Extract Data for Further Analysis

libimobiledevice is a cross-platform software library that allows to interact with iOS devices. It can be used to perform a backup of the iPhone data, which may provide interesting data for a forensic analysis.

Unlike other solutions presented in this guide, this backup will extract all the user data from the different applications and thus contains a lot of private information from the user (photos, messages etc.). Be mindful of what you do with it, and make sure the device owner consent to this extraction and to what is done with the data.


libimobiledevice has packages for OpenSUSE, Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu Linux distributions, just do apt install libimobiledevice (or equivalent package manager).

On MAC OS, the easiest way is to install the HomeBrew package manager, and then install libimobiledevice with it with brew install ideviceinstaller

There is currently no easy way to install libimobiledevice on Windows, you will have to manually compile it on your system.

Extract the Backup

Once libimobiledevice is installed, connect your iphone to your computer and accept the notification asking if your phone should trust the computer connected.

You can then check if the device is correctly connected with the computer with idevice_id -l :

> idevice_id -l

You can then do a backup of the system with the command idevicebackup2 backup -d FOLDER.

backup process

Extract Data to a Readable Format

The data extracted by libimobile device are not in a readable format, to convert them into data as they are on the phone, you have to use another tool like ideviceunback.

First you need to download it and install it :

$ git clone https://github.com/inflex/ideviceunback.git
$ make

You can now extract the files from the backup :

./ideviceunback -v -i path/to/backup -o output/path

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