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How to move your iPhone or iPad backups to an external hard drive

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How to move your iPhone or iPad backups to an external hard drive

If in case you have iOS backups taking area on your inner drive, you'll be able to relocate them to an external hard drive to filter out some area.

For those who do now, or have ever, synced your iPhone, iPad, or different iOS tool to iTunes via connecting it to your Mac, you've got backup folders saved on your inside drive. It is simply the best way lifestyles is. Perhaps you handiest have a couple of information from a few iTunes backups and they do not take in a lot area. Perhaps you have been backing up your iPhone by means of iTunes for years and feature an area hog on your palms.

When you backup your iPhone or iPad by means of iTunes, and really feel the will to get those iOS backups off of your Mac and onto an external hard drive, it's imaginable to do, however beware, Apple actually does not suggest it.

Notice: This information is for those who again up their iPhone or iPad using iTunes. When you use iCloud to again up your tool, you'll be able to merely delete any old iTunes backups on your Mac. Simply make sure to in reality are backing up to iCloud sooner than you delete anything else.

What are those backup information and why are they taking on such a lot area?

While you again up your iOS software by the use of iTunes, the backup is saved on your Mac. The site of the backup folder is in a folder referred to as MobileSync, and occasionally it will get lovely giant. Particularly in case you are syncing more than one 128+ GB units which might be stuffed with stuff. Previous backups are changed with new ones, however households that experience more than one units subsidized up to one pc are going to take in a large number of space for storing.

I extremely suggest switching over to syncing in iCloud, after which deleting the backups on your Mac, over relocating them. However, if you are nonetheless hell-bent on shifting them to an external hard drive, I am right here to lend a hand.

Step 1: Find your iPhone backups

This phase is straightforward. Your iOS backups are saved in a MobileSync folder. You'll be able to in finding them by way of typing ~/Library/Software Give a boost to/MobileSync/Backup into Spotlight. You'll be able to additionally in finding the backups for a selected iOS units from iTunes.

  1. Release iTunes.
  2. Click on on iTunes within the higher left nook of your Mac.
  3. Click on on Personal tastes from the drop down menu.

  4. Make a selection the Units tab.
  5. Make a selection a particular tool.
  6. Hang down the Keep an eye on key and click on at the tool.
  7. Make a selection Display in Finder from the record of to be had choices.

Step 2: Move your backups to an external hard drive

This phase is straightforward, too. However, you in point of fact have to pay shut consideration to the identify of your hard drive and the brand new folder names you create, together with punctuation and spacing. This knowledge shall be used when making a Terminal pathway. Should you use other names then those I recommend, ensure that to exchange it with the actual identify you could have within the Terminal command in Step 3.

  1. Attach your external hard drive to your Mac if it is not already hooked up.
  2. Open the external hard drive.
  3. Return to the Finder window with your iOS backups in it and choose the tool backup folder (It's going to both be referred to as "Backup" or have a host of numbers and letters).
  4. Drag it to your external hard drive.

  5. Input your administrator password to authenticate your motion.
  6. Rename the iOS backup folder this is now on your external hard drive to ios_backup.
  7. Rename the previous backup folder in Finder to old_backup.

Don't delete the old_backup folder but.

Step 3: Create a symlink to inform iTunes the brand new location of your backups

That is the harder and maximum essential step to shifting your iOS backups to an external hard drive. If you do not carry out this step, iTunes will not be able to again up your iPhone or iPad anymore. You'll be able to have to manually move the folders again to your Mac as an alternative.

On this step, you'll be able to create a symlink, or symbolic hyperlink. While you create a symlink, you're developing a brand new trail for iTunes to take to get to the backups folder. It's kind of like developing an alias in Finder, however works extra reliably with iTunes.

Former iMore author and Mac genius (critically, he is a genius with a Mac) Peter Cohen explains symlinks completely.

Some programs do not apply aliases correctly. An older approach of making the ones kinds of connections is extra dependable for movements like what we would like iTunes to do: Symbolic hyperlinks, or symlinks. They paintings at a low sufficient degree that programs and running gadget purposes should not have as hard a time with them as they do aliases.

We are going to use the Mac's Terminal app to create a symbolic hyperlink to trick iTunes into backing up onto your external drive somewhat than the boot drive.

