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Do you know that iTunes backups are done automatically every time you connect your iPhone to iTunes (if you don’t have the iCloud Backup option enabled)? iTunes keeps the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive.

Such local backups can take up several gigabytes of space on your computer. Therefore, it is better to change iTunes backup location to a hard drive, for example.

iTunes does not allow to change the backup folder location. Keep on reading to find out how. 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. So, where does iTunes store backups?

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.

iTunes backup location Windows 10

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

If you also ask yourself: “How to access iCloud backup?” We have an answer for you! Just have a look at the guide Find iPhone backups on PC or in iCloud automatically.

With CopyTrans Backup Extractor you can view iCloud backups and view iCloud backup files.

How to change iTunes backup location


As stated earlier, iTunes does not allow to change the backup folder location.

To automatically change the location of your iTunes backup folder and move its contents wherever you like – use CopyTrans Shelbee that is easy to navigate and can handle various backup and restore tasks.

CopyTrans Shelbee interface

💙 What CopyTrans Shelbee can do for you:

    – Choose any folder to store your backup;

    – Add a password protection to encrypt your backup;

    – Choose between a full backup or only latest changes backup;

    – Backup and restore apps;

    Selectively restore items.

Free download

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Shelbee:Download CopyTrans Shelbee

  2. Close iTunes and start CopyTrans Shelbee. Click Toolbox. Select toolbox to choose the location

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

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

  5. Tap Start.

    Start changing iTunes backup location

  6. 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

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

💚 Some other marvelous 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;

Free download

Check out our comparison table that lists the features of CopyTrans Shelbee, iTunes and iCloud. Makes it pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?

CopyTrans Shelbee iTunes iCloud
Full backup Yes Yes Yes
Select backup type:
full vs lates changes
Yes No No
Encrypted backup Yes Yes No
Check backup integrity Yes No No
Check for password issues Yes No No
Choose backup folder Yes No No
Move default backup location Yes No No
Backup to external drive Yes No No
Backup apps in .ipa format Yes No No
Backup Password,
Wi-Fi settings,
browsing history
*only with encrypted backup
*only with encrypted backup
Full restore Yes Yes Yes
Restore selected data Yes
(only contacts or messages, etc)
No No
Restore of backup saved on PC Yes Yes No
WhatsApp Restore Yes Yes
*restore ALL data, not only WhatsApp
*restore ALL data, not only WhatsApp
Apps restore
(no longer exist in App Store)
*apps must be backed up before deletion
No No
Restore Password,
Wi-Fi settings,
browsing history
*only with encrypted backup
*only with encrypted backup
Restore from iCloud backup No No Yes
Download CopyTrans Shelbee

Change iTunes backup location

YouTube tutorial

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

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

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. Download CopyTrans TuneSwift

  1. Ensure iTunes is closed and run CopyTrans TuneSwift. Choose Transfer: transfer button in copytrans tuneswift

  2. Select PC (Windows), then tap on External hard drive or New folder/drive on this computer: move itunes library to another drive on this computer

  3. 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!

iPhone backup location Windows 10

Move the backup folder manually

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.

  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. We answered you the question: where are iTunes backups stored. 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


Everybody knows that iTunes is a complicated program and you never know how it will surprise you:

you can’t find the backup folder
iTunes backup occupies a lot of space
iTunes backup can be corrupted

In this article we explained you where iPhone backups are stored on PC. And also we have a simple and fast solution for you – CopyTrans Shelbee. It has advantages:

✔️ Changes iTunes backup location in a few clicks
✔️ Let you choose a folder for a backup
✔️ Validates backups

Just try it and save you time and energy!

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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.