I'm trying to move my iphone data from my old iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6s. To start, I'm trying to back up my iPhone 5 to my Windows 7 computer running iTunes. It connects, starts the backup, but about 15 minutes into it I get a message saying there's not enough space on the computer to do the backup.

I have 582GB free on that drive (It's backing up to the C: drive).

So, needless to say, I'm confused. I've found a few articles that talk about issues with iCloud and wireless backing up, but this is connected direction to my PC so I don't think that's the issue.

The official Apple documentation says to "free up space" which isn't the issue, or contact support. So, no real help there, either.

2 Answers 2


So after much swearing and several hours of fiddling, I finally discovered what the issue was.

Windows appears to have a limit on how many files can exist in a directory tree. iOS backups consist of tens of thousands of individual files. And if you have several backups in your backup folder, we're talking a whole lot of files.

The solution ended up being fairly simple:

  • find your backup folder on your hard drive
  • move most (or all) of the backups that are in that folder to a separate folder and/or drive.

Then try backing up again. For me, that solved it and I was able to get the backup to run.


You've addressed this, but I want to make sure I double-check: Did you make any windows junctions in the past to map your user account data folder (or the iTunes backup folder) to another drive other than that primary c: drive?

Assuming not, here is what I would try first:

  1. Go in and rename or delete the folder for the previous backup for this device (the one named with the device UDID)

  2. If that doesn't help, then rename the Backup folder inside of MobileSync, and then make an entirely new Backup folder.

There's instructions for each of these on an old blog post of mine (under "iPhone Disconnected Error During a Backup") https://deciphertools.com/blog/2014_12_09_iphone_could_not_restore_disconnected/

  • 1
    Thanks, Kelly. I actually did figure out the isse. Will post an answer!
    – DA.
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 16:48

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