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TourGuide 5.0

How to use this guide

This page serves as an overview, 'quick-start' guide and as the Table-of-Contents for MSB documentation. Click on any underlined title to show/hide screenshots, overviews. Topics include links to the main manual for more information.

NEW USERS: Do not connect your device yet.
If you are looking for data that no longer appears on your device, connecting and syncing may delete data that you are trying to recover!

How MobileSyncBrowser works

MobileSyncBrowser (MSB) does not communicate directly with your device. It works with files that are already on your computer's hard disk, so it is important not to overwrite these files.
iTunes Backup
For best results, read iTunes Backups and this guide. Once you know how iTunes works with your device data, you can make better use of MSB.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Downloading and Installation

Download Page If you have not downloaded MSB, you can get it at the download page. There, you will find the latest version, requirements, and notices of any known problems and their solutions.

Once you have downloaded MSB, it must be installed on your main (startup) hard drive. 

Download Page Windows The download is an installation utility. Run the installer and follow the instructions.
disk image file Mac The download is a disk image file. If you are not familiar with disk images, click here for a tutorial.

MSB cannot be registered on secondary or external drives. This restriction applies to all versions, except for law-enforcement licensees.


Your download is the full version of MSB, but features will not be fully activated until it is registered. You do not have to purchase MSB until you are satisfied it is working correctly. 

Registration Page MSB has several licensing options which affect which features you can use.

If you have received your registration key, you must enter it in MSB. For more details, see Registration



Typically, when you launch MSB, a list of backups is displayed for you to choose from. However, if there is only one backup, MSB jumps to the Categories view. If the item displays a blue button; this means more than one action is available. Double-clicking the row (not the button) performs the item's default action.

Encrypted backups display a red icon and cannot be opened.

For more details, see Basics: Using MSB


The Categories view displays the information MSB was able to collect from the selected backup. Note that the items have gray arrows: no alternate actions are available. Double-clicking will open the category.

For more details, see Basics: Using MSB

'Classic' Features Archiving

SMS, Notes and Call History are the 'Classic' categories. If registered, you can export these items and MSB can also archive them in the 'MobileSyncBrowser Data' file in your Documents folder. Until registered, exports and previews are partially disabled.

SMS Messages

Opening the SMS category will list the 'conversations' MSB has found, with the most recent listed first and a sample of the last message. If available, the contact name is displayed. Longer conversations have a blue button: they can be displayed in sections for better performance.

Opening a SMS conversation will display it similar to how it appears on the phone. Pressing Export allows you to save this conversation to disk.

Until registered, MSB displays only the first ten messages and the latest. This allows you to determine the range of dates found in the backup.

For more details, see Classic Features: SMS 

Exporting (SMS, Calls and Notes)

When you export, MSB asks you what method to use if more than option is available:

Select Text of you want a plain-text file for editing in a text editor or spreadsheet.

Select HTML to open it in your web browser. You can then save or print the information, including Acrobat PDF if your system supports it.

For more details, see Classic Features

Call History

The Call History view is similar to the SMS view. Entries are color-coded to indicate Outgoing, Incoming and Missed calls:

Your iPhone backup only contains the last 100 calls; however, MSB can also display calls it encountered in previous sessions.

Until registered, MSB displays only the first ten call records.

For more details, see Classic Features: Call History


The Notes view is also very similar to the SMS view. You can export your notes individually or include them all in a single text file.

Until registered, MSB only displays the beginning of any notes.

For more details, see Classic Features: Notes

'Plus' Features

Contacts, Calendars and Photos/Other Files are the optional Plus categories. These items are never archived in the 'MobileSyncBrowser Data' file, they are read directly from the current backup folder for the devices. Until registered, exports and previews are disabled.


MSB can Export your contacts all-at-once or individually in vCard (.vcf) format. A simple text preview of each contact is also available.

For more details, see Plus Features: Contacts


MSB can Export your calendars or individual events in vCal (.ics) format. A simple text preview of events is also available.

For more details, see Calendars

Photos & Other Files

MSB can export any file it finds in your backup, but you must have an program that understands the exported file.

MSB can preview files in common formats, including PNG and JPG images:

For more details, see Photos & Other Files

Advanced Features

Available in Classic and Plus versions

Displaying Emoji

Sample Emoji Emoji are pictograms used primarily on cell phones in Japan but have become popular with users in other countries when support was added in iPhone OS 2.2.

MSB includes optional support for displaying Emoji.

For more details, see Emoji Support

Backup Management

MSB includes two powerful backup management features that extend the functionality of your backups:

RollBack (Historical Backups) allows you to keep previous backups in case your current backup has a problem. For more details, see RollBack

CoreRestore (Selective Backups) allows you to restore specific files to your device. For more details, see CoreRestore

For more details on how to restore data with iTunes, see Restoring

Need more help?

V. S. Cordero No program is perfect and no manual is perfect. Use the link below and tell me about any problems you are having: I'm always happy to help! ~ Vaughn

Contact Support

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©2007-2010 Vaughn S. Cordero. All rights reserved.