iTunes 12 Sync Problems: Why Doesn’t Syncing from iTunes to iOS Devices Work?

Update: See this article for a possible solution to sync issues with iOS devices.

Syncing isn’t easy; syncing a variety of disparate content from iTunes to iOS devices is complex. There have always been problems with syncing, but lately, these problems have increased.

I get lots of email from readers, both of this website and of my Ask the iTunes Guy column on Macworld, and lately a lot of those emails have been about syncing problems. My friend Rob Griffiths had a problem last month where duplicate tracks in his iTunes library prevented him from syncing his iPhone 6. But he’s still having problems; that wasn’t the only issue preventing him from syncing.

I briefly had an iPhone 6. I returned it because of the size, but I had to restore that iPhone about five times in the week I owned it because of syncing issues.

And I’ve had readers contact me with problems syncing older devices; problems that have increased since the release of iTunes 12 and iOS 8. One reader even broke down and updated from an iPhone 4s to an iPhone 5s, hoping his syncing problems would go away; alas, they didn’t. (This makes me think that many sync problems have something to do with iTunes’ library files.)

Syncing isn’t easy; but Apple really needs to make it work. I know that some of the problems are edge cases, but so many people have problems that Apple needs to seriously pay attention to these issues. If you search Apple’s forums, just in the past 30 days, you’ll find dozens of threads about sync issues. Sometimes, the sync simply doesn’t work; at other times, it blocks at “Waiting for changes to be applied.” It’s impossible for users to resolve these issues, and Apple doesn’t provide much help. The general response from Apple is to restore the iOS device. In some cases, this my work, but in my experience, its effectiveness is limited; sync problems come back a short time afterward.

To be fair, it’s possible that this only happens to a small percentage of iOS users. Many if not most iOS users never sync their devices with iTunes, and many others don’t have much content to sync. But Rob Griffiths, who I mentioned above, doesn’t have a large music library. He’s not an edge case at all.

As for me, I had terrible problems in the last months of iOS 7, having to restore my iPhone 5s several times. I’d want to sync to add a new album to my iPhone, and it would take a half hour, and sometimes those syncs would simply fail. Curiously, since iTunes 12 and iOS 8, I’m having fewer problems.

Syncing is hard; but Apple should do a lot more to make it work.

If you have sync problems, I would appreciate if you could post a comment below. I’m trying to collect as much information as possible to try and get Apple to pay attention to this issue. Please post the device you’re using, and a brief explanation of the problems you’re having. Also, post if these problems are new, since iOS 8, or if you’ve had them for a long time. Thanks!

Also, read my series of articles outlining how I’d fix iTunes.

251 thoughts on “iTunes 12 Sync Problems: Why Doesn’t Syncing from iTunes to iOS Devices Work?

  1. “Why Doesn’t Syncing from iTunes to iOS Devices Work?”

    Because Cupertino QC competency these days is on par with the Iraq war?

    Because Kirk has incredibly damaging dirt on senior Cupertino execs that makes them horribly screw up iTunes so Kirk can have endless gainful employment in writing about it?

    Personally, I think all these problems could be eliminated if Apple just moved from a once-per-year OS feature release to an every three month schedule…

    • I’m not sure that it a less frequent product cycle would change much as far as syncing is concerned; I’m pretty sure everything that affects syncing is independent of the actual releases. But I think that under the hood it is gotten more complicated, and I also think the different hardware affects it differently. Hence the problems with the iPhone 6 in particular.

      Whatever the causes, this problem should not be so prevalent.

    • Chucky has spotted the timing of this issue. It’s true, when Apple started building new revenue streams out of online services, the photos sync issues moved from occasional annoyance to every single freaking sync, it doesn’t work. Waiting for Photos to sync (when Photos has clearly finished, or determined there’s no photos to sync), is now filling up web posts, blogs and apple discussion groups. Cmon Apple! You expect me to buy a car when you won’t even fix photo syncing?????????????? Grr.

    • I have iTunes 12 and an iphone 6s. This is the third time I have had my audiobook library disappear on my iPhone and I am forced to resync the whole darn library. I also have to redownload my music library onto the iPhone. Overtime Apple offers an update I should always refus it until the kinks are worked out.

      Tired of the hassle….

  2. Sync issues really started to show up for me when iCloud came to the fore. Shortly before its demise, I picked up 2 iPod Classic 160GB units. Both always sync just fine with no complaints. Of course, there is no cloud support for them. My iPhone 6 and iPad Air both are connected to the cloud and sync generally simply does not work.

    Apple could help this situation out A LOT by simply TELLING THE USER what the software sees as a problem. Granted, some folks would not understand it, but, it might spark the right conversations to solve the problems.

    • I don’t think it’s the cloud that’s the problem. I think the iPod classic is a much simpler device, and syncing is simpler. It’s not only that there are no apps, but I think that, deep down, the way the device handles files is different.

      • as a data point my 1st gen iPod Touch still syncs flawlessly – sadly its battery life is poor these days so i don’t carry it around

    • I’m having trouble too and (coincidentally?) it only came about around the time the cloud was more or less forced onto me with an update. It should be an easy option to simply have zero affiliation with the cloud. I don’t want anything to do with it. Anyway, syncing has been f’d for me since I got my new 6. Same playlists I’ve been using for years suddenly refuse to copy onto my phone. If I put the entire library on shuffle, you can see it land on a song and immediately skip it – sometimes 20 or so in a row. I’m almost to the point where I’m going to go back to an old ipod – but with all the updates with the itunes software I wonder if it will even be supported? COME THE HECK ON ITUNES TEAM! THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM!

        • I guess all the problems happen because of using itunes
          So i stick to itunes alternative called WALTR for Mac/PC. This is the best app to get any video/music to your iOS device . Since i got Waltr i haven`t used itunes at all
          Look it up, maybe it`ll help you

  3. I think it has to do with all the work involved to fix the syncing issue. I saw at the Apple Store a few months ago about 3-4 people that were there at the same time with syncing issues. The end result for some was to basically recreate everything. Removing iTunes from the system, scrubbing all the prefs and other libraries that have to do with iTunes and re-creating the iTunes music folder. It looked pretty frustrating.

    • Yes, remember those days of Apple when you could laugh at your Windows friends who had to wipe and re-install their OS once per year to make their computer work fast again? Apple has learnt from this fantastic way of doing things it seems. The hours of work involved in Apple support’s standard responses (which often don’t work – I just don’t read Apple’s std responses anymore cos they’re not relevant) are abhorrent for people who use their computer for more than just basic needs and who build up and value data like playlists and other such things.

    • I did all that it did not matter. Spoke with apple rep who thought my PC was the problem. Not the iPhone 6. Several times certain files were send to Apple. The they called bCk telling me they have no solution. Lot of B.S.

  4. I have two iPos touches (5th generation) and since iOS 7 and iTunes 11 syncing is a real pain in the butt. Every time I sync these devices, It hangs at “waiting for items to copy.” Sometimes, Syncing won’t even start. The only way I can get my devices to sync is to restore the software and that doesn’t always work. I have become increasingly upset with the lack of support or communication on the part of Apple over this issue. Each time iTunes or iOS is updated I hope for a resolution to this problem. And it isn’t being resolved. I do have issues with syncing with my iPhone and iPad as well, but it isn’t near as bad as the iPod.

  5. I find what works when syncing stalls or fails is to do a hard reset on the phone (sometimes coupled with restarting computer). In addition to actually completing a sync, it does so somewhat quickly.

    I’d like to add that most everything i do on iTunes results in a spinning beachball. As simple a “task” as clicking on a playlist, choosing an album, hitting pause. And changing metadata makes me think it’s time to move to Spotify.

  6. This was the ONLY solution which worked for me and I hunted high & low on Google, Apple’s message boards, Bing, etc…
    1. With the device connected via cable, click on its icon
    2. Uncheck WiFi syncing in iTunes
    3. Click Apply
    4. Disconnect device from iMac
    5. Power off device
    6. Restart device
    7. Quit iTunes
    8. Re-launch iTunes
    9. Check WiFi syncing
    10. Click Apply
    11. Disconnect device from iMac
    12. Attempt to sync device in iTunes via WiFi

    • Pat’s solution is a riot! I had to look to see if it was dated April 1, but no, it’s last fall. It’s so iOS-typical that a solution takes 12 steps and how much time? to do something that is supposed to happen automatically, or at least after a click or two. I will try this procedure, but only on a day when I have nothing else to do!

      In my case, I want to sync not photos or music (try getting iTunes to understand that) but a database application called Home Inventory and another called MacJournal. They both have iPad apps that should sync with my Mac but don’t. The fallback is to use DropBox, but though I can see the files in my DropBox and on the DB web site, my iPad does not. Now if wifi syncing worked…

    • The last step is the most important. Attempting to sync via cable will continue to yield problematic results. For whatever reason, syncing via the data cable is causing iTunes to fail on random files, which interrupts the sync. This creates library entries on your phone for the songs, but fails to copy the actual file. Until this problem is resolved by Apple, I guess I will never “jack in” my iPhone…

  7. I’ve got the latest version of iTunes (12) and an old iPod running iOs 5.
    Syncing has never failed me although I have a large library and sync lots of podcasts daily…
    The issue might rest with iOs rather than iTunes.

  8. I am really annoyed with 2 issues … 1) Purchases from the iTunes Store STAY in my Smartlist, even when they have NOTHING to do with the Smartlist. WTF? 2) The only way to get a true Sync with my smartlist these days is to remove it completely, remove ANY other music that MIGHT appear in the Smartlist, then resync with those choices checked off again.

    Ridiculous. Very annoying.


  9. It’s indeed frustrating, I never had problems in the past, but I think it also started with iCloud (or my new Mac I bought at the same time). After reading lots and trying out several things I’m now at a point where all purchased music (when I select only that playlist) works fine. The problem starts as soon as I pick an album or playlist containing music I uploaded from a CD, and this independently if I use my old iphone4s or the new iphone 6 .. Hope Apple finds a fix soon, cause this is extremely annoying; one of the major reasons why I’m in the Apple world, the rest I can get from the Android world at a cheaper price ..

  10. The issue I seem to run into lately regarding syncing of my iOS devices is that iTunes fails to recognize them at seemingly random times. Basically I connect the iOS device, on the device I get a message to trust or not trust the computer (which I shouldn’t get) and then the device does not show up in iTunes. A check in System Profiler shows that the Mac can see the device, but iTunes cannot. So far the only way to resolve this issue is to restart the Mac, which is a major pain. As fast as the system boot is, the login seems to take forever.

  11. The only device I currently have that will sync without a reboot immediately prior, is my old iPod 5. iPad 2, iPhone 5s can’t find the mac, and the mac can’t see them. Even when they are connected by cable.

    It’s like Apple took a time machine back to 1999, when you had to reboot daily so that things would continue to work.

  12. I have so much trouble with my Iphone 4S and my Ipod touch that now I am scared to plug them on my computer. It works without trouble like one time out 10. I have to restore them, and even restore doesn’t work from time to time. One time I was trying to synchronize while chatting with Apple Support and the person was completely useless, telling me to check things I have checked so many times. After one hour all she could say was she doesn’t understand the problem, and maybe I should bring back my computer, ipod and iphone to a store. Seriously …

    I liked your article, and I wish Apple would notice and react to such big trouble…

    (I am sorry if I have made some English mistakes as I am not a native speaker).

    • and that’s exactly the biggest issue for me Amelie-Marie – the fact that Apple have their collective heads in the sand whenever an issue comes up. Trying to find any official responses to problems is becoming more and more difficult and little issues such as ongoing iTunes sync issues, not to mention flaky Home Sharing issues and the like – small stuff admittedly but damned annoying – never get addressed. It’s enough to make me want to haul out my Newton – i don’t recall being nearly as bug-ridden. And it was notoriously bug-ridden!

  13. I have 5s and iTunes 12.
    I may have found at least a band aid fix, your phone need to be connected via USB (at least that’s how it worked on mine)
    1. On Summary Options check “Sync only checked songs and videos” and “Manually manage music and videos”.
    2. Go to songs under “On my device” on the left side.
    3. Highlight all the songs and delete them.
    4. Go to Main list of songs and highlight what ever you want on your phone.
    5. Drag them to the left until the devices appear on your screen. Now drag them to your phone.

    The music immediately began syncing to my phone.
    Hope this helps, I know nothing else was working for me.

    • If you want to sync manually; if you want to only be able to drag things to the device. That, to me, is quite painful.

      • I’ve lost my list of synch items a number of times now, and have supported friends on Windows with the same issue. My solution now is to have manual synch, but set up 2 playlists for music: 1. Smart playlist with albums/artists who I want all of. 2. Manual playlist with specific songs that I want. Any time iTunes trashes the synch settings I can now easily recover it with only a few clicks.

        (P.S. Apple’s lack of ability to capture/report errors is terrible – how about if suddenly the phone goes from very full to not at all full then it might trigger an error? Or whatever process triggered the synch library to be dumped – perhaps due to corruption – could be reported to the user? Whatever – the user is not important, manual work-arounds to fix Apple’s poor support processes continue to be required)

  14. My family has been using iPods and iPhones for many years now. We use the same iTunes library to manage content, mainly music, about 3,000 songs, majority imported from old CDs, but also many purchases. Syncing was always easy and no problems across many different devices, iOS versions, and iTunes versions, until about 6 weeks ago (late 2014). Now suddenly a disaster. Incomplete syncing and now content that used to be on my iPhone 5S is deleted (partial albums when used to be complete). Playlists not updating. Basically iTunes sync software is broken, not doing what is expected per the user interface. What a disaster for Apple. iTunes was my reason for convincing my family to switch to Apple products years ago. If iTunes broken I see no reason to continue with Apple products.

    • Same here! Just recieved my new iPod touch 64gb 5th gen this morning after thinking the problems I was having we’re down to the age of my 6yr old iPod classic 160gb. Took it out of the box, plugged it into my laptop to sync music, and it won’t sync! Not impressed, they can’t even say it’s down to too many other files on the device coz I literally opened and plugged in. Starts to wonder now if I have just wasted £250 and my old iPod is in fact fine and the problem is with iTunes?!

