Learn to use iBackup Viewer to extract information from iOS backups created by iTunes

iBackup Viewer is a free tool for browsing iPhone backups database. And save person contact to Mac Address Book, export call history and iMessages to well formatted text file. View and save iPhone Apps' data quickly. Although the free version can meet the needs of most users, the pro version will provide more useful advanced features, for example save iMessages to pdf without trial marks. Get a pro license to unlock the limits.

  1. Download and Install iBackup Viewer

    Download the latest version of iBackup Viewer for Mac. Find the installer file file "iBackupViewer.dmg", double click the file to open and mount the installer, then drag the icon "iBackup Viewer.app" over "Applications" to finish installation.

    iBackup Viewer Installer for Mac

    If you're running windows, download the installer with filename "iBackupViewerSetup.exe". Follow the installation steps to install iBackup Viewer on you system. 

  2. Run iBackup Viewer

    After successfully install iBackup Viewer, run it from "Applications" or Launchpad. iBackup Viewer will automatically load and show data including contacts, messages, calendar, call history, voice recordings and photos etc, if there is any backup existing on local computer. You can alternate the backup location to different directory from "Preferences"

    If iBackup Viewer loads any backup successfully, it will list each backup with summary information including iOS version and name of the device

    Each iOS backup shows as a thumbnail, the thumbnail includes fundamental information:

    • Name of the device which the backup was created for
    • iOS version of the device when the backup was created
    • Creation date of the backup
    • Home screen wallpaper for the device when the backup was created ( Wallpaper for encrypted backups will shown after entering correct password )
    • Lock sign if the is encrypted
    • Folder icon allow to reveal the backup location in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer
    • 'x' button to close the backup (only available for manually opened backups)
  3. Export Backup Contents

    Click on any backup thumbnail will lead you to the contents of the backup. Normally iBackup Viewer will load 11 default items: Contacts, Call History, iMessage, Calendar, Notes, Voicemail, Recordings, Safari Visit History and Bookmark, Photos, Apps, and Raw Files for every backup. 

    iBackup Viewer will load other supported apps like WhatsApp or WeChat if they are available in the backup.

    backup items

    Click the correspondence item icon to save the data

    Save and Export Contacts

    Phone Call History

    Export SMS and iMessages

    Export Calendars

    Export Notes

    Export Voicemails

    Export VoiceMemos

    Export Safari Visit History and Bookmarks

    Export Photos

    App Files

    Raw File System

  • Save contacts and groups to Mac Address Book

    iBackup Viewer can export single contact or group into vCard files, you can then import the saved vCard files into Mac Contacts or Google contacts . Following the tutorial to save contacts.

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  • Call history

    Navigate to "Call History" item from the left side bar. All calls will be shown in the right side list table. Incoming calls and outgoing calls are marked by different icons, which make it obvious to check.  iBackup Viewer saves phone call history to different file formats:

    • Plain text file with space delimited format
    • CSV file, which can be easily imported to Microsoft Excel or Numbers.app
    • PDF file, well formated with icons. Following this guide to export phone call history

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  • SMS and iMessages

    iMessages and SMS messages are the most frequently requested feature from the users.  iBackup Viewer can extract iMessages with attached photos and videos, and can display the message conversation in similar style as iPhone does. So that you can easily check and review chats with friends. 

    iBackup Viewer provides the easiest way to save messages as conversations to variant formats:

    • Plain text file with space delimited format
    • CSV file, which can be imported to database or Excel and Numbers
    • PDF file with great format as on iPhone device, which is the best option to print out on paper. The guide introduces how to save iMessages as PDF files.

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  • Calendars and Events

    Learn how to export calendars and events from iOS backups

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  • Save Notes

    Learn how to save notes from to PDF file

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  • Voicemails

    Learn how to export voicemails from iOS backups

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  • Voice Memos (Recordings)

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  • Safari Visit History and Bookmarks

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  • Export Photos

    Learn how to export photos from iPhone backups

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  • Raw File System

    Raw Files

    • 1 Domain Category List domains and domain groups

      • System - iOS file system
      • AppDomain - list app files
      • AppDomainGroup - files shared by different applications
      • AppDomainPlugin
    • 2 File list

    • 3 Filter files Search files

      Click the "Search" icon and enter keyword to filter the files in the file list, for example enter "media/dcim/" will list all photos.

    • 4 Switch to tree view Tree view

      show the folders in tree structure.

    • 5 Export options export file

      • Selected, save selected file to computer
      • Current Domain..., save all folders and files of current domain to computer.

    Preview Files

    Preview files in different format

    • Export... same as "Selected" under "Export" menu
    • Preview (auto-detect), check the file content to determine the format of the file automatically and view
    • Preview as Text, view the file as plain text
    • Preview as Image, view the file as image if it is in valid image format
    • Preview as Binary, view the file in hex form
    • Preview as Property List, only available for .plist files. Use "Preview (auto-detect)" if the file is a valid property list file but with file extension other than .plist
    • Preview as SQLite, iBackup Viewer offers a simple SQLite viewer to view SQLite database, supports SQL query as well.

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  • WhatsApp Messages

    The WhatsApp icon will be visible in the left side navigation panel when the backup contains WhatsApp, choose "WhatsApp" icon to load and parse WhatsApp messages, iBackup Viewer deal with WhatsApp messages in the same way as iOS native Messages. You can of course save WhatsApp messages to text file, csv file and PDF files.

    Learn how to export WhatsApp messages to PDF

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  • iPhone Ringtones

    The ringtones icon is available only if iBackup Viewer finds any custom ringtones in the backups. You can then save the ringtones to your computer, and add to your iPhone with iCopyAssistant.