Home > How to Tips

How to Delete iOS files on Mac to Free up Mac Storage Space?

Updated on Monday, April 8, 2024

iBoysoft author Anna Yuan

Written by

Anna Yuan
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


How to Delete iOS files on Mac to Free up Mac Storage Space?

Summary: This post demonstrates what iOS files on Mac are and how to delete iOS files on Mac. More importantly, you can obtain a professional recovery software - iBoysoft data recovery for Mac to retrieve your lost data which are mistakenly deleted.

how to delete iOS files on Mac

Mac computers are known as the fastest and best-performing computers in the market. However, purchasing a Mac could be pricy, especially when you buy a Mac with larger storage. Therefore, most people choose to buy a Mac with smaller storage for a relatively cheap price.

But having a Mac with small and limited storage space, you may find yourself in the situation of running out of the Mac storage space soon since more and more files are stored on it. Thus how to free up space on Macintosh HD concerns you a lot. Don't worry! Deleting iOS files on Mac could be one of the most efficient ways.

And this post will show you what iOS files are and how to delete iOS files on Mac to free up Mac storage space. Besides, it will explain why iOS files are taking up so much space. Just keep reading.

Table of Contents:

What are iOS files on Mac

When you back up your iOS devices, like iPhone or iPad with your Mac, the backup files are stored on your Mac. Those iPhone or iPad backup files are known as iOS files. The iOS files on Mac include all the backups and software update files of your iOS devices that are synced with your Mac.

Backing up your iOS device's data with iTunes is simple. However, it costs a lot of space on Mac to store and could be bigger over time especially if you are syncing multiple devices. So to free up the Mac storage, it is recommended to remove your iOS files to an external hard drive or delete old backup files that are no longer needed.

Continue reading to find the guide on how to delete iOS files on Mac and free up storage space.

How to delete iOS files on Mac

It's quite easy to delete iOS files on Mac. The thing is, how do you know it's time to delete them or when should you delete them? Actually, when you're confronted with the pop-up "Your startup disk is almost full", or stuck with a frozen or slow Mac, we're afraid that you have to delete iOS files on Mac to free up some storage space for a better Mac performance.

To delete iOS files on Mac and avoid error code 43 on Mac, you need to access them on Mac first, which means you need to know where iOS files are stored on Mac. Here's how to locate your iOS files on Mac and how to delete iOS files on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo on the top left and select About this Mac.
  2. From the top center of the window, click the Storage tab. This helps to check the used and free space for the Mac internal hard drive, as well as how those spaces are used.
    check the storage on Mac
  3. Click the Manage button. In the left column, select iOS files. And you can see a list of your iOS backup files that have been stored on your Mac.
  4. Select the backups you no longer need, then click the Delete button.
    And here is a tip for you to filter which iOS files should be deleted. You will notice each backup has a Last Accessed date, which can help you determine whether it's recent. And you can keep some recent backups and remove only those that are old.
  5. Click Delete again when a confirming pop-up appears.
    delete iOS files on Mac

Other alternatives to free up Mac space

In addition to deleting iOS files to free up storage space on Mac. Other methods are also workable. For example, you can clean up Other storage to optimize Mac space. Or you can remove your backup files to iCloud or an external hard drive.

clean up other storage on Mac

Also, it's better if you have a regular habit of emptying Mac Trash, deleting duplicated with duplicate file finder for Mac, removing outdated documents, and uninstalling applications that you don't use.

Lost data when deleting files on Mac, what to do

Deleting files on Mac always helps to free up storage space for the internal hard drive. But what if lost data when deleting iOS files or any other files mistakenly on Mac? Fortunately, our professional data recovery software - iBoysoft data recovery for Mac can get deleted files back on Mac.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is 100% secure and now it is fully compatible with the newest macOS Monterey and works fine on T2/M1/M1Pro/M1 Max chips. It's able to recover deleted photos, videos, documents, and much more.

What's more important, it's very easy to use and only takes about 14 MB of storage space. Maybe you could download it for a free trial and enjoy its enhanced feature.

FAQs about iOS files on Mac


iOS files on Mac are backups of your iOS devices like iPhone/iPad. So if you have backed them up elsewhere, it is safe to delete iOS files from Mac as you want to free up Mac space.


To move iOS files to an external hard drive, you need to click Apple logo, then select About this Mac > Storage > iOS files. Then, select the files you want to transfer and click Show in Finder button. Finally, drag those files to the connected external hard on Mac.


Your backups are stored in a MobileSync folder. You can find them by typing '~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync' into Spotlight.

Each backup is named with random letters, which makes it hard to know which folder corresponds with which device. But you can check the 'Date Modified' column to view the most recent backup.