2

I am trying to create a symbolic link on my Windows 10 64bit to redirect the iTunes backup file to my external hard disk (D:\)

This is the link I added in my command window:

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

It didn't work fully as the backup file was still created in the parent directory (C:\) even though the same file was also created in D:\

Now I can't complete my phone backup because I do not have enough storage.

Why were two files created ?

2

Why were two files created?

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

The above command is broken. The syntax for mklink is:

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target

where link is the "The new symbolic link name", so not the name of a directory including the full path.

In addition, you can't make a link where the name already exists.

If you were in directory "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync" and you tried the command:

mklink /J Backup "D:\iTunes Backup"

Then you would have received an error:

Cannot create a file when that file already exists

Note the error message says a file already exist instead of a folder. This is because the system sees links as shortcuts (files) and not as folders.


How do I redirect the iTunes backup file to my external hard disk?

Use the following procedure:

  1. Create D:\iTunes Backup if it doesn't exist. Now you have a target for the junction:

    md D:\iTunes Backup
    
  2. Go to the existing backup directory:

    cd "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup"
    
  3. Move any existing files to D:\iTunes Backup:

    move * "D:\iTunes Backup"
    

    If there are any folders move those as well.

  4. Go up one directory to "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\:

    cd ..
    
  5. Delete the backup directory:

    rd Backup
    
  6. Create the junction:

    mklink Backup "D:\iTunes Backup"
    

    You should see a message like:

    Junction created for Backup <<===>> D:\iTunes Backup


Further Reading

  • Hi there! Thanks for your help. I did received "Junction created for Backup <<===>> D:\iTunes Backup" However, two files were created. One in my C:\ and one in my external hard disk D:\ - I'm not sure why? – michelleishigh May 31 '16 at 3:04
  • I've no idea. There is not enough information in your question to even guess. – DavidPostill May 31 '16 at 9:38
  • What information do you need? – michelleishigh May 31 '16 at 10:08
  • I deleted the original back up file in my C:\ and created a new folder "itunes backup" in my D:\. Opened command window in \Apple Computer\MobileSync and entered: mklink /J "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "D:\iTunes Backup". Got a message: Junction created for Backup <<===>> D:\iTunes Backup After which I went ahead to back up my phone on itunes. A backup file was created in both my C:\ and D:\.. – michelleishigh May 31 '16 at 10:10
  • That is iTunes backup doing something weird. I've no idea how to fix it. – DavidPostill May 31 '16 at 10:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.