How to Change your iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10, 8 and 7

How to Change your iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10, 8 and 7

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you break your computer or your nose out of frustration. Read carefully through the instructions below before executing anything.

Introduction

I have iTunes installed on my root ssd drive, a 128 gb Samsung. However, this drive is kind of running out of space, especially since I have about 60 gb of content on my iPhone. This is a problem as stupid iTunes doesn’t allow you to change the location for backups. I had to solve this problem and thus, I’m sharing what I’ve done, here with you.

Please read the following carefully before you get started:

iTunes keeps the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive, usually the C: drive, like in my case.

By default, iTunes will store the backup files in the following path:

  • iTunes backup location on Windows XP:
    \Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • iTunes backup location on Windows Vista/Windows 7/8/10:
    \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

iTunes is hard wired to put all backups into the path shown above and it is not possible to instruct iTunes to store it elsewhere. Quite typical of Apple to dictate and limit but, this is neither here nor there.

We are going to create a new backup folder in another hard drive on the PC, such as D drive, E drive and so on. And then link the original backup folder to the new backup folder. Once we have linked them, every time iTunes tries to save a backup to the C: drive, the files get saved in the new created backup folder, even though iTunes will be (under the impression) that it is saving it in its default location. So yes, basically we’ll be fooling iTunes.

How to Change iTunes Backup Location on Windows

Step 1. Create a New iTunes Backup Folder on another drive

Firstly, you should create a new iTunes backup folder on D drive, E drive or any drive that has more free storage space. This includes portable external drives. You can name this folder anything you like, e.g. iTunes Backup.

I named mine:

d:\itunes backup

Step 2. Rename old iTunes backup folder on system drive

The default iTunes location can be found above, just make sure it’s the correct one and corresponding with your version of Windows. Now, rename the folder name “Backup” to something else, e.g. “Old Backup”. This is what I’ve done.

Step 3. Change iTunes backup location on Windows

We are now going to create a symbolic link. It’s fine if you don’t know what it is. Just follow the steps below and you should be just fine.

  1. Still in the default itunes location path from earlier, press SHIFT key and press the applications key on the old iTunes backup file location, you will get a pop-up menu.
  2. Select “Open command window here”.

    You should now be in the command prompt.

    In my case, it shows:

    C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\old Backup>
  3. In the command prompt window, manually type in the following command where D:\ is the new drive location (drive letter may vary depending on what you have selected earlier) and “itunes backup” is the name of the iOS backup folder you just created:

    mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\itunes backup”
  4. You will now see the command prompt window return a success in creating a junction. And a new folder shortcut called “Backup” will appear in the original location.
  5. Now, delete the old iTunes backup folder that you renamed earlier.

Go ahead, connect your iPhone or whatever Apple device you want to sync with iTunes and backup.

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