By AOMEI / Last update January 25, 2021

Backup iPad to external hard drive Windows 10

I want to save my iPad Pro to my Seagate external hard drive but when I backup iPad in iTunes on my HP laptop, I find that the backups are always saved in C drive and also there seem no clues to change the default backup location. I have Windows 10 and how can I save the data from iPad to external drive.

- Question from Apple Community

iPad is a powerful gadget for recreation. It is lighter than a laptop. You could lie down and watch your favorite shows on it for a whole afternoon. Saving the showings, films, music, etc. on your iPad and then you could easily enjoy them next time without the Internet.


The high-quality videos and music would quickly take up your iPad and you could not download new apps or other data. The right way to let your iPad be fresh again is backing up the data to computer and then safely delete the data on iPad.

You could backup your iPad just in iTunes, where you buy music and videos.

Steps to backup iPad with iTunes on Windows:
1. Connect iPad to computer with lightning cable.
2. Click the Device Icon in the Window of iTunes.
3. Click Back Up Now to make a backup. It might take 15 minutes or longer.

After you make an iPad backup, you could find it in C Drive. The question is that your iPad backups would also gradually take up your system drive. If you have a large external hard drive, you could use it to save your iPad backup.

There are no options in iTunes settings to change the iTunes backup location, but you could have another way to save your iPad backup to external hard drive on Windows computer.

Section 1. Backup iPad to external hard drive on Window 10 without iTunes

Before you know the way to change the default iTunes backup location, you could try the easy way to backup your iPad with professional iOS backup software.

AOMEI MBackupper is created for backing up iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch on Windows 10/8/7. You could easily change the storage path of your backup files on the interface.

It is freeware to save your photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages on your iPad. iTunes doesn’t tell what iTunes backup includes, but AOMEI MBackupper would always let you preview and select data before you perform a backup. It supports all kinds of external hard drive like Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi, etc. also all the iPad including iPad 8/Air 4/Pro 4/Mini 5.

Steps to backup iPad to external hard drive with AOMEI MBackupper:

Step 1. Download AOMEI MBackupper to computer for free. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable. Keep iPhone screen on and tap Trust on it. Plug your external hard drive into computer.

Step 2. On the home screen of AOMEI MBackupper, select Custom Backup.

Custom Backup

Step 3. Click the icons of the apps to save the related data.

Backup iPad

Step 4. Preview the items on your iPhone and select the needed data. Click OK then.

Select Files

Step 5. Click the storage path in the lower-left corner to change it into the path from your external hard drive. Click Start Backup then.


Section 2. Backup iPad to external hard drive with iTunes

The simplest method of moving iTunes backup to external hard drive is copying the backup files of your iPad in C drive and then paste them into your external HDD but there is a problem that when you move the folder back and are ready to restore iPad in iTunes, it might not appear in iTunes.

You know Apple is famous for protecting user privacy. If you cut or edit the backup files, it might be regarded as violating privacy so that they can’t be used anymore.

Your iPad backup is stored in C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync. The folder AppData is hidden. If you use Windows 10, enter %appdata% in the search bar on desktop to open it.

Since there is no option to change the default iTunes backup location, how can you safely save your iPad backup to external hard drive? You should know that iTunes is but a Windows program. It works on Windows so it follows the rule of Windows so you could build a virtual link between computer and external HDD.

Steps to change default iTunes backup location:

1. Plug your external hard drive into computer. Delete the folder Backup or you just save the files to another partition for future use. Create an empty folder called MobileSync in external hard drive.

2. Open Command Prompt, enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync”, and then press Enter. You should enter the right user name and driver letter.

CMD Change iTunes Backup Location

If you also want to know how to move your backup to external drive on Mac, refer to this guide: How to Backup iPhone to External Drive on Mac?


You could definitely backup iPad to external hard drive on Windows computer, no matter you choose to use AOMEI MBackupper or iTunes but AOMEI MBackupper is obviously much easier to use than iTunes.

Share this guide and it would help more people.