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Prevent automatic backup?

18171 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2014 11:24 AM by danielfromla rochelle RSS
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WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,880 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 28, 2013 4:35 PM

Sorry if this may have been asked a hundred times, but I am an almost complete iPad noob (it belongs to my wife.)


All the steps in this KB article describe backing up manually to iTunes, which is what I would like to be able to do. However, as soon as I connect the iPad to the Mac, it both syncs and backs up automatically and replaces any prior backup. (Note: iCloud is disabled.) This seems rather pointless, as the only reason I would want to have a backup would be to be able to restore from a prior backup. So how do I sync without having an immediate automatic backup?


There is an iTunes option in Preferences>Devices to disable automatic syncing. Does that take care of this? Seems like I wouldn't want to disable automatic syncing, but I did notice when I checked this, it did not then proceed to backup automatically.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 4:37 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Correct, disabling automatic syncing does end the automatic backup.


    Perhaps clarifying terms is in order here.  In this context, "backup" is used to recover your device in case something goes wrong with, say, the iPad hardware or you upgrade the iPad.


    What you're trying to do might be called "archiving".  I think you're trying to take occasional snapshots of an iPad's state in case you want to return that iPad to that prior state in the future.


    That is not something that is typically done with i-devices.


    You may also not run across the term "backup" being commonly used this way, but it is in the iOS context.


    Hope this helps.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 4:54 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Disabling automatic syncing ends syncing, unless and until you either manually sync or re-enable automatic syncing.


    I believe syncing and backups go hand-in-hand.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,795 points)
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    Jan 28, 2013 5:25 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Restoring from a backup occurs somewhat piecemeal, so when you say "from the exact same configuration that may be causing issues", that isn't quite how it's done.


    A restore starts by installing a fresh copy of iOS, and then places your apps, music, photos etc. in memory. Extraneous clutter (that might appear as space in "Other" in iTunes before the restore) may be reduced.


    I don't really understand your question about manual backup scenarios. syncing seems to me like a completely separate topic; for example, contacts and calendars are synced real-time if you use iCloud. If you're trying to do general syncing by connecting a USB cable to iTunes, that's when I would say syncing and backup go hand-in- hand.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,795 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 10:41 AM (in response to WZZZ)

    One of Apple's mottos is "It just works."


    They're awfully good at successfully restoring backups that were made even when things are going wrong.

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,815 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 2:48 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Hi WZZZ,


    First, backup information is in this KB article, where it tells you the backup file is stored in (on a Mac) ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ note where there and are not spaces, and my experience has been you will find more than one backup file in that location.  So when necessary to rstore from a backup to remove a forgotten password you can find a backup that preceeds the password installation.


    That aside, by setting the device to not sync automatically it may still backup and add the latest backup file to the Library, but you will have to manually sync content.  I have done that when I wanted to add only specific music files to an iPod but not all of the music files already in iTunes.  Lets you pick and choose what ot sync.


    Not sure if this is helping or confusing matters, but if you are concerned about the sync process, turn suto sync off and just rely on manual syncing.

  • ckuan Level 6 Level 6 (19,930 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 4:08 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Backups are incremental, only changes made.

    To make a snapshot, right click on ipad in iTunes and choose backup.

    You will see that the backup file includes a datestamp in

    iTunes > Preferences > Devices > your_ipad - date time.


    Message was edited by: ckuan

  • ckuan Level 6 Level 6 (19,930 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 4:27 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    So, how can I manually copy the backup that appears in iTunes>Preferences>Devices to some location of my choosing on the Mac? If I could do that, that would do the trick.


    You have to copy it in Finder.



    (Separate question: All the files at the MobileSync/Backup/ location in my screenshot above constitute  the entire backup Folder 78ba812...............? That entire folder is the backup, right?)



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