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Turn off iPhone backups in Windows iTunes

Posted by onlydarksets on September 4, 2008

When the iPhone syncs, iTunes will often perform a backup that is excruciatingly slow.  Mac users have an “easy” (i.e., available to anyone) way to prevent iTunes from doing backups.  A less publicized version of the same method exists for Windows:

  1. Quit iTunes.
  2. Press Win+R (opens the Windows Run dialog)
  3. Type or copy the following command:
    “%CommonProgramFiles%\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\defaults.exe” write com.apple.iTunes AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
  4. Open iTunes.
  5. Connect the iPhone.
  6. Make Sync without backing up.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the command line, a company I have never heard of has released an application called “iPhone Backup Switch“.  As the name implies, it simply turns off or on iTunes’ iPhone backup process.

If neither of those work, there is also a method that involves editing the iTunesPref.xml file.

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6 Responses to “Turn off iPhone backups in Windows iTunes”

  1. [...] iTunes backup in Windows I found a few solutions: Turn off iPhone backups in Windows iTunes onlydarksets When the iPhone syncs, iTunes will often perform a backup that is excruciatingly slow. Mac users [...]

  2. Richard L. said

    This worked for me, but they have moved the location of the defaults.exe program since this post. The command that worked for me was…

    “%CommonProgramFiles%\Apple\Apple Application Support\defaults.exe” write com.apple.iTunes AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true

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