Practical Way to Sync Data Between iPhone and iTunes

--Wednesday, Jan.04, 2017

As the official software powered by Apple, iTunes is the most used method for most iOS users to sync or transfer their data between iPhone and iTunes. Here I'm going to introduce a new method to you. It's hard to tell which one is a better one for the reason that both methods are featured with different functions. Good or better, it's totally up to you.

Please scroll down and make you choice from the tutorials below, including what data can be sync or transfer by both methods and the steps to make it happen. Moreover, I will solve some of the most asked questions about iTunes at the third part. Please feel free to check it out.

Method 1: Use iTunes to Sync Content Between iPhone and iTunes

iTunes enables to sync content you've purchased from iPhone to iTunes Library. When connected to iTunes, you can sync a certain type of data one by one, or via one-click. Here I'm going to introduce the one-click way.

What You Can Sync with iTunes:

  • Media files like Albums, Songs, Playlists, Movies, TV Shows, Books, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Tones.

  • Photos and Videos. (Note that it's able to sync photos and videos from computer, but unable to sync to computer.)

  • Contacts and Calendars. (It's a part of iCloud service, so user cannot preview them.)

How to Sync iPhone with iTunes:

Step 1. Authorize Your Mac/Win

Perform the latest version of iTunes on your computer, and then connect your iPhone to it. Only through authorization, can data be fully synced with your Mac/Win. Now, click "Account" > "Authorizations" > "Authorize this Computer". Then, enter Apple ID and Password as the pop-up prompts. Please follow it and click "Authorize" to finish the authorization.

Note that you can de-authorize the computer as well.

Authorize Win Mac

Step 2. Transfer Content Purchased to iTunes

There is a toolbar on the top of the window. Please click "File" > "Devices" > "Transfer Purchases from...". Then, iTunes will automatically start transferring purchases together. The status bar at the top of the middle will tell you the progress.

Note that most data cannot be viewed after being transferred.

Sync Content Purchased to iTunes

Method 2: Transfer iPhone Data to iTunes with iPhone Transfer

iPhone Transfer is a great helper in data transfer. As compared to iTunes, it allows user to preview and selectively export or import data to/from computer without a hitch.

What You Can Transfer with iPhone Transfer:

  • Media files like Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcast, iTunes U, Ringtones, Audio Books, Books, Voice Memos, Playlists

  • Photos, Videos, Contacts and SMS (Currently only supported to transfer to Win/Mac. Better yet, Photos and Contacts are supported to add/transfer to iDevice.)

How to Export Data from iPhone to iTunes:

Step 1. Hook Up to iPhone Transfer

First of all, please download and install iPhone Transfer on Win/Mac. Then, launch it and get your iPhone connected to it. You will then see the related information of your iPhone on the window after it's detected. Please keep connected in the process.

Connect to iPhone Transfer

Step 2. Preview and Transfer/Add Desired Content to iTunes/iPhone

iPhone Transfer allows users to take a preview on supported data before the transfer. You can select items on the left panel and preview those data stored on your iPhone. You are allow to export data to iTunes Library via "Export to" > "Export to iTunes Library". Then, selected data will be saved to iTunes intact.

Transfer Content to iTunes

Also, you can add files to your iPhone with ease. Select the type of data that you'd like to import and click "Add" button. Then, choose to open the desired data on your computer.

Add Content to iPhone

Comparison: Differences between iTunes and iPhone Transfer

Q: Can iTunes sync non-purchases between iPhone and iTunes?

A: No. In order to crack down on piracy, iTunes only allows user to transfer content purchased on App Store. However, iPhone Transfer empowers to transfer or add a variety of data to/from other devices whether purchased or not.

Q: Can I preview those data I sync with iTunes?

A: You can preview media files like songs and memos on iTunes. However, some files such as Photos, Videos, and Contacts are not allowed to be previewed. On the contrary, iPhone Transfer enables users to view all the supported data before or after the transfer.

Q: Can I selectively sync data between iPhone and iTunes?

A: Actually, iTunes enables users to sync a specific data solely. However, if you want to transfer or sync one or multiple files in a certain type, that's not available, for example, three songs of Adele. In this case, you might as well try iPhone Transfer.

Comparison between iTunes and iPhone Transfer

From where I stand, I would recommend you to utilize iTunes if you don't have content non-purchased and want to one-click transfer data to iTunes. However, it's obvious that iPhone Transfer is a more flexible choice. Anyway, please make your best choice.

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