  15. If you run into the issue with the message “iTunes could not connect to this iPhone. This device is no longer connected.” with iTunes 12, it’s most likely a bug with usbmuxd. There is a workaround, but no fix until Apple updates iTunes and/or usbmuxd.

    Details were worked out here:

    The short version is there was a programming error somewhere that leads to usbmuxd never closing a connection and hitting the UNIX system limit for a single process. Once it does, iTunes can no longer sync to an iOS device locally or via WiFi. For those familiar with Terminal or Activity Monitor, kill the usbmuxd process and the issue is solved for 24-48 hours. You may need to also reboot mdns if WiFi syncing has stopped working. For those uncomfortable with that, reboot your Mac. For those comfortable with scripting, you can make a task to automatically do these relaunches on a regular basis until Apple fixes this issue.

    In my personal experience, it is related to how many devices iTunes “sees”. So if you have WiFi syncing turned on you may see this more quickly. I have 5 iOS devices, a few of which largely stay at home all day. They have synced flawlessly via WiFi for years, with easy and automatic nightly syncs when plugged in to charge overnight, and I now very quickly run into this issue when trying local or WiFi sync. I have to restart usbmuxd and mdns about 3 times daily to keep things working. With one device and no WiFi sync, you may go as long as 48 hours without hitting this bug.

    Apple has known about this since November or so, as I (and I’m sure many others) have spent numerous hours with AppleCare at multiple levels, run Apple-provided diagnostic software, and sent reports to iTunes Engineers. Radars have been filed, and the issue has been worked out pretty conclusively by oskapt in that Apple Discussion thread linked above.

    Yet here we are 3 months later without a new iTunes release to fix it… It’s only the most basic of Mac/iOS tasks, most likely needed by most users multiple times per week if not daily. No big deal.

    • That may explain wi-fi sync problems, but not the many other sync problems were the sync never completes, or times out. I don’t use wi-fi syncing because it is so unreliable. I’m going to post about this to see if others find this to solve the problem. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • I have been hitting this thread for awhile and had some success tonight finally. I backed up the old mobilesync backups and removed them from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/backup. I had Airplane mode on and iCloud backup temporarily turned off. What finally seemed to do the trick is I switched my Lightning cable from the third USB port on my iMac (from the closest edge) to the first one and suddenly all my usbmuxd errors ( MuxReceivedUSBData lost data) disappeared and my iPhone started happily backing up.

      I then turned off Airplane mode and turned iCloud backup back on, and tried again – and it let me make another backup on my iMac.

      Think usbmuxd is definitely the problem (as the error messages disappeared after I moved the cable), only in this case I’m wondering if it has anything to do with not all USB ports being equal – I remember an older white iMac I had where the first two USB ports were fully powered and the others not so much.

      Hopefully this helps someone, although I’m not sure which port to try on a MacBook Pro and those with only one port…

      • Depending on the Mac, the USB ports can be on different busses. In other words, they’re not all controlled by the same hardware. In some cases, half the ports are on one bus, half on the other. I suspect that on a laptop with ports on both sides, each port will be on a different bus.

        When I was having serious problems, I tried each USB port on my iMac, and even tried different cables. It never helped. However, there was one time when an iPad wasn’t even recognized, and I called AppleCare, and they suggested that I try a different port. It was recognized. So it’s pretty much a crapshoot.

  16. I have found that if I remove the phone without ejecting, I am plagued with syncing issues indefinitely. A reboot of the computer sometimes snaps it out but lately some songs will be reported as not found and just not go on not matter how many times I add them to the library. I have found if I copy them somewhere else and try again it sometimes works.

    I am sick of my iphone. It is probably blasphemous to say on this site but I think the iphone is terrible. The camera is terrible particularly under poor light, it is very brittle, syncing is a night mare. I have my iphone for a few months. The apps are great and the browser is great but other than that, the much older blackberry was far superior IMO. Get used to syncing problems if you intend to stick with using the itunes interface.

    • You can say anything to iPhone but “the camera is terrible”. iPhone 6 (6+) still have one of the best cameras around and the 6+ (I have it so I speak with knowledge) is fantastic in Keeping light even when light is poor…..I snapped so many shots and videos with my 6+ in the last 6 months and everybody hardly believes they come from a Phone…..

  17. My syncying issues seem memory related in that iTunes thinks there isn’t enough space for the number of checked synced songs I want on my iPhone 5c 32 GB, though the summary window clearly shows enough. It becomes a game of unchecking just enough for it to sync. Sometimes pulling all music off and putting it back on helps, but what a pain.

    • Yes, this is the same problem I have. I have a 64GB ipod 5 and in the “other” category is taking up 31.09 GB. I had to remove all my music about 25 GB. I had this problem since 10/14. The only temporary fix is restoring the device.

      • I have a 64GB iPhone5S as well as an old 64GB iPad with the same “other” issues you are seeing. When my “other” began to double itself with each sync on my iPhone, Apple had me factory reset my phone and start from scratch… it fixed the ever-growing “other”, but was told that 3GB of “other” is now considered acceptable space loss. Apple believes the larger “other” is based off of the size of my library (both the synced and non-synced material on my MacBook Pro). Maybe, but very weird as this was not an issue in the past.

    • I have a 64GB iPhone5S as well as an old 64GB iPad with the same summary window issue… showing space that apparently is not really there. I have not found any correction for this, but Apple Support seems to think this is “normal”….

  18. I have an iPhone 6 and I’m running Windows 7 and my iTunes is up to date. So my iTunes does this weird thing now where I check the Sync Music box the data bar goes up like normal but when I hit Apply it immediately chimes like its done and then drops back to the default data size and nothing is synced. It does the same for my Photos and my Movies, and I just found out I cant Sync over WiFi. When i check the box on iTunes it still says “check ‘Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi’ on itunes to enable this feature” when i literally just checked it and applied it. I have factory reset my device 4 times, deleted iTunes and all other apple programs from my computer and re installed the latest iTunes. Then I replaced my iPhone 6 for a brand new one out of the box and its still doing the same thing. My iPod (80gb) still syncs fine. I also can’t manually sync anything manually.

  19. iphone 4 doesn’t sync properly.
    It says on itunes that it has synced my music but on the phone it hasn’t.
    Syncing was working perfectly about two weeks ago.

  20. its messed up how I could wait a hr. for 200 songs to be synced to my 5s. After its completed the songs will show up on my phone but will not play. It’s very frustrating. I even erased my whole play list and just started over and for it to only happen again. But that damn U2 plays very well .

  21. Lol. That is so true. The songs I purchased from iTunes (including the U2 album) all sync fine, even if I did not want them sync to my ipod touch 5. The songs I ripped from my CD collection will not sync at all. Makes me wonder about Apple…

    • I thought I was having this issue, as my imported CDs were not showing up under the “Artist” list, but in fact were listed under the “Album” list. I suspect this may be due to a possible Info issue with my ripped files. I hope your files are just hiding from where you think they are, and that this helps you too.

  22. Thank You!!! I am so glad to know that I am not the only one! I bought a iPod touch 64gb and a iPad 64gb. I had the old macbook pro (black) and it would always freeze when I would sync both products OR it would sync and none of the music would transfer over. In August i bought a mac book air hoping it fix the problem and nope it hasn’t. Now me, I have a TON of music over 9,000 songs I am a dance teacher and I have a good amount of playlist as well to keep me more organized for my classes. Each time the store always tells me to restore my iPod and iPad it’ll work for a week or two and then back to the way it is. I recently called the apple phone service because the store said they could not do much for me except keep restoring my products. When I called the apple phone service, they said that I most likely have a cd that I had imported that has a security fix on it when you import it. and that is why I am having syncing issues so they recommend me delete my entire 9,000+ iTunes library and re import all my cds till i find the cd that has the security fix on it. (Really?? thats the answer?) I haven’t had time to do that yet and I really don’t think that is the fix to my problem. That one cd with a security fix on it is going to cause all of my syncing issues?

    What do you think?

    • The Apple person you spoke to is full of crap. If there were a copy-protected CD that you ripped, it either wouldn’t rip at all, or, if it did, then the copy-protection didn’t work. That’s a seriously bad bit of support you got.

      • I agree. Apple support only said that to get you out their face and to keep you busy while they’re still trying to find a solution. I have a big CD collection that took me about 2 weeks to rip. I will not even bother to try to go through that again. The only solution for me is to buy a 128GB memory card and put it in my android phone to listen to my music.

  23. I just updated all of my iPhone Apps within iTunes (v 12.1.0 on a new MacBook Air running Yosemite), expecting to then plug in my iPhone 5 (running iOS 8.1.3), hit sync, and then have the Apps on my phone actually be updated. But it doesn’t seem to be “putting” (syncing?) the updated Apps on the phone. It looks like I’ll have to update my Apps just on my phone via WiFi after all. Just posting this if it’s related to the information you’re gathering :)

    • I’m having the same issue. Read online it’s better to update apps via iTunes, rather than wifi, and then sync. I did this (all apps up to date on iTunes), unplugged my phone and still had 23 App Store updates on my iPhone.

      • I’m experiencing the same issue…if I update my apps on the iOS device via the App Store app, I can then transfer them to my computer. However, anytime I update my apps via my computer (in iTunes), none of the app updates are copied to the iOS device upon syncing. All of the app updates are still reflected in the App Store app, & I have to install them that way in order for them to actually install on the iOS device. This never used to be an issue before.

        iPhone 4S, iOS 8.2, iTunes, Windows 8.1

          • I seemed to get it to work last night – I updated my apps on itunes on my laptop (I ended up having to delete an app as it appeared to get stuck on updating it). Then I plugged in my iPhone, cancelled the sync/back up, then went to file > devices > transfer purchases from iPhone, THEN synced from the file menu. I tried that last time though and it didn’t work so may have been coincidental but may be worth a try if you haven’t already. I am on an older version of itunes as every time I try to update it it says there is an invalid signature, got to love apple hey? It’s still the same itunes I used when the sync failed last time though. Will update with what happens at next sync if it’s any different.

            • Wow. Ok so I updated my apps via itunes and then synced my phone – the apps now updated on the phone after the sync HOWEVER the bloomin’ app store updates badge still says there are 22 apps to update, and they are all up to date ! Arghhhh

  24. We just tried to sync a new iphone 6+ to my wifes mac book with all of the latest softwares installed. Once I plugged in the phone it downloaded the apps to the computer and that was it?? Doesn’t recognize that the phone is synced to itunes wont do anything else. Tried to plug it in and out several times with restarting the phone and mac…still nothing. I am at a loss here…she went back to apple after having an android for 2 years because she is an apple person (teacher) and really wanted the itunes back on her phone. VERY disappointed to find this all now after getting this phone, I think we can still exchange it.

  25. I just purchased an ipod 5th touch and am having all the above issues. I spent hours on phone support, no fix. I spent hours troubleshooting and nothing fixed. It appears that it does not work with itunes or OS8 now and apple does not care about this. I own other apple products, ipod shuffle, ipod 2nd gen, ipad 3, and always had no problems until OS8 and the new itunes.
    I see why people are now going to Android and I wish someone would make a product that could compete with the apple stuff (computers not included because we have other choices).
    I will probably return this ipod and make android work.

    Thanks for nothing, apple

  26. I have a classic iPod that the version 12 recognizes but doesn’t sync to. I can delete from my iPod but not add anything to it. I also can’t edit titles, artists etc on new items that I upload. I upgraded on accident and now I can’t use my iTunes for anything than looking at.

  27. I have the 5s and I recently had purchased two albums.I burned these albums to my itunes but they will not even attempt to sync to my phone.

  28. Had (and still do) have problems syncing my generation 5 iPod Touch. I purchased an iPod classic and it is so easy to sync! Too bad it doesn’t have bluetooth

  29. I just upgraded from an ipod touch 4th generation to the 5th on yesterday. I have had absolutely no success syncing my 3,074 songs. I spent my entire morning chatting with the apple customer services but we couldn’t seem to get it to work. It would sync up to 700 songs if I dragged little amounts of my library at a time but then the rest of the songs would turn grey then delete all of the songs that did sync ssuccessfully. I’ve tried everything the automatic sync, manual sync, restoring my brand new device, restarting the computer, check for damaged files nothing worked. Music is my life what else can I do? I’ve even tried using outside sources to sync my music without itunes.

    • i had this exact problem, but instead with iBooks when it was separated from iTunes. After 40+ hours with Apple Support/Supervisor/Sr Supervisor chain, the correction was NOT pretty…. We emptied my Library, spliced my iBooks in small amounts just like you did for your songs back into the Library, and yes, the whole this would be lost if the “corrupt” file was added to the Library. That was this issue, a corrupted file that was fine prior to the iTunes/iBooks to iBooks move. Once the corrupted file was identified and not reloaded to the Library, all went back to working. Regretfully, finding that one, or few files, is a task that is terrible time-consuming and frustrating. I was shocked that one file could cause this much issue, and that there was not an easier way to identify the offending file… but it did work for me. Good luck!

  30. Very similar story to the previous commenter. I am still using my iPhone 4S with iOS 8.1.3 and iTunes 12. iTunes Match has repeatedly failed me as a lot of my playlists that transfer on the phone appear to have no content. I tried to sync using my USB and out of the 3,000 songs on my library only a couple hundred of them successfully download. The same exact songs are also the same ones that appears when I turn on iTunes Match on my phone. It’s SO frustrating!!! I have read all kinds of forums and nothing seems to work.

  31. Iam trying to transfer albums that I have added to iTunes, to my phone but for some reason some albums do an some don’t .. why????

  32. My issues started on my iPod Touch 5 when out of nowhere all of my album covers for songs NOT purchased on iTunes got erased. I didn’t sync it or anything, just out of the blue, gone.

    Now I’m having 98% of all the sync issues already discussed in this thread and none of the solutions are working.

    Should I return this damn thing? I just got it for Christmas lol

  33. Syncing between iPhone and iTunes began with update to iOS 8. I have tried all of Apple Support troubleshooting tips and still cannot sync over wifi. I have successfully synced with usb but the wifi does not work.

