iPhone 6 +? How to use an external hard drive for your iPhone backup (Step-by-Step)


Don’t ever call me a techie, cause I will be offended.  I am not a techie – not even close.

But I do like figuring things out once in a while.  I made mistakes but I have also been successful in some attempts.

My most recent dilemma was upgrading to an iPhone 6 + with 128 GB.  I am a data and photos pack rat so I keep a lot of photos on my phone.  Yes, about eight thousand of them.  I never had a problem when I had a 64 GB iPhone when I backed it up on my computer.  For some reason, I had enough space on my Mac to keep the backups.  Then came, the iPhone 6 + with 128 GB.

The first time I tried to sync my phone, it was fine.  I had approximately  2000 songs and 7000 photos.  That was a month ago.  Now, I have the same amount of songs and more photos.  Each time I try to sync it with iTunes, I get a failure that says it cannot complete the backup because my computer doesn’t have enough space.

I tried deleting stuff, and removing old backups.  Still not enough space.  I tried deleting photos that I don’t want.  Still not enough space.  Then it dawned on me that I have an external hard drive that I can use which has 3 TB of space but I didn’t know if it is possible at all.

With a little help from Google, this is the step-by-step process I found and it was very easy:

You can do the following to get the setup you need.  First you need to locate MobileSync in your Mac Book Pro:

To locate you MobileSync on Mac Pro

Go to Finder > Click Go at the Menu Bar and simultaneously press “Option”, the Library will appear.  Click on Library > Select Application Support > Mobile Sync.

  • Copy the contents of~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ to  the external drive
    • The ~ means your home drive
  • Then rename the folder Backup in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ to say BackupOld
    • mv ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/BackupOld
  • Create a new linked folder to the external drive (I assume the external drive is called ExtDrive
    • First create a folder called iTunesBackup on the external drive
      • mkdir /Volumes/ExtDrive/iTunesBackup
    • Now create a link between where iTunes thinks the backups are and the external drive
      • ln -s  /Volumes/ExtDrive/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

Job done.



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