Tuesday, 13 August 2013

How to Change the Backup Location of iTunes (or Any Windows App)

The vast majority of Windows applications park their backups and bulky data directories right on the primary partition. This means the precious space on your SSD is chewed up by backups, a less than ideal situation. Read on as we show you how to move your backups to a data disk.

Why Do I Want to Do This?

Many people have switched to using a speedy Solid State Disk as their primary drive. These drives are known for their snappy response time, not their expansive storage capabilities. There’s no sense in storing bulky and infrequently accessed data like your iPhone and iPad backup files on your SSD.

Furthermore, in many instances, application functions will outright fail because the primary disk isn’t large enough. The last time we went to do a complete backup of our iPad before installing a new version of iOS, for example, the backup failed because out small-but-speedy SSD simply couldn’t hold the entire contents of the iPad. Modern applications simply assume you have a modern hulking 300GB+ primary hard drive with space to spare.

In today’s tutorial we’re going to look at a quick and painless way for Windows users to easily move their backup and/or data directories for iTunes (or any other Windows application that doesn’t support in-app backup/data directory changes) to a secondary disk.

What Do I Need?

You need precious little for this tutorial. The tools for adjusting the location of the directories within Windows are built right into Windows.

Beyond that, the only thing you’ll need is a secondary drive to move the backup data to. For this tutorial, we’ll be moving our backup data to the G:\ drive, but any large disk that isn’t your operating system disk will do.

Finally, although we’ll be specifically moving the iTunes backup directory to our secondary disk, you can use this trick to move any bulky data or backup directory off your small primary disk onto a larger secondary disk–you’ll just need to locate the data directory on your primary disk and adjust the commands accordingly.

Moving the Backup Directory via Symbolic Links

The magic that drives this entire operation is the symbolic links system. A symbolic link is effectively a very advanced shortcut that is transparent to the requesting application. After we move the iTunes backup directory, iTunes will never be the wiser (but the iTunes data will end up on the secondary disk). 

Create a new backup directory. 

Before we point an application at a new backup directory, we need a new backup directory. As we noted above, we’re going to redirect iTunes to the G:\ drive. In light of that, we’ve created a new folder “iTunes Backup” on the G:\ drive. Create a new backup folder on your secondary drive now.

Locate and rename the current backup directory. 

We need to locate the current iTunes backup directory and rename it.

Press the Start button. In the shortcut box paste the following:

“%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync”

This will take you to the backup folder used by iTunes. Within that folder you will see a folder simply titled “Backup”. Rename that folder “Backup-Old”.

Open a command prompt. 

Hold down the SHIFT key and right click inside the explorer pane of the current folder (/MobileSync/). Select “Open command window here” to conveniently open a command prompt already focused on the current directory. 

Create the symbolic link. 

At the command prompt, again ensuring you’re in the MobileSync directory, enter the following command (adjust the G:\iTunes Backup entry to point at your chosen backup directory):

mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “G:\iTunes Backup”

The “mklink” command is the Windows shell command for creating a symbolic link and the “/J” switch creates a special type of symbolic link known as a Directory Junction, which will seamlessly redirect any applications that query the original Backup directory to the iTunes Backup on the secondary disk.

At this point you should see a folder with a shortcut icon in the \Mobile Sync\ folder, labeled Backup. If you click on this folder it will appear to open like a normal folder (you will not appear to switch over to the secondary drive like you would with a regular shortcut) but anything placed in this drive will be physically stored on the secondary disk.

Test the junction. 

If you can click on the link without an error, everything should be good to go, but we’re going to double check it to be safe. While in the \MobileSync\Backup directory (accessed via the new symbolic link you just created) right click and create a new text document as a temporary file place holder. After creating it, navigate to the actual backup directory you created on the secondary disk (in our case, G:\iTunes Backup\). You should see the file sitting in the directory. Delete the place holder file once you’ve confirmed that it is in the secondary directory.

Initiate an iTunes backup. 

Whether you’re following along with this tutorial to transfer the iTunes backup directory or the backup directory of another Windows application, the real test is whether or not the application works as intended with the symbolic link in place. Let’s fire it up and see.

After initiating the backup process, visit the backup directory on the secondary disk:

There we can see a brand new collection of backup files created at the time of our new backup. Success!

Copy the original backup data.

In the beginning of the tutorial we renamed the Backup directory to Backup-Old. That Backup-Old directory contains all your old iTunes backup files. Now that we’ve successfully tested the symbolic link and performed a successful backup operation, it’s time to move the backup data to its new home.

