Being an iPhone owner has loads of perks. When it comes to transferring your data to a new phone or device though, things can get confusing.
Often, we will want to move things like music or messages from our iPhones to a computer for safekeeping. Regular backups of your files is also important. In order to do this, you will need a great iPhone transfer software.
In our efforts to find the best iPhone transfer software available, we have stacked up two of the top options: iMazing vs iExplorer.
iMazing is one of the most popular choices for managing your iOS device. But, does it stand up to the test when compared to “ultimate iPhone manager” iExplorer?
Our iMazing vs iExplorer side by side comparison will explore the following features of these two products:
- Photo transfers
- Music transfers
- Storing messages
- Automatic backups
- Disk mode and file browsing
- iOS Management
- File backups and transfers
If you are looking for the best product for iPhone transfers and iOS management, you’ll want to check out our complete comparison below.
In the end, we will reveal which software option has the best features and which one comes out on top.
Introducing iMazing and iExplorer
Previously known as DiskAid, iMazing is a powerful software product that allows you to do easy transfers from an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to a Mac or PC. This includes the transfer of photos, music, videos, apps, files, or anything else really.
If you’re looking for user-friendly software that can move your files onto a new device, or have everything backed up in a separate location, then this is a useful product for you.
Transfers with iMazing can be done without iTunes or iCloud, which is why it’s a great alternative if you’re not a fan of Apple’s iPhone management system.
Your iOS is simply backed up and kept safe. You can also do transfers without a USB cable if you prefer, as this software works over a wifi connection.
iMazing has a pretty broad iOS management system that monitors things like updates and storage. This software works with all iPhones, iPods, iPads, and all PCs or Macs. This makes it a versatile and popular choice for Apple fanatics.
iExplorer describes itself as the “ultimate iPhone manager”. This product allows you to take any files on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and effortlessly transfer them to a Mac or PC, through iTunes.
Just like iMazing, you can transfer music, text messages, photos, videos, contacts, apps, and other files on your device. This is an effective solution for anyone wanting to backup their files onto a computer, or to transfer them over to a new iPhone. iExplorer works with all iPods, iPhones, and iPads, as well as any type of PC or Mac.
iExplorer offers an easy way to export files on your iOS device, backup information, and transfer files between your devices. iExplorer requires a USB connection to do these transfers. This is an efficient choice for you to manage your iPhone transfers.
Features: iMazing vs iExplorer
There are many important differences between these two software products.
Let’s break down the most important features of these two software products to see what sets them apart.
One of the critical functions of both of these two software options is transferring photos from your iOS device to a PC or Mac. Choosing one of these software options is often based on how easy this process is to do, as backing up photos is probably one of the most common things you will do.
iMazing allows for the easy transfer of photos from one device to the next. Pictures and videos can be safely transferred without the need for iTunes or iCloud. You can transfer the photos directly to any type of computer.
This makes it easier to transfer the photos to PCs that don’t have Apple software. You can also do this through a USB connection, or you can transfer via wifi. With more options for transferring data, you’ll easily be able to backup photos and information regularly.
iExplorer also offers a simple solution to transfer your photos between an iPhone, iPod or iPad to your Mac or PC. The first difference between these two software options is that iExplorer will require you to have iTunes installed on the computer’s system in order to transfer photos, while iMazing does not.
You will also need a USB cable to do a transfer with iExplorer, while iMazing also has the option of a wifi transfer. Despite these two points, iExplorer does offer a quick and convenient transfer solution. You can transfer individual photos, or choose them all.
Using either of these options for photo transfers is a good idea because often the recommended Apple solution does not work. This could be due to older iPods and iPhones not working with your current computer, or transferring from different devices could be a lengthy, difficult process. Both iMazing and iExplorer offer a simple solution to this that will work with any iPhone and iPod, and any Mac or PC.
iMazing makes music transfers fast and easy. As with the photo transfers, there is no need to have iTunes installed on your computer. This is really useful for anyone that doesn’t use Apple software on their computer, or just for space-saving.
Music and media files can be easily transferred back and forth. Not having to use iTunes also allows you to do transfers directly to external storage devices.
The music transfer feature is pretty intuitive and user-friendly. You can select exactly what tracks you would like to move over without having to go through complicated sync processes.
