bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
Am I the only person who has insane reliability issues with iTunes' wi-fi syncing? It constantly hangs, loses connections with devices, or devices just disappear. Syncing with the cable works fine, but is a hassle. It's for all intents and purposes unusable.

I originally thought that this might be an issue with my iTunes installation, but then I got a new Mac with a fresh iTunes install and had the same problem. Then I thought it could be a problem with my devices, but I did backup restores on two of them to no avail. Last week I obtained two new devices with clean installs of iOS and nothing has changed with respect to wi-fi syncing.

I've also tried using different access points, and even placing a given device right next to the access point when syncing. No luck.

Any ideas?
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,894
1,679
Nope, no idea. It's about as reliable as a 50 year old condom. I've noticed my iPad seems to maintain it's 'connection' but my iPhone doesn't. It's a stab in the dark but I wonder whether it has to do with my iPhone leaving the local home network whereas my iPad always stays home. But that's a guess.
 
Last edited:

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,578
2,454
United States
Wifi sync has never worked in iTunes for me. And I've been trying since the feature was first introduced. Never worked yet.
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
It's a stab in the dark but I wonder whether it has to do with my iPhone leaving the local home network whereas my iPad always stays home. But that's a guess.

I doubt it, because I have the opposite experience: my wi-fi only iPad has not left the house in a couple years, and it's the worst of the bunch.

Wifi sync has never worked in iTunes for me. And I've been trying since the feature was first introduced. Never worked yet.

For me it generally worked for a year or two after it was introduced — which I guess was around iOS 5 or 6. I honestly think iTunes is the culprit in all of this, because it was following some major iTunes update that I remember things getting wonky.
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,578
2,454
United States
I doubt it, because I have the opposite experience: my wi-fi only iPad has not left the house in a couple years, and it's the worst of the bunch.



For me it generally worked for a year or two after it was introduced — which I guess was around iOS 5 or 6. I honestly think iTunes is the culprit in all of this, because it was following some major iTunes update that I remember things getting wonky.

I used to sync my original iPhone over Bluetooth with my contacts and calendar. I think through iTunes.

That was back in the PowerPC days. And the original iPhone.

But, I didn't have wifi back then. Or, perhaps I was using the .mac service to sync them. Or whatever it was then. Mobile Me?

Somehow I was syncing just my calendar and contacts.

I know for a fact I didn't have wifi then.

But I did have cellular data and I think Bluetooth on the iPhone.

Wifi syncing has never worked for me though.

Trying to remember what year that came out vs when I had wifi available.

Edit:
Google search says wifi syncing was introduced with iOS 5 Beta 4. So yep, I had wifi by then. And I do remember trying with iOS 6 on my iPhone 5.
 
Last edited:

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
31,808
11,514
California
Am I the only person who has insane reliability issues with iTunes' wi-fi syncing?
Nope... works lousy here also. I have one iPhone and one iPad and it worked reliably up until about a year or so ago. If I reboot the iOS device I can sometimes get it to work maybe two days in a row, then it disappears from the list in iTunes. Or if I see it in the list and select it just sits there looking for the device.

I have tried everything under the sun and no dice.

I use iCloud sync, but like to do an iTunes backup occasionally. I've resorted to just pulling out a USB cable every couple weeks to sync.
 
  • Like
Reactions: steve23094

LxHunter

Suspended
Nov 14, 2010
502
72
Never been reliable for me.
Although lately has been working.
In any case I sync by cable daily.
Gave up on Wi-Fi sync long ago.
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
According to this link wi-fi syncing only works with computers connected via wi-fi — which doesn't make much sense to me. It definitely has worked over Ethernet in the past, and occasionally still does.

Syncing doesn't work over an Ethernet to Wi-Fi connection.
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,248
1,125
Destin, FL
I haven't sync'd and iPad or iPhone for many years. "Everything is in the cloud!" What would a sync help me with? What am I missing? Backups are via cloud, but I do not use iPhone or iPad backup as everything is already in the cloud. What would a backup of a backup help? I get a new iPad/iPhone with every new version and just log in with my AppleID and everything 'downloads' and is back up and running in no time.

