How to Switch the iTunes Backup Folder Location

iTunes automatically backs up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch each time you connect the device to your computer. By default, these backups are stored in a specific location on your computer’s hard drive that you cannot easily access or change. However, you may want to switch the backup folder location to save space on your main hard drive or back up to an external drive. Here’s how to find the current iTunes backup folder location and switch it to a new location on both Windows and Mac.

Locating the Current iTunes Backup Folder

To switch the location, you first need to find where your current iTunes backups are stored.

On Windows

The iTunes backup folder location in Windows depends on the iTunes version:

  • Downloaded from C:\Users\$$Username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • Installed from Microsoft Store: C:\Users\$$Username]\Apple\MobileSync\Backup\

To easily access the backup folder:

  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box
  • Enter %appdata% (for iTunes) or %userprofile% (for Microsoft Store iTunes)
  • Open the Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup folders

On Mac

On Mac, iTunes backups are stored here by default:

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

To open this folder:

  • Press Shift + Command + G
  • Paste in the folder path
  • Press Go

You will then see the Backup folder containing your iTunes backups.

Switching the iTunes Backup Location on Windows

To switch the backup location on Windows:

  1. Copy the current Backup folder to the new location
  2. Delete the original Backup folder
  3. Open Command Prompt
  4. Create a symbolic link between the default backup folder location and new location using the mklink command

For example, to move backups to E:\New-Backup\, run:

mklink /J "C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "E:\New-Backup"

Replace the file paths with your usernames and new backup folder location.

Switching the iTunes Backup Location on Mac

To change the backup location on Mac:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Rename the Backup folder (e.g. to Old-Backup) using the mv command
  3. Create a symbolic link to the new location using the ln -s command

For example, to move backups to /Volumes/External-Drive/Backups/:

mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Old-Backup

ln -s /Volumes/External-Drive/Backups/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

Replace the file paths with your new backup folder location.

Verifying the New Backup Location

To confirm iTunes is now backing up your device to the new location:

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
  2. Back up the device in iTunes or Finder
  3. Check the new backup folder to verify new backups were saved there

If you see your latest backups in the new location, the change was successful!

Tips When Switching iTunes Backup Locations

Keep these tips in mind when changing the default iTunes backup folder:

  • Never manually move or edit files within the Backup folder
  • Copy the entire Backup folder to the new location
  • Carefully follow the command syntax when creating symbolic links
  • Restore backups won’t work if you switch their file location


Although iTunes does not natively allow you to customize the backup folder location, you can use symbolic links to redirect the folder on both Windows and Mac. Just be very careful not to improperly edit any backup files in the process. Maintaining recent backups of your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can prevent data loss if anything happens to your device.