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Old Jan 9, 2011, 09:52 PM   #1
Nihaochan
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Change location of iPhone/iPod backups?

I just installed a small 30GB SSD into my macbook (for the boot drive - holds OS and applications) and then I have an optibay with a larger harddrive in place of the superdrive. However I'm running into a problem with the SSD because I have a 32GB iPhone that iTunes is trying to backup. This uses basically 100% of the space on the SSD.

Is there any way for me to change where iTunes backs up the iPhone? Or some script to redirect it so I can have it backup on my second hard drive?
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 05:26 PM   #2
OldMacUser
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Ran into this issue myself after converting to SSD, and after some web-searching, these are the steps to follow:-

Firstly, the iTunes backup location is here:-
/Users/<YourNameHere>/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

1. Move the ENTIRE Backup folder to your location of choice (external HDD etc).
2. The MobileSync folder should now be empty.
3. Open up Terminal and type in the following command:
Code:
ln -s /Volumes/<HDD>/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
4. You should now see an icon called Backup with an arrow in the MobileSync folder which indicates that the ln command has worked.

Note: <HDD> indicates the Volume Name of your desired HD where you moved the Backups folder; and for simplicity's sake, I created the MobileSync/Backup folder(s) on the external HD - you can use whatever name you want.

Hope that helps - I managed to save approximately 20GB+ of space by doing this, and now have about slightly more than 50% of my SSD free.
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Old Jun 7, 2011, 03:59 PM   #3
burtx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMacUser View Post
Ran into this issue myself after converting to SSD, and after some web-searching, these are the steps to follow:-

Firstly, the iTunes backup location is here:-
/Users/<YourNameHere>/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

1. Move the ENTIRE Backup folder to your location of choice (external HDD etc).
2. The MobileSync folder should now be empty.
3. Open up Terminal and type in the following command:
Code:
ln -s /Volumes/<HDD>/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
4. You should now see an icon called Backup with an arrow in the MobileSync folder which indicates that the ln command has worked.

Note: <HDD> indicates the Volume Name of your desired HD where you moved the Backups folder; and for simplicity's sake, I created the MobileSync/Backup folder(s) on the external HD - you can use whatever name you want.

Hope that helps - I managed to save approximately 20GB+ of space by doing this, and now have about slightly more than 50% of my SSD free.
I had the exact same issue. This worked perfectly. With my iPad and two iPhones this saved me some serious space.
Thanks
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 01:52 AM   #4
shanghaisimon
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Awesome little code... thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMacUser View Post
Ran into this issue myself after converting to SSD, and after some web-searching, these are the steps to follow:-

Firstly, the iTunes backup location is here:-
/Users/<YourNameHere>/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

1. Move the ENTIRE Backup folder to your location of choice (external HDD etc).
2. The MobileSync folder should now be empty.
3. Open up Terminal and type in the following command:
Code:
ln -s /Volumes/<HDD>/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
4. You should now see an icon called Backup with an arrow in the MobileSync folder which indicates that the ln command has worked.

Note: <HDD> indicates the Volume Name of your desired HD where you moved the Backups folder; and for simplicity's sake, I created the MobileSync/Backup folder(s) on the external HD - you can use whatever name you want.

Hope that helps - I managed to save approximately 20GB+ of space by doing this, and now have about slightly more than 50% of my SSD free.
It took me a couple of attempts to get it to work, but eventually it did, and now I'm happily backing up my 64GB iPad2 and my 32GB iPhone 4 to my WD Passport 1TB external HDD. Just as a note to coding newbies like myself, the "\" is required before the space if there is a space between words within the folder or volume name. For example, OldMacUser's code shows "Application\ Support/MobileSync...etc". My external HDD is named "My Passport", so I had to enter it in code as "My\ Passport". Also, as the instructions indicate, it's best to create a new MobileSync folder in the root directory of your external HDD or whatever volume you plan to point the backup to. Move or delete the "Backup" folder out of the MobileSync folder that is in your User/Library/Application Support folder, otherwise you will get an error in Terminal that says the file exists, and it won't create the alias that points to your new Backup folder.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 09:49 PM   #5
syngltrkmnd
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Thanks for the tip!

Worked like a charm for me. I was a little anxious as a noob that it might not work over NAS but no problem at all. I'm grateful to have cleared up 13 GB of space on my local drive.
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Old Sep 22, 2012, 10:43 AM   #6
DMD87
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Guys, I'm having some problems. I'm following the posts, trying to redirect my iPhone's backup to an external, which I named 500 GIGs. When I type in the command in Terminal, I get the message /Volumes/500 GIGs/MobileSync/Backup: is a directory. What am I doing wrong?

Any help out there.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 03:47 PM   #7
xp99
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I followed the instructions but now I get a backup to both hard drives instead of one. What did I do wrong?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:14 PM   #8
mindquest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xp99 View Post
I followed the instructions but now I get a backup to both hard drives instead of one. What did I do wrong?
Did you ever get this to work?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:15 AM   #9
marekkoznar
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Join Date: May 2012
deletion of backups

Hi,

recently I've changed my backup type on iPhone and iPad from "back to Mac" to "back to iCloud".