  34. I have an iPhone6 and running Yosemite and can not sync my phone at all. When I connect to iTunes, my phone symbol comes up and I just get the spinning beach ball. Have tried uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes, resetting my phone…… Nothing works!!

  35. I have an iPhone 5, running iOS 81. I’m trying to sync it with my iTunes library on my Windows 8.1 computer. My computer detects the phone but iTunes is not. It was working fine until I updated iTunes on my computer recently. Will try uninstalling and re-installing iTunes.

  36. I have been having problems with sync for the last two years – primarily the excruciating waiting to sync hangs but also the annoying randomly removing the majority of my album art from the iPhone.

    I normally have my iTunes set to manually manage music , although i have tried periods of weeks where i have synced playlists problems still arise.

    i have tried every solution i’ve seen out there including deleting libraries and rebuild them and wiping my iPhone back to a factory setting more times than i wish to remember – never takes long for the problems to come back

    I’m on the latest iTunes mac os x and iOS versions, macbook pro retina 2013, iPhone 5. I don’t sync over wifi. and i gave up on iTunes match after a year because of unreliability issues and hating the fact that once you turn it on you cannot manually, quickly add music from your computer – you could only slowly download stuff over the air

    In the last two weeks thought things have got worse.

    For the first time I’ve experienced iTunes sync wiping music. Twice in a couple of days it completely wiped everything and a check in iTunes revealed that the settings had been changed to sync playlist for music and audiobooks. This is not a human error on my part. This is some bug. Now this morning I dragged a few audiobooks onto the phone and all of a sudden iTunes has wiped what looks like half or more of 1000+ songs from my iPhone and is in the process of added them back in – half an hour in and only ¾ of the way down the progress bar (I have the limit to 128 setting checked so its slow because its having to convert a lot of the songs.)

    People say sync is hard – but it never used to be – it worked fine for years. someone changed the code and screwed things up.

    In my case though I’m not using the sync to playlist functionality. all I’m doing is manually dragging a file – it doesn’t have to compare anything and get that wrong , it just need to add the file to the database – it shouldn;t start interfering with anything else thats already on there

    I’ve been on macs for about 10 years now and generally love the experience . but the last two years with iTunes screwing up like it has its got me dreading using it with my iPhone . iTunes as a music player doesn’t give me problems personally, although i know refer to the latest version as “iTunes – The Lipstick on a Pig Edition – its just the sync

    I want to see a moratorium on new ‘features’ and UI change until the bugs are dealt with.

    • OSX 10.10.3, iTunes, 128GB iPad Air 2, 64GB iPhone5S, and 64GB iPad2

      I am having the same “wiping” issue, but with video content – particularly TV episodes. Without changing the checked items, they are in part removed and then reinstalled on every sync. Apple Sr Support tells me this is an issue with how the particular item is copyrighted… I do not think this is a valid answer. Something is very, very wrong.

  37. iOS 8.1.3, iTunes iPhone 5s

    The issue I’ve been having is that it takes several syncs to sync all my music from my computer to my phone. The sync would take a long time to complete only to find not all my music transferred to my phone. It would take about 3 syncs to finally get all of the music. This happened whether I’m syncing all of my music, an album I just bought from iTunes on my computer or even if it’s a CD I imported. It’s quite frustrating to have to check every time whether or the music appears on my phone after I sync.

    This has happened to me on previous versions of iOS, iTunes, iPhone and on a different Mac. I don’t sync over Wi-fi; that caused me even more grief.

  38. I get playlists synced to my iPhone 6 that haven’t been on my iTunes in months–they do not exist on my iMac any longer, but somehow they end up on my iPhone when I sync. That, plus I can’t sync any new playlists, they’re just simply not there on the iPhone after a sync. Yes I have iTunes Match. Yes I’ve turned it off and all that other ridiculousness that should not have to be performed just to sync a song from a desktop to a phone. I’m fairly disgusted right now… how much did I pay for these things?!? And I can’t even make a list of songs and have it show up on my phone?!?
    Just fix this Apple. What is the problem?

  39. Oh thank GOODNESS. I didn’t break anything. I only noticed the issue today. I am certain I was listening to various album on my iPad Air 128gb last week, and then about Monday (?) realised I hadn’t sync’d for a while. So I did. MAJOR MISTAKE. Playing one of my usual playlists, and realised it was missing an entire album. Checked for it and a couple of others – GONE. No panic, I can restore from TimeMachine. Except I get back to the brand new iMac and everything’s on their. OK, odd. Do another sync. No dice. These albums just WON’T go across. I don’t know what others might be missing.

    I don’t know if it’s related or something else entirely, but some songs just stop playing in the middle. Granted, I lost my iTunes library (long story involving an external drive and a toddler, which I am yet to try and retrieve the files from) and restored it from my old iPad using a nice third party app, but I don’t _think_ it happened then. It only seemed to happen when I moved everything across from my dying MacBook and iPad 1 to the shiny new iMac and iPad Air.

    I am reluctantly upgrading the iPad to iOS8.1, in case it contains some bugfixes for this, as I _miss_ my music. But I found all these discussions, so obviously it’s not just me. Hopefully Apple fixes it so I don’t have to try all these other fixes, one by one by one …

  40. This is my MAJOR ANNOYING issue. I have an iPhone 6. I personally choose to manually manage (drag) music into my phone. Here’s the problem: When I connect my iPhone 6 to iTunes on my MacBook Pro it creates these grayed out duplicate files of songs (songs which work and songs that are already uploaded onto the phone and EVERY TIME i connect the only way to get the grayed out songs off the music on the phone is to manually delete it in iTunes, BUT I know that the next time I connect the phone to iTunes, it will all happen again and repeat process. These are all songs that I have purchased in iTunes within the past 6 months. I’ve been all over the internet looking for a solution or answer as to why this is happening but it is extremely annoying. Any help?

  41. I’m totally frustrated. I buy Apple products because of their ease of use. Simple! My iPad works but itunes or the music app doesn’t. Can’t tell if it’s itunes or the ipad. This is my second ipad. Somwhere along the line it’s become more difficult to put music on to the ipad. Music simply doesn’t sync or can’t be added. Only music that I purchased on the iPad is there. My older music that I downloaded from my cd music collection years ago isn’t being loaded. So I’m forced to buy it again (yes I’m paying twice for my music) if I want to listen to it on my iPad…. Not cool Apple! Last night I got quite a bit of what I wanted onto the ipad. Then this stupid message comes up, after I got it right, and says that my settings have been changed and do I want to accept/continue…. So I’m thinking I must have changed something that made it work as I could see all the music I wanted on the iPad. I had also effectively done “nothing” to change the settings other than look at the music on the iPad. So I accepted the change thinking it was somthing I had done to get it right. I was wrong… I had to just stand there a watch it clear everything I had taken so long to get right! Not very intuitive! Not very time saving! Isn’t that what Jobs whole angle on mobile music was when he launched the iPod!!?…. Apple needs to get this right or I’m going to move to another platform for my music…. The apps work the iPad works but music is a problem.

  42. – iphone 5 ios 8 1 3 /itunes 12.1
    hello people, I’ve been having a similar sync problems, grayed out tracks with red square surrounded with a red circle. I successfully managed to overcome my sync problems and all my selected tracks/playlists now play on my phone. you can try this….. itunes “preferences” from the small icon in top left hand corner “advanced” from top menu of pop up box
    4 check the box “keep itunes media file organised”
    5. check the box “copy files to itunes media folder when adding to library”
    6 click “ok” itunes will then organize all media files
    7. close preferences , try syncing your devices.

    good luck, hope this works for you . J.

  43. Having the same problems with new iPhone 6 Plus. Message says, “Waiting for changes to be applied.” Very frustrating. Should be a pretty simple issue, sync iPod with iTunes. I have a Shuffle…it has not issues.

  44. I am having problems between my Macbook Pro and my iPod classic which is only a year old in that when I sync them to get my new music i have downloaded to iTunes the iPod says it is syncing but the new music does not get uploaded to the iPod, Ihave tried to manually move the music over following the directions but this does not work.
    can someone come up with the answer as Apple don’t seem to help.

    • That’s surprising; the iPod classic seems to be immune from these problems. Have you restored the device and started over?

  45. I have an iPhone 5 16GB. It’s running on iOS 8.1.3. Honestly my iPhone has had trouble syncing for at least the last six months. I work full-time and am completing a Master’s program so I have no time to figure out how to fix this stuff. I just managed to sync it successfully after about 6 months of syncing problems because after deleting a bunch of photos off my phone it still thought there wasn’t enough space. I eventually was able to sync it, after trying to many things, by unclicking and reclicking Sync Photos in iTunes. Now I can’t sync because it’s been stuck at ‘Waiting to apply changes’ for ages. After reading this article and seeing the duplicate songs being problematic comment, I went to go check for and delete those and it just won’t respond to me hitting the delete key. Command Cut is greyed out in my Files options too. So… I’m stuck.

  46. I have come to dread attempting to sync my iOS devices during the past 2-3 months. I have a library of approximately 9300 songs, all of which were ripped from my own CDs using 3rd-party software. My ripping and storing process for these files has not changed in 5+ years. The total library size is now 77ish GB and my iOS devices include a 128GB iPad (4th gen) and a 128GB iPhone 6 plus. My syncs are always to sync the entire library to these devices.

    Over the past several months, I have experienced the following breakdowns in the sync process. All of them occur only with iOS devices–none have occurred with my iPod classics:

    1) syncs progressing “normally” through all steps through until the end, but (now almost always) not recognizing newly-added tracks from recent rips.

    2) syncs hanging on “waiting or changes” or occasionally other steps

    3) after interrupting those hanging syncs above by clicking the “circle x” and then ejecting the device, re-attaching the device has subsequently shown “other” taking up the majority of my devices’ memory. Some times this will resolve during the sync (even though the new tracks do not sync) and sometimes this will not. If it does not, I need to reset or restore the device.

    4) most recently, I “succeeded” by syncing the phone only by deselecting *all* music from the device and syncing, and then reselecting all music in the library and syncing again. That “success” then involved 90+ minutes of waiting as all 9300ish tracks repopulated to the phone one by one. It is simply incapacitating to have one’s phone tied up like that, for that time frame, every time one wants to get 40-some new tracks onto the device.

    Apple is failing, and their contempt for non-cloud, “hard” music file movement and organization, conveyed via terminal neglect, does not justify the expense of their devices. I have spent some lengthy minutes recently researching android options for music organization.

    • Hello all. The iOS 8.2 update, just released, claims to fix some problems with iTunes syncing. We will see if that is the case. I am going to update my ipod touch 5th generation right now. Will let you guys know if the syncing issues are fix.

    • Hello everyone, after more than 5,6,7,8,9 syncs I was able to get all my music on. During those syncs, I had still notice a few bugs such as getting stuck in the 1st step of the syncing process. So it seems like Apple fix the syncing issues. FINALLY! I hope this update fixes everyone problems.

  47. I do not have a Mac computer. I have a hand-me-down computer. I have iTunes on that but can only put that music on my old iPod. So I downloaded songs onto my iPad. Those songs sync perfectly to my iPhone 4. I upgraded to an iPhone 5c. A few songs synced but not all. I can’t get the rest of them to sync. Very frustrating.

  48. I’m running iTunes 11.4 (18) and recently bought an iPad Mini running iOS 8.2. I’ve spent the entire day trying to find a way to sync it with iTunes but to no avail. I’ve done everything suggested above and more, read several forums and the manual, rebooted and walked away (in disgust) but the device just isn’t recognized (in fact, ‘device’ is greyed out in iTunes). I can’t upgrade to 12 as I’m running 10.6.8 – but that should be OK according to everything I’ve read. I’ve been using Apple products for nearly ten years and have never had a problem before – the products have always been intuitive. I may cry.

  49. Got a new iphone for my company. Need to get it filled with all my contacts from old iphone. You’d think that would be very easy. It’s not. I don’t want any other information copied to the new phone. Just contacts. I just want to sync my contacts. Why can’t I do it? I fell useless. I plug my iphone6 (full of contacts) into itunes. Sync it…i think. I dunno. It doesn’t ever show anything. Why doesn’t it show anything? Why can’t I just see the list of contacts on my computer screen? Why isn’t it easy?
    I plug my iphone5s in (no contacts) and it says syncing…but never gets any contacts.
    I don’t know what to do. I installed this itunes software specifically for this reason.

  50. When I sync video files to my iPad the pics of tv shows don’t appear and the name of the tv show also doesn’t appear. The files do appear and can be played but they are listed under seasons. Eg Games of Thrones season 2 & The Walking Dead season 2 appear together all mixed up. This only started happening after I installed the latest version of iTunes.

  51. same, ever since i updated to ios8, its been a nightmare to upload music. i have to do full restore, then it works marginally for a few syncs then IO loose 90% of my music, yet my phones memory is still at the same level so it won;t let me sync. its beyond frustrating. i switched from samsung galaxy to iphone because of music issues. the issues i am facing now with the iphone makes the issues I had with my samsung look like dust. and apple does NOT care.

    apple was suppost to be the best intertainment device. the best music player. and it was, back when steve jobs was at the top of apple. now they make crap out to “compete” with others, and in the process making complete garbage, expensive garbage.

    if anyone has a permanent tangible solution to the syncing problems im sure thousands of people such as myself would be forever grateful.

  52. I’m trying to put some Arctic Monkeys albums on my iPad Mini it used to work perfectly but now it wont. A few albums will work when i drag them over to my devices but a few albums wont work and they wont do anything and deletes the Arctic Monkeys albums that did work. Has anyone got any tips?

  53. Your article rings completely true for me. iTunes music syncing has been horrendous for the past several iOS releases. And the problem isn’t getting better, it’s actually getting worse. I can’t even successfully sync when the only change being made since the last sync is an edit of a single song title. Even this causes artwork to be wiped for all songs. Songs newly purchased via iTunes cannot be synced to my iPhone 6 without it clearing all album artwork (and typically failing to transfer the new songs to boot). I’ve seen no improvements since upgrading to the latest versions of iTunes ( and iOS (6.2), which was supposed to have fixed some syncing issues.