Unlike a regular same disk-to-same disk transfer, this transfer will take a little longer as Windows copies the data through the symbolic link to the secondary disk. Once it has completed the copy you can again confirm that the data is safe on the secondary disk.

As you can see in the screenshot above, after we copied the iTunes backup directory, we freed up around 5GB of data on our primary disk. The entire process took around 5 minutes from start to finish and our reward is extra space on our primary disk, and backup data stored on a secondary disk, and we can finally do a full device backup because there’s enough room for everyone to get along.

Friday, 2 November 2012

How to Jailbreak iOS 6.0.1

Apple has just released iOS 6.0.1, which includes a number of bug fixes and improvements. The good news is, you can use Redsn0w 0.9.15b3 to jailbreak your iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS using a simple trick.

This article shows how to jailbreak your iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4G running on iOS 6.0.1 using Redsn0w.

Here are some important points to note before you proceed.

  • This guide is meant for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4G users.
  • Warning: If you depend on Ultrasn0w to unlock your iPhone, then DO NOT update to iOS 6.0.1.
  • Redsn0w 0.9.15b3 only supports a tethered jailbreak, which means that you need to connect your iPhone to the computer on every reboot (except iPhone 3GS with older bootrom). It is currently not possible to jailbreak iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPod Touch 5G.
  • Please note that jailbreaking your iOS device may void your warranty and hence proceed with caution and at your own risk.
  • Please do not forget to backup your iOS device before you proceed. You can refer to this post for instructions on how to backup your iOS device using iTunes.
  • Please ensure you are running latest version of iTunes i.e. iTunes 10.5 or later.

You can follow these step-by-step instructions to jailbreak your iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4G on iOS 6.0.1:

Step 1: Download Redsn0w 0.9.15b3 (Redsn0w 0.9.15 beta 3) from this link and save the application in a folder named “Redsn0w” on your desktop.

Step 2: Download iOS 6.0 firmware file (yes, iOS 6.0 firmware file) for your iOS device from the links mentioned below:

Step 3: Double click the Redsn0w zip file and extract the application. Navigate to the Redsn0w folder and launch the Redsn0w application.
Windows 7 users should run the exe in Windows XP compatibility mode (right-click on the Redsn0w exe and select Properties, then select the Compatibility tab and select Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP). Windows XP and Windows 7 users should run Redsn0w as ‘Administrator’ (right-click on the Redsn0w exe and select ‘Run as an Administrator’).

Step 4: Click on Extras button.

Step 5: Then click on the Select IPSW button. Navigate and select the firmware file download in Step 2.

Step 6: Go back to Redsn0w’s main page and click on the Jailbreak button.

Step 7: You will now be prompted plug your iOS to the computer and switch it OFF. Follow the instructions and click on the Next button to move to the next screen:

Step 8: You will now need to put your iOS device into the DFU mode. Redsn0w will take you through the necessary steps:

(a) Hold the Power button on your iOS device down for 3 seconds:

(b) Now simultaneously hold the Home button and keep the two buttons pressed for 10 seconds:

(c) Now release the Power button while keeping the Home button pressed until Redsn0w detects the device:

Step 9: Your iOS device should reboot now. Please remember to release the Home button.

Step 10: Redsn0w will now start preparing the jailbreak data.

Step 11: You will now be prompted to select the jailbreak options. Make sure Cydia is selected and click on the Next button to continue. iPhone 3GS users can also select Enable battery percentage option.

Step 12: Your iOS device will reboot again and Redsn0w will now begin uploading the new RAM disk and kernel.

Step 13: You will now be notified once the jailbreaking process is complete. Click on the Ok and then Quit button to exit the application.

Step 14: The rest of the process will take place on your iOS device, wait for it to complete. Your iOS device will reboot once again (which could take approximately 5 minutes).

Boot tethered:

Step 15: You still need to  rerun Redsn0w to boot tethered. Launch Redsn0w again.

Step 16: Click on Extras button.

Step 17: Then click on the Just Boot button.

Step 18: You will now be prompted to plug your iOS device to the computer and switch it OFF again. Follow the instructions and click on the Next button to move to the next screen:

Step 19: You will now need to put your iOS device into the DFU mode. Redsn0w will take you through the necessary steps:

(a) Hold the Power button on your iOS device down for 3 seconds:

(b) Now simultaneously hold the Home button and keep the two buttons pressed for 10 seconds:

(c) Now release the Power button while keeping the Home button pressed until Redsn0w detects the device:

Step 20: Redsn0w will recognize the iOS device in DFU mode and apply the limerain exploit (remember to release the Home button). Your iOS device will reboot and a pineapple logo will appear, indicating a tethered boot.

