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Question: how to NOT backup when sync, or how to disable the pointless backups complete?

how do I switch off or disable backup of my iphone/ipod/ipad when I want to sync a song in itunes?


I would never want to back up my device. I have 40GB of music etc on my iphone WHICH IS ALREADY IN ITUNES ON MY COMPUTER! Why would I want to waste 40GB of disk space duplicating it on the same device? All my apps are in the cloud. all my passwords are in lastpass. all my contacts are in hotmail. There is no conceivable reason for backing up my iphone except to waste momentous amounts of space and time.


So is there any way to switch it off?


If not, and I have to wait 30 minutes to add a single tune to my phone because it always insists on a redundant backup first, is there any way to at least delete the back up, right after its made? Other wise I will fill my SSD very quickly.


Or is there any way to get music onto the iphone without having to do a backukp? I find itunes totally unintuitive and simplifying syncing a tune to the phone requires hours of googling and simply dragging the music from library on the pc to the device doesn't do anything.

iPhone 6s, iOS 10.3.3, null

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Oct 21, 2017 11:17 AM in response to bilbobobbin In response to bilbobobbin

chris_g1 thats alot of text there and you've not actually answered the guys question. Better to say "it can't be done" or I'll check in to it". Think about the times you've had computer issues - you don't want to read War and Peace, you want answers right?

Try pasting this and hitting return in your Terminal.app @bilbobobbin


defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true


PEople have been asking how they can simply sync music from iTunes to iPhone without the backup process taking place first. Thats all. Thats it. Not iCloud backup, not automatically backing up when the phone is connected - just the annoying wait for a backup process before iTunes will sync over the music.


Its so bloody basic a question but I can't for the life of me figure out why Apple don't have a checkbox. Yes you can click the cancel button but then iTunes just sits there as if it hasn't acknowledged the click. I end up clicking it like 10 times just incase - poor user experience.


WHY DOES THE IPHONE HAVE TO BACKUP BEFORE IT WILL SYNC OVER MY MUSIC??? IT IS WASTING MY TIME WHEN I NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. <--- thats the problem.

Question marked as Helpful

Dec 23, 2017 3:04 PM in response to chris_g1 In response to chris_g1

I have the same problem among MANY NIGHTMARES syncing music slowly and dysfunctionally almost every time and I completely agree with previous reply to your post - it's pure copy and paste directing us to the standard deluge of basic information about basic functions assuming they actually work - which in our cases, they don't. What we need is specific information how to debug this horrible syncing process.


Worst of all, the boilerplate response as always directs us to use Apple Music and cloud syncing as completely unfeasable (for me) workaround to an iTunes wired sync. Yes, we know you have a service we can pay for to accesss music from your cloud we have already bought as music files and would like to locally load onto our iphones and ipods for our own enjoyment without AM wreaking havoc on a giant, very carefully curated library that will never fit in your cloud and I wouldn't risk the damage that service could do, for a million dollars.


It's theoretically nice to get a response, but ones such as this are worthless and to be frank kind of insulting to our intelligence. This poster and I are not some newbie who aren't aware you have FAQ's and instruction pages. Clearly s/he has been through those and is looking to solve horrible, endlessly infurating bugs in your software that holds our expensive devices hostage. IT DOESN'T WORK!!!!

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Sep 17, 2017 7:19 PM in response to bilbobobbin In response to bilbobobbin

Hi there, bilbobobbin,


Thanks for visiting the Apple Support Communities. From your post, I understand you have some concerns regarding iTunes and your iPhone. Specifically, you do not wish iTunes to back up your iPhone when connected. I'd be happy to help!


In iTunes, you have a lot of various settings and options. One of those settings is for backups; you can either back up automatically to iCloud or your computer. If you do not wish to back up to the computer, you can switch to iCloud backups. You can get more information on how to do that here: How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch , and more information on what iCloud and iTunes back ups include here: About backups for iOS devices .

If you do continue to back up to your computer with iTunes, the following article will provide you with some information on how to manage your backups, including how to locate and delete them: Locate backups of your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch .


In addition to having different options related to how you back up, you also have a couple of options related to getting your music from your computer to your iPhone. First, you can continue to sync using iTunes. You can review the article Sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes on your computer using USB to get detailed instructions on how to sync your content (I encourage you to bookmark that article for future reference, so you can save time later by not having to research how to sync first).

If you'd like to cut out the step of plugging in your phone and going through iTunes to sync your music, you could also sign up for an Apple Music membership or iTunes Match subscription. These are paid features that provide you with various perks and benefits. For example, both allow you access to all of your music in the cloud--both purchases from the iTunes Store and songs you imported into iTunes from other sources (like CDs). You don't need to plug your phone in to sync, just connect to Wi-Fi or cellular data to stream, or download your favorite tracks for offline listening (while on Wi-Fi).