    The most frustrating thing for me is that the whole reason I own an iPhone 6 (and the iPhones 5C, 5, 4S, 4 and 3GS before that) is because I’ve been a long-time avid user of iTunes and several iPods. My entire music collection (~10,000 songs, many of them purchased from Apple, the rest of them ripped from CDs I actually own) has been meticulously managed using iTunes. I suspect there are many iPhone users out there like me. I feel like Apple is ignoring the very people who helped make the iPhone what it is today. iTunes, iPod and the iOS music app were all the foundation of what is today known as the iPhone. Apple has forgotten its roots, and in doing so, has sent the message that they really don’t care about their earliest adopters and fans.

  54. Let’s see:
    iTunes (2010 Macbook Pro)
    iPhone 6 (128gb) iOS 8.2

    I am someone who has a large music library and have had trouble syncing ever since moving to my current phone and wanting to bring most of my library onto it.

    Some of it may be the duplicate song issue, and I have even gone so far as to do both full restores of iPhone and iTunes (i.e. killed all my music, started iTunes from scratch and re-downloaded everything I’d bought from iTunes).

    Just want to add my voice to people who see syncing as a key feature and expect it to work. I had no problem for years and clearly reset my phone and reload everything doesn’t work.

    Am looking forward to Apple resolving this one. A duplicate song should be a common enough case to NOT kill a sync process.

  55. Syncing gets stuck always at the last step (6 of 7 or 5 of 6 depending). Never works now. Has to be cancelled. Not sure if related, but the usage on iPhone is now wrong. iTunes shows I have 549 songs selected, and the space usage bar at the bottom (colours) shows I have 1141 songs on the iPhone.
    iPhone 5, iOS 8.1, iTunes 12.1

  56. iOS 8.2 seems to finally have fixed all of my syncing issues for my iPhone 6, iPad 4th Gen, and my iPad mini 2. All 3 devices used to get hung up on step 6 of 7. I have a huge music library, and this was the most frustrating thing about moving to my iPhone 6, since I could never get it to sync properly from day 1, which has been about 6 months. The only way (and it didn’t work all the time) that I could get it to sync (until 8.2) was to wipe my phone and restore. It was sad that this didn’t work out of the gate, because I’ve had mostly good experiences with my devices until iOS8.

  57. i have da horrible problems since i have updated to ios 8.2 i am at the point to where i want to be rid of my iphone because of all the problems i am having. this is ridiculous people pay good money and the system is failing.

  58. Well, I have an iphone 6 running ios 8.2 with itunes 12 on windows 7 PC and only just plugged the phone this evening for the first time since the upgrade last week. (there’s a Hitchcock movie in there somewhere). I manually manage my music yet songs on my phone deleted themselves. They still appeared in the itunes device view, but were not actually on the phone. I had to delete them from the phone before attempting to drag them over again. Every time I added an artist, the previous artist again got kicked off the phone. While this is going on the status bar is going from less than half full to almost full randomly. This is just since I plugged it in tonight; clearly…it’s an issue with the update and I refuse to waste any more time on this….we should all be paid by Apple to try and figure out what their R&D dept. should be working on. If anyone has any ideas, kindly let me know.

  59. Recently, whenever I plugged in my iPhone 5s to my computer I try to sync music to my phone that I download off Soundcloud and such. I’ll drag the files into my phone and then nothing happens, ever. No matter what I do or how many times I put the song in it doesn’t work. I’ve even formatted my phone and it doesn’t work. PLEASE GOD JUST HELP ME

  60. I usually manually manage my songs and videos in iTunes but since version 12 I’ve had major sync problems. Lately it shows about 17 songs on my iPod touch, then I hit the sync button at which point it the usage bar jumps showing the actual songs I had on their before (about 1700). And then once it finishes the sync process, it slips back down to 17 songs — as if not doing anything at all. Tried uninstall/re-install of iTunes. No luck.

  61. Upgraded to iOs 8.2 (Iphone 6) and no change in synching problem I had before. I notice the problem with my music files. Play list on ITunes and device (from Itunes view)says one album is there but when I look in my Music on the Iphone the album. When synching I always get an error that says 1 song from this missing album and is not copied because it could not be found. But it is there on my playlist on ITunes on my PC. Wonder if that one error is causing the whole album not to be copied. Other corrections to things like titles on albums are also not copied over. Very frustrating. I am on a PC running Windows 7. I am running ITunes Sounds similar to what Mark posted on 3/17.

  62. I am using Windows 8 on my PC where my iTunes library is. I plugged my iPad into it so I could organize some songs on my playlists. (easier to do on a computer than on the device). When I was done I clicked the sync button (not sure why) and now all of my playlists have been erased from my device. Not just the playlists but also many tracks. I am more concerned about getting my playlists back onto my devices. I plugged my iPad back into my PC on a different day and while the playlists remained missing/erased from my actual device, on the itunes screen on my PC, all of those said playlists are listed as ‘On this device’. So my PC iTunes thinks my iPad has those playlists even though they are NOT actually on my device. I do not know how to restore something to my device through my PC that itunes does not acknowledge is missing?? ITunes is so ridiculously complicated and frustrating, its not worth the headache. It used to be simple.

    • The only way I found was to actually select those “missing” songs and go to the process of deleting them from your device and then with the add to button, drag them back to the device; so far this has worked for me, but sometimes you have to do it twice. Always remember to delete off the device first and re-transfer from your itunes. (until Apple decides to shorten the green mudpacks Fridays and work like everyone else).

  63. I was syncing images with my MacBook and syncing was completed but I didn’t get my photos onto iPhone library can any of u tell me how I can get those pictures back :(

  64. I have a macbook pro running Lion. I also have an iphone 4. They used to work fine together on itunes, now they don’t. Problems started when I upgraded to itunes 12.1. First of all the ‘banner’ features on the store homepage no longer scrolled when i clicked the left/right arrows. I complained to Apple, who couldn’t fix it (or even understand what I was talking about). Then suddenly, mysteriously that problem went away and itunes now seemed to be OK again. Except it isn’t. Now I can’t add or delete songs from my iphone. And all the itunes store-bought tracks appear on my phone twice (one actually on the phone, the other like a greyed-out ‘ghost’). I delete them and then when I reconnect my phone to the macbook, bingo – back they come again. I tried deleting all my music from the phone – it won’t even do that. This worse than Windows ever was. Anyone got any ideas? SORT IT OUT APPLE!

  65. Well, I have been using Apple products for years. This sync problem is new and debilitating. I have now wasted several hours trying to solve it. I had to reauthorize my computer which used up one of my special iTunes nine lives. So this cat has had it. Apple’s “geniuses” have given up on their loyal base–the base that has been willing to spend more for quality for years. The quality has gone and what a surprise, so has their fan base. Of course, their stock is high, so why should they give a shit about their consumers? We’ve already bought the product.

  66. Win 7; Iphone 6; latest itunes,etc. I cannot sync my cd library music from my iPhone 4s to 6. This is ridiculous. The only music I can sync is music I purchased through itunes. I should be able to sync all data from previous iphone to the iPhone 6 I bought yesterday.

  67. I’ve been trying to sync my iPhone 6 for 4 months with no luck. I’ve tried everything recommended and am not realizing that this is wanton negligence on Apple’s part. It is most likely due to music purchased outside of iTunes. It appears that apple would like to keep their monopoly of what is on your phone. I smell class action. Anyone agree?

  68. Try one of the following (it partially works enough to allow manual management) it worked for me for now.
    Remember also that when your phone is plugged in via cable, your itunes will see songs which are not on your phone; delete those off your phone then re-transfer from your itunes. Yes it is a pain but just do a bit at a time and mix your day up with other activities (highly recommended) then send the bill (of your time spent doing this) to Apple.

  69. My I-pad Air has had sync issues for the last few months. I have a lot of official video content that won’t appear on the list to be able to select it to sync, despite being in the right format and playable through I-tunes on the home PC. I have lots of I-tunes store video content that sits on the cloud but does not sync except on wifi but once connected to the home computer it disappears. I hate this, its driving me nuts. I am going to get a Surface pro at this rate as this is getting ridiculous and unbearable.

  70. Windows 8.2 Latest iTunes update ; iPod with latest software update ; I have used numerous USB cables with my iPod to sync my music with it but even the new one I bought won’t even show my iPod as a device in iTunes. I have reset my iPod twice already, now having no music or anything on it. I’ve updated my drivers, scanned my laptop for viruses many times and nothing came up. I’ve tried everything, but nothing will let my iPod sync or even be recognized by iTunes on my computer.

  71. I just tried to add a few new playlists from ITunes to my iPhone 6. the playlist show up from my phone in iTunes, but it deleted all my playlists on my phone. I was able to drag a new playlist, but as soon as I tried to drag a second play list, it deleted the one that was showing on my phone. I wish I would have looked up issues with 8.2 prior to updating my phone! hopefully Apple listens to the issues!!!

    • Yes, I agree. Before 8.2 I notice the only music that was syncing was the purchased music. It did not want to add my music that I ripped off my 300+ cd collectionn.

  72. I have an Apple iPhone 4S and I just updated to IOS 8.2. I have the updated iTunes as well and now, the USB is charging the phone but won’t connect to iTunes. I’m worried because I like to backup my iphone and if something happens to it, I won’t have a most recent back up. The sync worked fine last week before I updated.

  73. Mine was at least syncing songs before the update although sometimes I would have to delete them out of iTunes and add them back in to make it work, at least it worked. After this latest update It now says it’s syncing/synced but the songs do not appear anywhere on the Device.

  74. I just bought a 5th gen ipod touch and when i plug it in, there is a noise but that’s it, i can’t sync or anything!!!!

  75. Since I upgraded my 64 GB iPod Touch 5th generation to iOS 8.1.3 I have had problems with songs (not purchased from iTunes) disappearing. My 128GB iPhone 6, iOS 8.1.3, didn’t give me any problems until last week, when the same thing happened to it. I had gotten my iPod reloaded, and yesterday all of the non-Apple songs disappeared again. My 2nd generation 32GB iPod Touch, iOS 4.2.1, has not had any problems. All of the devices are set to manually manage songs and videos, not sync, since they have different storage capacities and I have songs in iTunes that I don’t want to put on the devices.

  76. My iphone 4s was working fine but then I added more music and in itunes I can see the music but my iphone says it has no music

    • That’s what mine are doing too. The device says only Apple songs are there, but iTunes says all the music is there, so it won’t copy the songs back when I try to drag them back. The playlists are missing too, and if I delete the songs from iTunes and copy them back with the playlist, the playlist still won’t show up on the device.

  77. I’m having this syncing issue. I manually manage my music on my iPhone 6 with a 2013 iMac. I restored to factory and then reloaded all my music/videos/playlists back on my phone and that worked!!….for about a week before starting to do the same thing again. I’m really looking forward to restoring my iPhone every time this happens!!!

    • EXACT same issue here. Got it working just fine after about a week of major issues, then all of a sudden starts working by manually adding music as as it simply should. Then a couple weeks went by, bought a new album in iTunes store via MacBook and when I dragged it to the iphone 6 manually – it zapped everything away. Spent hours with apple on phone and all they could help me do was tell me to start syncing – not manually – and in my opinion that is the absolute worst and MOST time consuming way possible. I’m begging for a real guru to fix this. It’s seriously unbelievable that this is all happening. Nothing was wrong until iTunes 12. Never had one problem manually managing music until 12 and I’ve had an iPhone of some generation since the first one came out 8 years ago.

  78. I’ve had a nightmare recently with syncing and I went through restoring my iPhone 5 several times. It helped somewhat. Just earlier today I had my phone plugged into my laptop which I use at school and I was playing music. Someone was calling me and I wanted to be safe so I didn’t answer it until I disconnected my phone from my computer. It didn’t help and iTunes was trying to sync with my phone even though I didn’t make any changes and furthermore the laptop isn’t what I sync my music with. I do that with my desktop computer. It caused all my music except the music that I purchased from the iTunes store to get corrupted. I deleted all the music, or so I thought, and tried to add everything from scratch again (I have a very large list of music). Turns out the music that I purchased from the iTunes store was still in my phone even though I deleted the entire list of music and those songs weren’t showing on the Music window. This caused me to be unable to sync the playlist I had which included those songs. The moment I excluded those songs, it synced fine. There is definitely a big issue here that Apple needs to fix.

  79. I used to just plug the phone in to my mac and click sync, any changed in my library were synced – easy, simple, great! Now it’s a nightmare. Too many things go wrong to list. Apple, you need to go back to the drawing board with syncing iTunes. Get over your arrogance and admit you got it wrong. Then you can fix it. It is so frustrating trying to get answers that I’m seriously considering going to the dark side and switching to Android. I have used Macs since the late 80’s and iPhones and iPad since they were available (and iPods, and iPod touches as well). But I have really had enough. All I want to do is sync my music and I get HOURS of frustration.
    Seriously not happy Apple.

  80. Getting increasingly fed up with the criminally incompetent Apple releases. I too have ignored most of the last 2 or 3 iOS 8 updates because I heard that they were (ahem) buggy. However, I believed that 8.2 was the one to trust – I have a 4S. OMG:
    – Sync problems (won’t add playlists / or tells me that I don’t have enough free space)
    – Whole operating system is slow with screens freezing before the requested app launches.
    – Sometimes cellular data access just won’t switch on – option greys out.
    – Sometimes the data access won’t switch off!
    Basically, the phone is banjaxed and can’t be trusted. I am about to try the restore phone option through iTunes in the hope of fixing it. If it does, I won’t be syncing ever again.

  81. I have been having issues syncing my iPhone with iTunes for months. I thought I might have gotten beyond this when I replaced my iPhone 4S with a 6 recently, but before long similar problems started happening. Since it has happened with both model iPhones, I wonder if there is some kind of corruption issue in iTunes. Perhaps I should re-intall iTunes but I don’t want to loose music so I hesitate to do that.

