1 2 3 Previous Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2014 11:24 AM by danielfromla rochelle
WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

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.

  • 1. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    sberman Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    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.

  • 2. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    Thanks. I do realize it's not possible to save more than one backup/snapshot and that it's not possible to archive an iPad, say, the way TM works.

     

    So, bottom line, if I keep that option checked to disable automatic syncing, will that only prevent automatic backups and not prevent syncing, which I would want in order to be able to move items from the Mac to the iPad. (If that's the case, the wording of that option is more than a little misleading.) In other words, did I already stumble on the solution?

     

    And, furthermore, as long as I don't make a new one, will the last backup I made, hypothetically three days ago, be retained in case I want to restore it?

  • 3. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    sberman Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    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.

  • 4. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

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

     

    If so, then what is the point of making a backup? No one is going to want to backup and then restore  from the exact same configuration that may be causing issues. And what are all those manual backup scenarios in that KB article, if there is no way to prevent automatically backing up without at the same time disabling syncing?

     

    Maybe you already explained this in your first reply, but obviously something I'm still not understanding here.

  • 5. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    sberman Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    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.

  • 6. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    OK will have to look into all this further. Thanks.

  • 7. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    This refers to connecting to iTunes/Mac via USB:

     

    Still don't understand the purpose of the automatic backup when syncing is enabled. (Why would someone want to restore from a problematic backup? That's what would happen if you have a problem and need to restore. With automatic backup, you'd immediately lose the backup made before the problem occurred and be stuck with the one you don't want.)

     

    However, this is the workaround we've hit on to preserve the previous backup, if needed.

     

    1. Disable automatic syncing--that stops the automatic backup as soon as the iPad is connect (via USB)

     

    2. Choose Manually manage music and videos. Use drag and drop from Mac to iPad.

     

    3. Move photos from Mac to iPad through iPhoto.

     

    These three prevent the automatic backup. When backing up is required, can be done manually.

     

    Was this always like this? Had to update from 10.7 to 11.0.1 because connecting was unreliable. Barely had the chance to see how it worked with 10.7. Did previous versions of iTunes act like this?

  • 8. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    sberman Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    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.

  • 9. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    Hypothetical: several apps deleted in error, mail configuration deleted or changed in error, all music is removed in error. Go to restore from a backup from before, where everything is still OK, but now iPad synced and backed up automatically backs up with those apps missing, mail screwed up, and all music missing, while the previous good backup is deleted. Restore from automatic backup restores in that same screwed up state, no?

     

    What's the point of that? How does that just work? This would make sense if the previous backup remained and wasn't automatically replaced by the new one.

  • 10. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,520 points)

    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.

  • 11. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    Thanks Ralph. Never knew about all those. Just had a look. They don't appear to be full backups,  just whatever document or whatever happened to be synced at the time. There are zillions of them. For example (these are just a few of them)

     

    Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 6.00.56 PM.png

  • 12. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    ckuan Level 7 Level 7 (21,515 points)

    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

  • 13. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)

    This would resolve the whole issue. From that KB article.

     

    1. Back up your backup

     

    Before troubleshooting a backup issue, make sure you have recently backed up a copy of your backup. You can copy the backup folder to a safe place, such as your desktop or to an external hard drive. iTunes places the backup files in the following locations:

     

        Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

    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.

     

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

  • 14. Re: Prevent automatic backup?
    ckuan Level 7 Level 7 (21,515 points)

    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?)

     

    Yes.

1 2 3 Previous Next