Turn off automatic IPAD backups and location of IPAD backups

One of my biggest issues with Apple relates to backup of their portable devices.

Itunes will backup an IPAD or Iphone, but it will limit the backup to as little as just two backups. That can be a nightmare if you need to restore from a backup.

If you need to retrieve data and your portable device is set to backup and synchronise automatically, then when you connect, you could lose the valuable backup that you need!!!

My recommendation is to TURN OFF automatic synchronisation and backup but please remember to regularly backup and synchronise manually.

In Windows, here is how to turn off automatic backups:

1. Without having IPAD or Iphone connected, go to Itunes (latest version at time of writing is

2. Go to Edit, Preferences, Devices (On a Mac, go to itunes menu, preferences, devices)

3. On Device tab, on the lower part you will see a tick option “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.”

4. Un-tick this option

The other advantage of doing this is that it cuts down on lengthy time Itunes becomes unavailable when you connect  device to the computer.

It gives you control to device when to sync and backup, but please remember to do this often.

Furthermore, it might be sensible to start backing up the IPAD / Iphone backups!

The location of these backups are:

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Windows Vista & Windows 7
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Mac OS X
~(home directory)/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/


2 Responses to “Turn off automatic IPAD backups and location of IPAD backups”

  1. Richard Guay Says:

    The reason I want to stop those backups is that everything on my iPad Air comes from my Windows HP laptop in the first place. Rather silly to back it up right back
    By the way, I see none of the above instructions (edit/preferences/devices) in the iTunes opening page.

    • gabrielfriedman Says:

      On a PC in iTunes please go to top left hand corner and click the little arrow pointing down. Then select “Show Menu Bar” (or use keyboard shortcut CTRL + B)

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