  82. My Classic Ipod from the ancient date of 2011 stopped syncing. It said that a duplicate file name was preventing it from syncing. I reinstalled iTunes and and reset my ipod to factory conditions. Apple support was no help. I can see the usb app is working fine. I can’t find any tech support to call. I listen to music too much to ghost my IPhone’s battery with a $80 reinstall fee. Still won’t sync making my 160 GB Ipod useless. My iPhone doesn’t have enough capacity to sync. Very frustrated. I’m considering buying a Droid phone and either cutting my losses or finding a way to strip my music from iTunes so I can use it on a better device and better program.

  83. Why cant they simply allow us to load files into the iPhone, which then are to be played using a program on the iPhone? Just like my wonderful old Creative MP3-player.

  84. I have a de-synching issue. My iPod Classic had been sunk to Mar iTunes using the “entire music library” selection. I added playlist til the iPod was maxed so I just wanted to delete from the iPod multiple unneeded Playlists BUT there was no option to do this. I had to select in iTunes “Selected playlists, etc”, go through and click every single playlist (no batch select), then wait for all over 30 minutes for the iPod and iTunes to resynch 90% of the playlists that were already on the iPod — now being manually reloaded. Is there a way to avoid this?

  85. I’ve had on-and-off syncing issues with my previous 5 and my current 6+. I believe the root of the issue is that iTunes appears to cache information about my device so doesn’t sync based on what is actually on the phone. For example, I just deleted all of the music on my phone through the storage manager and connected for a sync, but the “On My Device” area still shows my dozen or so playlists, most of my music (some pending download), and basically a full device that my phone was several weeks ago. The same goes for ringtones and other “not syncing” items. I think the Apple folks need to force iTunes to poll the device on connection and make sure what it thinks is there is true. After that I believe most of the problems will go away.

    • iOS devices have to have a local database, and, at each sync, iTunes compares what’s in that database with what is to by synced. It’s not that it’s caching anything, it’s that it keeps a record of what’s on the device. As to why this is getting messed up, I’ve got some thoughts, but haven’t confirmed my hypothesis yet.

  86. I’m using iPad Air.
    A while ago I downloaded a list of songs onto my iPad and everything was fine. After a while, half of the songs deleted themselves from my device.
    When I go to my iTunes library, it says that all these songs are still on my ipad, but they are not.

  87. Kirk, I’ve experienced some of the frustrating outcomes you’ve described, despite the fact that I have my iPhone 5 (iOS8.2) configured to manage my music manually (i.e., I don’t use iTunes’ syncing capabilities). Any time I want to add music to my phone, my practice is to connect to my computer, and drag-and-drop the desired music from my iTunes library onto my iPhone.

    Recently, while moving an album from my iTunes library onto my iPhone, all the music stored on my iPhone disappeared. Surprised and frustrated, I began the task of moving the albums I wanted over to my phone. The music transferred fine up to a point, and then all music on my iPhone disappeared again (i.e., nothing shows up in the Music app). I also noticed that the “other” category in the memory usage bar was suddenly very large… many GBs.

    I’ve tried uninstalling and re-installing iTunes, and restoring iPhone to factory settings and then restoring apps from iCloud backup.

    After doing the above, I still get the same behavior: after transferring 4-5 GB of music, it suddenly ceases to be visible to the Music app on my iPhone, and the “other” memory category is huge. The only way I’ve found to reduce the “other” category back to a normal size is to restore my phone to factory settings, which is frustrating.

    At the moment, I’m just stuck without very much music on my phone. A real bummer.

  88. The Syncing process is almost unbearable. I’ve used every iteration of iTunes from the outset, and over the past several years have noticed more and more bugs with the system. It’s the exception to the rule when I’m able to sync my iPhone 6 or iPad successfully without issue. I routinely encounter major difficulties with something as simple as quickly adding an album onto my device without impacting the content that’s already there. iTunes 8 has given me a great deal of problems with manually managing the content on my devices also. Time and time again, I’ll drag an album onto my phone’s icon, and it will appear to have successfully been added. Once I check my iPhone or iPad, surprise surprise, it’s not there. The user interface has consistently moved in the direction of sacrificing ease of use and access for a clean aesthetic. Ultimately, iTunes has become a cumbersome program that is convoluted and incredibly difficult to use, even for users with a thorough understanding of the archaic process by which content is managed. Apple bills its products as having the cleanest and most user-friendly software possible, but the truth is diametrically opposed to this misleading marketing ploy.

  89. For what it’s worth, I stumbled across this looking for an answer to my syncing issues, and I couldn’t agree me. I’m a diehard Apple fan but I’m fed up with every single sync being a personal exercise in troubleshooting.

    Apple needs to stop focusing on improving their damn camera or screen by 0.0001% and actually make basic functions like syncing work. I’m a diehard iOS user but this alone is making me seriously consider going to Galaxy for the first time ever.

  90. I am soooooo tired of syncing issues!! I have the 128 GB iPhone 6 because I have a ton of music and every time I update a playlist or purchase a song I have to erase the stupid thing and set it back up. This takes hours and it’s driving me insane. I search everytime it happens hoping there is finally a fix but alas….
    Also, a new issue has reared its ugly head. When I purchase a song on my iPhone it does not show up on my purchased playlist so I have to manually add it. I have been a die hard iPhone fan for years now and the only thing preventing me from changing to another type of phone is the amount of money I’ve spent on iTunes songs through the years that I will have to figure out how to get to play on a non Apple device.

    • Find your Itunes music folder where all the music is; download a converter (I use the AVS) add all songs from that folder in your converter box; select desired codec, create a new folder where you want your transfers to go and START. It will take a while, but once the process is done, all your songs will have been converted to let<s say mp3, and ready to transfer to an Android phone if need be. I think Apple are not fixing these issues cause they<re really trying to get up to speed with their rumored streaming application. Right Itunes is a piece of shit; every time I plug in my phone 6 into my computer, I have a horror movie soundtrack playing in my head as to what will happen.

      • Awesome! Thanks for that advice. I will try that, if anything it gives me a solid backup plan. I left my phone syncing last night and when I got up this morning it was complete. However, about 50 of my songs are grayed out now, and those were actual iTunes purchases. I swear my head exploded.

        • My daughter has an android phone and when she asks me to drop music in it, it is utterly the simplest thing to do compared to the Itunes/Iphone lync. I think that’s it for me…the iphone6 is the last Apple product I think I’m going to buy. It does appear as though the loyalty and fear Jobs must have commanded from his troops has apparently died with him.

          • It sure is simple. There are no playlists, no smart playlists, no play count or last played date. It’s just like a 15-year old MP3 player.

  91. My husband and I have been experiencing aggravating sync issues with no help from Apple. He has a brand new iPhone 6 and I have a few months old iPhone 6. He also has a brand new computer and I have a computer from about 5 years ago. We both run iOS 8.2 and up-to-date iTunes. When you manually add music to the phone eventually we reach an album that won’t copy/sync. It is never the same album. When that happens any music already on the iPhone gets wiped and there is no content left. It is incredibly aggravating since we switch to iPhone from android just for the music features. When we contacted Apple support they suggested everything from factory reset to disabling the virus software on our computer. We tried it all but the problem persists. It could be the problem is with the library but the odd and frustrating part is that it is never the same albums that trip up the system. For now we finally (after no joke at least 18 hours of work over the course of three days) got enough songs on our phones to last until our next upgrade at our cellular provider. In the meantime the phones will be going nowhere near a computer or iTunes.

    • Your experience is exactly like my own. The work-around I found was to stop using iTunes to add and remove music from my iPhone 5. I downloaded some software called Wondershare Tunesgo Retro. Its not as nice as iTunes in terms of usability, but you can connect your iPhone, navigate to your music folder, and manually select the various albums/artists that you want to put on your iPhone, and they get moved right over. The main drawback I’ve experienced with this method is that album art doesn’t always make the trip, but I’ll gladly make that sacrifice in order to have the music I want on my phone without fear of it all suddenly being erased.

      I guess I will have to stick with this method until iTunes gets fixed somehow, thoguh it sounds like Apple support doesn’t seem to believe this is an issue, so who knows when that may happen. Stongly considering making this iPhone the last phone I buy from Apple.

  92. Iphone 6+ 128GB iOS 8.2/ itunes 12.1
    I’ve been dealing with the syncing issue now for about 5 days. I previously had my settings to sync over wifi. I tried numerous different ways to sync my music after having the same issue everyone else is having. I’ve deleted all of my music off of my phone at least 6 times without doing a wipe & restore. Every time I would sync my phone, I would have at least 500 songs that were left grayed out, & my phone physically showed I had songs on there even when I deleted them all. I also manually manage my music as well & I have my option to sync only checked songs. I don’t put everything in my iTunes library onto my phone. My playlists had all completely disappeared as well. Every time I would sync & see these grayed out songs, I was individually selecting all of them & deleting them, then replacing them from the music library. Whenever I would do this, it would complete wipe everything from my music on my phone again!!!! This was hours out of my time for the last week. Extremely time consuming & trust me I was cursing apple out the entire time in my head. Mind you I’m very computer savvy.

    I finally got all of my music back on my phone!!!!!

    What I did to get it to work, not sure if this will work for anyone else, but for the last time, I deleted all of my music again. I took off the option to sync over wifi. I made sure that my playlists on iTunes matched the playlists I’d like to have on my phone. I created a new playlist with only all of my “checked” items in my music library with the help of a post on this forum. I dragged onto my phone, playlists first, one playlist at a time, waiting until each one was complete with the sync. After they were all successfully on my phone or appeared to be, I dragged on my “checked songs” playlist which had 2700 songs on it. I woke up & everything was on there. There were still a lot of grayed out songs, but before I disconnected I checked my music library on my phone to see if some of those grayed out songs were on there. They appeared in my phone & they work! They appear to be songs I had purchased through iTunes, not ones I had imported from personal cd’s. I will NOT be plugging my phone in again until this issue is fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mine won’t even sync. iPhone 6. Gives me error message that it can’t sync this phone. Now it does back it up. All apps and songs I buy on phone automatically transfer to my iTunes on my PC anyway withou connecting my phone so as long as backs up won’t try to sync anymore. Do I even need to with my above information.

      • If your phone is at least backing up that’s a good thing. I’m not positive on why you’re getting that error message but according to some of the posts here I’ve seen its happened to some others with the 6. I’ve noticed some people solved their issue by wiping & doing a restore, but that would be if you feel it’s necessary. As long as you have what you need on your phone, I wouldn’t bother syncing again until apple announces they’ve fixed this horrendous issue on the news. Lol

    • @Frustrated, I’m with you! I use my iPod touch with Algoriddim’s Djay app as an armchair DJ(I actually do DJ gigs but I use my computer with DJ software as my main mode of music with my iPod always serving as a back up, just in case). Before updating to ios 8.2 (I stuck with version 6 something because of all the horror stories w 7 and so on), I would manually manage my music, adding and removing a few songs here and there when the need arose and I NEVER had a problem. One day while using a wifi connection, my iPod showed a pop up asking me to update to ios 8.2. Agreeing to do so was the worst decision Ive made in a long time! Since then, I will randomly plug in my device only to have iTunes send me mixed signals, that there is almost 4000 songs on my iPod but when I look at my device, there is no music! I’ve re-added some 4000 songs 3 different times since upon connecting to iTunes, my device music will magically disappear.
      Anyway, the syncing process seems to work ok for me when I manually reload my music files, its just the randomly disappearing music that is making me crazy. All that said, I think I will follow your lead and reload my music one last time and NEVER SYNC AGAIN, at least not till Apple gets their act together and fixes the problem! C’mon Cuppertino, get it together already!

      • @Jerry,

        Yes I would not give up until I had all of the music I wanted on my phone. I’m not sure why it is randomly disappearing for you, but it happened to me as well when I as manually dragging them on too! I was going so far as to load 20 songs at a time. It would show on iTunes that it was on the device & then when I looked at my phone, it kept erasing what I had put on previously. Like I said I created a playlist with all checked songs, & I did one big drag with all the music I wanted, I let it sync while I slept & didn’t mess with it. Just don’t give up, & once you’re successful, don’t sync again!!!! Screw this. Time is precious!

  93. iTunes syncing is a mess. I frequently find that when I make changes in the software on the PC and then sync to the phone, those changes don’t sync. So if I update the date of a song, change the artwork, change the sorting name in the “sort as” field, remove a track number, and so on, these changes just don’t sync over. It’s infuriating. The change is there on the computer, but it won’t show up on the phone no matter how many times I sync.

    The only guaranteed way for sync to work is to restore the phone. I do this now once a week on average. It is the only way to be sure the changes stick. It is ridiculously time-consuming.

    (I use iTunes on Windows 8.1 and an iPhone 6.)

    And the tagging system for classical music is painfully underdeveloped.

  94. They blocked all the discussion, i.e. your link above, “dozens of threads about sync issues”, turned out to be “There were no results for your search.”

  95. I’m really struggling with syncing music onto my iPhone 4s. One of a few error messages I’ve been blessed with is “iPhone cannot be synced with iTunes: internal device error”. Okay, I’ve looked up more than 50 methods for fixing this, I’ve tried about 30 and NOTHING WORKS. I’m stuck with 3 songs that will not delete from my library on the phone, and the songs that DO sync, well they end up with the wrong album cover. The funny thing is, it was easier to put music onto my circa-2011 BlackBerry because I could connect the Bluetooth of my laptop and the phone and send music from the laptop.
    Can anyone offer a suggestion that doesn’t involve going back to a falling-apart BlackBerry? I’m at wits’ end here.

  96. I have an iPod touch 5th generation and ITunes 12. Like many people above, I can’t sync my music on. I get one of the many “waiting for changes to be applied” hangs but nothing happens. This happened a few months ago and I wasted multiple hours trying to add a few new songs to my iPod. Again, today, I decided to add new songs and instead it deleted everything off my iPod. I really don’t want to have to do a system restore every time I want to add new songs to my iPod. I paid good money when this product first came out with no issues and now I want to throw it out the window! I was never a big Apple supporter but they were known for their music devices so splurged but this is ridiculous.