Apple Music can even act as a curator, gathering content together from across the iTunes Store based on artists you like, and songs you listen to. You can get more information on Apple Music, and learn how to join, using Access your music collection on all of your devices with Apple Music and Join Apple Music on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC .

And you can get more information on iTunes Match here: Subscribe to iTunes Match .


Have a good day!

Sep 17, 2017 7:19 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Oct 21, 2017 11:17 AM in response to bilbobobbin In response to bilbobobbin

chris_g1 thats alot of text there and you've not actually answered the guys question. Better to say "it can't be done" or I'll check in to it". Think about the times you've had computer issues - you don't want to read War and Peace, you want answers right?

Try pasting this and hitting return in your Terminal.app @bilbobobbin


defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true


PEople have been asking how they can simply sync music from iTunes to iPhone without the backup process taking place first. Thats all. Thats it. Not iCloud backup, not automatically backing up when the phone is connected - just the annoying wait for a backup process before iTunes will sync over the music.


Its so bloody basic a question but I can't for the life of me figure out why Apple don't have a checkbox. Yes you can click the cancel button but then iTunes just sits there as if it hasn't acknowledged the click. I end up clicking it like 10 times just incase - poor user experience.


WHY DOES THE IPHONE HAVE TO BACKUP BEFORE IT WILL SYNC OVER MY MUSIC??? IT IS WASTING MY TIME WHEN I NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. <--- thats the problem.

Oct 21, 2017 11:17 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Dec 23, 2017 3:04 PM in response to chris_g1 In response to chris_g1

I have the same problem among MANY NIGHTMARES syncing music slowly and dysfunctionally almost every time and I completely agree with previous reply to your post - it's pure copy and paste directing us to the standard deluge of basic information about basic functions assuming they actually work - which in our cases, they don't. What we need is specific information how to debug this horrible syncing process.


Worst of all, the boilerplate response as always directs us to use Apple Music and cloud syncing as completely unfeasable (for me) workaround to an iTunes wired sync. Yes, we know you have a service we can pay for to accesss music from your cloud we have already bought as music files and would like to locally load onto our iphones and ipods for our own enjoyment without AM wreaking havoc on a giant, very carefully curated library that will never fit in your cloud and I wouldn't risk the damage that service could do, for a million dollars.


It's theoretically nice to get a response, but ones such as this are worthless and to be frank kind of insulting to our intelligence. This poster and I are not some newbie who aren't aware you have FAQ's and instruction pages. Clearly s/he has been through those and is looking to solve horrible, endlessly infurating bugs in your software that holds our expensive devices hostage. IT DOESN'T WORK!!!!

Dec 23, 2017 3:04 PM

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Jan 13, 2018 4:56 PM in response to Outernationalist In response to Outernationalist

Hi Outernationalist


Thank you for YOUR reply.


I assume that by entering this into a terminal will not prevent me from backing up manually?


It's the same with Microsoft. You ask a simple question then get a whole spiel about something else that you didn't ask for. I have a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus and I do NOT need iTunes to back this up every time I just want to add some music. Plus, if you think I'm going to pay for extra storage in iCloud for this, you've got to be kidding. I have the **** thing setup to sync wirelessly on both my iPhone and iPad (also 256GB) and having them both backup before syncing my music is driving me nuts.


Many thanks

Jan 13, 2018 4:56 PM

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Jan 13, 2018 5:13 PM in response to benltan In response to benltan

I am so sorry that you can't afford 99¢ a month for 50 GB of iCloud storage. However, you can probably get by with the free 5 GB, because backups do not include apps or music. Just app data and system settings. The size of the iCloud backup of my 256 GB iPhone 7 Plus is 3 GB. So if you don't want to back up when you sync just choose iCloud backup.


I assume you don't have any important photos because you don't want to back up. Note that you will lose your photos if your phone breaks, crashes or is lost or stolen, unless you back them up somewhere.

Jan 13, 2018 5:13 PM

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Jan 13, 2018 5:25 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

I back up EVERYTHING. My iPhone is backed up to my desktop iMac. I have no need for encryption but I use it because it makes the backup 100%. My iMac and my MBP are backed up through Time Machine. At these prices, storage is free compared to the agony of lost data/pictures/music/etc.

