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Backup iPhone Contacts, SMS, Mail, Safari Bookmarks & Cydia Sources without iTunes

You can easily backup your iPhone contacts, SMS, emails, Cydia repos and Safari bookmarklets without iTunes or even without SSH'ing into your iDevice. All you need is a jailbroken iPhone and a USB cable. We have already shared a way to backup music and photos on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad without syncing it with iTunes.


Once your iPhone is jailbroken and you have successfully installed afc2add from Cydia, just connect it to your PC or Mac via USB cable and proceed to the steps below:

Backup iPhone Contacts:

Backup iPhone Contacts
Launch iPhone Explorer and wait while it detects your iPhone. Once detected, navigate to the following locations and copy the AddressBook folder to your hard disk.

/Root Directory/User/Library -> AdressBook

/Root Directory/var/root/Library -> AddressBook

Backup iPhone Messages (SMS):

Backup iPhone Messages
To backup iPhone messages, navigate to the following location and copy SMS folder to your hard disk.

/Root Directory/User/Library -> SMS

Backup Email Accounts:

Backup iPhone Emails
To backup your emails, navigate to the following location and copy the Mail folder to your hard disk.

/Root Directory/User/Library -> Mail

Backup Safari Bookmarks:

Backup iPhone Safari Bookmarks
To backup Safari bookmarks and settings, navigate to the following location and copy Safari folder to your hard disk.

/Root Directory/User/Library -> Safari

Backup Cydia Repositories:

Backup iPhone Cydia Repos
To backup your Cydia sources, navigate to the following location and copy sources.list.d to your hard disk.

/Root Directory/private/etc/apt -> sources.list.d

How to Restore:

To restore, simply copy the respective folder from your hard drive to the location from where you saved it. Do not forget to reboot your iPhone once you restore the folders back to the iPhone file system.

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    martin8 years, 7 months ago

    I tried this with 4s 6.1.2 I backed up cydia sources and tried to restore them but the repo’s aren’t showing ..

    cydia9 years, 11 months ago

    i once used a program where i could transfer SMS and Contact lists from my iphone to my computer. the app would give me a web address that I would type in on my computer and all the info was just there. it was also free. does anyone know the name of it?

    Erick Bui10 years ago

    @Pramod: Can you tell me exactly which 3rd party iDevice software i need to use?

    I need to emphasize that movie, musics, pictures… may be not necessary but EMAIL ACCOUNTS. I need all of my email accounts back up and transfered to ipad without re-configuring any email setting ( like username, pass, in/out mail server ….)

    Looking fwd to hearing from you soon.


      Pramod10 years ago

      That would be hard as I was talking about 3rd party s/w from a media point of view. For the email accounts, you will have to redo the configuration on your iPhone. Definitely your iPad backup cannot be used to restore an iPhone.

    Erick Bui10 years ago

    Dear Sir,

    Can I use the backup file( from IPHONE) for my Ipad?

    I have Iphone 3Gs installed with apps and 4 email accounts. Now I just have new IPAD and I really want to transfer all settings, email accounts, pictures, musics… to my new IPAD. Can you show me how to do that?

    Noted: I have my Iphone installed at telephone shop so currently the Itune software in my computer is totally blank.

    If possible, could you pls send the instruction to me via email as I do not frequently visit the site.

    Thanks n regards.


      Pramod10 years ago

      Create a backup & manually copy in all your iP3GS content onto your PC via any 3rd party iDevice s/w. You can then sync your photos, music & other content back onto your iPad after that.