iTunes creates quite a big backup directory on my C: drive whenever I back up my iPhone.
Is there a way to tell iTunes to back up the iPhone data to another location?
According to this article you can't change the iTunes behavior. However, you can use a feature of NTFS to point that folder to another drive. This feature is typically called a "junction".
You can use this tool to create a junction: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768.aspx
For example, let's say you want your iPhone backup to be D:\backup. You would do this:
Open a command prompt and enter these commands:
cd Desktop junction "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\Mobile Sync\Backup" D:\backup
NOTE 1: Change "username" to match your current username, of course.
NOTE 2: I did not test the above! In general, junction points work OK, but only if programs don't mess with the linked directory (like rename or remove it). For example, if iTunes does something like delete the ...\Mobile Sync\Backup directory and then recreate it, it will no longer go to the D:\backups folder.
NOTE 3: If you installed iTunes from the Windows Store, the path to the backup files will be:
I finally managed it - the above steps were only half right for my Windows XP Professional system but thanks a lot anyway. Junction would not work from the desktop using those commands. To get it working I had to put the junction program file (junction.exe) into the
c:\Documents and Settings\<username> folder.
The correct sequence is to close iTunes then:
Download Junction from Sysinternals and unzip Junction.exe to your username folder, usually in here:
c:\Documents and Settings\(USERNAME)
Create a folder for the backups in the desired new location. Move the existing iPhone "Backup" folder from its default location (
C:\Documents and Setting\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync) to your new location. In my example this is
Open a Command Prompt: Start > Run > cmd
In the Command Prompt, type the following:
junction "C:\Documents and Setting\<username>\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "H:\Backups\Iphone Backup"
(Replace your own file path where I have "H:\Backups\Iphone Backup")
Close the Command Prompt. Open iTunes and start the backup.
You can move any of the other iPhone folders from their default locations using this approach.
For what it's worth, here are instructions for Windows Vista, 7 and Mac OS X as well: http://aaltonen.us/2011/01/03/change-the-location-of-your-iphone-backup/
Wrong Command Line:
junction creates the link named after the first parameter and lets it point to the second.
The correct command line would be:
junction "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" C:\Backup
iTunes now looks at "C:\Documents ...." which is a link to C:\Backup
Here is part of the help displayed by the program itself:
usage: junction <junction directory> <junction target> example: junction d:\link c:\windows
The junction directory is the 'fake' location, where you go to access the file/directory The junction target is where the file/directory actually resides (disk:\folder\file)