I keep a lot of data on my hard drive. Be it every picture ever taken, or video ever shot, it's not unusual to suddenly run out of space on a 500GB drive. That said, I recently discovered where more than 100GB of space was being used: iOS device backups!
If you're not familiar with iOS device backups, it's the magical backup of your device that Apple's iTunes creates every time you sync. I used to think that it would only keep one or two backups around, but I've recently learned that I had backups on my computer from three years ago, and from a variety of devices.
After some research I discovered a few different ways to delete the backups and have detailed the most efficient one below. I should also mention that you should make sure to backup your device beforehand, and then only delete the oldest backups, just in case.
- Open iTunes Preferences
- Then click on Edit > Preferences (or iTunes > Preferences, depending on your OS)
- Click Devices
- Select the backup you want to delete and click Delete Backup
In my experience, while you can click multiple backups to delete at once, you should really only do one a time. In my case, I deleted multiples only to soon experience a waiting cursor that wouldn't go away.
If you require even more hand holding, check out the great guide at Techzilo.com.
By the way, if you're wondering what's using all of the space on your hard drive, I recommend WhatSizeMac. I currently don't have a favorite for Windows, but WhatSizeMac is my preferred on Mac since it easily does a deep dive and shows you where all of your space is being allocated. Then you can delete files directly from the interface. GBs freed up instantly!