A few days ago, I was helping my daughter update her Ipod Touch to a newer version of the iOS software from the one she had installed. Every time I tried to do it, iTunes would download, unpack, verify the download, start the installation, try to backup only to fail.
The error message was: “iTunes could not back up iPod because the backup could not be saved on the computer.”
After the error message pops up, iTunes will offer you a link with possible causes and solutions to the problem, that you can view here http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2529.
The options that article gives you are:
- Back up your backup
- Update to the latest software
- Disconnect other USB devices
- Check security settings
- Back up using a new user account
- Reset the Lockdown folder
- Back up on a different computer
Visiting the link above will give you more details on each one. After trying multiple times each of those steps with no luck, and wasting a lot of time in the process, I tried to break the problem in smaller pieces to try and fix it.
The download was working, the sync process was happening, the backup would start but would hang in certain spots. That made me realized that sometimes if a file is corrupt or can’t be verified it would go into an endless loop, until a timeout happens and the iPod and iTunes in this case gave up.
One thing that the Apple troubleshooting guide for the cryptic error message of: iTunes could not back up iPod because the backup could not be saved on the computer, fails to add in there is to ask the user if they had updated their apps.
So I asked my daughter to please delete the apps she no longer used, and to update anything that needed updating, which in her case were almost all of her apps. I don’t blame her, she is young and listening to music and playing with the iPod is more important than the boring yet necessary task of updating.
After all of the applications were cleaned, and updated, I gave it another try. Voila!! It worked.
The online troubleshooting guide at Apple does mention to “Install any available iTunes updates.”, perhaps it should also clearly ask the user to update all their apps before starting the process of updating the iOS software.
I hope that someone finds this simple yet overlooked step useful in solving the problem with backups on both the iPod or iPhone, before wasting too much time on the problem.