How to Change iTunes Backup Location in Windows and Free-up Disk Space

You can quickly change iTunes backup location in Windows and be able to free up some good disk space. Follow this simple guide to get it done easily.

One of the problems of having iTunes backups is storage space. It’s a huge problem if you run a Windows machine with a lot of software / data in the C: Drive. This is because iTunes, by default, puts all the backup data into the C: drive and there’s no way to move this location from within iTunes’s preferences. (You can only move the media folder).

So what do you do when you find yourself in a fix where iTunes backups are eating up a lot of space and you absolutely need to move them out of the C: drive? Here’s what you can do:

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Before we begin, you should read this primer on iTunes backups and what we’re trying to do.

  1. iTunes backups are stored in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup where <username> is your Windows uersname. This is the default location and we can’t change this. iTunes is configured to put all the backup data into this folder.
  2. What we’re going to do is this: create a new Backup folder in D:\ (or E:\) drive (wherever you prefer). And then link the original Backup folder (in the C: drive) to the new Backup folder created in another drive. Once we’ve linked them, every time iTunes tries to save a backup to the Backup folder, the files get saved into the new Backup drive. This keeps your C: drive free.

How to Change iTunes Backup Location in Windows

Step #1. First off, you need to create a new backup folder. In this test, we are going to create a new iTunes backup folder in D drive.

Create Backup Folder in Windows

Step #2. Next, you have to locate the current iTunes backup directory and rename it. Simply press the start button. Paste the following in the shortcut box.

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“%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync”

Now, you will be taken the backup folder used by iTunes.

Inside that folder, you will see a folder named Backup. You need to rename it as Old iTunes Backup (or anything you prefer).

Command Prompt to Change iTunes Backup Location

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Note: Make sure that you type the correct folder location for new backup folder. If you have it created in the E: drive, you should type E:\Backup in place of D:\Backup.Also, on some computers, the Apple Computer folder might have a slightly different location. You just have to check the location bar to figure it out and make the necessary changes.

Step #3. Now, you need to open a command prompt. Just hold down the SHIFT key and right click inside the explorer pane of the current folder (/MobileSync/).

Step #4. Next, you will have to select “Open command window here.”

Step #5. Up next, create a symbolic link. At the command prompt, enter the command given below.

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mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\iTunes Backup”

Note: The mklink /J command creates a symbolic link to the new folder from the old one. It’s like creating a shortcut of D:\Backup from the original MobileSync\Backup folder. You can test the effect by double-clicking on the Backup folder in MobileSync. It will take you to the new Backup folder.

Step #6. The command prompt window will create a junction and a new folder shortcut named “Backup” will appear in the original location.

Step #7. Up next, you have to delete the old iTunes backup files which are in the MobileSync folder.

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Step #8. Finally, connect your iPhone to your PC and back it up with iTunes as usual.

The new backups will be created in D: \Backup folder or where you created the new backup folder.

That’s done! Make sure to check out the disk space which has just been freed up.

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Dhvanesh Adhiyahttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of iGeeksBlog.com. He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.

7 COMMENTS

  1. When I do this in Windows 10, from both the standard Command Prompt and from the Command Prompt Admin, I get the error message “Cannot create a file when that file already exists.” I don’t know if this matters, but I’m not trying to link to a different hard drive, I’m trying to link to a different folder on the same hard drive.

    • That’s because the “Backup” folder already exists. Delete the “Backup” folder in “%APPDATA%Apple ComputerMobileSyncBackup” and try making the symbolic link again.

  2. If you have the problem below it is because you have to erase the original “Backup” folder in MobileSync or change its name. After doing this windows will recreate the folder when you run the commands.

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