All the iOS users know that the iTunes keep the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive. The space on your primary partition will be constantly reducing with the ever-expanding iOS backup folder. Unfortunately, there are no settings available in iTunes program to change the backup location. iTunes will keep detecting the same place for backup.
Why Relocate iTunes iOS Backup Folder To Another Drive?
iTunes backs up only certain iOS data such as app files, settings and camera roll photos from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch each time you sync. The multiple backups produced by the iTunes’ syncs of all the devices you connect to your computer tend to take considerable disk space, so you might want to store them on an alternate disk than the original location. iTunes does not allow to change the backup folder location; then what’s the solution?
To achieve this, you will need to tell iTunes where those backups are being relocated using a Symbolic link which is an advanced type of shortcut in the file system that is being totally transparent to iTunes. By following the steps below, you can easily change the iTunes backup location.
Relocate iTunes iOS Backup Folder In Windows:
If you are a person taking your iPhone and iPad backups through iTunes on your Windows computer, you may face the situation to change the backup location to a different drive. iTunes stores the backup usually under the user profile folder on Windows OS computer. If you have multiple iPhones and iPads to be backed up, then definitely you will run out of space on C drive.
The Default Location of iTunes Backup is in a folder called MobileSync. This folder is located in:
Steps To Move iTunes backup Folder‘s Location:
1. Create a new backup folder on the different location (it can be a different folder, partition, disk or external disk storage). For example, we have created the new backup folder in ‘J’ drive with following folder structure. We’re going to move the iTunes backup from ‘C’ drive to ‘J’.
2. Go to the original backup location which is under your user profile in C drive. Rename the ‘Backup’ folder that was created by iTunes already. We changed ‘Backup’ to ‘Old-Backup’.
3. Now open the command prompt. You can press ‘Shift’ key on the keyboard and right click on the empty space in this folder to open command (select ‘Open command window here’ from the menu) prompt from this location itself.
4. Now we will be creating a symbolic link in the default iTunes backup location and point it to the different new folder we created.
Type the following command:
mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “J:\My iPhone Backup\Backup”
You should get the successful message saying that junction created as above.
5. Now you will see the new ‘Backup’ folder with symbolic link icon on the normal iTunes backup location. This link will redirect the files/data to the new location we have created. By this method, when iTunes takes backup of your iPhone, iPad, that will go to the new location.
Now, if you run the backup from iTunes, it will push the backup to the new folder location through this junction (symbolic link) folder.
Relocate iTunes iOS Backup Folder In Mac OS X:
1. The original location of the Backups is in a folder called MobileSync.
2. This folder is located in ~/Library/Application Support.
3. And to do move this folder’s location, you will have to copy the folder to the new location (for example at the root of an external hard disk drive (HDD).
4. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/. Remove the folder “Backup” within or rename it “BackupOld” if you want to keep it.
5. Now, open Terminal and type the following command:
ln -s /Volumes/<Your External HDD>/MobileSync/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
6. Close Terminal and Launch a backup and see if it has been properly located and iTunes new folder.
Hope this will be helpful in changing/moving the default iTunes backup location to a different folder or disk partition on both Windows and Mac OS. If you have any queries, please let us know in the comments section below.
Where do you locate your iTunes backup?