How To Move Your iOS Backups to a Different Drive

Question:

Joe Writes: I have installed a 120GB SSD in my MacBook Pro and used MCE Tech’s OptiBay to replace my optical drive with a 500GB HDD. Due to the SSD’s relatively small size, I’m looking for ways to move as much as possible from the SSD to the HDD.  I’ve moved all the basics (i.e., iTunes and iPhoto libraries), but I’d like to move my iOS Mobile Backups folder as well.  Can you help me perform the steps necessary to do this?


Answer:

The steps to move your iOS Mobile Backups Folder to a second drive are as follows:

  1. Quit iTunes and disconnect any iOS devices from your computer (you don’t want it syncing and backing up while you’re making these changes!)
  2. Copy your ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup folder to your target drive
  3. Check the target drive to make sure that the folder copied successfully
  4. Delete the original “Backup” folder on the main drive by dragging it to the Trash
  5. Create a Symbolic Link from the old location to the new location of the backup folder. This requires the Terminal unless you have a 3rd party utility to create Symbolic Links. Think of SymLinks as aliases, because they’re almost the same, but the system sees them differently (and that distinction is important for this purpose; check out this Mac OS X Hints article for a deeper discussion on SymLinks). If your new location is on the root level of a drive named “My Stuff”, then the command would be:
ln -s "/Volumes/My Stuff/Backup" "$HOME/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup"

That’s it! Go ahead and launch iTunes and you should be good to go!