And I wonder now, can I delete the contents of the /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup folder? Or will iTunes do it on its own? It takes up 6GB of space.

Cheers,
Marek
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:39 AM   #10
espring
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Not working - moving back to internal HDD

I recently installed an external Thunderbolt SSD which is now my boot drive, everything from my internal drive was cloned to it. I want to move my iPhone backups back to the internal HDD so they don't eat up space on my external SSD. I tried the code listed here but it's not working. When I entered the code, Terminal said "The file exists", but it's still writing backups to the external drive. Here's the code I used:
ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

Where am I going wrong?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:18 PM   #11
Subw00er
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Join Date: May 2010
I tried this and it created the icon and everything, but then when I went to backup it said that the backup was corrupt?! I tried erasing the old backups in the app and in the directory, but still didnt work.
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Old Oct 31, 2013, 07:35 AM   #12
WdGldDave
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Anyone find a solution to the error about not being able to backup to the Capsule? I have everything configured as described but I consistently get an error message stating-
"iTunes could not backup the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the phone. delete the backup for this phone then try again"

I have deleted all back ups on the local hard drive and the time capsule and still get the same error message.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 05:15 AM   #13
WdGldDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WdGldDave View Post
Anyone find a solution to the error about not being able to backup to the Capsule? I have everything configured as described but I consistently get an error message stating-
"iTunes could not backup the iPhone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the phone. delete the backup for this phone then try again"

I have deleted all back ups on the local hard drive and the time capsule and still get the same error message.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Perhaps i'm wrong in assuming this can work over wifi? I am trying to backup to an external drive connected to my Airport Time Capsule.
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 06:48 PM   #14
davudvl
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Hi. I also need help please.
I am trying to mov it to my second internal HD ( called Macintosh HD 2 ) on my iMac with the of;;owing command:

ln -s/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ 2/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync.

I receive the following error:

ln: illegal option -- /
usage: ln [-Ffhinsv] source_file [target_file]
ln [-Ffhinsv] source_file ... target_dir
link source_file target_file
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Old Nov 18, 2013, 07:20 AM   #15
lva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davudvl View Post
ln -s/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ 2/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync.
Please have a look between the -s and /Volumes. You've forgotten a blank space. And please remove the dot at the end of the symlink command.
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Old Nov 18, 2013, 11:35 PM   #16
davudvl
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Thank you!
It no longer gives me the error message, but it tells me that the file exists.
I don't know what I am doing wrong. I deleted the back up folder on the original drive.
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Old Nov 19, 2013, 05:37 AM   #17
lva
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Please take care that there is no MobileSync folder in ~/Library/Application Support/

When system wants to create the symlink MobileSync at your choosen point ~/Library/Application Support/ where a folder or file with the same name exists, it will give you an error message.
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Old Nov 20, 2013, 11:50 PM   #18
davudvl
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Found the problem. My Library folder was hidden.
Now everything is working.
Thank you very much Iva !
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Old Feb 23, 2014, 08:51 PM   #19
tonyy
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Join Date: Oct 2011
I went through all the steps but I get an error code in iTunes saying - "iPhone cannot be backed up due to corrupted file..etc etc."

I checked the Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder on my internal HDD and have a little black arrow on the Backup folder.

Am I missing something?

Also, when I delete that file in MobileSync - I'm able to backup again.
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Old Mar 18, 2014, 10:22 PM   #20
Keebler
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Location: Canada
I know this thread is old....

Hi folks,

I know this thread is old, but I'm trying to move my backups. They take up way too much space.

I keep getting errors such as:

ln -s /Volumes/KeebMedia/MobileSync/Backup/ ~library/Application\ Support MobileSync
ln: MobileSync: No such file or directory

I'm close. I can feel it.

Any help for a schmuck who can't figure this out?

Cheers,
Keebler
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Old Mar 20, 2014, 05:34 AM   #21
.X.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keebler View Post
ln -s /Volumes/KeebMedia/MobileSync/Backup/ ~library/Application\ Support MobileSync
ln: MobileSync: No such file or directory

I'm close. I can feel it.
Any help for a schmuck who can't figure this out?
Try this:

ln -s /Volumes/KeebMedia/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync
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Old Jul 24, 2014, 04:30 PM   #22
5Penn
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Join Date: Jul 2014
a little frustrated. just did a dual drive setup using a new SSD and my old HDD with my iTunes files. want it to redirect my iPhone backup to the HDD with no luck

my steps:

1. backed up the phone - goes to SSD-->User-->Application Support-->MobileSync-->Backup Folder
2. copied that backup folder to the HDD in User-->Application Support-->MobileSync
3. Delete the Backup folder in SSD
3. Open up Terminal and type command: ln -s /Volumes/MyHDDnamewhereIwantittogo/MobileSync/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

says sile exists
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Old Jul 24, 2014, 06:34 PM   #23
5Penn
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got it to work by copying/dragging the path to Terminal instead
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