A significant number of iPhone users run Windows 10 operating system on their computers. Most of these users use the official iTunes software to backup iPhone to Windows 10 PC.
With default settings, iTunes saves data backed up from iPhone on the same drive where Windows 10 is installed. The actual location of the backup folder is:
If iTunes is installed from Store:
If iTunes is installed outside the Store:
The problem with this default location is that it’s located on the drive where Windows 10 is installed. If you have installed Windows 10 on a relatively small SSD that doesn’t have enough free space to back up your iPhone, you might want to back up your iPhone to an external hard drive.
The current version of iTunes for Windows OS doesn’t offer an option to change the default back up location. So, how to back up iPhone to an external hard drive?
We will have to use the symbolic link feature present in the Windows operating system to change the default back up location of the iPhone in Windows 10. It requires executing a command from the elevated Command Prompt.
Backup iPhone to an external hard drive in Windows 10 using iTunes
So, here is how to back up the iPhone to the external hard drive using iTunes in Windows 10.
Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Windows 10 PC and make sure that it’s showing up in This PC. If it’s not showing up, please go through our external drive not showing up in File Explorer guide.
Step 2: Navigate to This PC and open the root of the external hard drive by double-clicking on its drive icon.
Step 3: At the root of the external hard drive, create a new folder called MobileSync. For instance, if the drive letter of your external hard drive is “D,” then the path to the MobileSync folder would be D:\MobileSync.
Step 4: Next, navigate to one of the following locations:
If iTunes is installed from Windows 10 Store:
For the classic desktop version of iTunes:
Step 5: Cut (don’t copy) the Backup folder from that location and paste it to the new MobileSync folder that you created at the root of the external hard drive. So, the path to the Backup folder would be:
Where “D” is the drive letter.
Step 6: Run the Command Prompt as administrator. To do so, type CMD in the search, right-click on Command Prompt in the search results, and then click Run as administrator option.
Click Yes button when you get the User Account Control screen.
Step 7: Finally, execute the following command:
If iTunes is installed from the Store:
MkLink /J “C:\Users\UserName\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\MobileSync\Backup”
If iTunes is installed outside the Store (using the setup file):
MkLink /J “C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\MobileSync\Backup”
In the above commands, “C” is the drive letter of Windows 10 drive, UserName is your actual user name on your PC, and “D” is the drive letter of the external hard drive (new location) which you would like to use to back up your iPhone.
You may now connect iPhone to your PC, launch iTunes and create a backup