Prevent Automatic Backups when Updating iPhone or iPad in Finder

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory.

When you don’t trust Apple’s over-the-air (OTA) updates, it’s only natural to turn to the Finder on your Mac. However, when you try to update your iPhone or iPad from your Finder, you will notice that they perform automatic backups to your Mac. I made the wrong decision a year ago when purchasing my iMac, so I only have 256 GB of storage. Every byte on my Mac is precious, and no backups should use that tiny SSD of mine. Especially, true when I have iCloud Backups enabled on all of my Apple Devices.

Use Terminal to disable automatic updates.

All you need here is one line of command in Terminal:

defaults write AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true

Now you are ready to go. Replug your iPhone or iPad and enjoy backup-free updates.

Why I want to disable that feature

I personally use iCloud because it’s a very convenient way to back up my data. I turn it on and I don’t have to do anything else. Plus, I get the benefit of having your iCloud Photo Library and so many other features to keep all my devices in sync. Yes, I am paying the Apple tax because I’m a lazy person.

With that being said, backing up to my Mac is redundant. I am of course disabling that feature. Honestly, Apple should allow their users to choose whether they want to have automatic backups or not.

You should have some backup

Now, for those who do not have iCloud backups enabled on their devices, I still recommend backing up your devices to your computer before you update. It’s always important to have some backup methods to keep all your data safe.


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