Can I avoid backing up my iPad?

aevan

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 5, 2015
3,308
4,383
Serbia
I've been an iOS user for years - ever since iPhone 4 came out. While I wouldn't call myself an expert, I have used my iOS devices to their full extent. I've done everything with iOS, from jailbreaking, hacktivating and unlocking my first iPhones, preserving basebands and injecting Push certificats in the "old days" - to using productivity apps and making workflows in Workflow and IFTTT. One thing, however, I never seemed to understand and use is one of the most simple features of iOS: the backup.

Now, I don't use backup for my iOS devices. I always set up my devices as new, I don't mind re-downloading apps, I use various cloud services for my files and I just don't need the backup. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's an important feature for a lot of people, but we all have our ways.

The problem is - how do I get rid of it? If I set it up as iCloud backup, it takes away from my 50Gb iCloud space which I need for the Photo Library, App data and iCloud Drive stuff. If I set it as a local backup, it takes up my Mac's space. Not a big deal, I guess, but I don't like how it builds up in time, adding gigabytes of data I never use. I know I can set it up as iCloud backup and then turn off apps one by one, but it takes a while to do.

My question is - and I believe the answer is 'no' - is there a way to somehow turn off backup completely?
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,074
5,173
iTunes used to have a setting somewhere that prevents it from automatically creating a backup when you hook up an iDevce. If that option is no longer there, just delete the backup each time it makes one.
 

aevan

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 5, 2015
3,308
4,383
Serbia
Turn off iCloud backup and don't backup on your computer.
Yes, but whenever I want to sync my iPad (to transfer files) it wants to back it up. I can skip the backup manually, but I was hoping for a more permanent option.
 

aevan

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 5, 2015
3,308
4,383
Serbia
iTunes used to have a setting somewhere that prevents it from automatically creating a backup when you hook up an iDevce. If that option is no longer there, just delete the backup each time it makes one.
I googled for it, I don't think such an option exists (at least not anymore). Ah well, I guess I can just manually delete a backup (there is an option for that in iTunes preferences).

Thanks.
 

Lobwedgephil

macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
4,996
3,634
Yes, but whenever I want to sync my iPad (to transfer files) it wants to back it up. I can skip the backup manually, but I was hoping for a more permanent option.
Gotcha, probably your best bet. I haven't synched an iPad in years.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,394
416
New Orleans
Ive done this in the past. It can be done. I think Night Springs' link covered it. I found one on my own that says the same.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6083556?tstart=0

1. Close iTunes on your Mac.
2. Launch Terminal.
3. Type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
and press Enter.
4. If you want to re-enable automatic backups, type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
and press Enter.
 

maxsix

Suspended
Jun 28, 2015
3,100
3,729
Western Hemisphere
Having a full compliment of computers pads and phones in my Apple ecosystem, I run iPads fast and clean as content consumers exclusively. There's nothing I have either a desire or need to do on my iPads other than read, research, and view TV, Movies or other entertainment content.

Greatly preferring the laptop form factor, I have all three current MBr / MBA / MBPr models for variety, portability and to match the task at hand. I'd much rather bring one along with the iPad Air2 I carry everywhere. A wafer thin tablet with it's 9.7" display and light weight, it serves me well.

Looking at the big picture, by avoiding the sketchy iCloud system that has failed to gain my trust thus far, I have no nagging prompts to use it. Having it turned off on every computer, pad and phone I have, is a very nice way to speed them up and keep them away from iCloud issues.

That said, I do welcome the day when and if it arrives, that iCloud is up to the high quality standard of Google Drive.
 

aevan

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 5, 2015
3,308
4,383
Serbia
Ive done this in the past. It can be done. I think Night Springs' link covered it. I found one on my own that says the same.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6083556?tstart=0

1. Close iTunes on your Mac.
2. Launch Terminal.
3. Type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
and press Enter.
4. If you want to re-enable automatic backups, type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
and press Enter.
Yeah, his post says the same. I will try it later tonight. Thanks to you both.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,631
815
Los Angeles, CA
Ive done this in the past. It can be done. I think Night Springs' link covered it. I found one on my own that says the same.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6083556?tstart=0

1. Close iTunes on your Mac.
2. Launch Terminal.
3. Type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
and press Enter.
4. If you want to re-enable automatic backups, type
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
and press Enter.
i wonder if that's how backups are blocked on all the floor machines.
 
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