Where Does iTunes Save iOS Updates?


When I opened up iTunes today, it prompted me to upgrade my iPhone to iOS 6.0.2. Oh joy, another 750MB download since Apple can’t simply issue patches like the rest of the world!

Once the iOS update had downloaded, it had to extract the installation files. And that’s when it ran out of space. DOH!

In order to update iOS, you need to have at least 1.5GB of free space. On the flip side, you could simply upgrade over your phone, but your phone would then need free space for the update. Unfortunately, my iPhone has barely 100MB free. 🙁

So I cleared up some space, launch iTunes again, and ran the upgrade. Once the upgrade had completed, I expected that free space to return, but it didn’t. Upon further inspection, I found that iTunes hadn’t deleted the iOS update file, and that was eating up 750MB of HD space!

So begs the question – Where does iTunes save the iOS update files?

On Windows XP:
Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates

On Windows Vista/Windows 7:
Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates

On Mac:
~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

So head over to there, delete the files you no longer need, and recover that precious hard drive space!

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