HowTo: Manually BackUp Your iPhone

So, yesterday the iPhone DevTeam posted a new info article on their blog, where they informed people that the battery loss is not caused by UltraSn0w, and they also advised people to set their iPhones as a “New Phone” when they restore and not use the backup, because it seems that is the reason for the battery drain.

Based on the comments on that article, and all the emails i got from you, i decided to write a tutorial on how to back up iPhone’s contacts and sms messages . After i wrote that tutorial, i was bombarded with comments and especially emails, asking me how to backup other data on the iPhone ( like calendar, photos etc ). So i wrote another tutorial on how to back up iPhone’s calendar, notes, mail and safari bookmarks.

Since all of the info is not in one place, it might be confusing to some people, and they cant see the ATTENTION at the top of the post (which by the way is in bold ) and they were keep on sending me emails asking me, how to do this or that. So i decided to write another tutorial , which will contain all the info you need. If i miss something , this tutorial will be updated so make sure you keep on visiting FSMdotCOM

Before i start on telling you how to backup your phone, i want to make sure you know how to SSH, so i wont recieve tons of emails from you asking me how to do that. Learn how to SSH: Mac and Windows

How to save Contacts Database:

  • SSH into the iPhone and go to /private/var/mobile/Library/AddressBook
  • you will find 2 files there. save them on your computer.

How to save Messages Database:

  • SSH to your phone and go to /private/var/mobile/Library/SMS
  • Save sms.db on your computer

How to backup Calendar:

  • SSH into your device and go to /private/var/mobile/Library/Calendar
  • Copy Calendar.sqlitedb to your computer

How to backup Notes:

  • SSH into your dedvice and go to /private/var/mobile/Library/Notes
  • Copy notes.db and notes.idx to your computer

How To back up Photos:

This doesent necesarelly require any SSH. You can just connect your iPhone to the computer and copy your photos:


  • connect iPhone
  • open iPhoto and copy your photos
  • or use iPhoneExplorer. Read about it here


  • connect iPhone
  • open MyComputer
  • you will see the iPhone as a new device ( a photo camera ) . Open it and save your photos

IF you prefer SSH , this is what you need to do:

  • SSH into your iPhone
  • go to /var/mobile/Media/DCIM/


For videos shot with iPhone 3Gs, you need the same path ( correct me if i am wrong )

How to backup Mail:

Email itself doesnt need any backup. Your iPhone or your computer is not the server for your email accounts, so you dont need to worry about loosing your emails accounts. However, you might want to save your email account as you set them up on your iPhone, so you wont need to go to all that process once again.

  • SSH into your device
  • go to /private/var/mobile/library/ and just copy the folder called “Mail” to your computer

How to backup Visual Voicemail:

  • SSH into your device
  • go to  var/mobile/Library/Voicemail/voicemail.db
  • Individual voicemails are stored as 1.amr, 2.amr, etc. in the same folder. If you’ve recorded a custom greeting, it’s stored as Greeting.amr.

How to backup videos from 3rd party apps:


  • SSH into your device
  • go to /private/var/mobile/media/videos

iPhone Video Recorder for 3G:

  • SSH into your device
  • go to /private/var/mobile/media/iphonevideorecorder/

How to backup files downloaded with Safari DL Plug-In

  • SSH into your device
  • go to /var/mobile/Library/Downloads

How to backup your Call History:

  • SSH into your iPhone
  • go to /var/mobile/Library/CallHistory/
  • copy call_history.db to your computer

Like i said, if i forgot something please let me know, and i will update this post. Many thanks to mupkoc.



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