How to Change iTunes Backup Location

--Tuesday, Nov.29, 2016

In most cases, we tend to back up our iPhone, or iPad with iTunes, a mobile device management application developed by Apple. In this way, we can restore our iPhone 7/7 Plus/SE/6s/6/5s easily when we replace a device. But for the backup files, sometimes we may get really confused about where the backup locates, or we may want to change the backup location on PC and view the backup files but have no ideas how to do. Please continue to read, you could find out the solution.

Part 1: What Types of Data Do iTunes Backup Files Include?

Actually, iTunes can back up almost all the data on your iOS device. I will give you a brief introduction of the iTunes backup data types below

Media Files: music, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, ringtones, etc.

Photos: photos you have taken with your device, photos you have saved from text messages, emails or websites, screenshots, etc.

Contacts & Messages: contact list, call logs, messages, voice messages, etc.

App Data: install profiles, preferences, Keychain, App Store purchased application data, Mail account, etc.

Settings: network preference, VPN settings, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc.

Others: bookmark, browse cache, calendar, memos, etc.

But for the data already synced from iTunes, Apple Pay information, Touch ID settings and so on, would not be included in the iTunes backup files.

Part 2: Where are iTunes Backup Files on Win/Mac?

For Win7/10, you can locate your backups by the following steps:

1. Go to the search bar on the lower left of the screen.

2. Enter %appdata% and press "Return"

3. Go to the folder "Apple Computer" > "MobileSync > "Backup" and you will find the backup copy.

Or you can just go to\Users\ (username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync \Backup\ to check the iTunes Backup out.

For Mac, you can find out the iTunes backup with the guides below:

1. Launch iTunes and click "iTunes" in the menu bar.

2. Choose "Preferences" > "Devices" on the interface.

3. Select the backup copy you want and then click "Show in Finder" as the screenshot below.

Show in Finder

Or you can locate the backup by clicking the searching pattern in the menu bar, then enter ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/.

Note: Please do not edit, relocate, rename, or extract content from your backup files, or it would damage the files.

Part 3: Guide to Change iTunes Backup Files Location on Win/Mac?

Every time you make a backup with iTunes, the backup copy would be saved to the primary disk (C Drive). As time goes by, the primary disk would be not large enough to store the data. In this situation, you can change iTunes backup location to the other drive that has enough storage space.

For Windows PC, it would be a little complex to handle, please follow the following guide:

Step 1. Please go the other drive like D drive, E drive or external hard drive that has enough storage space and create a new folder there. You can name it "Backup".

Step 2. Click the start button and enter %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync in the search bar. Now find out a folder named backup, which is the current iTunes backup directory. Please rename it as "Previous iTunes Backup" or other name you want.

Step 3. Hold down the "shift" on your keyboard and then right click inside the current folder (/MobileSync/). Then please click "Open command window here."

Open Command Window

After that, you can see a command prompt as below.

Window Prompt

Step 4. Please enter mklink /J "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "D:\Backup" in the command prompt.

Note: Please pay attention to "D:\Backup". It means the new folder that you want to store the iTunes backup is in D drive and the folder is named "Backup" (Relates to Step 1).

Enter Code in Prompt

Step 5. You can see a new folder named "Backup" is shown in the previous location (C drive).

Create New Folder

Step 6. Delete the previous backup files in the MobileSync folder. The job is done!

For MacBook or iMac, if you want to change iTunes Backup location to external drive, you can follow the steps below:

1. Create a new folder and name it "Backup" to store your backups. Then rename your old backup folder as "Previous Backup".

2. Open the "Finder" > "Utilities" > "Terminal" on your PC.

3. Input cd ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync then press the "Return" key.

4. Then type in -s /Volumes/Storage/iTunes/MobileSync/Backup ~/Library/Application.

Support/MobileSync to create a symbolic link to your new folder.

5. In MobileSync, you can see the symbolic link was created.

Create Symbolic Link

Part 4: How to Preview a Backup File?

A file with a BAK extension is the backup file created from the Apps. If you want to preview this type of files, it needs more than a double-click. First, you need to figure out the file type you want to open, then change the file extension according to the file type. For instance, you know the "Form.bak" is a excel document and you can preview it by renaming it to "Form. xls".

However, you may fail to open the BAK for some other types of file, or you just have no idea what the file type is. Now I want to introduce a simple way to preview a backup file.

Step 1. Download iPhone Data Recovery

Please download the iPhone Data Recovery by clicking the download button below and install it on your computer. Then launch it!

Step 2. Scan the Backup File

On the interface of the program, please click "Recover from iTunes Backup File" and it would start to scan the iTunes backup files automatically. Select the backup file you want to view, and then click "Start Scan".

Scan Backup File

Note: sometimes you may get several backup files on your computer, you can figure out the one you want to preview by check the details including Name, Model, Latest Backup Time, File Size and so on.

Step 3. Preview the Backup File

Once the scan completes, you can see the backup files are sorted out in the left pane of the interface. Now just choose the item you want to preview!

Preview Backup Files

Note: you can also restore the files to your PC or device. But if you want to restore them to device, you need to connect it to computer before you scan the backups in step 2.

What's more, it is very important to make a backup more often, or you may lose the data and could not get them back. We often back up data via iTunes and I hope what I talk above can help you to solve some problems about it. If you have any problems, please drop us a comment.

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