How to Fix: iPhone Backup Corrupt or Not Compatible (Backup and Restore)

Corrupt Apple iPhone backup file from iTunes – we can help!

Overview: Solutions for Corrupt iPhone Backups

This is an annoying one, because were trying to make a back up! But the reason you see this error is that there is a problem with the previous backup of the iPhone/iPad/iPod.

Why it happens: iTunes typically just updates the previous backup instead of making an entirely new backup (a feature called incremental backup). Incremental backups are usually nice, since they make your backups go much faster, but in this case the old corrupt backup cant be updated and is causing an error.

Corrupt Backup, Can’t Back Up – Fix #1: Delete the old backup in iTunes.

To fix the corrupt iPhone/iPad/iPod backup error while backing up, the usual solution is to remove your previous iPhone backup that is corrupt and then try to back up your iOS device again.

Read and follow these steps to delete your previous iPhone backup using iTunes.

  • Open the Preferences window. On Windows click the Edit menu > Preferences. On Mac click the iTunes menu > Preferences. Note: For Mac users running Catalina/Big Sur, click “Manage Backups” in Finder to see a list of your backups.
  • In Preferences, click the Devices tab.
  • Select your iPhone in the backups list and press Delete Backup.
  • Close the iTunes Preferences window and press Back Up Now to try the back up again.
  • Open iTunes > Preferences > Devices to delete your corrupt iPhone backup.

    Corrupt Backup, Can’t Back Up – Fix #2: Delete the old backup manually.

    If the previous corrupt backup doesnt show up in iTunes, then well need to delete the backup manually.

    Read and follow these steps to delete the corrupt iPhone backup manually.

  • In iTunes, click on Serial Number in the Summary section for your iPhone. The Serial Number field will switch to your iPhones UDID.
  • If youre using an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, youll need these instructions to get your iPhone UDID instead.

  • Navigate to the iTunes iPhone/iPad/iPod backups folder.> Mac:> Open Finder. Hold the Option key and select the Go menu.> Select Library from the Go menu. This will open your user accounts Library folder.> From Library, navigate to Application Support > MobileSync > Backup.> Windows:> (Windows 7/Vista/XP) Start > Run > paste %appdata%Apple ComputerMobileSyncBackup and press enter.> (Windows 8/10) Search > paste %appdata%Apple ComputerMobileSyncBackup and press enter.> Update May 18, 2018: If you installed iTunes from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 (rather than downloaded from the Apple website), then your iPhone backups are stored in a different location.> (iTunes from the Microsoft Store): Search > paste %userprofile%AppleMobileSyncBackup and press enter.>
  • In that “Backup” folder each iPhone/iPad/iPod backup is a folder named by the devices UDID. Match the UDID for your iPhone with the folder name. >
  • Delete that folder! Or, if youre uneasy about deleting the backup, just rename the folder to anything you like.>
  • Press Back Up Now in iTunes to try the backup again.>
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