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Where do iTunes backups go on a Windows PC with redirected folders? After 70 minutes with #apple support iTunes for Windows #fail again. #Mobius

Time for the iOS 5 update to hit the iPad and wanting to have the vanilla user experience I elected to wait until Apple’s servers and my middle of the rural blackout zone ISP connection to hold up long enough for iTunes to complete the download of the iOS update.
 
So, backup the pad, transfer the purchases, sync up and hit the magic Update button.
 
Despite having ½TB of free disk space the pre-upgrade backup would not proceed because there was insufficient disk space.
 
Turns out that despite Apple support\’s certainty that the backups should be on the C: drive, if you have redirected AppData and home folders (an entirely reasonable business decision), then iTunes insists on backups to the redirected folder.  Apple support then suggested that as iTunes and the device is more of a domestic device that this is sensible.
 
OH, SO APPLE SUPPORT THINKS AN IPAD IS NOT REALLY A BUSINESS DEVICE?????
 
So then it turns out that iTunes does not have the capability to redirect the backups anywhere.  So they send me a link to a fudge.  Thus:
Dear P J,
Thank you for contacting Apple.
Your support Advisor, , has a follow-up message for you:
http://www.theiphoneguru.net/2010/12/30/change-itunes-backup-location/
 
Based on the details you provided, we think you might find the following information helpful:
https://appleid.apple.com
We want to help you get the best service and support for your Apple product. Please visit our award-winning Support website to find product information, tutorials, troubleshooting steps, and much more.
One catch – this is not supported by Apple.  So should I take a backup, and redirect it this way, then Apple cannot help me sort things out.  How to turn an iPad into an expensive paperweight.
 
Not acceptable.
 
We discuss it further.
 
Apple Support suggest I do my backup to iCloud (assuming I have purchased enough capacity there).  I (not so gently) observe that he is suggested I upgrade to iOS 5 to do a backup to iCloud so that I can then upgrade to iOS 5.  I am now fully on the Apple Support Mobius Strip
 
So, where does the backup go? I ask.  Some scurrying around on their information systems and eventually we discover it is not the home drive as previously stated (I knew that because I’d already looked), but the redirect Application Data folder.  There I find the backups.
 
Eventually, after further discussion we come to the conclusion that after backup I can move the folders (\\Apple Computer\\MobileSync\\Backup) to my local disk.  This will save my server from having an extra 20GB or so to backup each night.
 
Apple support then went on to suggest that the obfuscated location is good for security and this is why the location of the backups cannot be changed within the iTunes interface.  A red rag to a bull, we discuss.  Apple support eventually come to the conclusion that password protection of the backup might be a better security approach.  But maybe I could make a suggestion at their website.  I do, the webpage does not exist…
 
When the page works, enchantingly the only OS I can report problems on is OSX.  It seems for feedback purposes, Windows does not exist to Apple.
 

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

One reply on “Where do iTunes backups go on a Windows PC with redirected folders? After 70 minutes with #apple support iTunes for Windows #fail again. #Mobius”

feedback to Apple was:It is not possible to relocate the backups of an iPad during iOS 5 upgrades (or any other time). if you have a networked PC with redirected folders to a server the network admin may have limited your quota. A sudden extra 20GB is a bit of a surprise.Why not permit (like you can with the library), relocate the backup location in a supported manner. yes security is important, but reminding the user of password protection for the backup will ameliorate that fully.Simply bullying the user into finding free space on a server they don't control is not on.And remember – if you want the iPad to be a corporate device, then you need to be sympathetic to, and knowledgeable about, corporate IT practices.

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