How to change iTunes default backup location.

By | 21. August 2015

More and more computers are using fast SSD storage. Even the sizes are growing it it still too valuable space to use for backups.

iTunes backs up only part of  iOS data like app files, settings and camera roll photos from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch each time you sync. Nevertheless, the iOS backup files may quickly accumulate on the system drive and take up valuable system resources ultimately leading to a less than ideal system performance.

iTunes keeps the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive. The space on your primary Windows partition  is constantly reduced with the ever-expanding iOS backup folder. iTunes does not allow to change the backup folder location;

If you are not using Windows XP then there is simple solution.

  1. Locate your current iTunes backup folder. to locate the iTunes backup folder use the Windows Start Menu and enter the following in the Search box:
    %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync 


2. Click on the found folder and it will open in file explorer



3. Now move the content to backup drive, I use external USB drive. If you use for safety copy instead move then rename Backup folder to Backup_Old for example.

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


Command prompt opens


5. In the command prompt window, manually type in the following command :
mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\Backup\IPad”

replace E:\Backup\IPad with your actual desired new backup location drive letter and path. So please do not blindly copy-paste command from here!

“Backup” is the name of the iOS backup folder you just moved.


“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

Executing command should result to something similar:


6. A new folder shortcut called “Backup” will appear in the original location.


You can see little arrow on folder icon. This is indicator of symbolic link. Even entering into folder looks like the the content is still on C: drive, it actually held on backup drive (E: in my case) .

If you use external drive then do not forget to power it on when backing up your devices with iTunes.

Follow-up 2020

You can also use directly network location 

mklink /D "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "\\MyNAS\Backup\Ipad\"






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