How to Sync iPhone to iTunes with USB cable/WiFi/Transfer App

Though more and more iPhone owners become mobile-first, who primarily or only access internet with mobile devices, many still rely on iTunes to sync files. You can sync songs, playlists, albums, TV shows, movies, audio books, iBooks, podcasts, videos and other data between computer and iPhone using iTunes.

Sync iPhone to Computer

However, every time after Apple released new mobile device, some people would search for how to sync iPad to iTunes or how to sync iPhone with iTunes online.

Don't worry! In this tutorial, we are going to tell you what data iTunes syncing supports exactly and how to sync iPhone to iTunes in detail.

Part 1: How to sync iPhone/iPad/iPod to iTunes via USB cable

The easiest way to sync apps to iTunes is the traditional USB cable. First of all, it does not require internet connection. Plus, it is quicker to sync data between iTunes and iPhone/iPad. This way supports a wider range of data types, including albums, music, playlists, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, audiobooks, photos, videos, contacts, calendars and backups made with iTunes.

Step 1. To connect iPhone to iTunes, link your iPhone to your computer with Apple's Lightning cable. Open the latest version of iTunes and wait for your iPhone to be detected (iTunes is not recognizing iPhone?).

Step 2. Click the "Device" icon at upper left side of the window and locate to the "Summary" tab from left side column. Uncheck the option of "Manually manage music and videos" under the "Options" section.

Step 3. On left sidebar, you can find several options under "Summary", such as Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books, Audiobooks, Photos and Info. You can go to the corresponding tab and export iPhone notes to iTunes along with other data.

For example, to sync music to iPhone, go to the Music tab, check "Sync Music", set up additional options based on your situations, click on "Apply" button at bottom right corner to confirm the settings. The iPhone music will sync with iTunes as soon as you click on the "Sync" button.

Music Sync

If you want to sync movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, photos, contacts and calendars, you can find the guides here.

Note: You'd better make a music backup for your iPhone before syncing iPhone with iTunes, because the files saved on your iPhone but not in iTunes Library will be deleted after syncing.

Part 2: How to sync iPhone/iPad/iPod to iTunes over Wi-Fi

As internet penetration grows rapidly, Apple has introduced the iTunes Wi-Fi syncing feature to new versions. Now, we can sync iPad over Wi-Fi as well. It is a convenient approach. But you have to set it up first.

All data categories supported by the USB cable connection are available to sync through Wi-Fi network as well.

Extended reading: Wi-Fi is not working on iPhone? Find solutions here.

Step 1. To set up Wi-Fi syncing feature, use the Lightning cable to link your iPhone with the computer. Start the latest version of iTunes, click the "Device" icon, head to the "Summary" tab, locate to the "Options" section and make sure to check the box in front of "Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi". Click the "Apply" button to confirm the setting.

Step 2. Next, disconnect your iPhone with your computer. Any time when you want to sync iPhone with iTunes, attach your iPhone and computer into the same Wi-Fi network. Then open iTunes, it will scan and discover your iPhone.

Step 3. Now, you can sync your iPhone with iTunes.

For instance sync contacts to iPhone with iTunes, go to the Info tab, and then check the box next to "Sync Contacts With", and select a proper option on the dropdown menu, click the "Apply" button at bottom. When prompted, decide to "Merge" or "Replace" contacts on your device.

Tips: Tutorial to Merge and Remove Duplicate iPhone Contacts.

If you want to sync music, photos, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books and calendars, you can detail here.

Sync iPad with iTunes

Part 3: How to transfer iPhone/iPad/iPod files to computer

Syncing iPhone with iTunes will cover current data on your iDevice. From this point, we suggest you to try Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer. Its main features include:
1. Sync iPhone to computer or sync iPhone to iTunes in one click.
2. Preview the data on your iPhone to select specific files and sync them to computer.
3. Transfer data from computer to iPhone or sync iPhone to iPhone/Mac.
4. Support a wider range of data types, like photos, contacts, messages, music, podcasts, ringtones, movies, TV shows, messages, etc.
5. Keep the quality and formats of files during syncing.
6. Work on iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/6/6s/5/5c/5s/4, iPad Pro/Air/Mini and earlier generations, and iPod touch.
In a word, it is the best way to sync iPhone to MacBook Pro and PCs with Windows 10/8/7/XP.

How to sync iPhone to computer with iPhone Transfer

Step 1. Connect iPhone to iPhone Transfer

Download and install the right version of iPhone Transfer on your computer based on the operating system. Launch the best iPhone syncing application and plug your iPhone into your computer using a Lightning cable.

Note: If you want to sync iPhone data to another iPhone, you need to connect both iOS devices to computer. Check here to learn how to sync music from iPhone to iPhone.


Step 2. Preview iPhone before transferring

iPhone Transfer is able to scan entire iPhone and load all data by categories, like music, photos, videos, SMS, books, contacts, playlists and more. You can select the corresponding data type on left sidebar to preview it before syncing.

Preview Data

Step 3. Sync iPhone to iTunes/PC

Select the files that you want to sync to computer, unfold the "Export to" menu on top ribbon. If you want to sync iPhone to computer, choose "Export to PC/Mac" and drop a folder to save the data. The "Export to iTunes" option could sync iPhone with iTunes. When it is done, remove your iPhone from the computer.

Export to


In this tutorial, we have shared multiple solutions on how to sync iPhone with iTunes. As you can see, the USB cable is the traditional way to sync iPhone to iTunes, and it does not require Wi-Fi network or extra device, all you need is Apple's Lightning cable.

On the other hand, iTunes has integrated the Wi-Fi syncing feature. If you have set up Wi-Fi syncing in iTunes, you can sync your iPhone to iTunes wirelessly.

In addition, we also shared the best alternative for iTunes, Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer. It is able to sync your iPhone to iTunes and computer. Plus, iPhone Transfer supports a wider arrange of data types. Anyway, you can pick your favorite method and follow our guides to complete this job.

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