How to delete iOS software updates from Mac?

What are iOS software updates?
iOS software updates are files that you download every time you want to update the software of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod via iTunes. After your device has been updated, you don’t need the file you downloaded, and thus, you can remove it and free up a significant amount of space on your Mac. And in case you need to use such a file again, you can re-download it just like you did it for the first time.

Apple has replaced iTunes with Music, Podcasts, Books, and Apple TV with the release of macOS Catalina. Finder is the new place to back up, update, or restore your devices. But, if your Mac's running macOS Mojave or later, you can still use iTunes. Now, let's see how you can remove old iOS software updates from your Mac.

How to remove old iOS firmware files from Mac manually?

iOS update files can be found at ~/Library/iTunes, where "~" is your Home folder. Notice that software updates differ for different devices. That means that, for instance, the iPad firmware files will be kept at ~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates, while you will find the same files for iPhone in ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates.

How to remove old iOS backups?

If you've backed up your device on your Mac, there are probably some old backup files lying around on your hard drive. Here's how to remove them to free up some space:

  1. Go to Apple menu > About This Mac.
  2. Select the Storage tab.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. In the left-side menu, choose iOS Files.
  5. Select the backup you want to remove and press Delete.

And it's done!

How to clear your Mac of software updates automatically?

CleanMyMac X - Smart Scan complete

Instead of looking for iOS software updates on your Mac manually and making decisions about what files you want to delete or leave untouched, you can take advantage of CleanMyMac X. Launch it, hit Scan, and then Clean, and the app will clean your Mac from unneeded data cluttering your system, Trashes and iPhoto library (if you have one), including outdated iOS software updates.

Alternatively, you can open the iTunes Junk module of CleanMyMac X, scanning, clicking Review Details, and then only selecting the iOS software updates for cleaning.


The iTunes Junk feature is not available on macOS Catalina 10.15. There’s nothing to clean because the iTunes app has been shut down with the release of macOS 10.15.

Download CleanMyMac X to remove iOS software updates from your Mac!

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