterly high speed and with option to encrypt your backup folder.

1.Plug in your iPhone (or iPad, iPod touch), hit backup icon on DearMob iPhone Manager.
2.Tick Encrypt your Backup (optional), and hit Back Up now. When it’s done, you will see a success notification.

export photos to pc


  • Click Restore backup files tab to view all your backup files.
  • When you encrypt backup file for the first time, you will be asked to set up a password. If the box is already ticked, it means you have set up backup password previously with iTunes, go ahead using that password.

Restore iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from Backup Files

In DearMob iPhone Manager,
You can restore backup files from Mac to your iOS device. If you have previously created backup files with iTunes, DearMob iPhone Manager will display all the backup files stored on Mac and help you restore desired one to your iPhone.

1. Connect your iPhone to Mac, turn off Find my iPhone, and go to Backup module.
2. Switch to Restore backup files tab, select your backup file and hit Restore Now.

add photos from pc


  • You cannot restore a high iOS version backup file to devices running a lower iOS version. This restriction is iOS-innate.
  • If you only want to restore certain type of files to iPhone, such as photos only, or movies and songs only, please read on.

Selective Backup & Restore

In DearMob iPhone Manager,
You can selectively backup whatever you want and restore it to your other iOS devices. Take photo backup and restore as an example.

1. Plug your iPhone to Mac, lauch DearMob iPhone Manager and go to Photos module.

2. Tick photos you want to backup, and hit Export.

3. Unplug your source iPhone, connect the destination iPhone to Mac, and go to Photos on DearMob iPhone Manager.

4. Click the + icon to create an album, hit Add Photos, and select all the photos exported in step 2 and hit Sync to confirm restore these photos to your destination iPhone.


  • You can go to video, music, contact, books, voice, podcast, and all the other module from DearMob iPhone Manager main screen, to selectively backup or restore iOS content.

How to Back Up iPhone with Finder (or iTunes on Mojave and before)

After the nixing of iTunes, the iOS device managing utilities is incorporated into the Finder app, with which you can backup your devices as a whole, but there is no option to preview items in backup files, nor can it help you to backup only the selective data types such as photos, songs, movies, etc.

Finder backup utility adopts the same mechanism with iTunes backup. Therefore, A Finder backup doesn't include:

  • iTunes and App store purchases, such as movies, TV shows, or digital books.
  • Data synced from computer, like imported photos, songs, videos, PDFs, etc.
  • Content uploaded to iCloud, including photos, SMS, iMessages, etc.
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings, Apple pay, Keychain data.

If you want to back up iPhone to Mac using Finder, follow these steps:

1. Connect your iPhone to Mac, make sure to unlock your iPhone screen and tap trust when you are asked whether to trust this computer.

2. Lauch Finder, hit your device icon at the side bar, and hit Pair to pair your iPhone with this Mac.

3. Hit summary, and click Back Up Now, as you normally do with iTunes. Make sure to stay your iPhone connected to Mac the whole times. Otherwise, you might get a corrupted backup file without knowing until next time you wan to restore from backup files, and that would be too late.


  • Please note that Restore iPhone and Restore Backup are two entirely different operations on iTunes and Finder. To restore iPhone is to factory reset your device, i.e. erase all content and setting on your iDevice and install the latest stable iOS build, while the Restore Backup button will restore data from a previous backup file already stored on your PC.

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