How to Save iTunes Backup to External Drive via Windows CMD

iTunes always saves the huge folder of your iPhone backup to C Drive and that would not be a good choice for saving multiple backup files. Read this passage to know how to save iTunes backup to external drive.


By Dylan / Updated on June 7, 2024

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Want to store iTunes backup to external drive?

With more and more interaction of information technology, people increasingly began to know the importance of backing up files, because information could be damaged for many reasons.

To protect your important files, you could backup iPhone to PC with iTunes, but if you think it is still not foolproof, you could backup iPhone to external drive. Let’s find how to do that.

iTunes Logo

How can you move iPhone backup to external drive with iTunes?

iTunes could really help you to backup iPhone to PC with USB, but you should know what iTunes backup includes and how to save iTunes backup to external drive.

iTunes is very strict. You couldn’t find the button to change the default path of your backup. It would be always stored in C Drive. Your boot drive would be full and it would affect the performance of your computer. However, there is still a way to change iTunes backup location.

If you run iTunes on a Windows PC, it should obey the rule of Windows first, so you could use the command “mklink /d” to change the default backup location.

You should know that the default iTunes backup location could be C:\Users\[user name]\Apple\MobileSync\Backup or C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup. If you download iTunes from Microsoft Store, you could find your backup in the first path.

You need to know that change iTunes backup location might let you lose your previous backup, because you could only link an empty folder as the new destination. Although you could cut the previous backups to another partition, they might not be available after you move them to the new destiantion.

To change iTunes backup location:

1. Connect your external hard drive to computer.

2. Delete or remove everything in the folder Backup.

3. Create an empty folder called MobileSync in the external hard drive.

4. Enter CMD in Windows search bar and open CMD.exe.

5. Enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “E:\MobileSync” and press enter. The driver letter is up to you.

CMD Change iTunes Backup Location

After you successfully change the path, you could start to backup iPhone to external drive with iTunes.

1. Plug in your external hard drive. Connect iPhone to computer using USB and tap “Trust” on it.

2. Click the phone-shape button in the upper-left corner of iTunes, and then click Summary in the sidebar.

3. Click Back Up Now to start a manual backup.

☛ Tips: Select “Encrypt iPhone backup” if you want to encrypt the backup stored on your computer. Encrypted backups would be shown with the Lock icon, and a password is required to restore from that backup.

You should know that the backup files of iTunes couldn’t be previewed. Apple also recommends that users shouldn’t add, delete, or modify any file in the backup folder. If you think the process is complicated, you would know how to backup iPhone without iTunes in the next section.

An easy way to backup iPhone to external drive without iTunes

To simplify your task, professional backup software would be a good assistant to directly backup iPhone to external drive. With FoneTool, you can easily backup iPhone directly to external hard drive including photos, contacts, music, videos, and messages.

FoneTool allows you to easily backup and restore your iPhone on a simple pane. It gives you a flexible selection to meet different needs, and it is totally free with no advertising. You would have a good experience with it.

  • Preview Files: Whenever you back up or restore your phone, you can preview and select the files to get what you need.

  • External Drive: You can change the path easily to directly back up your iPhone to an external hard drive without the complicated code.

  • Widely Compatible: It supports most iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14 series and would be perfectly compatible with the latest iOS 14.

To back up iPhone to external HDD

Step 1. Download FoneTool for free. Connect your external HDD to computer. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB cable and tap “Trust” on it.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Choose Selective Backup and click an icon to preview data. After selecting the needed data, click OK to return.

Select Files

Step 3. Click on the path to change it to your external HDD and then click Start Backup.

Change Path

☛ Tips:
● You could select your backup and click the eye icon or pin icon in Backup History to view or locate your backup on PC.
● To restore your iPhone from this backup, you need to click the horizontal lines and select Restore.
● This iPhone backup can be used on another computer.


You could use Windows commands to save iTunes backup to external drive, but FoneTool is more convenient. It’s totally free and clean. You can back up the data like photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages, to external HDD and view them on any computer.

Share this passage and it would help more people.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.