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Plus Categories

This section describes features that require a Plus license. If you have a Classic license, a + sign will appear next to these categories. You can purchase an upgrade to Plus at any time from the MSB Preferences pane.

Contacts, Calendars and Photos & Other Files constitute the Plus categories. These items are never archived in the ‘MobileSyncBrowser.Data’ file, they are read directly from the current backup folder for the device.

These are data recovery features and are generally used to recover information when the normal sync mechanisms do not work properly.


Contacts, as a rule, are normally synched with your Address Book.

MSB uses the contact list to display the names associated with calls and SMS messages.

You can export/view your contact data if you have registered for Plus (data recovery) features.

Individual contacts may be exported by double-clicking the individual contact. To preview a contact's data, click on the blue chevron.

To export all contacts, navigate to the main Contacts list and select the Export All button.

The exported contact(s) file is in vcard (.vcf) format for the broadest compatibility possible. Multiple contacts are exported to a single file.

Compatibilty Notes:

Encoding: Some Windows contacts applications do not support Unicode encoding and may import ‘non-Roman’ scripts (e.g. Cyrillic, Kanji) incorrectly. If this happens, use a text-encoding utility to convert the file as appropriate prior to importing.

Multiple Contacts: Some Windows contact applications do not support single vcf files with multiple contacts and will typically import only the first record in the file. Outlook is one very common program that does this.

There are many utilities on the Internet to remedy this, with varying approaches:

In version 3.1.3 and higher you have the option to export each contact as a separate vcf file. If you select this option, you will still be prompted for a file name, but this will become the name of the enclosing folder.

Another method is to convert the single vcf file into a comma-separated-values (.csv) text file that many programs also support.

One online converter that I have used can be found here (just remember that your information is being sent to a third-party; if you are concerned with security, find a utility that you can download to do the conversion on your computer):

Online vCard Converter


Calendar Events, as a rule, are normally synced with your designated Calendar program.

You can export your Calendars and Events if you have registered for Plus (data recovery) features.

The exported events are in vcal (.ics) format for the broadest compatibility possible. Calendars and events are exported to a single file.

To export an entire calendar, list the calendar's event(s) and click the Export All button.

To preview or export a single event, double-click on the event; you can then press the Export button to save the event individually.

Photos & Other Files

In this category, you can see all the files contained in the current backup. MSB recreates the directory structure from the information in the backup.

You may browse the directories and files in the backup. Plus users  can export any file encapsulated in the backup in its native format.

The existence and location of certain items will vary depending on your device's firmware version.

Photographs, such as those in the Camera Roll, are stored in the CameraRollDomain (or MediaDomain if the former doesnt exist). Within, navigate to the /Media/DCIM/ directory to view the Camera Roll images.

MMS and iMessage attachments are stored in the same domain within /Library/SMS/ in the Parts and/or Attachments folder.

JPEG, PNG* and THM image files can be previewed in MSB. PLIST documents and some audio files can also be previewed. Click on the blue chevron to select 'Preview' if available. You can also select Export to save the file to disk if you want to view in another program.

*Some non-photo PNG files are saved in a non-standard format and cannot be previewed in MSB.