While it’s great that iTunes automatically downloads firmware updates for your iPhone, what isn’t so great is trying to find out where iTunes stores them on your computer if you need to locate the update. Whether you want to move it to another computer or just delete it to free up some space, it’s handy to know where the firmware update is.

Simple Search

Firmware updates for the iPhone end in the file extension .ipsw, so the first tactic you can try to quickly locate the files is to click the Start button, enter “ipsw” in the search box and press “Enter.” If your search is configured to search only indexed locations however, it may not locate the updates.

File System Search Party

Depending on your operating system, the file can be stored in different locations. For Windows Vista, 7 and 8, it is located at Users\your user account name\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates. Replace “your user account name” with your actual user account name.

Windows XP stores the files at Documents and Settings\your user account name\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates. Again, replace “your user account name” with your actual user account name.

If you cannot find this directory, you may need to unhide the system files in the Control Panel (link in Resources).

For Mac users, the files can be found here: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates.