iTunes makes it easy to have a local backup of an iOS device on a machine you control. But those backups can take up precious space, especially if you have more than one. Good news then that iTunes lets you delete your excess backups reasonably quickly. You can also get rid of unnecessary iOS software updates after you've used them, as well, which should also free up a little bit of room.
Here's how you can go about getting rid of old backups and iOS software updates on your Mac.
- How to delete an iPhone or iPad backup on macOS Catalina
- How to delete an iPhone or iPad backup from iTunes on macOS Mojave and earlier
- How to delete iOS software update files
How to delete an iPhone or iPad backup on macOS Catalina
iTunes as we've known it has split up into multiple apps in macOS Catalina, and the iPhone and iPad backup and update capabilities have made their way to the Finder. Here's how to delete a backup through the Finder on macOS Catalina.
- Click on the Finder icon in the Dock.
Click on your iPhone or iPad in the sidebar.
- Click Manage Backups...
Click on the backup that you want to delete.
- Click Delete Backup.
How to delete an iPhone or iPad backup from iTunes on macOS Mojave and earlier
- Open iTunes from your Dock or Applications folder.
Click iTunes in the Menu bar.
- Click Preferences.
Click on the Devices tab.
- Click on the backup you want to remove.
Click Delete Backup.
How to delete iOS software update files
Even though iTunes doesn't exist as its own app in macOS Catalina, you'll still find the Software Update file you want to delete in the iTunes folder in Library, just like you did in previous versions of macOS.
- Go to Finder.
Click Go in the Menu bar.
- Hold down the Option key (maybe labeled 'Alt') on your keyboard.
- Click Library, which should appear when you hold down Option.
Open the iTunes folder.
- Open the iPhone Software Updates folder.
Drag the iOS update file to the trash. Its name should end in "Restore.ipsw".
If you have any more questions about removing old device backups or iOS update files from iTunes, let us know in the comments.
Updated April 2020: Updated for macOS Catalina.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
FAQ: TikTok & WeChat ban — why it’s happening and what it means for you
Are TikTok and WeChat really being banned? When does all of this take effect? Will I still be able to use these apps? All this and more answered in our FAQ regarding the latest U.S. orders.
Here's everything we know about the iPhone 12 so far
With the iPhone 12 reportedly just weeks away, here's everything we currently know about Apple's next flagship lineup!
Here's where to find all 120 Stars in Super Mario 64
There are hundreds of Stars hidden around and throughout Princess Peach's castle in Super Mario 64. Here's where you'll find them all.
All the Nintendo Switch accessories for Animal Crossing fans
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally out on Nintendo Switch. Go all out with your Animal Crossing love with these adorable-themed accessories.