Step 21: Wait for the process to complete, once it is complete, you should see the Lock screen on your iOS device.

That’s it, your iOS device has now been successfully jailbroken and you should see Cydia on the Home screen. If you don’t find it on the Home screen, please don’t panic, search for it using Spotlight.

Note: Since Redsn0w currently supports only a tethered jailbreak except for iPhone 3GS with older bootrom, you will need to follow steps 15 to Steps 21, each time you reboot your iPhone or iPod touch to be able to use the jailbreak apps like Cydia.

Monday, 29 October 2012

How to Create A Shared Photo Stream in iOS 6


iOS users can now post and share their photos to a shared Photo Stream album thanks to iOS 6. The shared Photo Stream album is hosted by iCloud, but any photos you store there will not count against your iCloud storage allowance and will work over Wi-Fi or your cellular data. The new feature allows you to share photos with fellow iOS users and also provides an option for the non-iOS users in your life. iOS users will be able to access the shared Photo Stream album directly from their iOS device, while non-iOS users will have to access the iCloud.com site to view the shared Photo Stream. Here's how you get started. 

1. To create a Shared Photo Stream, launch the Photos app on your iOS device, and select the Photo Stream option at the bottom of the screen. In the upper-right corner is a + sign; tap on it.

2. Enter the iCloud e-mail address of the person (or people) you'd like to shared your album with into the To section. Create a name for the album and title your album. Select if you want the shared album to have a public website URL by swiping ON or OFF. If you select ON, anyone will be able to view the shared Photo Stream on iCloud.com. If you wish to have non-iOS users to have the ability to view the album via the iCloud website, toggle the Public Website switch to ON. Tap the blue Create button on top-right hand corner once completed.
NOTE*: Either way the album is shared (with iOS users or via the iCloud site), you will be the only person with the ability to upload photos to the album. Everyone else will only be able to view, like and comment on the photos in the shared album.


3. Once the album is created you will now see the shared Photo Stream album appear when you access the Photos app.

4. Now it's time to add photos to your shared Photo Stream album. You can send photos to the shared album by viewing photos in the photo app and tapping on the Share button. Select Photo Stream from the list of options. Top right-hand icon titled Photo Stream.

5. Tap on the album you want to add the selected photo to

6. Leave a comment on the photo that will act as a caption for your photo and then tap the blue Post button once completed.

7. As you add photos to your shared album anyone you invite can now comment or like the photo through their iOS devices or by visiting the iCloud website. Each time you get a new comment or like, you will receive and alert notification.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Use Passbook in iOS 6


Passbook is a new iOS 6 app that turns your iPhone into a virtual wallet ready to store tickets, loyalty cards, coupons, gift cards and more. While it doesn't handle NFC payments like Google Wallet, it does help iOS 6 users streamline some of the plastic bulk out of their wallet, leaving more room for more important things, like the green stuff.

How to Use Passbook in iOS 6 

1.  Open the Passbook app by tapping on the app icon.

2. Tap App Store, this will link you to the App Store and an introductory list of apps that currently support the app.


 3. Tap on the app that you want linked to your Passbook and enter in your Apple ID/Password to begin the download process.
Walgreens has been used here for demonstration purposes.

4. After your chosen app is downloaded, tap on the app icon and a notification will appear with the option to add the card to Passbook. After reading the notification, exit and either create a rewards account or log into your existing account.


5. Once you've created a new rewards account or logged into an existing one, tap the button at the bottom that says Add To Passbook.


6. The Walgreens Press allows its user the option to be notified when a preferred Walgreens store is within proximity to the user, tap Add with Store or Add without Store to continue. 
Note: This step may vary depending on each individual vendor app options.


7. Once you've completed selecting your preferred Pass options, tap the blue Add button in the top right hand corner. This will add and activate your rewards card to the Passbook app. You can now exit the vendor app and re-open the Passbook app. Your rewards card will appear ready to be used.


8. Tapping the information button (i) in the lower-right corner of the card flips the card over to showcase additional options. Here you can choose to turn Automatic Updates on, which will notify you when your location services detects that you are near a store.


9.  To delete a Pass tap on the trash icon found in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap on Delete to proceed with removing the Pass or Cancel to keep the Pass active.

10. After tapping Delete, you will see the pass shredded and it will no longer appear in your Passbook app.

Note*: Passbook is installed on the iPhone and iPod Touch with iOS 6, but the app is currently not available for the iPad. Steps to add/activate a new record or loyalty account will vary depending on each vendor specific app requirements prior to adding to Passbook.