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Disable Automatic Back-up on iphone


Lovin OS X
I was wondering if there is a way to disable the automatic backup on iphone firmware 2.2.1? I have searched but haven't found a way to do it on this firmware or on itunes 8.0.2. I really don't have a need for a backup since I'm never gonna use it and it takes up too much time when i sync. Thanks in advance for any help.

*BTW I tried to disable the auto backup permanently by editing the ItunesPrefs.XML in

C:\Users\Me\Application Data\Apple Computer
But that didn't work so i restored the file :mad:


Active Member
I have several (more than 30) applications installed in my iPhone 2.0 (some of them are over 10MB). I've been a bit disappointed with the oh-so-slow syncs in iTunes due to the required backup process. Searching a bit, I found that I could disable the backups by setting a hidden iTunes preference. Quit iTunes, open Terminal, and enter this command:

defaults write com.apple.itunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES

Whe you next sync, your iPhone won't be backed up, so the actual sync will go quickly. If you feel the need to back up your data again at some point, simply change YES to NO and sync your device (quit iTunes before changing the setting). After the backup is done, you can then disable backups again. If you want to restore a previous backup, you must set this value to NO before trying the restore.

[robg adds: The long backup times with iPhone 2.0 software are a real pain -- while sometimes they seem speedy, my current "record" is 4.5 hours to back up about 500MB of data! (I wrote about long backup times in a recent piece for Macworld.) However, these backups are also important, as they store all of your application-specific data. So if you've added notes to a note-taking app, or made it through 20 levels of your favorite game, that data is part of what's being backed up. Without a backup, if you have to restore your iPhone, you'll lose all such data.

The other problem is that if you ever cancel a backup (by clicking the 'x' next to the progress bar), it apparently corrupts the existing backup -- so if you do then go to restore your iPhone, the backup won't be usable -- I've experienced this twice already myself. Because of this, a reasonable strategy would be to let one good backup run, then use this command to disable backups, use your phone as usual for a day (or whatever period of time you're comfortable with), re-enable backups, and then make sure the full backup is allowed to run, and repeat the process. Hopefully Apple can fix the abysmally slow backup speed in a future iPhone and/or iTunes update, so that such workarounds aren't needed. The recently-release iTunes 7.7.1 update may have improved things, but I need to do more testing before I can confirm that.]
macosxhints.com - Disable backups to speed iPhone/iPod touch syncing


Lovin OS X
I already tried that too. I'm on windows so i tried to windows version of that command and it say "command not found" or something like that. Here's a screenshot of how i edited the XML file:



Lovin OS X
They got a windows version of that command. I don't know where I saw it though... Oh well it didn't work anyways


MD Party Room
I might have missed it but have you tried something called QuickDisable for windows?

Disable auto-backup of iPhone in iTunes (Windows) | Mark Wagner - Yet Another Blog

I would have said just google it...But there some evil guy watching me...

---------- Post added at 03:40 PM EST ---------- Previous post was at 03:39 PM EST ----------

They got a windows version of that command. I don't know where I saw it though... Oh well it didn't work anyways
iPhone 3G: Disable slow iTunes backup (Mac and Windows)




Lovin OS X
Tried the command again. I get this error:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\me>"%CommonProgramFiles%\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\defaults.e
xe" write com.apple.iTunes AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
I tried the program you suggested and it worked. Thanks Seth