  97. I have an iPhone 4, and an iPod classic. I had made some purchases from iTunes on my phone. Since those purchases I had updated my iTunes software as well as my iPhone software. I then synced my iPhone, and a friend and I spent an evening home sharing. Once I had all the music I wanted from her iTunes, I synced my iPod classic. After listening to all the music new to my iPod, I realized one album in particular that I purchased from iTunes wasn’t on my iPod. After several attempts at re-syncing my iPod, and making sure the album is 100% in my iTunes library, I literally RESTORED my iPod, and synced it from the very beginning… Which took about an hour as I have about 2500 songs… The. Album. Is. Still. Not. On. My. IPOD. I. Want. To. Scream. I have checked everything. Please help meeeeee =(((

  98. I own an old gen 3 nano but I just purchased a new iPod shuffle hoping it would fix the syncing problem with iTunes 12.1. NOPE. Not even a band new device is registering in iTunes.

    “An iPod has been detected, but it could not be identified properly. Please disconnect and reconnect the iPod, then try again.

    If the problem persists, uninstall iTunes, then install iTunes again.”
    This error is now my nightmare. I have done all things suggested in the forums as well. NOTHING WORKS. I have all this great music and have been a loyal iTunes user for years and I am currently in a situation where I cannot just hop over to an Apple store for help. This has officially made me miserable. Someone needs to fix this.

  99. I have a 5th Gen iPod Touch and I was regularly having sync issues and was restoring my iPod almost overtime I needed to sync. I has been fine for a couple of months but now it refuses to recognise new albums and podcasts that I want to sync onto the device. A lot of my stuff is on my Mac in Apple Lossless so when I have to restore the iPod I also have to burn most of my music down to 256k to fit it on the iPod. It takes a lot of time!

  100. Just bought an iPhone 6 today. Upgrading from a 4s that I’ve obviously had forever but diligently updated it and synced it regularly to iTunes. When backing up my 4s before connecting my 6, the spinning arrows next to my phone icon never stop. They just keep on spinning and spinning. At first you could see all the Apps, etc. being backed up at the top of the screen, but then that went away and all I have left are the spinning arrows. I’m thinking to myself; “is it done? Should I disconnect my 4s and connect my 6 now?” Yikes!

  101. I can’t see any contacts in itunes at all. I back up my phone to the cloud and no new contacts go there either. Basically, anything I add on my phone can’t be backed up. It is immensely frustrating and I have been on dozens of forums looking for an answer. Tried disabling cloud, ticking “to my mac’ in settings, have clicked and unclicked just about every setting option on both phone and computer and nothing will make my contacts synch. :0(

  102. Ever since the release of iPhone 6 the iTunes Library Sync issue has gotten worse & worse, and it is true of any sync regardless of which device – old phone (5S), new phone (6), old iPad (3), and newer iPad (mini) and iPods (old nano + 160GB classic) – old or new, large or small, whole music library or selected list. Infuriating that several updates into iOs 8 (8.3 now) they STILL have not fixed this, either because they can’t (don’t believe it for a minute) or because the won’t, and just don’t care that much about the customer experience.
    Same goes for increasing non-removable Crapps they stuff into new releases (iHeath, iBooks, Tips, Apple Watch) Why should I have to give up more & more of my finite disk space and screen real estate for apps I didn’t want and won’t use?

  103. Argh, so frustrating. Neither my iPhone or iPad will sync. I’ve spent at least a few hours at this point trying one thing after another and am just so tired of messing around with a system that worked fine until I updated to the latest iTunes and Mac OS. The rainbow wheel of poor software design is nearly burned into my screen at this point. Apple needs to ensure its software is backwards compatible with its not-that-old products (4s phone and ipad2) so that those of us who don’t wish to add another phone to the landfill every year can support their products. Not very eco-friendly and certainly feels like a disrespectful move for longtime users such as myself, if we have to buy new hardware or be unable to sync our devices. Maybe it’s time to head to the Apple Store and use my loud unhappy customer voice to get some satisfaction :-)

  104. For some reason, I recently updated to the latest Itunes last night and I downloaded some songs off Itunes and it seemed to work fine. I then wanted to sync these to my IPhone 5. I updated the IPhone 5 and synced all my music to the IPhone 5. The new songs I downloaded have now been synced but it looks like it’s still loading. Next to it is a small broken piece circle. I am so fustrated because everything was working fine!! If I am crazy, let me know but I would just like to find out why my syncing isn’t working correctly!

  105. Hi . I am using two iPads and an iPhone …. I have syncing problems … The photos are supposed to sync to all the devices but unfortunately the photos don’t sync properly . Only few photos sync … The other photos are only in the device that was used to take the picture …. Could you please help me out?

  106. Hi. I cannot sync my playlists and the option to manually manage my music and videos keeps deselecting itself. Upgraded from iP5 to iP6 recently … before this, I’d avoided using iTunes to sync my media. Had resisted upgrading to latest iOS because of the bugs that are often embedded in Apple’s new rollouts. Tried using an Android device, but when I couldn’t print to my wifi printers with any of the apps I downloaded without permitting the use of unknown, remote servers … I decided to upgrade to an iP6 plus and hope for the best. Really wish Apple would acknowledge feedback … now that SJ is gone, they need as much help as they can get.

    in addition to remedying the syncing issues, i’d also like to propose that Apple allow its users to disable that AWFUL collage screensaver when devices are in landscape mode. Please!

    Thanks very much for this opportunity to share!

  107. Dear Kirck,

    I found your article while googling about sync problems… and you cannot be more in the truth, believe me. I’m the father of 4 young children aged from 3 ½ to 9. Last week, I offered them each a new iPad mini to replace old iPad 1 and broken iPad 2 or 3. This leaves me with 2 iPad mini to restore from the previous device for my two older and 2 iPad mini to install from scratch for my 2 younger. Easy I thought !

    But this task is just impossible to complete in either case. Let me tell you my story.

    My old setup goes like this : 2 parents with their own iPhone and iPad and 4 children sharing 3 iPad, all 7 devices sharing the same iTunes account. Everything was syncing over WiFi quite easily.

    With the new devices coming in and being affected to different persons, I thought this could be a good idea to activate the Family Sharing and have every single device configure for each family member’s.

    On paper, the idea was really sexy, but after one week of setup, restore, init, restart… I have some kind of a tremendous headache. Nothing is working like it should :

    – many iPad never finish their sync, “waiting for element to copy” or “waiting on settings to apply”.
    – each time I connect an iPad, I get the spinning color wheel and it take forever to get the hand back over iTunes,
    – if I purchase an app on 1 of my child’s iPad, giving the agreement through family sharing, this app doesn’t sync in the family library because the iPad is not allowed to sync with my computer (but sure it is). And if I allow it again, iTunes tell me it’s already allowed !
    – if I then want to install this same app on another iPad, it install but upon start, it’s says that this iPad doesn’t have the right to use this app ! I then have to remove it, load it through iTunes in the library and then push it to the other iPad, neat !!!
    – on the iPad I’ve installed from scratch, I would like to install many apps I already have in my library. Even when syncing through usb, it just cannot complete the process and many apps on the iPad stay in “waiting” state.
    – and finally, who in 2015 is still using USB2 !!! I just take forever to copy content !!!

    Of course I use the latest version of Yosemite (10.10.3), iTunes ( and iOs (8.3)… I’m so disappointed that Apple doesn’t provide any solution. Hope this won’t last to long before they do…

    Come on Tim Cook, It’s time to offer your customers the service they pay (high bucks) for !!!

  108. Have iPhone 4, 5, 6+. Only use 4 as a remote arm but with 5 I have MASSIVE issues with syncing failing (appearing in iTunes greyed out). Have to delete greyed filed and try again. I only use manual music mgmt.
    But more annoying is that often my syncs fail, and all my music disappears from iPhone. But it still appears in iTunes! This has happened on both the 5 and 6+ across multiple iterations of iOS and iTunes, effectively ruling out a specific issue with either phone.
    Very very frustrating. It happened this morning and I basically have to delete the tracks in iTunes and resync what I remember – I just can’t remember all the tracks I had on there so this time I’m missing approx 1000tracks.

  109. iPod 2nd gen, PC comp. I downloaded some new music to iTunes and when I went to transfer to my iPod, it wouldn’t recognize it. Updated iTunes, restarted computer/devices, and still won’t recognize.

    This is the second time that iTunes has randomly stopped recognizing my device, and last time I had to wait until the next update. At the time, there were TONS of forums for the exact same problem with that version.

    Getting tired of this. Thinking of switching to a different program to use with my iPod.

  110. Hi,
    I have been having syncing problems with my iPhone 5s on IOS 8 and iTunes 12.1.05. I have been having problems for about 6 months and in all previous releases of software. I’m beginning to think it may be time to give up on iPhone if they can’t fix these problems.
    I will definitely avoid the apple watch for a long time!

  111. I have an iPhone 6 plus on IOS 8 using iTunes 12.1.05 on a Windows 8.1 tablet I have just come back to apple after an extensive period using Android (HTC One) wish I had stayed with it, the best phone I ever had it was just I couldn’t read text within apps as my eyesight is not the best. As with many on here I have a prebuilt library of music on a NAS drive all of which I imported into iTunes. On the whole it imported fine, a few split albums, a few missing artist and album names and a few missing artwork, all resolved fairly straightforwardly. However when I sync with my phone, what a pain, not only do I have to get used to an updated interface which is not intuitive as when I had a 3gs or 4 (whichever version of iTunes was around at the time) but music was transferring across but greyed out and unplayable on my phone (dotted circle with dual arrows), now I have the 128gb model so it was nothing to do with space as some suggest. I tried converting one of my albums to AAC as suggested by another poster and hey presto not only did all the tracks from that album sync but all the other albums came to life as well, it must be something to do with the formatting of the file, all of which I have as either mp3 or m4a. In saying that I had another album which I converted but converting this to AAC did not help and what’s more it then caused all my other albums to lose the artwork. For one of the most expensive handsets in the market Apple need to get their software sorted out. I for one do not want to be forced to buying all my music off of the iTunes store when I have a perfectly good library of CD’s I have already in mp3 format on my network, it seems like this is what Apple is trying to do. Another issue I have is with my contacts. I have a Google account where I store all my contacts and proceeded to set up my Google account and expected to see my contacts appear, not so, after a while delving it turns out unless you are an Android user Google have removed the ability for other phones to sync contacts and calendars unless you pay for them, what is this all about big organisations holding our data to ransom, its our data, in the end I had to sync contacts with and then sync outlook with my iPhone, what a palaver.

  112. I consistently have problems syncing playlist changes made on iTunes (Mac OS) with my iPad and iPhone. iTunes claims they are syncing, but no playlist changes go across. I have however found that the following procedure consistently works:

    1- Power off iPad / iPhone (hold power button 5 seconds).
    2- Quit iTunes
    3- Power on iPad / iPhone
    4- Put iPad / iPhone into airplane mode (turn off networking)
    5- Start iTunes
    6- Connect iPad / iPhone to Mac with known good USB cable
    7- Select iPad / iPhone icon in iTunes, and then click on Sync button (the auto-sync does’t seem to work most of the time)
    8- Sync recopies half my iTunes music library over, and also the playlist changes. Life is good!
    9- Take the iPad / iPhone out of airplane mode

    Occasionally I have to uncheck “Sync My Music” – sync – Recheck it – sync again. Has to copy the whole library over so it’s slow, but it works.

    Hope this works for others too!

  113. When I try to sync to my iPad, I get a message that syncing won’t work because iTunes Match is enabled. My iTunes Match subscription has expired, though, and when I go to disable it, the only option if have is to renew iTunes Match. Seriously, there’s no way to disable iTunes Match unless I first pay to renew my iTunes Match subscription? Not gonna happen, so syncing is dead to me.

          • I finally stumbled across a solution to this one. It turns out that I was logged in on this device through a different iTunes account than the one on my other devices. That should have been obvious enough, but I guess not. Anyway, logging out and logging back in with my other account solved the problem, and now I can sync again.

  114. I am currently running 12.1.1, every time I upgrade to 12.1.2, I can’t sync anything, computer (Dell Laptop) recognizes my phone and iPad. I end up doing a system restore to load the older version. My wife, sync’s her stuff to our iMac with the latest version and there is no issue.

    This is highly disappointing, the apple has not fixed this and my devices are the latest too.

  115. I am absolutely fed up with Apple. I am pricing up a Samsung Edge! I have had enough of the constant problems. I wiped my iTunes and re-started over – and it’s still not worked! I have re-synced the specific albums I want, only a handful, I’ve enough space bla bla …. but when I check some tracks are missing from the album, just completely not there! Not a red dot and circle, or a cloud with an arrow (to download) – nada. I double check my iTunes library – and there they are, clear as day. Apple sucks! And having been using them since 2009 it’s time I went back to Samsung. Very frustrated. I’ve spent hours faffing about with iTunes and quite frankly, I am not wasting ANY more time on it!

  116. I too am having issues with syncing, but i think maybe its more of a user end? they need to make it more user friendly, or just user usable!! You can ‘share’ music, but in order to do that, both devices have to be awake and in close proximity? what is the use of that? if I want to share music from my mac to my iPhone, I want to be able to move it from the mac to the iPhone, and play on the iPhone…if i have to have my mac awake and be in close proximity, will just play on the mac, it has better sound quality and more volume….they have the ‘cloud’ but even that is not user friendly, how do i put something into the cloud and how do i retrieve and save it to my iPhone? this is the part of apple that frustrates the hell out of me. Thanks for any advise anyone can give, preferably before I go bald!!

  117. I’ve got the perfect solution. I am buying a mp3 player and using that to listen to my music. Done with wasting time trying to figure out how to make the syncing work. Why wont apple simply allow you to add mp3s to your device? Remember the KISS rule apple?

