Resolved iTunes could not backup the iPad (iPad name) because an error occurred

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by LancerNZ, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. LancerNZ, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

    LancerNZ macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    My 64Gb iPad2 is full so I want to remove apps and data (back it up) before deleting them to make room for new app downloads. I thought I had been backing up my device, although perhaps I was just syncing it (what is the difference?)

    When I USB plug my iPad into my Windows 7 computer, iTunes fires up and I right click the device to choose "Backup". iTunes shows a progress bar for a few seconds (Backing up) but then returns with the error "iTunes could not backup the iPad (iPad name) because an error occurred"

    I have tried restarting both my computer and the iPad. No difference.

    In my Windows 7 computer, there is a folder C:/Users/(my username)/AppData/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup/(some really large folder name) but this folder appears to be empty.

    In iTunes Preferences => Devices, the list of Device Backups is empty.

    I'm stuck now. I don't know the difference between Backup, Sync or Transfer Purchases... I was told Mac platforms were straight forward.

    ...what should I do to ensure I'm backing up? I want to empty my full device without losing my collection of apps forever (I thought I was backed up and have already been deleting some - grrr)
  2. LancerNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Delete that folder with the long name, and see if that fixes the problem with iTunes not being able to create your iPad backup.

    However, if you are just concerned about being able to reinstall an app you delete from your iPad, you can always redownload them from the app store. Also, your apps should be copied to your computer every time you sync. Toward the top left of iTunes, where you see Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc, there should be an item called Apps. Click on that, and you should see the apps that have been copied to your computer. If there are no apps there, make sure your computer is authorized with your iTunes account (, then connect your iPad, right click on the iPad icon in iTunes, and select "transfer purchases."
  4. LancerNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    Thanks for your solution. Deleting the somewhat empty backup folder did allow another backup to proceed. The new backup is now also listed as a backup in iTunes Edit > Preferences > Devices.

    I can now happily delete lots of apps knowing they are backed up. It was the app data etc I also wanted to preserve.
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Well, you do realize that if you delete the apps from your iPad, then do another sync, then that would create a new backup that overwrites your current backup, and the data from the deleted apps will likely be deleted from your backup. You can save the current backup by copying that long name folder to another location, but then, restoring from backup is an all or nothing proposition. You can't selectively restore individual app's data. And any changes you make to general system settings going forward will be lost if you revert to the backup you made today. Some apps offer a way to backup their data, but that differs from app to app. If you have apps whose data you want to preserve, don't delete them until you know if there is a way to backup that data. Don't depend on iTunes backup -- it's great for switching to a new iDevice, or for getting your info back if your iPad crashes and you need to restore. But it's not designed for preserving individual app data.
  6. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2012
    You do know you can just redownload the apps off the app store for free? Even if you payed for them. (In the app store under purchaes)
    Plus they are also snyced to your computer at every snyc and you can pick and chose what will stay and be left on the computer (If you have snyc apps setting turuned on)

    If you want to delete apps, just press on the app you would like to delete till they all start wiggling and then there will be a X icon you can press and it will delete it off the ipad

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