When we update an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch through iTunes we are downloading an IPSW file containing the full iOS. These files are stored in a specific folder on our computer and take up storage space (up to about 2 GB in some cases) that we may want to recover one day. iTunes does not allow us to delete them manually, so in the following lines we’ll see the path where iTunes saves iOS IPSW files on computers with MacOS or Windows .
As we said, these IPSW files are what we need to update or restore an iOS device (if we already have it downloaded for our iDevice, iTunes does not need to download it again). In addition, in some cases they may also be needed to Jailbreak a device. That’s why knowing the location where they are stored can be so useful in certain cases.
Each device requires a specific file, so we cannot use, for example, the IPSW of an iPhone 7 to update an iPhone 7 Plus. This is something to keep in mind and can help us reclaim storage space by, for example, deleting files from devices we no longer have or perhaps downloading just to update a family member or friend’s device.
Location of IPSW files in macOS
If we are Mac users, the IPSW files we download through iTunes are located in the following path:
When accessing it we find different folders of the type ***** Software Updates , where the asterisks are the name of each device. Inside each of them are the IPSW files for the device that indicates the folder (iPhone, iPad or iPod).
In older versions of macOS (or Mac OS X as the operating system was called at the time), the path may vary and be as follows:
Location of IPSW files in Windows
In the case of Windows there are several location options depending on the version of the operating system we are running. In addition, these paths also include the user name we use, so it is different in each computer. The specific paths are (changed user by the name you have on the computer):
- Windows XP: Application Data and Settings (tixag4)
- Windows Vista and Windows 7: User Roaming Apple Computer (tixag4)
- Windows 8 and Windows 10: User Roaming Apple Computer (tixag4)
These are the paths where iTunes defaults to store all IPSW files it downloads when we do an update or restore iPhone, iPad or iPod. Now that we know where they are stored, we can access those paths and delete the ones we no longer need without fear, thus recovering storage space on our computers; something that is always appreciated.