  118. iTunes used to be the awesome-sauce of Apple products. Now, it’s pure nightmare! I’ve been having a synching problem since iTunes 12 and Match came along. Getting tracks from laptop to device isn’t simple anymore. Then there’s this annoying bonus… I ripped a CD (a CD!!) with explicit content to my MAC. It played correctly for years on all devices (1 track is especially good for weight lifting), and currently plays correctly on my MAC, but now, it’s all wonked out with substituted content on my iPhone and iPod. *Gosh-golly sugar cubes* just doesn’t have the same effect…in fact, it’s rather grating on the nerves. I even deleted the original ripped content from my library and re-purchased the explicit album directly from the iTunes store thinking it’d be the fix. Same sitch, played correctly on my MAC but all wonked out on my devices. It drives me completely bat-***t crazy! I have made sure I’ve ‘allowed’ explicit content on these devices. Each time I try to correct the issue, I have to bail before winging my device across the room and smashing in against the wall in complete frustration. My latest attempt was just last night and this morning. I landed on your article through yet another desparate search for a fix. *sigh* The new Photos feature on the iCloud is genius and works perfectly. I don’t get how iCloud music, something that use to work so perfectly, suddenly doesn’t work any more. Seriously…Apple IS iTUNES! It’s usually the first point of contact for most new Apple users (at least before iPhones came about). Stop changing the interface already and just fix the basic functionality. I don’t think that’s asking too much. Sorry for the rant, but thank you for providing the forum to do so. Here’s hoping they get their act together on this.

  119. Pity there’s no joy in misery shared on this occasion. I’ve struggled syncing my iPhone since the initial iOS8 update. Prior to that I could sync across devices – iPhone, iPod + iPad – no problems. Now, despite more then 1200 songs in my music library I can only get 45 songs in on any device. To add insult to injury, since the most recent iOS update I’ve also lost all my iBooks on my devices so am unable to read any of my purchases (arrrrgggghhh!).

    I’ve spent countless hours trying every suggestion I come across, all to no avail. Apple has been totally useless in these past 6 months.

    My husband now has an android tablet & we are seriously considering converting our household away from Apple if solutions aren’t found. What a shame Apple. :-(

  120. With the new release of Streaming Music by the end of the month, I see why we are all having these syncing problems. I realize Apple does not care. They are phasing out the music syncing with iphones, ipads, and especially the ipods. If you go to the Apple website, they removed the “ipods” from their navigation bar on top.

  121. Finally decided to see if anyone else was having problems with iTunes syncing to iPhone these days like myself and did a quick Google search. Good to know I’m not alone but how the fcuk do apple take a perfectly fine system and balls it up, over and over. I loved the days of my iPhone 3gs, dragging and dropping an album and watching it copy onto my
    phone from iTunes within moments. Feels like a long time ago. I’m a dad now, and therefore (even more so) don’t have the time or patience for this inexcusable mess of a system. I just want to listen to full albums I have legitimately purchased from iTunes on my old macbook pro on my phone, but apparently that can’t happen reliably anymore. No more apple products for me.

  122. Hi. I have Itunes 12.1.2 and iOS 8.3 (ipad mini). My issue is that I use my ipad mini for reading purposes mainly. So I have around 7k books.My syncing issue is that at 300 of 7k part, itunes suddenly cancels syncing. but when I check my ipad, only about 100 is actually synced to my ipad. I have tried rebooting and restaring my ipad but nothing works so I’m painstakingly going thru the motion of repeating the entire syncing process every 5-10 mins. Help?

  123. I hadn’t updated itunes in a couple years because i moved to a rural location where dsl is too expensive and not very reliable. however, a couple months ago i was forced to pack up my pc and bring it into town where i connected to the internet in order to restore my iphone which had locked up. itunes said i needed to update to version 12. after returning home with my pc the next time i connected my ipod classic to add 5 more cds i just bought, it wouldnt allow me to sync. when i plug it in itunes opens and after a minute or so the ipod icon appears, but by the time it all loads and i can click on the ipod icon to SYNC the ipod display now reads ‘OK TO DISCONNECT’ and a pop up window says ‘DEVICE NOT FOUND’. i have tried a dozen times and restarted my pc a few times, too. then i brought my laptop into town and tried again and the same thing happens. itunes opens and by the time i can click on SYNC i am told the device is not connected and the ipod display says OK TO DISCONNECT. I just found out now that apple discontinued ipod classic last september. Does this mean they have disabled your ability to add any more music or content because they are no longer making it? If so, I hope there will be a class action lawsuit that i can join.

  124. Add me to the list with syncing issues. iPhone 6+ iOS 8.3, iTunes and it just doesn’t work consistently. My workaround is to delete everything on the iPhone and reload each time. Hardly efficient. But the real surprise is how Apple doesn’t address this significant issue. What’s the value of feature-laden device with a buggy OS?

  125. I triy to sync everything to my iPad and all that syncs is the ‘recently added’ stuff, about 10% of the total. Not a space issue. Seems to have got worse since the last update. I have iTunes Match but have now turned if off for both devices – makes no difference…

    I’m completely lost and have tried everything except uninstall/reinstall iTunes :-(

  126. Yeah, I’ve got this syncing issue just started, now I’ve updated to iTune 12.2. A real pain and who knows how long for a resolution – if ever.

    Are they trying to get us to ditch our old devices?

    • I was going to give up; anyhow I did a back up iphone to this computer and bang…all the deleted songs came back and then some; once the sync was done I unplugged the phone. If I have extraneous music, I`ll delete directly from the phone by hand bypassing ITunes tie in. till they try to fix this. Syncing a device is bruuuutal these days; I wish I knew why a back up to a computer would then transfer music back to my phone when I “manually” manage my music. weird in a huge sea of weird.

  127. I’ve had an iPhone 3G and 4S, both in 64gb versions, and then I sync them with iTunes via my Windows laptop.

    For years, now, iTunes Syncing has become a game of Russian Roulette, except that when the gun goes, you still don’t know whether you’re living or dead! It’s so hit-and-miss.

    All I want to do, is get music (25gb’s worth) from my laptop onto my iPhone, with the minimum of hassle. Like many, I keep it meticulously organised. I don’t include album artwork. All songs are in 320kbps or 192kbps, with just occasional exceptions. Mostly ripped from CD’s. Occasionally bought from iTunes.

    The main problem I find is, that I get the dreaded “iTunes can’t sync” error message, yet it continues to sync anyway, and seems to sync 100% succesfully, via the cable connection. (I don’t have internet access at home, so generally can’t do a Sync via Wi-Fi anyway.)

    As has also been said by many, Apple don’t care about the Syncing (or should that be “sinking”) problems! It’s always the same old excuses: it’s not iTunes or the iOS that’s broken, it’s the user’s music or apps that are faulty!

    Total BS! Why can’t syncing be simple?! Stop trying to force everyone to use The Cloud. Just let us do things simply, easily and quickly with the minimum of fuss, rather than constantly having to (metaphorically) risk our lives each time we want to make some basic changes to our music collections on oour Apple devices.

  128. I am recently experiencing syncing problems with my music. When I add new music to my library, it will not copy them to my iphone 5S. In addition, all my playlists have been deleted from my phone and although still present in iTunes, they are not being synced. I have tried several methods that I could find in discussion forums, but nothing has worked so far.

    • This is what I’m facing right now. I had many playlists on my iphone 4s. I plugged my phone into my laptop to add a new playlist (as I have done many times in the past), and not only can I not add the new playlist, but ALL of the music is gone from my device. I have tried recreating and dragging the playlists onto my phone, but nothing works. iTunes does recognize my phone, and the playlists appear to be on there, but they are not. I am beyond frustrated and have not found a solution.

  129. my problem on iPhone 5s and now iPhone 6 is that ical sync )via USB cable controlled from MacBookPro) duplicates and triplicates “events”, so my appointment shows 3-5 times and they are all at different times. I have to go back and fix manually.
    I have missed business appointments and job interviews because of this.

  130. I had all these syncing issues with my Iphone 5

    I have an Iphone 6 now and I’ve restored it numerous times.

    When I plug it in to sync it,

    It says an Iphone has been detected but could not be read. Go to the summary tab to restore.


    An Iphone has been detected but could not be identified


    Could not connect because an invalid response was recieved from the device.

    Sometimes it connects via wifi and syncs…. sometimes….

  131. I hate apple right now. Having invested in am ipad am iphone eventually (a late adopter) i’d convinced myself that apple’s reputation was for producing stuff that works. How wrong can you be! I recently dutifully updated my ios on both devices – i had held back owing to the problems that new ios had caused with some colleagues apps – and itunes on my pc. I then hoped that all i would need to do was plug in and itunes would do the rest. Sadly, itunes failed miserably. Now it won’t even speak to my iphone, and whilst it acknowledges my old ipad it won’t actually do what i want – ie look at both devices and synch their content both ways. Worst of all none of the menus or error messages come with any helpful hints on what to do next (if itunes knows there’s an error surely it could tell you what it is!). Finally, I accept that complex stuff is going on in the blackbox. So, can there not be some sort of protocol for numptees to follow that gets one back to steady state ab initio? Finding it hard to see the benefits of apple other than the cute name/logo …

  132. I have to agree completely. Itunes no longer fulfills any of its intended use cases. Does anyone know of a viable alternative to iTunes? And bear in mind, Apple, if I take the time to switch to some new tool or service, I will never go back to using an apple music tool, or service, again.

  133. IPhone 6. When I connect my phone to my pc it no longer pops up in the iTunes app, which keeps me from syncing music to my phone and its very frustrating. It has to be a issue with ios 9 update or the iTunes 12.3 update. I’ve tried many of the solutions that other people did and none of them worked.

  134. I have an iPhone 4S & an iPad 3 that I both updated to version 9.0.1. On my PC I updated iTunes to 12.3. Since doing the updates neither of my devices will sync with iTunes on my PC! I’ve reinstalled and restarted everything umpteen times to no avail.

    Neither the iPhone icon nor the iPad icon show on the iTunes bar. Even when using the Files folder on my PC I used to be able to access my pictures on either device. It would connect as Charlie’s iPhone or iPad. Now it connects as Apple iPhone or iPad, and I cannot access any of my pictures.

    I am doing all this via USB, not WiFi….

    Any solution to these problems?

  135. Kirk, because of my work, I can only sync and backup locally. I’ve been syncing my contacts and calendar between an iPhone 4GS (so iOS 6) and a series of versions of OS X (10.6, .7, and .8) on a Mac Pro. There has never been any problem, for five years.

    I don’t know when my iTunes was updated to v. 12; I always accept such upgrades when offered. The first week of September I did a clean install of OS 10.10 to a bare drive and copied my contacts in. Contacts works as expected. Today, having wrestled with getting fully installed and configured from a clean restart, I synced the iPhone for the first time. Or thought I did.

    I’ve tested and it is clear that contact changes do not sync either way. (I believe I can see this in the progress bar at the top of the iTunes window: it never displays the syncing stages.)

  136. i just started getting this problem with the new iPhone6s that i just got i tried putting the same playlists that i have on my iPod touch 5 with the same computer and i tunes that i put the playlists on my iPod but when i click the playlist and hit sync the only thing that happens is a window ops up that says syncing iPhone with a green bar going across it i let my iphone6s hooked up to my computer for a couple of hours so it would charge and sync the 3 playlists that i was trying to sync but nothing synced.

  137. My iPhones (started with a 4s and now a 6+) both have a synching issue. When the songs appear on iTunes, most of the time they don’t copy the whole song over. e.g.. if the song is 3:43 it will copy it over at 2:58, so the song just cuts off and into the next one on the album with no breath in between. It will copy the whole album over at 2:58. Really annoying, because I have to listen to music on spotify or some other platform and not access my own music library. This has been happening for two years.

  138. I have a REAL problem with syncing. I have a iphone 4s running ios 9.1 and itunes on Win XP Pro. Mistakenly I took the 9.1 upgrade and then itunes wouldn’t link saying I needed at least Win 7. OK OK OK I KNOW but there are many reasons why I cant upgrade to win 7 as some of my programs wont run on 7 and i need them for projects under way. ITunes then had an XP upgrade which at least allowed 4S to connect now but whereas iTunes shows music and playlists on the 4S, the 4S has different ideas and has a different list. I have rebooted 4S so many times its unreal but even that has no effect now. I have just bought a Surface Pro 3 instead of the iPad so I can avoid ITUNES withe yjat at least. Cummon Apple get yer finger out QUICK!

  139. Can not sync apps downloaded into iPhone 6 (iOS 9.1) to iTunes ( and can not sync playlist created in iTunes on Mac to iTunes on iPhone 6. Purchased music downloaded into iPhone syncs with iTunes library. Spent about 3 hrs on chat support with Apple without any luck.

    • Apps no longer sync from iOS devices to iTunes. I am surprised that support people don’t know that. It is because apps downloaded to devices can now only contain the resources needed by those devices. So if they sync back to iTunes, they might not work on other iOS devices.

  140. Every since version 12 has been installed, my system hangs up at either the back-up step or at waiting for changes to be applied. It usually locks up iTunes all together and once it starts to hang, it will never resolve itself. This happens with two different iPads, an iPhone 5s and a 6s. It definitely doesn’t discriminate.
    In all cases, I have to disconnect whichever device, let iTunes recover, close and reopen and hope it doesn’t do it again.
    This is getting extremely old … like always, if I’m in a hurry it will happen 100% of the time.

  141. iTunes allows me to add music to the library but it won’t sync them onto my IPhone 6, I have tred several times, and it won’t do anything.

  142. I am a music producer and I loved that I could bounce mixes of my projects to itunes and they would miraculously end up on my iphone for me to listen to later on in the car or when I worked out…. It was GREAT! Now for no known reason it just quit working. I really hope that this gets fixed

  143. I just installed iTunes ( on a new PC (Windows 10) and then set up my iphone 5s (ios 9.1) to sync with it (transferred purchases, authorized phone, etc). There seems to be no way to sync the apps. The apps page for my device shows nothing in hte Apps box but does show images of my home screens (although I can’t do anything with them). When I go to the “My Apps” or “My iPhone Apps” tabs on the store, they are empty. As a result, there is no way to review any apps, and I can’t tell whether my apps are being sync’d or backed up. This is incredibly frustrating!

