Disabling the slow iTunes Backup on Windows is a little more tricky, but it works. First of all close ITunes and then follow these steps:

  1. Locate your iTunesPrefs.xml file. It’s usually located in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes or C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes.

    Hint: If the folder Application Data does not show up, make sure that hidden files are visible in the Windows Explorer

  2. Backup your iTunesPrefs.xml file
  3. Open iTunesPrefs.xml using a capable text-editor (e.g. Notepad++, Ultraedit, but not MS Notepad)
  4. Search for a section called User Preferences and paste the following snipped into the User Preferences Section after the first <dict>:


    After you've done that it should exactly look like the screenshot on the left.

  5. Save the file and restart iTunes. Backups should now be disabled. To enable backups again delete the XML Snippet from iTunesPrefs.xml file.

46 Responses to “How to disable slow iTunes Backup for iPhone/ipod touch on Windows”

  1. Thanks for the tip. Have dugg for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. How do you do this on a Mac?

  3. My iTunesPrefs.xml file only has a Machine Preferences section, the rest is all garbage. Tried opening it in Notepad++ and Dreamweaver.

  4. Make sure you use an XML editor otherwise you will just see the ‘garbage’ which is the data itself.

    Also if you are on Vista you will need to goto C:\Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes where $USER$ is your username

  5. ok, found it, did it, and itunes crashes everytime i open it. ah well, thanks anyways.

  6. @ Ben

    Mac Users can download a Mac .app here:

    @ jmh

    If you noticed it was mentioned that before starting you “close iTunes”.

  7. My configuration:

    Windows XP

    I used ConTEXT to open the XML, made the change and it worked like a charm!

    Thank you very much

  8. If you want to disable the forced backup, but give yourself the option of backing up the iDevice manually, make one change to the above instructions:



    iTunes 7.7.1 is required for this fix. Tested and working here on Vista with iTunes 7.7.1 and iPod Touch 2.0.1.

  9. Thanks for the tip.

  10. I have written a small Windows program called “iPhone Backup Switch”. The program will allow you to enable and disable the iPhone backup feature in iTunes. I have tested it pretty well in Windows XP and VISTA. There is a backup feature that will backup the iTunes configuration and let you restore a previous version, if something goes wrong. Comes complete with installer and uninstaller.

    Get it here:

    Spread the word please!

  11. If you want to disable backup immediately but not permanently, click the “X” at the top of iTunes during the backup process.

  12. thank you so much for this. it really helps me save time.

  13. @mohrt
    That is the best approach. No need to edit XML configs, etc.

  14. good job

    you are … thank you so much

  15. working for itunes 8?ยฟ

  16. Dennis:

    Thx man!!!…Works nicely.

    Very good app. 100% recommended

    God job!!


  17. Excellent!! It works!! Thanks!!

  18. hey there,

    wanted to thank for your excellent instructions.

    did it and it workked.

    great job

  19. Fantastic help many thanks

  20. Thanks. It works in my XP

  21. Awesome. This is extremely useful. I always had to manually click the little “x” to stop the backup. Now I can just click sync and it works flawlessly.


  22. @ Dennis
    thanks for the windows app for the enable/disable. My laptop doesn’t even have a “Documents and Settings” in the C drive so I was looking all day for the code before realizing halfway down this page was a perfect tool ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Thank you , it works for me .

  24. It works!

    Thanks…It is almost killing me whenever it does the backup before sync…because it seems endless…

    But now it works! Thanks!


  25. I love you, the backup time went from more than 8 hours to 20 seconds ๐Ÿ™‚
    done in a iPhone 3G 3.1.3, under the section Machine Preferences.

  26. A life saver! Thank you!

  27. Wow really works for ipad with itunes 10 also

  28. Hey tahts greate for Mac. It works for me..

  29. If any of you are using Windows 7 and can’t find the location, try going to: [C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes]

  30. oh man this helped !! finally got rid of the shitty backup..


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