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Posts for Tag: backups

Useful tip: change the location for the iOS device backups in iTunes

Yesterday I tried restoring a backup to my iPad (just installed iOS 5 beta) and all of a sudden my Mac started complaining that my diskspace was too low. Eventually, there was nothing left from the 128Gig SSD I have in my Macbook.
I was confused, what was the cause? After some thorough searching I found out it was due to the size of my backup folder in iTunes. 
This folder was about 50 GB in size! Not surprising since we own 2 iPads 64G, 2 iPhone 4s, 2 iPod touches and some old iPhone 3Gs.. (not all of them were backed up though)

My iTunes library is located on my 750GB HDD which I mounted instead of my SuperDrive. So I thought everything iTunes would be stored there. Wrong!

The backup is located in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup - right, on my space limited SSD. There is no way to change the location in iTunes itself, but thanks to Oliver Aaltonen I found a way to do so manually. On his site, you can find tips for both Mac and Windows, I will just repeat the Mac tip here:

  • Close iTunes
  • Move the ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup folder to the destination 
  • The ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder should now be empty
  • Open up Terminal and type the following:
    ln - s /<path to destination>/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
That's it! In my case I got 50Gigs extra space on my SSD! I think this is a great tip for those people who have a Macbook Air with only 64G SSD. But everyone with smaller disks can benefit, of course.

Just another hint, if you are running OS X Lion, you'll notice the ~/Library cannot be found. This is because it is hidden. Just open up Finder, in the menu bar select "Go" and then "Go to Folder" and enter ~/Library .. this will open up the hidden folder for you.
Extra, extra tip: Just holding down the <option> key when you click "Go" in the menu bar will reveal ~/Library as an option in the list.