How to Recover Photos & Videos from an Old iPhone Backup Folder
If you have a ton of photos and videos on your iPhone, backing up to iCloud is probably a no-go since it only provides 5 GB of free storage. Yes, you can buy more storage, but who wants to do that?
The obvious solution to backing up your iPhone is to just use iTunes, since you're only limited by the space you have on your computer's hard drive. You can then use this backup folder to restore your iPhone at any time with all your photos, videos, apps, contacts, and messages in tact.
But what if you just want to extract some photos and videos that you forgot to save? It would be a huge pain in the ass to save all of your current photos and videos, restore your iPhone to the older backup, save the files through the Photos app, then restore the iPhone back to its previous state.
Instead of going through that arduous process, I'm going to show you how to extract photos and videos directly from an iPhone backup file on your computer. There are actually two tools I'll be covering, and both work great, so it's just a matter or which one you like best.
There is also a Pro version available, starting at $39.95 for a single computer, which will allow you to pull files from encrypted backups, your Photo Stream (vs. Camera Roll only), transfer files from one device to another, and more.
Step 1: Create a Folder to Save Files In
Depending on how many files you're going to extract from the backup, it's a good idea to create a folder on your computer to save them in. I created a folder called iPhone Photos and placed it in Documents.
Warning: Create the folder anywhere on your computer except your desktop. A large amount of files sitting on your desktop will slow down your computer.
Step 2: Select the Right Backup
When you're ready to begin extracting photos and videos from the backup file, open up the iBackup Viewer app. In the menu on the left, you'll find all of the backups stored on your computer. Hit the arrow next to the backup file you want to go through.
Step 3: Select Which Media to Extract
To see all of your pictures and videos in the backup, select "Photos." They will appear on the right. Select the files you want to save by clicking on them one by one, or skip to the next step to see how to save them all.
Step 4: Save Photos to Your Computer
Once your files are selected, click on the gear icon at the top of iBackup Viewer and choose either "Save Selected," or "Save All" if you want to extract all of your photos and videos.
Choose the folder that you created earlier to place all of the files in, then click on "Save."
Depending on how many files you're saving, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes to transfer over. It took around five minutes for me to export 2,622 pictures and 41 videos to my folder.
Step 5: Check Out Your Photos
Inside the folder you created, you'll see a DCIM folder, which will contain several other folders named something like "100APPLE"—this is where your photos and videos will be located.
Each folder will contain hundreds of files, depending on how many you extracted from the backup. Also note that your photos and videos will have the same file name they had on your iPhone, so they will be in order of when they were taken.
Another way to extract photos and videos from an iPhone backup file is through iPhone Backup Extractor. Designed for iOS 6+ and Mac OS X 10.5+, you can convert a backup into readable Mac OS X files, which you can go through to find photos and videos, as well as text messages, contacts, and more.
Now scroll all the way down the list and choose "iOS Files." Click on "Extract," then choose where you want to save your files. A folder called iOS Files will be created wherever you choose to save them.
Again, depending on the size of the backup, it can take anywhere from one minute to several. My 8 GB backup file took less than five minutes to convert.
Now, go to the "iOS Files" folder, click on "Media," then on "DCIM." You'll see several folders (like in the screenshot below) which will contain all of your photos and videos.