This article applies to: iPhone & iPad

If your computer does not have enough free space to create a backup then you may be able to create the backup on an external storage device, such as a USB flash drive. However, as Apple does not provide this option in its software by default, there are a few steps to follow to achieve this:

> Instructions for Mac
> Instructions for Windows


Backup to an external drive on Mac

1. Plug in your external drive, open it in Finder and create a new folder called iTunesBackup.

2. Press Command-Shift-G to open the ‘Go To Folder’ window.

3. Type the following and click ‘Go’.

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync

4. You should see a folder called ‘Backup’. Rename this folder to Backup-OLD.

5. If your Mac is running macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or newer, open ‘System Preferences’ and click ‘Security & Privacy’. Otherwise, you can skip to Step 11.

6. Click the ‘Privacy’ tab.

7. Select ‘Full Disk Access’ on the left-hand side.

8. Click the padlock in the bottom left to make changes. Enter your password if prompted.

9. Click the + symbol which will open a new Finder window.

10. At the top of this new window, type Terminal in the search box, select it and then click ‘Open’.

11. Launch the Terminal app.

12. Type the following command and press Enter.

ln -s /Volumes/ExternalHD/iTunesBackup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

IMPORTANT: In the above command, ExternalHD should be changed to the name of your external drive. Please note, if the name of your external drive contains any spaces then you should add a backslash (\) before each space so the name is correctly interpreted by the system. E.g. If your external drive is named MY USB then this should be typed as MY\ USB.

13. You can now create a backup of your device as normal. But now, rather than storing the backup on your Mac, it will be stored on your external drive instead.

14. Once the backup is complete, you will need to set a custom backup folder in the Certo AntiSpy application so it knows to look on your external drive for your backups. Please follow steps 7 – 12 in this guide if you need help making this change.

15. [OPTIONAL] After you have scanned your device, if you want to undo these steps so that your backups are stored on your Mac again, simply repeat steps 2-3 above and delete the shortcut file named “Backup”.


Backup to an external drive on Windows

1. Plug in your external drive, open it and create a new folder called iTunesBackup.

2. Press Windows-R to open the ‘Run’ window.

3. Type the following depending on your version of iTunes and click ‘OK’:

  • If you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store (Windows 10 only):
    %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync
  • If you downloaded iTunes from Apple’s website (Windows 7, 8 & 10):
    %appdata%\Apple Computer\MobileSync

4. You should see a folder called ‘Backup’. Rename this folder to Backup-OLD.

5. Press Windows-R to open the ‘Run’ window again.

6. This time type cmd and click ‘OK’.

7. Type the following command depending on your version of iTunes and press Enter:

  • If you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store (Windows 10 only):
    mklink /J “C:\Users\username\Apple\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\iTunesBackup”
  • If you downloaded iTunes from Apple’s website (Windows 7, 8 & 10):
    mklink /J “C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\iTunesBackup”

IMPORTANT: In the above command, username should be changed to the user name of your Windows account and “D” in D:\iPhoneBackup should be changed to the drive letter of your external drive.

8. You can now create a backup of your device in iTunes as normal. But now, rather than storing the backup on your computer, it will be stored on your external drive instead.

9. Once the backup is complete, you will need to set a custom backup folder in the Certo AntiSpy application so it knows to look on your external drive for your backups. Please follow steps 5 – 10 in this guide if you need help making this change.

10. [OPTIONAL] After you have scanned your device, if you want to undo these steps so that your backups are stored on your computer again, simply repeat steps 2-3 above and delete the shortcut file named “Backup”.