  144. I have an iTouch 2nd gen and most of my sync issues are artwork-based. The issues seem to differ from the problems you experience (I read your other post mentioning Dylan albums). Most artwork is correct, but often times there will either be individual songs here and there or entire albums here and there that show the wrong artwork. Example:

    Artist ABC: album is uploaded with correct artwork
    Artist XYZ: album is uploaded but shows artwork from artist ABC even though no issue in iTunes on any tracks.

    Re-syncing, deleting everything from iTouch and re-syncing, deleting artwork in iTunes replacing it and re-syncing — everything tried does not fix issue. I don’t want to see a Beatles album with artwork from Elvis.

  145. Have iMac running Yosemite (10.10.5) and iPad mini running 9.2. A couple weeks ago, I decided to take everything off my iPad and fill it with photos to show around at Christmas time. I plugged in my iPad as usual, but it never shows up on my iTunes. It just says it’s waiting for the IMac to be available. I have no idea what to do. I desperately need to use my iPad for these photos and have new music I’d really like to transfer also.

  146. I dread syncing my iPad2. I’ve had to purge duplicate files numerous times, and syncing is a nightmare. I have way more content than I can keep on my iPad, so I typically take a few movies and books on the road. When I come back I typically only check and uncheck movies and books to replace fresher content. This can take hours, a typical scenario goes like this; I have 3GB free on my iPad, so I uncheck 20GB of movies I just watched and carefully count up the size of movies I want until I get to 20GB. Try and sync and it says I’m 9GB over. Delete everything manually on my iPad, uncheck all movies and re-sync until both my iTunes and iPad say the same free space. Check the movies I want, retry and I get a fail. Close iTunes, reboot my iPad and computer, try again. Instead of syncing 4 movies it says it’s syncing 6, but since it isn’t over the limit continues to sync. During the syncing process it actually sync’s 5 one of which was not checked in iTunes, lord knows what the other one was.

    I agree iTunes likely has issues with how it manages the library and tags files for download. Apple should step up and fix this, today I googled iPad 2 syncing issues and it returned over 400,000 results.

  147. In iTunes, my contacts only sync in one direction, from iPod Touch 4th gen to computer. Not the other way around. There is an, Apple support forum post, unanswered of course… It was posted Jul 2015. I tried an Apple Support phone call, failed at level 1, going to level 2 support when I have another hour of my time to waste…

    Please update the support forums with your gripes. I’m sure posts with great numbers are read by the sloths at Apple. Seems we need to sit on their heads for them to repair something they broke in the first place. Apple is all about money now. Have all the testers been fired to make even more money?!

    I posted in: Contacts will not sync with iPhone in iTunes 12:

  148. my family owns two ipod nanos for our cars – 3rd and 4th generations. They won’t sync, nor will itunes even recognize them anymore. Very frustrating.

  149. I’ve had sync problems between iTunes on my MacPro and iPads that started a couple o years ago and have only gotten worse over time and over subsequent iOS, MacOS, iTunes and hardware upgrades. My setup should be considered simple, since I never do 2-way syncing and only download from the MacPro to iPads. The same issues persist when testing across different, freshly installed machines, restored iOS devices, new user accounts and new iTunes libraries, in wired and wireless configurations.

    One thing I HAVEN’T been able to try – thanks to Apple’s limited signing window for previous iOS versions – is to roll back my devices to, say, 2012 and see if those really were the good old days when everything “just worked”…

    Somewhere along the line (last compatible iOS upgrade?) my iPad 1 stopped syncing reliably over WiFi waiting fruitlessly for the host to be “available”, and I spent a lot of time chasing down issues with my network before concluding it had nothing to do with the WiFi connection; it would even fail to sync while simultaneously browsing the Shared Library from that machine! Of course, it usually worked fine once I’d rebooted the iPad, which became a normal morning task along with making coffee.

    I have some of the same symptoms and worse on an iPad 2 that is now up to iOS 9.1. This device fails to sync sometimes even when plugged into USB: not all sync’d content is copied across, and even when I can see from iTunes’ progress bar that content like podcasts has been copied across it won’t appear in the associated iOS app without a reboot. Putting the iPad’s USB interface in logging mode yields lots of information on the progress of the non-connection but no clarity.

    I DO think iTunes’ functionality is bloated and is probably bogging down on the original core code from MusicMatch – written in straight C – that I’m afraid is still lurking in there. I think Apple made a huge mistake, missing the opportunity for a re-architecting of the iTunes ecosystem, when they shifted the model of iOS devices from being USB-attached Mac/PC peripherals like iPods to being internet-connected peer machines that have the ability to fetch their own content from app stores and servers independent of the Mac/PC mothership. The creaky old iTunes app is still vainly clinging to the task of device management in this new, networked and multi-syncing world.

  150. I’m using an iphone 6s on iOS 9.2.1 and an ipod classic 160 GB on Version 2.0.5 Mac, with iTunes 12 on a Mac. Both devices are having the same problem. On my ipod I select sync entire music library and I’ve started to notice when I go looking for specific songs that they aren’t there and only half of some albums are syncing across. I unsynced all music and then synced one particular album that I had just imported using my mac a week before and it said it synced all the song but when you opened the ipod still not all the songs had synced. After multiple syncs I got all but 1 of the songs across but have now noticed that it’s other albums that are affected as well. I also found that when I went to play this particular song on my phone it wasn’t there either and the album looks exactly the same as my ipod but the whole album is available to play on iTunes and the whole album was selected in both cases.

  151. When I synced to my acer laptop with a defective (intermittent) usb port it would send corrupted files to my hard drive. Now you can blame acer for this but I think apple should be aware of this problem even though it ‘s not common.

    And before I figured it out the sync many times would fail completely after which apple kindly told me I had to reinstall ios on my ipad. Really? A corrupted OS simply because of a defective usb port on my computer and a failed sync??

    I’ve had a macbook pro for almost a year now and because of the headaches I knew I would encounter avoided switching to the macbook.

    Sure enough when I “transfer purchases from device name” Only a small fraction of my podcast’s showed up in itunes.

    That’s what brought me to this website.

  152. I don’t remember if I wrote you about my iTunes12.4 – iBooks syncing issue, but in case I forgot:

    Suddenly a month ago, iTunes12.4 refused to recognize NEWLY created pdfs I had added to my iBooks1.5 library. In the days following, I did several things to solve the issue including, re-install OS X from the internet several times, delete all cache files, delete plist files, move all pdfs out of iBooks and re-import, wipe my iPad Air to new device then manually move all data back, etc.

    I do not use iCloud to store books or data other than passwords, etc. I do not want to BUY MONTHLY STORAGE. So I figured don’t turn on iCloud syncing in iBooks. Finally, after re-installing OS X the last time, when I started up iBooks I was asked to turn on iCloud syncing.

    iTunes12.4 immediately recognized any new pdfs in iBooks1.5.

  153. i am not sure if this has beed answered before but a search reveals nothing!
    my sync problem is that iTunes will see and sync all my wire-connected LAN devices (Apple TVs) only if my MacBookPro is wire-connected to my home network (ethernet). My wireless devices (iPhones and iPads, do not show unless I connect them with USB! Seems when my Mac is connected wirelessly to my home network, no devices are detected (wired or wireless).
    i feel it is a Mac problem rather than iTunes, but all else works well
    I am running El Capitan on a 125″ MacBook Pro, iTunes 12.3 (v12.4 is causing a Dock crash problem with no fix for two months now!).
    thank you for any advice and help.

    • It sounds like there’s some sort of firewall active when you’re on wi-fi. Do you have any security software installed on the Mac? What about the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences; is the Firewall turned on?

      • Under Mavericks running iTunes 12.3.3 (and for many versions prior) I did not see any difference in the nature of my iTunes/iDevices sync problems based on whether the iTunes host was running across a gigabit ethernet connection or a WiFi connection to my LAN – and I tried many experiments comparing freshly-created user accounts, fresh iTunes libraries and even fresh MacOS installs trying to track down the source of the problem.

        What HAS made a difference for me is that, a few weeks back, I turned OFF the Sleep timer on my iTunes host, a MacPro5,1, to do some unrelated system debugging. While the display goes to sleep, the machine never does.

        In all that time, I have not had any of my iOS devices fail to recognize my iTunes host across the network and run a Sync cycle. (That’s not to say I have had flawless synchronization, since some apps like recent versions of the iOS Podcast app are just flaky.) So if the MacPro never goes to sleep they will always sync.

        My hunch is that this points to mDNSresponder (or its temporary Yosemite replacement ‘discovered’) as the culprit. It is well known that these components were responsible for other networking problems in MacOS.

        • That’s an interesting theory. There has long been a suspicion of network services causing issues. Can anyone else share whether their Macs sleep or not, and whether that seems to effect syncing?

          • Thank you guys.
            I read somewhere that it could be a router problem and sure enough … IT WAS.
            I restored a saved configuration of my router settings and now all works well.
            What i had was not related to iTunes, it was the MAC not seeing wired devices while connected via wifi to the same network.

  154. iPhone 6 and was using iTunes 12.4 ,and my issue is that my music no longer syncs (notably after 12.4 update for iTunes was downloaded) as it shows dotted, greyed circles with greyed out song titles, it had no issues prior syncing music, any help will be appreciated

  155. Running iTunes on a MacBook Pro which is telling me two apple apps, Find My Friends and Podcasts have updates pending but when click update apps it tells me they are only available for IOS and and I should search the App Store for them from my IOS device. I have looked for them but cannot find them in the app store which makes sense as they are integral parts of the IOS. If I select the updates for deletion in iTunes it tells me they will be deleted from any IOS device that is synced. This seems odd to me as it is not possible to delete them (at least manually) from the IOS device as there is never an “X” badge to be able to delete them when I try.

    • The same thing happened to me. You can delete them. You still have older versions of those apps which were once standalone apps, but are now part of iOS.

  156. Itunes
    21″ iMac with 32 GB RAM
    2 TB HDD
    OSX 10.11.5

    Synchronization of an iPhone 6s Plus took 18 hours, roughly, for 2,400 songs. An iPod Nano took 36 hours and currently attempting to synch an iPhone 4S at 83 songs after 4 1/2 hours.

    It all started with Apple trying to force iCloud down our throats, my five iPod 160 GB classics would synch the whole collection in a couple of hours at most. Been searching for an explanation or reason for about 7 weeks now but have tried everything I’ve come across without success. Turning off the sleep timer as mentioned above is new, will try that, although my problem is simply that neither wireless or wired connections work or synchronize. What ever happened to “it just works”???

    One thing I know for sure is this will be my last iPhone. How sweetly ironic the Windows phone I was given at work has been humming along just peachy for two years but all the whiz bang features of the iPhone are next to useless if I cannot get any content onto the device. It’s like the new card for Costco… GREAT benefits. If only it could be activated!

    Anyway, just venting at this point. I have plenty of experience in IT but iTunes and Apple’s obstinate and deliberate refusal to fix something so basic makes ActiveSync look like a model of transparency. At least it has logs!

    Music synch, broken. Photos, broken….

  157. iphone 6s and itunes 12.4 HATE the new ibooks feature of the last several updates and now it wont sinc half my audiobooks. m4b format. only work around i have found is switch them in windows explorer to m4a files, label them as music and sync them. this seems to work, but is a MAJOR hassle and eliminates any possible advantage they thought there was to adding ibooks section.

  158. Should anybody read this, I’ve a peculiar problem. I’ve got a partial album stuck on my phone 13/16 songs. If I download the rest, I get 29/16 songs, duplicates of all but 3. This is unbelievably irritating as they are not listed as deprecate albums, just piled into 1. I cleared all music from my iPhone and it was still there, playable and everything. iTunes doesn’t recognize it as a duplicate so it won’t let me delete it. I like the album too, it’s just the only options are 13/16 or 29/16

  159. I synced all of my photos and videos from my laptop to my iphone but none of the videos synced to the phone. I have “include videos” checked so I really don’t know why the videos won’t sync. I have room for them, too.

    • Hi Jaymee

      I have exactly the same problem and I believe it started after this iOS 10.2 update for me. I had around 15-20 videos synced to my iPhone, but now none of those videos are syncing. I have tried to re-sync entire library, I removed entire library and synced again and I also tried to manually copy those videos to iPhone and it just doesn’t copy. I am really frustrated with this. None of the videos I had earlier are on my iPhone now.

      Strange thing is I also posted this issue in their discussion forums and it has been 5 days but no one has replied as of now.

      Please fix it Apple.

      iPhone 6 (iOS 10.2)
      iTunes 12

  160. Last week I tried to sync my iPhone 7+ with my iTunes over WiFi. Something I’ve been doing daily. When I clicked on the icon for the 7+ it disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. My iPad Air and iPhone 4s have their icons displayed and sync over WiFi with no problem.

    My wife had the same problem when she attempted to sync her iPhone 6s+.

    Both phones have been syncing without these issues since we purchased them in January.

    ITunes is and all iDevices are up to date according to query.

    Both the 6+ and 7+ will sync using a cord. We do not sync anything via the cloud as we don’t allow our contacts or calendar to put data there.

    Apple seems to have problems in vetting updates and making sure they will actually work as that is the only thing that can possibly have changed since some devices work and others, the latest and greatest, don’t.

  161. I cannot figure out how to export contacts in my iPhone 7 to a CSV (or text doc with contacts in list form) on my MacBookAir with OS X 10.10.5 and iTunes All of the online tutorials get me as far as the iTunes sync page so that I can choose what to sync, however there is NO option to select Contacts on that page (if I recall, only Calendars could be selected). I don’t know if there is some magic button I need to push to get Contacts syncing to show up or whether there is something that needs to be turned off or on with iCloud (how?). We did follow another procedure to select all contacts on the MacBookAir and export those as a VCard but found no way to export or convert that into a list or CSV file (and these were not the iphone contacts). ANY HINTS? From my readings about CopyTrans it sounds like that app is having issues with the latest iTunes and OS X versions.

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