Unlike iTunes, using iMazing as a music transfer software allows you to connect multiple devices to different computers.
You can easily share music with more people and transfer from different devices and places. All you need to do is select the music on your iOS device and copy it over to a folder on your computer (or to iTunes).
You can easily drag and drop songs between the different devices, without having to fuss around with irritating syncs. You can also select playlists, albums, and individual songs to transfer.
The iMazing music transfer feature is one of its key selling points. This process is much more efficient than traditional iTunes syncs.
Once again, iExplorer can only do this through computers with iTunes installed on them. You will need to connect the iOS device to the Mac or PC with a USB cable, and then you can do a music transfer by selecting from four different options.
These are the Auto Transfer (auto recovers all music to iTunes), Selected Tracks (choose any specific songs to transfer), Selected Playlists (transfer any specific playlists), or Drag and Drop (quickly select particular tracks and drag and drop them between devices).
Having these different transfer options available is a definite advantage of iExplorer. Sure, iMazing can perform these different tasks, but the options are not laid out as clearly.
So, when comparing iMazing and iExplorer, here are some key things to note:
- iMazing allows you to transfer music without needing iTunes
- Both products offer the same music transfer abilities in terms of what you can transfer between devices
- iMazing offers a simplified format for this, which can be seen as being more user-friendly
iMazing allows you to easily transfer messages from a phone to a computer, or from one phone to a new phone. This includes any SMS, MMS, or iMessage chats.
When you save and transfer the messages, it will also include the message status (sent, read, unread), the subject line of the message, and any attachments on that message. This provides total clarity around the message being stored.
A benefit of using iMazing to do this is that it can save and prepare your messages ready for printing. This includes options on the paper format, page numbers, and scale, margins, and orientation. iMazing gives you the option to save the messages and attachments as a PDF, Excel/CSV, or TXT document.
Apple actually has no specific tool for transferring and storing things like messages, screenshots, and voice notes. This is a major benefit of using iMazing. The software allows you to do quick backups on your phone to do this.
You can choose specific messages and documents, or simply do a general backup. This can help you to save precious memories, easily transfer all of your message threads to a new phone, or save and print out texts, voice notes, and screenshots for a potential legal dispute.
iExplorer also allows you to save and transfer SMS, MMS, and iMessage chats from your phone to a computer. Just like with iMazing, this can be stored in a PDF, TXT, or CSV format. Any format you choose will still include the original timestamps of the message.
iExplorer offers a convenient keyword research tool to help you find messages. You can also select individual messages and threads, or perform a general backup. This does differ between a PC and a Mac. A PC will search all messages and a Mac will only search for selected ones.
While both products offer more convenient solutions for backing up messages, iMazing does come out stronger. Here are some reasons why:
- iExplorer requires a bit more tedious browsing, backup selection, and exporting process
- iMazing allows you to store more information/documentation with the message (message status and any attachments)
- iMazing offers a convenient print formatting solution
- iMazing provides a browsing process that is easier to navigate from all devices
- You can transfer messages from a phone to a computer, or between two phones with iMazing. iExplorer restricts you to just a phone to the computer (with iTunes installed)
iMazing uses unique backup technology to make this a seamless process. This product can do backups wirelessly, privately, and automatically. This can work for iPhones and iPads, and it can back the data up to any Mac or PC.
First, let’s compare iMazing to iTunes and iCloud. Why should Apple iOS users choose iMazing for this purpose?
Unlike Apple’s backup offerings, iMazing will never overwrite any backups. You also don’t need to pay for cloud storage.
Something that makes iMazing unique is that it offers a free automatic and completely wireless backup solution. Any data backed up is also fully restorable and easily browsable. This makes it simple to just load it back onto a new device.
When using iMazing as your iPhone backup software, here are a few of the key functions that you can utilize:
- You can decide how many backups are kept and for how long, or you can just choose to keep all backups
- iMazing sends out notifications if your backups fall behind schedule.
- iMazing backups can be automated
- End-to-end encryption offers a greater level of safety for your data when transferred over the local wifi network
- Data transferred and stored is completely private, and it does not transit via the Internet.
- There is a seriously secure Apple backup encryption format for total data security
- You can choose a specific backup location for your data. This can be an external hard drive, NAS, Mac, or PC.
