4

How To Change the iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10

Posted by Jamie on February 11, 2019

The iTunes backup location in Windows 10 is usually set to the C: drive by default. This may work for some but if you have a few phone backups or separate Windows from other applications like I do, this isn’t going to work. That’s what I’m going to cover today, how to change the iTunes backup location in Windows 10.

I have an SSD boot drive with Windows and my main applications. I then have a separate drive for games and another for work, other applications and storage. It may sound a little excessive, but keeping Windows separate from other stuff is useful. It means that if something goes wrong with Windows, I don’t have to reinstall programs that aren’t on my boot drive or reinstall games or worse, download them again. It also lessens wear on my SSD.

Regardless of the reasons why you might want to change the iTunes backup location in Windows 10, here is how to do it.

Change the iTunes backup location in Windows 10

The default backup location for iTunes in Windows 10 is C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\. It is here that you will find your most recent phone backups. With iOS growing in size, space soon becomes limited or if you want to make sure your phone backups survive a reinstallation of Windows, now is a good time to move it.

By default, you cannot manually select the backup location for iTunes. It’s quite the oversight and something that needs changing. However, there is a way around it and that is to use a symbolic link. A symbolic link creates a connection between two folders in Windows. You can do the same to OneDrive if you want to save files other than in the OneDrive folder. You create the link and the program, iTunes in this case, treats your configured folder as its default backup.

Here’s how:

  1. Make a manual copy of your default Backup folder just in case.
  2. Create a new Backup folder on a different drive on your PC. I’m going to use E:\Backup for the purposes of this tutorial.
  3. Hold Shift and right click anywhere in your default iTunes Backup folder.
  4. Select Open a Command Window Here.
  5. Type or paste ‘mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\Backup”’ and hit Enter. Make sure to include the “” inside my ‘’ for this to work.
  6. Wait for the command window to report success.

You have now created a virtual link between the default backup folder and the one you just created on E:. You can of course use a drive other than E:, that was just for demonstration purposes.

Change the iTunes file location in Windows 10

Changing the default music storage location is a little easier than changing your phone backup location. Here you can just tell iTunes where to store your music and media and let the program get on with it. Apple still recommends leaving it to iTunes, but then Apple is all about control so they would. If you want to take control, here is how to do it.

  1. Open iTunes on your PC.
  2. Select Edit and Preferences.
  3. Select Advanced and Change.
  4. Select the drive or location where you want iTunes to store your media.

This is a straight folder change and not a symbolic link. The end result is the same though. Once changed, all the media you add to iTunes will be stored in this new location. That includes anything you buy and anything you import into iTunes.

Import your iTunes media library into Windows 10

If you’re making the transition from Apple to Windows, you are going to want all your music available on your PC. Here is how to import your iTunes media library into Windows 10.

  1. Launch iTunes on your PC.
  2. Select File and Add Folder to Library.
  3. Select your music or media library folder and Select Folder.

You can repeat this as many times as you need to integrate all of your media into iTunes. You don’t have to organize them yourself beforehand, you can organize them all in iTunes. It is entirely up to you.

iTunes works pretty well in Windows 10. If you have an Apple device or are switching over from Mac, it makes for an easy transition. If you don’t have an Apple device or any history with iTunes, there are better ways to manage your media.

Do you know of any ways other than symbolic links to change the iTunes backup location in Windows 10? Tell us about it below if you do!

4 thoughts on “How To Change the iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10”

mARC says:
I have the same issue, using windows powershare and directory different.

PS C:\Users\USERNAME\Apple\MobileSync\Backup> mklink /J “C:\Users\USERNAME\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\Marc iphone Backup”
mklink : The term ‘mklink’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program.
Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
At line:1 char:1
+ mklink /J “C:\Users\USERNAMe\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\Marc iphone Ba …
+ ~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (mklink:String) [], CommandNotFoundException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException

Reply
Andy says:
Try this, first you should rename the original backup folder on your C drive to Backup(old). Also the mentioned path misses out /Roaming/ following APPDATA.

I found that it didn’t work using Powershell for some reason so had to open CMD from windows, go to the location on my C:/ (type CD then space and drag in the folder from explorer, hit enter). Then just type in ‘ mklink /d Backup “[desired-new-backup-path]” ‘. After I did the above it worked.

Reply
Jim says:
mklink : The term ‘mklink’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program.
Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
At line:1 char:1
+ mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\Backup”
+ ~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (mklink:String) [], CommandNotFoundException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException
Reply
Andy says:
looks like similar problem as mARC in the comments above, check my solution and see if it works for you
Reply
ckoh says:
I’m using powershell windows, it doesn’t recognize mklink, what can i do?
Reply
Andy says:
Use Command Prompt – press windows key, type CMD, hit enter. if you type in ‘mklink ?’ or ‘mklink help’ it should show you the uses etc of the command
Reply
Patrick says:
Hi,
my back up file is in
C:\Users\USERNAME\MobileSync\Backup\ in stead of what you provide. How could I change the back up?
Reply
Arch says:
Do everything the same way and just change the command to something like this, according to your path mklink /J “C:\Users\USERNAME\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\Backup”
But are you sure your backup is not in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup? Make sure that this path is invalid before continuing because I’m pretty sure this should be the correct path and Apple doesn’t allow you to change it anyway.
I hope I helped you
Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.