Location of iTunes backup

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Popdevil, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Popdevil

    Popdevil New Member

    Jul 2, 2007
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    I would like to change the location of where the iTunes stores the backup of the iPhone. Any chance of doing this, is there an option?
  2. geordisjd

    geordisjd Zealot

    Jul 1, 2007
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    login name>library>application support>mobilesync>backup

    Doubt if you can move it without confusing your system.
  3. calibdus

    calibdus New Member

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Yes, it IS possible do this without confusing your system

    Unfortunately, there are no options or settings in iTunes that allow users to define where they want the program to save backups of their mobile devices. As you probably already know, iTunes saves these backup files in a subfolder folder of the hidden "Application Data" shell folder.

    In Windows XP Pro, the full path looks something like this...

    \documents and settings\%user name%\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
    *note: there are more Apple folders hidden in \documents and settings\%user name%\local settings\application data.... but you don't have to mess with those.

    In Windows XP Professional, I was able to achieve the desired result by changing the default path where Windows stores user-specific application data. My process involved a lot of fumbling around with registry keys until I finally found the correct approach, which I will outline below.

    1. log on to your system in Safe Mode or as the computer's default Administrator account.
    2. Create a folder where you want Windows to store user-specific application data (including data like backup files from iTunes). In my case, I wanted to stop iTunes from clogging up my main system partition with iPhone backups and media information like album photos, so I created a new folder on my other, larger hard drive.
    3. Copy all files and folders in \documents and settings\%user name%\Application Files
    4. Paste the files in the new folder you created in step 2. (This will ensure that you don't lose any data when you get into the later steps.)
    5. Log off of the Administrator account and/or out of Safe Mode.
    6. Log back in under your regular user name
    7. Open the Registry Editor (Start - Run - "regedit")
    8. Export the registry settings to a safe location to serve as a backup in the event you make a mistake while editing the registry.
    9. Navigate to the following Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\AppData
    10. Replace the current Value of this Key with the path of the folder you created in step 2.
    11. Restart the computer.
    12. Log back in using your regular user name
    13. Open the Registry Editor (Start - Run - "regedit")
    14. Navigate to the following Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\AppData
    *Note: This is a different Registry Key than the one you altered in step 9
    15. Verify that the value of the Key has changed to reflect the new path you entered as the value for the Key, \User Shell Folders\AppData in step 9. If yes, you're almost done. If no, go back to step 9 and try again.
    16. Uninstall iTunes.
    17. Restart the Computer and log back in
    18. Install iTunes and make sure it loads ok after the install
    19. Plug in your iPhone and perform a backup. (Right-click on your iPhone in the iTunes device list, then left-click "Backup")
    20. Once the backup has been completed, navigate to the Folder you created in chapter 2.
    21. You should see your backup data now residing in its new home.
    22. After you have verified that the changes are working as they should, you can safely delete the files and folders in the original backup location to free up drive space.

    Anyway, I hope this helps... or that someone can help you translate this info into some useful form for Windows Vista or whatever OS you are running...
  4. margrate12

    margrate12 Guest

    When I sync my iPod, I want it to backup my settings, apps, and video to a specified location (my external hard drive) rather than the default location (on my main drive). Is there a way to change the settings to achieve this? I don't want to use the space on my PC for this. Would the only way to do this be to uninstall iTunes and reinstall it on the external drive?
  5. Jmac808

    Jmac808 New Member

    Jun 23, 2011
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    Nice post. I'm in the exact situation.
    Just a question regarding step #3. Should I copy everything in "Application Data", or should I go one folder further to "Apple Computer"? There is much more than just iTunes related folders/data in the "Application Data" folder than I'm comfortable moving around.

  6. pappus

    pappus New Member

    Oct 18, 2011
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    I have now found another solution to this problem that is getting bigger because of the iOS 5 upgrades. I moved the Backup folder onto a network share of my Windows Home Server using a symbolic directory link and the Windows 7 command mklink.
    Detailed instructions can be found on my blog post: http://pep-p.com/wp/?p=44
    It helped me a lot as my main system drive is a 60GB SSD - fast but small - and too small when iTunes cloggs up the space with all the backups.

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