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iTunes Backups Suck Your Hard Drive Space – How to Fix It

The iTunes backups for your mobile iPhone device or iPad device will eventually suck up much of your hard drive space.  From the source article, this can be as much as 20% or more, depending on the amount of content iTunes is backing up.


To alleviate this problem, you can redirect your iTunes backup location to be an external storage drive, or a 2nd hard drive on your system.  By using a Windows symbolic link routine, you can take control of where the backup location will reside.

For this tutorial you’ll need to download NTFS Junction utility [free] and do some CMD prompt edits to bring it all together.  If you are not comfortable with the above, yet quest the solution, then I recommend getting someone a bit more knowledgeable with Windows to perform the task.

  1. So to begin, you need to download this free tool to create NTFS Junctions. (This is a tool provided by a Microsoft engineer on Microsoft’s website ironically enough)
  2. When you unzip that file, extract the junction.exe into the C:\Windows folder so that you can run in from anywhere.
  3. Next up, you need to move all of your existing backup files to their new location.  This could be secondary hard drive, or another partition, or even an external hard drive.  Before we move the files, make sure iTunes is closed.
  4. To move the files, open up a “My Computer” Window and type this into the address bar: “C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync” (without the quote of course) and press enter.  This should take you into your iTunes MobileSync Folder where the Backup folder is located.
  5. You need to right click on the Backup folder and select “Cut”.
  6. Now navigate to where you’d like your backups to be located.  For me, I wanted them on the D: drive in a folder I created called “iTunes Backup”.  Paste the Backup folder to this location.
  7. Next you need to open a command prompt.  To do this, click on the Start button and type in “cmd” (again, no quotes) and then press enter.  A black window should open up that looks like this.
  8. Now for the easy part, creating the junction.  All you need to do to create the junction is type in the word “junction” then the path to where Windows stores the files, then the path to where you decided to place your backup.  So for me, I typed in: Junction “C:\Users\onelson\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\iTunes Backup\Backup”  (Note that there are quotes around both paths since both paths contain spaces, these quotes are required).
  9. If everything worked correctly, the junction command should indicate that it created the junction

If you decide to use an external storage device be sure the device is powered on before you start the backup process.  Ya, some people are knuckleheads and will forget!

GetUSB.info did not write this tutorial, but we’d love to hear your feedback in our community.

Source:  TheiPhoneGuru.com.

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