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How to speed up a slow iTunes backup

Alexandra Malureanu

by Alexandra Malureanu

It's been 36 and a half hours and my backup just hit 78% completion.

Is your iTunes backup or restore process taking so long that you sometimes just cancel it? For sure it can be frustrating and irritating. Here are a few tips that might help you out in speeding up your backup, sync or restore process up in iTunes.

A slow iTunes backup...
A slow iTunes backup...

Delete old unused apps and app data

That'll mean you've less data to transfer during each backup or restore process. It'll really speed the process up.

Remove unused media from iPhone, iPad or iPod

If you think that old apps are the only thing that might be considered to speed up your process, think again. Removing unused media such as videos, music, recordings or voicemails can help as well. Get rid of those albums you don't listen to any more, or change the music settings before you back up.

Move your photos taken on your iPhone to your computer

From time to time it's good to archive those pictures from your iPhone to your PC or Mac. Make sure you check that they were successfully transferred to your computer before deleting them though. Keep your photos safe and secure, and your backup process will be greatly improved. Other media -- especially old videos -- can be saved on your computer, either by archiving an old backup, or by copying directly from the device over USB. Free space -- and your time!

Create regular iTunes backups

Apple's backups are differential: each time you back up, only the new stuff has to get added. So the more frequently you back up, the faster it'll be each time. If you are about to clear down your files to speed up your backup iPhone process, make sure you create a backup first and store in a safe place outside the default iTunes folder.

Avoid sending crash reports to Apple every iTunes sync

The crash reports that iTunes sends to Apple will increase your process time as iTunes needs to create a log? Simply select not to send these when iTunes asks and this will save your time. To prevent iTunes from sending crash reports:

  • Turn off automatic syncing on your iPhone, iPad or iPod
  • Right-click on your iOS device in iTunes, and click "Reset Warnings"; the next time you sync, your system will ask if you want to send the reports
  • Uncheck the "Do not ask me again" option provided, and click "Don't Send"

iPhone Backup Extractor recovers data from iTunes backups

If your restore process just failed, if you want to recover a specific file from your backup, or if you want to see data inside your backup you can use iPhone Backup Extractor. It works on Windows and Mac OS X, with all iOS devices and versions. It can recover contacts, pictures, call histories, MMS, SMS and text messages, video, voice-mail, calendar entries, notes, app files, saved games and much more.

Alexandra Malureanu

by Alexandra Malureanu on , last updated

We've helped over 3,000,000 people recover their lost iPhone data. Let us help you too.

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