“My C: drive is full (has only 1.5 GB free) and iTunes fails to backup my iPhone 7 plus (128GB) when trying to update to the new iOS 11.0.2. The OTA updates keep on failing as well. Can anyone tell me how I can change the default iTunes backup location?
Change iTunes/iPhone Backup Location
Apple iTunes stores backup of iOS devices on system drive at a default location and usually its C: drive. With more and more live photos and newer apps, this precious space is bound to reduce constantly. In no time user realizes that for some strange reason he/she has run out of space in Windows system partition soon. To overcome this we can use one smart solution available in all windows system : Symbolic Link.
What exactly is Symbolic Link and how it used to change iTunes/iPhone Backup Location?
According to Wikipedia, “an NTFS junction point is a symbolic link to a directory that acts as an alias of that directory. This feature of the NTFS file system offers benefits over a Windows shell shortcut (.lnk) file, such as allowing access to files within the directory via Windows Explorer, the Command Prompt, etc.”
Where is my current iTunes/iPhone backup location anyways?
By default, iTunes will store the backup files in the following path.
• iTunes/iPhone backup location on Windows XP: Documents and Settings(username)Application DataApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup
• iTunes/iPhone backup location on Windows Vista/Windows 7/8/10: Users(username)AppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup
iTunes is configured to put all backups into the path shown above and we cannot select to save these backup files to another drive directly.
Steps to Change Default iTunes/iPhone backup location
Step 1: Create new storage location or back up folder
Choose a new storage location and create a new folder there. Keep in mind this folder should have sufficient space to accommodate backup generated by iTunes. Usually for 128 GB iPhone, choose drive with minimum 200 GB free space. Give a descriptive name to this folder.
Step 2: Rename old iTunes backup folder
Navigate to iTunes backup folder [Those who jumped directly to Steps, please check article above] and rename “Backup” folder to “Not Used Backup” or any name that suits your taste.
Step 3: Change backup location to new location
- Copy location path and press “Windows + R”
- Type “cmd” and click “Enter”
- On command prompt write below command:
Cd C:UsersAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSync
- In command prompt write below command:
mklink /J “%APPDATA% Apple ComputerMobileSyncBackup” “D:iPhoneBackup”
- Success message will be shown and shortcut for backup folder is created.
- Now connect iTunes again and new backup will be formed in new location.
Note: Old backup will not be used now and can be deleted.
Tip: iTunes doesn’t delete old backup when new one is created, so if your drive is reducing in space, check for backup folder and delete old backups.
Please let me know in comments if any further help is required.