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iTunes keeps the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive. The space on your primary Windows partition – precious and often scarce – is constantly reduced with the ever-expanding iOS backup folder.

iTunes does not allow to change the backup folder location. What’s the solution?

Here is a quick overview of what we are going to cover in this article:

iTunes backup location

iTunes saves backups to a Backup folder and backs up only certain iOS data such as app files, settings and camera roll photos from iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch each time you sync. The location of the Backup folder depends on the operating system.

To locate iTunes backup folder on Windows 10, 8, 7:

  1. Find the Search bar:
    • In Windows 10: click on the Search bar next to the Start button.
      In Windows 8: click on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner.
      In Windows 7: click on Start.
  2. In the Search bar, enter %appdata% or %USERPROFILE% (if you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store).
  3. Press Return.
  4. Double-click on these folders: “Apple” or “Apple Computer” > MobileSync > Backup.

Alternatively, go to: \Users\*Username*\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\.

To locate iTunes backup folder on Mac:

  1. Click on the magnifier icon in the menu bar.
  2. Type or copy and paste this: ˜/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  3. Press Return.

Why change iTunes backup location

It is often unaccounted for how quickly the iOS backup files may accumulate on the system drive and take up valuable system resources ultimately leading to a less than ideal system performance. That’s why sometimes the best solution is to change iTunes backup folder location.

Custom restore in CopyTrans Shelbee

Change iTunes backup location automatically

Use CopyTrans Shelbee to automatically change the location of your iTunes backup folder and move its contents wherever you like. Begin by downloading CopyTrans Shelbee from the following page: Download CopyTrans Shelbee

  1. Close iTunes and start CopyTrans Shelbee. Click on “Toolbox”. Select toolbox

  2. Click on the Pencil symbol to choose a new location for your iTunes backup folder. Change iTunes backup location in CopyTrans Shelbee

  3. Select the folder and click OK. Select iTunes backup location new folder

  4. Tap on “Start”.

    Start changing iTunes backup location

  5. Stand by until CopyTrans Shelbee changes the iTunes backup folder to the destination of your choice and moves all folder contents to the new location. Moving iTunes backup location

  6. That’s all! The iTunes location was changed and its contents were successfully moved. iTunes backup folder moved

Move iTunes backup location – YouTube tutorial

If you’re more of a text person, please see our written instructions above.

Some other marvellous things CopyTrans Shelbee can do:

☑ backup and restore iOS apps;
☑ backup iPhone to any PC folder or to external drive;
☑ validate backups and check for password issues;
☑ restore from iTunes and other local backups.

If you’re interested, learn more about CopyTrans Shelbee.

Manually move the iTunes backup folder (advanced users)

The steps below are intended for advanced Windows users who would like to change the default iTunes backup location.

  • We recommend using the automatic method as the manual method below involves the use of advanced Windows utilities including Command Prompt

  • Please note that the instructions do not work for Windows XP.

  1. Locate your current iTunes backup folder. If you are using Windows 10, 8 or 7, use the Windows Start Menu to locate the iTunes backup folder and enter the following in the Search box:

    for classic iTunes: %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync

    for Microsoft Store iTunes: %USERPROFILE%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup

    access ios backup directory location

  2. Move the current iTunes iOS backup folder to the new desired destination via simple drag-and-drop: itunes backup folder move to external drive
    NOTE: Make sure that you have the “Backup” folder fully copied to the new destination drive. Once you do so, you can either delete the “Backup” folder from the original location or rename it to “Backup_OLD”. At the end of this guide, you can delete the “Backup_OLD” folder

  3. At the original folder location, press the SHIFT key, right-click and select “Open command window here”:

    Important: For Windows 10 users choose “Open Powershell window here”.

    run command prompt in ios backup directory
    This will open a command window adjusted for that folder: command prompt focused on ios backup directory

  4. NOTE: If CMD is not showing up with the shift click, go to the MobileSync folder, then type CMD and press “Enter” in the directory (User>Name>Appdata>Roaming>etc). The CMD prompt should pop up and you can continue through step 6.

  5. In the command prompt window, manually type in the following command where E:\ is the new drive location (drive letter may vary) and “Backup” is the name of the iOS backup directory you just moved:

    for classic iTunes: mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\Backup”

    for Microsoft Store iTunes: mklink /J “%USERPROFILE%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\Backup”

    add directory junction for ios backup folder

    Info: “mklink” is the Windows shell command for adding a symbolic link. The “/J” switch refers to a specific kind of symbolic link called directory junction. Refer to this article to learn more about symbolic links.

  6. You will now see the command prompt window return a success in creating a junction symbolic link created for itunes backup directory

  7. A new folder shortcut called “Backup” will appear in the original location: new itunes backup location added

  8. Double click on the “Backup” folder shortcut and while it may seem you are still within the MobileSync folder on the C: drive, what you actually see is the contents of the “Backup” folder you previously moved to the new location. You can think of it as a virtual tunnel created through your computer directory space: itunes backup folder junction directory explained

  9. That’s it. You have now learned how to move iOS backup folder from the primary partition to another drive and, in the process, freed up valuable system space: ios backup folder location changed

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By krasimir

Krasimir is an avid marketing aficionado and a tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market. He grew up in Bulgaria and on the island of Mauritius where he became passionate about windsurfing and photography.