Jan 13, 2018 5:25 PM

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Jan 13, 2018 5:55 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

Hi Lawrence


Whilst I appreciate that 99c for 50GBs (apologies, I don't know where that symbol is on my UK keyboard) is not going to break the bank, it's the principle of the matter. I use an iPhone, and iPad a Windows PC and a Surface Pro 3 regularly. Coming over from using Android and Windows phones and having lost the ability to 'drag and drop' at will, it's more than slightly annoying to have to to sync it with iTunes every time I want to add music or photographs, hence having it set to sync wirelessly so I don't have to go to my PC. Even the ability to schedule backups would be an advantage.


Speaking of photos, I am a photographer and have over 50TB of pictures. I know very well how to store and manage them. If I NEED to put any on my phone, I will. That said, it's not such an easy process. If I am out and about and take photos and edit them on the go (using Surface Pro), I cannot sync or put them on my phone straight away. No, I have to wait until I get home, transfer them to my main PC and them sync THAT with my iPhone/iPad as, once again, the ability to drag and drop is not available to me.


Regardless of this, the need to backup anything apart from the ones taken on my iPhone is not really necessary. I subscribe to Office 365 so all my documents are safe and use cloud storage for anything else. My music and photos come from my PC anyway and are replicated/backup across 2 servers.


I might well be able to afford extra iCloud storage, but not nearly to the extent that you are suggesting and nor would I need/want to. As a fairly new comer to Apple products I am bewildered at the complete lack of thought that goes into basic usage AND the amount of tasks that are compulsory. Again, coming from from a background of building and taking apart PCs and software at will, it can be frustrating.


Don't get me wrong, the things I use Apple for DO make it worthwhile, I just don't like being dictated to by software that doesn't have my needs at heart. It's not just Apple Support that provide answers like the above. Microsoft are notorious for it, with people posting the SAME stock responses under the SAME question. Drives me up the wall. At least you had the decency to read my reply and respond TO it.


I'm apologies for being a bit blunt. You caught me at a delicate moment and whilst I know before my reply you knew nothing about me or my IT knowledge, I don't just complain for no reason. If something gets in the way of my productivity, then I will I will look for ways around it.


The above method did not work for me as I realised it was for Mac usage, so I am providing another for Windows that I have found:


  • Close the iTunes and hold the Windows Key, press "R" and you will see the Run dialog box
  • Type in 'cmd' and open the command prompt window
  • Type the following command on your Windows:

32-bit
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt Automatic Device Backups Disabled 1

64-bit

"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /set PrefInt Automatic Device Backups Disabled 1

After that, press "Enter" to finish the process.
If you wish iTunes to back up your device again, just replace "1" with "0" in the above command.


Many thanks

Jan 13, 2018 5:55 PM

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Jan 13, 2018 6:10 PM in response to benltan In response to benltan

benltan wrote:


Hi Lawrence


I am a photographer and have over 50TB of pictures.

Hmmm... That's got to be at least fifty million photos. If you view one per second 24 hours /day (without sleeping), it would take two years to view all of them! Who do you sell to?

Jan 13, 2018 6:10 PM

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Jan 15, 2018 11:57 AM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

New rule, first poster to use sarcasm based on false assumptions gets booted. Regarding photos, I wire sync w photos app separately anytime I plug in, and unlike iTunes it syncs quickly with consistent upload timings and feedback. (Oh the ludicrousness of most Mac progress bars!) Thanks for your concern on our apps but even without full wireless sync most app information is already in the cloud, and whatever isn’t, I don’t care about. (Even my high score on Centipede.). You support Apple’s way of making all our usage and backup decisions for us, fine, I don’t. I do pay, with no complaint for a modicum of cloud storage, price isn’t the issue, I’d gladly pay far more and use their cloud exclusively, leaving Dropbox, to get a functional wired music upload from iTunes that isn’t the Vietnam War equivalent of data transfers. To reference Jobs’ hero Lennon, the war is over, if THEY want it.

Jan 15, 2018 11:57 AM

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Jan 15, 2018 11:54 AM in response to benltan In response to benltan

Too many words in each post so I may be missing something, but if all you want to do is sync a song over to your iPhone from iTunes, without iTunes backing up your phone, simply turn off backup to iTunes when plugged in, in iTunes. There's no requirement to backup if you don't want to backup. I myself back up to the cloud and have that set up on the phone directly.

Jan 15, 2018 11:54 AM

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Feb 1, 2018 3:25 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

Even if it was mentioned before, at least it's short. My favorite is when people link to miles-long FAQ / support articles covering things I and others have been through multiple times, being so-called power users still stuck in iTunes' power dysfunction.

Feb 1, 2018 3:25 PM

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Question: how to NOT backup when sync, or how to disable the pointless backups complete?