- Restoring old backup data is easy and efficient
iExplorer can manage all areas of your iPhones data. It is an incredibly useful tool for doing transfers between the iOS device and any computer.
While you can easily manage and store the transfers, this software does not offer an automated backup feature as iMazing does.
If you are using iExplorer on your iPhone, you will still have to do these types of backups through iCloud or iTunes. However, iExplorer does have a “Disk Mode” which we explore below.
Disk Mode and File Browsing
iExplorer offers a “Disk Mode” and file browsing feature that can be compared to the iMazing backup function. This lets you browse all of your iPhone files from your computer (Mac or PC), and even mount the directories from the device as a native disk.
Then there is also the iTunes backup extractor. iExplorer has a feature that allows you to access any files from any iTunes backups to extract them.
This is an excellent recovery option that can enhance your standard iTunes backup process. While this feature offers an enhanced level of backup security, and it keeps you in charge of your files, it lacks automation.
This is a downfall to iExplorer, as it can be easy to forget to regularly backup your files and data.
The iExplorer software works through a very convenient app. This app is basically your file manager on your iPhone, and it can sync up to the computer that you are using as a destination.
You can access all of the files on your device, move them around, and decide what you want to transfer. When you connect the iOS device to your computer, you can easily transfer files between the two systems.
iExplorer has a good file viewing feature built-in here. As long as your iOS device is USB connected to a computer, it is really easy to shift over files and do user-friendly transfers.
While iExplorer is a good option for convenient file transfers, it does not add as much value as a full iOS management system.
iMazing takes iOS management a bit further though. This product includes features such as diagnostic solutions and advanced connectivity. You can connect various devices to the iMazing platform and easily manage pairing and unpairing. You can update your iOS system, and access advanced device information and diagnostics.
iMazing still offers fantastic file browsing functions (like iExplorer), and it allows for multiple views and sorting. Through this, the software also optimizes the disk use. As an all-encompassing iOS manager, iMazing has more to offer.
File Backups and Transfers
We have covered the main types of files that each product can transfer and backup between devices. Both of these software options have more to offer. You can export various other files and folders between your iOS device and computer.
Here is a quick look at the different types of file backups available through iMazing vs iExplorer
- Safari history and bookmarks
- Phone/call history
- File System
- Voice recordings
- Phone/call history
- Safari history and bookmarks
Both software options are roughly the same in terms of what files and apps they can access.
However, iMazing offers slightly more variety here. It is important to know what type of files the software can use and access before choosing a specific product.
iMazing offers many of its main features for free., You will need to buy a license to unlock extra features, such as backup restoration, unlimited data transfers, and iOS updates. This runs at around $40 for a single license.
iExplorer is also available in a limited free version. This allows you to access the features of the product, but it limits the amount of data that you can transfer. In order to lift away these limits, you will need a registered version. This will cost around $35.
While both options come close in this category, iExplorer is the cheaper option. If you are looking to save a few dollars, then this would be the product to choose.
Price considerations should also include the type of value you get from the product. This includes the number of features and quality of the software.
The iMazing vs iExplorer comparison really comes down to a few small details. Both of these apps achieve many of the same things, and both offer a range of powerful download features.
If you need to transfer data from your iOS device to any computer, then you’ll get good results with either option.
After our deep dive into these two software options, we have voted iMazing as the overall better choice.
iMazing offers excellent file transfer capabilities for popular files like music, photos, messages, and contacts. On top of this, the app also has excellent automated backup functionality, as well as general iOS management features. It is easy to use and offers you a simple iPhone management solution.
iExplorer is a great tool for file transfers, but this is really where it ends. This option still needs to work with iTunes, and it requires the use of a USB cable (where iMazing can do wireless transfers).
It also lacks a few advanced iOS management functions (such as reinstallations and updates) in comparison to iMazing.
Considering the price point combined with features, iMazing is our top choice for an iPhone management system. We are not alone here either, the app has greater popularity when compared to iExplorer.
Mike Hostetler is an Entrepreneur & Technologist currently working to help technical teams grow and thrive. Mike formerly founded appendTo, a boutique consultancy born out of the jQuery project. He is an active OSS supporter and currently serves as CEO & Publisher of ModernWeb.com. Mike is passionate about Remote Work, the Future of Work, Leadership and helping others succeed.