First, a lesson in the use of Terminal. The right kind pathway is essential for this to paintings. Each and every individual's hard drive identify and each and every backup folder identify might be other. The next is the anatomy of the Terminal code we're the use of:

ln -s /Volumes/External/ios_backup ~/Library/Software Enhance/MobileSync/Backup/4f1234a05e6e7ccbaddfd12345678f1234b123f

  • ln -s: The command that tells the running device to move to the brand new location.
  • Volumes: A hard drive.
  • External: The identify of a hard drive. Yours will probably be named one thing else. Within the Terminal command, you will have to trade "External" to no matter your external hard drive is known as.
  • ios_backup: The renamed backup folder you dragged into your external hard drive. That is the brand new position that your iOS backups can be saved.
  • ~/Library/Software Strengthen/MobileSync/Backup: The command that tells the running gadget the place the backup is.
  • 4f1234a05e6e7ccbaddfd12345678f1234b123f: The identify of the software backup folder. In case you are moving all of your backups, this may simply be named "Backup." In case you are moving one tool, use the identify of the backup folder for your tool. The only above is not even an actual document identify. You will have to trade the above backup folder identify to no matter is the identify of the folder you're moving.

If your external hard drive's identify has an area, make sure that to use the right kind coding. As an example, if your hard drive is known as "My Passport" ensure that to use a backslash after My, then the distance, then Passport. Like this: My Passport. Do not disregard to capitalize when important.

  1. In finding Terminal the use of Spotlight.
  2. Sort the next code. Do not put out of your mind to exchange the hard drive identify and the backup folder identify to mirror the identify of your hard drive and backup folder.

    ln -s /Volumes/External/ios_backup ~/Library/Software Make stronger/MobileSync/Backup/4f1234a05e6e7ccbaddfd12345678f1234b123f

  3. Hit Go back.
  4. Give up Terminal.

You'll see a brand new folder in your MobileSync folder this is both referred to as "Backup" or the collection of numbers and letters that constitute your software. You'll be able to inform this can be a symlink as a result of it's going to have an arrow within the backside left nook.

Subsequent, you'll be able to want to ascertain that it labored prior to deleting your old_backup record on your Mac.

  1. Release iTunes.
  2. Attach your iPhone and again it up.

  3. Open the ios_backup folder on your external hard drive.
  4. Test to see that the date and time on the most recent backup is for the only you simply finished.

If the pathway relocation labored, and you'll be able to ascertain that backups at the moment are taking place on your external hard drive, you'll be able to delete the old_backup folder on your Mac.

Observe: When you return to the MobileSync folder and open the symlink folder, you'll see the names of the information that relate to your backup. Those are aliases. Now not exact information. It is like a thumbnail of an image.

Step 4: Disable automated backups when hooked up to iTunes

If you do not all the time have an external hard drive hooked up to your Mac, you are going to want to disable automated backups of your iPhone or iPad. In a different way, each time you attach your iOS tool to your Mac, you'll be able to get an error message.

  1. Release iTunes.
  2. Click on on iTunes within the higher left nook of your Mac.
  3. Click on on Personal tastes from the drop down menu.

  4. Make a selection the Units tab.
  5. Tick the field on the backside subsequent to Save you iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing mechanically.

Do not put out of your mind to manually again up your iPhone each time you attach it to iTunes and feature your external hard drive plugged in.

How to take away the symlink and return to storing your backups on your Mac

In the event you made a mistake and the symlink did not paintings, or you merely simply need to return to storing your backups on your Mac, all you could have to do is delete the symlink folder you created. Little need to input any more or less "rm" or "unlink" command in Terminal.

  1. Sort ~/Library/Software Give a boost to/MobileSync/Backup into Spotlight.
  2. Make a selection the symlink folder. Be mindful, it is the one with an arrow within the backside left. It is going to both be referred to as "Backup" or have a chain of numbers and letters representing your software.
  3. Delete the symlink folder.
  4. Again up your tool by means of iTunes.
  5. Delete the ios_backup folder on your external hard drive (not obligatory).

Any questions?

Do you've gotten any questions on shifting your iOS backups to an external hard drive? Put them within the feedback and I'm going to will let you out.


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