If you need to restore iPhone data from an iTunes backup file, then this article will guide you through the different solutions that exist for this purpose. Before you do anything else you need to know this: Do not try to sync an old backup onto your iPhone, because the backup might be overwritten and anything instead could be lost forever.

You should use the tools listed below to extract data from your backup, before you sync the backup to your iPhone. Something else you could do is backup your backup files, so that even if they get overwritten by iTunes, you will still have the original copies.

Backing up Backups

  • If you use a Mac, then your backups will be stored here: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • For Windows XP, then you need to look here: \Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7, look here: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • On Windows Vista and 7 you can quickly open the “AppData” folder by holding CTRL and R at the same time. Then in the “Run” dialog that comes up, type in %appdata% and hit enter.

Once you’ve found the backup folder, just right click it and paste it somewhere else, like your desktop, to make a copy of it.

Extracting Data From Backups Using SuperCrazyAwesome

SuperCrazyAwesome is a Mac OS X only app that will recover data from iDevice backups. It is free and works for iOS 6 and under backups. Using this software you will be able to decode databases that store call history, SMS messages and Notes.

The SuperCrazyAwesome app does get the job done. However if you don’t have a Mac, or if your backup is an iOS 7 backup, then you’re out of luck with this app.

iPhone Backup Extractor by iPubsoft

There’s a trial version, so you can see if it solves your needs before buying the full version. The only difference between the two, is that the free trial limits the amount of things you can recover.

iPubsoft doesn’t state what iOS versions it works with. However they do state that it works with iPhone 3g’s, all the way to iPhone 5. Since they haven’t included iPhone 5C or iPhone 5S, it’s likely that this software doesn’t yet support iOS 7.

iPhone Backup Extractor is rated 9.8 stars on average by 6 users on Softonic. However, it does not run on Mac.

iPhone Backup Extractor by Reincubate

The free trial of this software only lets you save 4 recovered pieces of data. The home addition on the other hand costs $25 for one year, and has unlimited support and features. Did we mention this software runs on Windows, Mac and Linux?

Although Reincubate’s iPhone backup extractor is rated an average of 7.5 by 23 users, you should still consider trying the free version. We can assume it’s compatible with iOS 6 and below because it doesn’t mention iOS 7 anywhere.

Dr.Fone iPhone Recovery

Dr.Fone iPhone Recovery also has a trial version. However, the full copy is $80. That’s a bit much considering iPubsoft or Reincubate’s software does the same things but for a whole lot cheaper.

Dr.Fone’s software is compatible with Mac and Windows, however it doesn’t support iOS 7 yet. The Mac version of Dr.Fone iPhone recovery has been rated 2 stars by two reviewers. 

iBackup Extractor

This software costs $25 and is available on Windows and Mac. It supports iOS 6 and below, and is rated 4/5 stars by 28 votes.