While most Mac users have figured out the value of a good backup plan and many use Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper!, or some other app to back up valuable files, what about iPhone and iPad?
Ask around. Check with your friends, family members, or co-workers, and ask them if they back up their iPhones or iPads. My informal personal survey shows that most do not; and fewer even bother backing up iPhone or iPad to iTunes (Mac or Windows PC). For those who do, here’s an easy way to browse through those backup files to see what was backed up.
iBackup Because iCan
Before I dig into all the delicious coolness available in the free iBackup Viewer app for the Mac, let me encourage iPhone and iPad users to get their respective devices backed up and do so regularly, either through iTunes or iCloud. Most iPhone and iPad settings can be backed up to iCloud, and easily restored if there’s a catastrophic disaster. Those who back up iPhone and iPad to a Mac have more options and a much faster restore.
Alright, back to iBackup Viewer. It’s a way to view those backups stored by iTunes. iBackup Viewer is free but a Pro version has more features, including an option to view encrypted iOS files, and copy files to iPhone or iPad.
What’s the value with iBackup Viewer? Access to iOS device backups on your Mac. That means you can extract files– contacts, phone call history, messages, Calendar, Notes, audio recordings, photos and videos, and much more.
All those files are stored in iTunes during a backup and Backup Viewer does what it says. It lets you view the backup files.
First, select which apps files you want to view.
iBackup Viewer looks and works much like a modern Finder. Device backups are listed in the sidebar. Select one, then view the backed up files. Almost everything you would need is visible, including Applications, Contacts, Call history, Messages, Calendar, Notes, Photos, and more.
The Pro upgrade lets you view encrypted files in the backup. Files can be copied to your Mac for viewing, including photos, videos, text messages, bookmarks, and more. There’s a steep price on iBackup Viewer Pro. iBackup Viewer only works on backup files stored by iTunes. If you want access to files on the device itself, we recommend using PhoneView.
For me, I back up iPhone and iPad to iCloud and to iTunes on my Mac. But it’s good to know I can view those backed up files without having to restore the backup to iPhone or iPad.