Encrypt iPhone backup

I’ve updated my Apple iPhone to a 6S and adjusted thecustom iPhone backup locationon my external HDD. This time I’veenabled theEncrypt iPhone backup featurein iTunes.

Apple does not backup important data to transfer to a new phone if you don’t encrypt your backups. Things like:

  • Account passwords
  • WiFi passwords
  • Health app data
  • HomeKitdata

iCloud backs up this data fine, but with only 5GB of iCloud storage, I wanted to backup then restore my 64GB device locally.

The encryption is strong by 2016 standards. You cannot restore a backup without the password. Aside: Obviously the FBI (and NSA) can now hack your iPhone but that’s not the use case here.

If your external HDD is ever lost or stolen, you’ll be glad that your iPhone backup on it is encrypted. Just do it.

Oh! And pick a decent password to encrypt it. Not something your already used on FaceBook, LinkedIn and every other website on the planet. You are using unique passwords and a password locker by now, right? This is 2016 after all.

Change iPhone Backup Location

Last updated on May 3rd, 2016 at 09:38 am

I have a 64GB iPhone 5S but my MacBook Air only has a 128GB SSD which is not enough to regularly hold a backup of my phone. iCloud offers 5GB free online space so I have to pick and chose what gets synchronised via iCloud.

I decided to move my iTunes iPhone backup location to a 2GB external drive called Seagate1. This is a really easy process for Mac and Windows users.

There is no way to change that within iTunes. I am sure there must be tools you can get online to configure it but I used the Terminal to create a symbolic link to make iTunes to use the external drive.

By default iTunes stores iPhone backups in ~/Library/Applications Support/MobileSync/Backup on Macs and \AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup on Windows. If you already have a backup you wish to keep, move the Backup folder to the new backup location on your external drive. Otherwise rename the existing Backup folder to BackupOld.

The symlink links the folder from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup to a backup directory on my external drive – in my case /Volumes/Seagate1/iOSBackups/Backup.

Mac OS X
Open Terminal either by searching for Terminal in spotlight or use Finder to navigate tothe Utilities folder inside your Applications folder.

Terminal will normally open in your home folder with a $ prompt.

Type the following command create the symlink, change Seagate1 to your external drive name.

ln -s /Volumes/Seagate1/iOSBackups/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

That’s it! Connect your iPhone and back it up.

Windows

Open the Command Prompt window by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Command Prompt.

Type the following command to create the symlink ,change SEAGATE1 to your external drive letter.

mklink /J "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "[Your External HDD]:\iOSBackups\Backup"

That’s it! Connect your iPhone and back it up.

Update Play Count in iTunes for Windows

ITunes 12.2 Apple Music logo

Last updated on March 24th, 2017 at 02:24 am

I lost the playcount in iTunes for Windows for some of my tracks.

Tonight I wanted to fix that without editing the Library.xml file – that’s too extreme. I envy Mac owners as they have wonderful Applescript collections to manage iTunes.

I found the awesome Liquid Parallax scripts but didn’t like manually editing the javascript file to set the new play count. So I hacked it together with some Windows Script Hosting magic to invoke a input dialog box in javascript. So the script now asks you to input the new play count.

Installation instructions for Adjust Play Count in iTunes for Windows:

  1. Download AdjustPlayCount.zip and unzip the contents somewhere on your hard-drive. This will give you a 3KB file called AdjustPlayCount.wsf
    • Google Chrome doesn’t like wsf files and may block it with the message AdjustPlayCount.zip may be dangerous so Chrome has blocked it, you can use Firefox to download it or
    • go to your address bar and enter chrome://downloads/# 
    • then click KEEP DANGEROUS FILE
  2. Remember where you saved the script.

How to Adjust Play Count in iTunes for Windows:

  1. Select/highlight one or more songs in iTunes for Windows (use Shift+click or Ctrl+click to select more than one file). This can include the song now playing.
  2. Alt+Tab to your Windows Explorer window and double-click AdjustPlayCount.wsf
  3. Enter the desired new play count number in the dialog box.
  4. Click OK
  5. The script will reply with the new play count and number of files adjusted.

The script will update your iTunes for Windows play count for all the selected songs – even for the current playing song if you’ve highlighted it.

It worked for me on Windows XP and Vista Home using iTunes 10.0.1.22. In the comments you’ll see it works with Windows 7, 8 and 10 with iTunes 12+.

I provide no warranties for this script. Test it on one backed up song first. If it kills your tunes, drinks your liquor or runs off with your daughters, it’s not my fault. You’ll see in the comments it has worked with thousands of files for others.

You can open the wsf file in a text editor to read the script if you want to see what it does.

Limitations:

  1. iTunes for Windows only. It kinda needs Windows to work.
  2. AdjustPlayCount does not check or force you to type an integer in the dialog box. I don’t know what will happen, but it can’t be good.
  3. I’ve tested it with 20 songs selected. I don’t know how it would perform if you selected 1,000 songs at once. Let me know, okay? *You’ll see in the comments it’s worked with thousands of files for others.

Suggestions, bug reports, questions and/or thanks in the comments. Maybe I could make it increase the play count by set number? Tell me what you think.

Update 14 April 2013: I’m thinking of a checkbox that will also reset the last played date to todays date. Again, let me know what you think.

Update 24 March 2017: If you can’t download the file using Google Chrome browser because of its security settings, you can use Firefox to get the file or do the following

  • go to your address bar and enter chrome://downloads/# 
  • then click KEEP DANGEROUS FILE