How to Disable the iTunes Backup on Windows

Written by alexander poirier
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How to Disable the iTunes Backup on Windows
Backing up an iOS device can take several minutes on a device that contains a lot of data. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Apple's iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices all use the iTunes application to create a backup of their data and sync it with the computer. By default the syncing and backup processes cannot be executed independently; whenever an iOS device syncs with iTunes a full backup of the device is made. Furthermore, iTunes does not offer a simple way of disabling its backup feature. If you really wish to disable the iTunes backup feature, however, you can do so in a few steps.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Click the "Start" button in the computer's task bar and select the "Computer" option from the Start menu. Double-click on the computer's main drive (usually the "C:\" drive) to view its data.

  2. 2

    Double-click the "Users" folder followed by the username folder of the account you wish to disable the iTunes backup feature on. Double-click the "AppData" folder then the "Roaming" folder. Finally, double-click the "Apple Computer" folder followed by the "iTunes" folder.

  3. 3

    Right-click the "iTunesPrefs.xml" file contained within the "iTunes" folder and select the "Copy" button from the context menu. Right-click on the computer's desktop and select the "Paste" option from the context menu. This will make a backup of the "iTunesPrefs.xml" file in case you want to undo the changes you make to it .

  4. 4

    Right-click the "iTunesPrefs.xml" file in the "iTunes" folder then highlight the "Open With" option and select a text editor that is capable of viewing XML files from the Open With menu. Jujuedit, Notepad++ and Textpad are a few of the text editing applications that have XML viewing and editing capabilities.

  5. 5

    Scroll through the "iTunesPrefs.xml" file until you locate the section titled "User Preferences." In the text editor window this section should be in the following format:

    <key>User Preferences</key>

    <dict>

  6. 6

    Paste the following code into the XML file after the "<dict>" beneath the "User Preferences" heading:

    <key>DeviceBackupsDisabled</key>

    <data>

    dHJ1ZQ==

    </data>

    The "User Preferences" section of the XML file should now be in the following format:

    <key>User Preferences</key>

    <dict>

    <key>DeviceBackupsDisabled</key>

    <data>

    dHJ1ZQ==

    </data>

  7. 7

    Click the "File" tab and select the "Save" option from the File menu. The "iTunesPrefs.xml" file will now be saved and the iTunes backup feature will be disabled.

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