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? Follow the steps below in order to easily change the iTunes backup location.
Why change iTunes backup location?
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. Nevertheless, 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 relocate iTunes iOS backup folder to another drive.
Automatically change iTunes backup location
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
(CopyTrans Shelbee runs on Windows 10, 8 and 7)
Close iTunes and start CopyTrans Shelbee. Click on “Toolbox”.
Click on the Pencil symbol to choose a new location for your iTunes backup folder.
Select the folder and click OK.
Tap on “Start”.
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.
That’s all! The iTunes location was changed and its contents were successfully moved.
Save even more PC space by moving the entire iTunes library
Changing the iTunes backup location is a good start but if you really want to get the job done why not claim back additional PC space from iTunes? CopyTrans TuneSwift allows you to move the entire iTunes library contents including songs, playlists, podcasts, books, apps etc. to another drive in a few of clicks. The iTunes backup location is not affected by this move. Click here to download CopyTrans TuneSwift
Ensure iTunes is closed and run CopyTrans TuneSwift. Choose “Transfer”:
Select “PC (Windows)”, then tap on “External hard drive” or “New folder/drive on this computer”:
Once the transfer completes, your iTunes library is moved to the location of your choice and you have plenty of newly freed-up space on your PC hard drive. Neat!
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.
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
Move the current iTunes iOS backup folder to the new desired destination via simple drag-and-drop:
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
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”.
This will open a command window adjusted for that folder:
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”
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.
You will now see the command prompt window return a success in creating a junction
A new folder shortcut called “Backup” will appear in the original location:
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:
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:
How to relocate iTunes backup folder YouTube guide
This was how to move the iTunes backup folder from the original system drive to a new location.