iTunes backup session failed

You are not alone to get such “iPhone backup session failed” error when using iTunes. There are lots of complaints from discussions.apple.com about this iTunes backup errors. Even tried all the methods provided by Apple could not get this issue fixed. Here we will give the possible reasons and tell the effective methods to you.

Possible reasons for "iTunes could not backup the iPhone because the backup session failed" issue?

The reason can be concluded as:

  • iTunes is corrupted for some reason or some configure files are missing.
  • Something happened to your device and computer.
  • The backup file you want to restore is too big.
  • Some antivirus software on your computer has interrupted the process.
  • There may be a conflict between the name of your old backup files and the new backup.

After we have known the possible reasons for this issue, now let's find the solutions for it.

Try These 8 Manual Solutions First -Not 100% Effective

To solve the iTunes backup issue, you can try the manual solutions offered below. However, these official solutions to manually fix “iTunes backup session failed” are not 100% effective and takes much time. Anyway, just check them out one by one below.

1 Restart Computer and iPhone/iPad

If you are getting iPhone backup session failed messages, it is likely that the problem is coming from either your Apple device or your PC. So the first thing you can try is to restart your PC and Apple devices.

Make sure that you have disconnected your Apple device from your PC before restarting. Once both devices are restarted, you can then reconnect them. The error should be solved and you can try the backup again.

restart iPad

2 Disconnect Any Other USB Devices on Your Computer

If you have connected too many USB devices (keyboards, mouse, etc) on your computer, that may cause some disorder issues, like iPhone backup session failed. In this case, you should try to disconnect all the USB devices that are connected to your computer. After that, you can start the iTunes backup process again.

3 Check Windows Security Settings

It is possible that your antivirus software is the cause of the backup session failed iTunes error. Your antivirus may view some of the processes involved in the backup as a threat and stop them from working.

If this is the case, you would need to temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall programs and try the backup again. If this doesn’t resolve the error, you can try the next tip.

4 Reset the Lockdown Folder

You can also try to reset the lockdown folder to solve the iTunes backup issues. Just follow the steps below:

For Windows Users:

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect your iPhone from the computer.
  2. Find the iTunes lockdown folder at C:\ProgramData\Apple\Lockdown.
  3. Delete all the files in this lockdown folder.
  4. Launch iTunes again and connect your iPhone to the computer. Now you can try to restore iPhone again.

delete lockdown folder on windows pc

For Mac Users:

  1. Close iTunes and unplug your iPhone from the Mac.
  2. Open Finder and click Go > Go to Folder, then type in /private/var/db/lockdown/ to find the lockdown folder.
  3. Delete all of the files in the Lockdown folder by clicking "Move to Trash".
  4. Relaunch iTunes and connect your iPhone to the Mac and try the backup process again.

delete lockdown folder on mac

5 Delete Unnecessary Files to Free Storage

If the backup files you want to restore are so big in size, then iTunes may fail to complete the backup process of your iPhone. Please make sure there is enough available space on your hard disk. Just try to delete those unnecessary files on your computer to free up more storage space. After removing unwanted content on your computer, you can restart the iTunes backup process again.

6 Rename Old Backup Files

There may be a conflict between the name of your old backup files and the new backup. If this is the case, you can resolve the conflict by renaming your old backup files. You don’t have to rename the entire file though; you can just add something to show it is an old backup.

Depending on your operating system, you can find your old backup files at the following locations:

  • Mac OS: “~/Library/ApplicationSupport/MobileSync/Backup/”
  • Windows 10/8: “\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup”
  • Windows 7: “C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup”

locate iOS backups on iTunes

Remove Old iOS Backups to Avoid Conflicts

iMyFone TunesFix also works as an iTunes cleaner which allows you to preview and remove unwanted iOS backups from iTunes. If you need, it also allows you to delete iOS backups secretly created by third-party software, which would save you huge space and boost PC performance. Moreover, TunesFix can clean iTunes media, old backups, software update files, cache, logs, cookies and other junk files.

Steps to Delete Old iOS Backups Selectively in Bulk

  1. Run iMyFone TunesFix.
  2. Choose “Quick Clean” from the home interface. Let it scan.
  3. If you want to thoroughly delete all old iOS backups from PC (instead of just iTunes backups), choose “Deep Clean”.
  4. Preview and select the unwanted backups. Click on “Clean” to let it clear the backups.

delete old iOS backups with TunesFix

7 Use an Alternative Way - Backup iPhone via iCloud (Not Recommended)

Rather than backup your Apple device with iTunes, you can use other means of doing the backup. One option you can utilize is iCloud. You can do this in the following steps:

  • Step 1: Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Step 2: Go to “Settings” then tap “iCloud”.
  • Step 3: Tap “iCloud Backup”. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap “Backup”. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  • Step 4: Tap “Back Up Now”. Make sure to stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.

icloud backups iOS 11

This option is not a good way if you’re having problems with your iTunes backup. The most important is to fix the iTunes issue completely.

8 Change to Another Computer

If you have tried all the manual solutions we mentioned above but nothing works, then you may need to change to another computer to restart the backup process.

Don't Want to Try out Those Solutions One by One? Fix it Easily with iTunes Repair Expert

There are several useful things you can do to fix iTunes backup session failed messages. But we tested many times and found that the most major reason for this issue is the problem with iTunes itself. So, you need to fix the iTunes issues first. You can take advantages of the easy-to-use iTunes repairer, iMyFone TunesFix. It can effectively solve all your iTunes issues.

Main Features about TunesFix

  • Its “Repair Backup/Restore Errors” feature can fix “iTunes could not back up/restore iPhone because it was corrupt or not compatible.”
  • Fix 100+ iTunes errors, including install/connect/restore/backup and other issues.
  • Fix the iTunes issues with super-easy steps and simple clicks.
  • Repair all kinds of iTunes issues without any data loss.
  • Compatible with iTunes 12.5.3.16 and later versions.

Windows version    Mac version

Simple Guide to Fix “iTunes Backup Session Failed”

Step 1: Launch iMyFone TunesFix and it will automatically detect your iTunes and components. If your iTunes isn’t complete, it will allow you to repair the components issues.

Step 2: Or you will be brought to the homepage. Select the repair mode. In this case, choose “Repair Backup/Restore Errors”.

  • Or choose "Repair iTunes Connect Issues" to solve "iTunes could not connect because invalid response", "... the value is missing", "Error 0xE", "iPhone not showing on iTunes", etc.
  • Or choose "Fix iTunes Install/Update Issues" to repair "iTunes/iTunesHelper was not installed correctly", "Installer has insufficient privileges", "Windows Installer Errors", error 2, error 126, error 1305, etc.
  • Or choose "Fix Other iTunes Problems" to solve any other unknown errors or issues.

fix other iTunes problems by using TunesFix

Step 3: Click on “Repair” to start the process. It will help to fix the backup session failed.

repair backup/restore errors

As you can see, using a iTunes repair tool like TunesFix to solve the "iTunes backup session failed" error are simple and time-saving. Just give it a try!

fix the backup session failed issue with Tunesfix

Write in the End

If your iTunes could not backup the iphone because the backup session failed, the most effective way is to use a iTunes repair tool to solve the issue from the above 5 solutions. Just like iMyFone TunesFix, it can solve over 90% iTunes errors and issues. Why not give it a try?

Windows version    Mac version