The only thing I lose would be my progress on FTL! Those bastards failed to use iCloud to backup progress, but used it to store leaderboards?
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
According to this link wi-fi syncing only works with computers connected via wi-fi

Wow. I never picked up on that statement, but I think it is true. I just switched from using Wi-Fi to a wired connection again and I suspected that Wi-Fi sync got <more> unreliable. I just chalked it up to the usual randomness.

What am I missing? Backups are via cloud, but I do not use iPhone or iPad backup as everything is already in the cloud.

Everything? I do not think your SMS/iMessages are in the cloud anywhere.

People like having local backup of things. The problem with iCloud Backup is that it is not encrypted by a password that only you have, unlike iCloud Keychain.

A.
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
I just did a sync on all four of my devices (iPad, two iPhones, and an iPod Touch) with no problems using ethernet. Who knows to what extent that claim is actually true. The iPad has always been the most problematic out of all the devices. What often happens is that the sync gets stuck and iTunes will not let me quit because a sync is in progress. To get iTunes to quit, I have to eject the stuck device and then force quit iTunes.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
31,808
11,514
California
So by everything, you mean only iMessages? Not concerned about old messages, have never missed them in the last several updates. Anything else?

If you sync to iTunes and check the box to encrypt your backups, it will remember all your app passwords. So when you restore you don't need to go through all those apps and reenter passwords for everything. Big time savings.
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,248
1,125
Destin, FL
If you sync to iTunes and check the box to encrypt your backups, it will remember all your app passwords. So when you restore you don't need to go through all those apps and reenter passwords for everything. Big time savings.
Now that could be something... but for the life of me, I cannot remember a single app asking for a password. All of my apps repopulate automatically via MDM when I assign a new device to me. So maybe that saves that step for me?

Please do not take my responses the wrong, way. I truly do not see the value of physically sync'ing an Apple device to another device since late 2011. I choose not to use the iCloud backup service, but that would restore iMessages as well I think ).
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
31,808
11,514
California
Now that could be something... but for the life of me, I cannot remember a single app asking for a password. All of my apps repopulate automatically via MDM when I assign a new device to me. So maybe that saves that step for me?

Yeah... could be. I'm not familiar with everything MDM does. But I can tell you a iCloud restore for me results in my having to go through every app like GMail, Outlook, DropBox, Fandango, Reddit.... the list goes on and it takes forever. But if MDM is doing that for you, I agree there is not much need for iTunes sync.
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
1) If you have multiple devices, the 5gb iCloud quota probably is not going very far. More than a gigabyte of my iCloud storage is used up by mail alone — and I keep extremely tidy mailboxes.

2) Restoring over USB is faster than doing it over the Internet — especially if you have a slowish connection. I've also had instances where I was stuck on a 3G connection at home, and doing a restore over iCloud would have destroyed my quota.

3) I can restore my devices from multiple points in time, since Time Machine keeps multiple backups around.

4) If you have apps that you have purposely not updated because the newest versions do not suit you, iCloud is not going to be able to help you.

Those are just some of my reasons for not relying on the cloud. Personally, I rely on the "cloud" (I really hate saying that) to the least extent possible. If something goes wrong I'd much rather address it myself than hope someone in a faceless bureaucracy responds to my support ticket.
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,248
1,125
Destin, FL
1) If you have multiple devices, the 5gb iCloud quota probably is not going very far. More than a gigabyte of my iCloud storage is used up by mail alone — and I keep extremely tidy mailboxes.
Makes sense... I have many Apple Products and have bought into the whole spend a couple of bucks for GigaWatts of online storage. Email is unlimited through the company ( not using iCloud email ).
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
I just did a sync on all four of my devices (iPad, two iPhones, and an iPod Touch) with no problems using ethernet. Who knows to what extent that claim is actually true.

Not long after I posted I had occasion to restart iTunes. Sure enough, it found and backed up my devices, just to taunt me.

What often happens is that the sync gets stuck and iTunes will not let me quit because a sync is in progress. To get iTunes to quit, I have to eject the stuck device and then force quit iTunes.

In my case iTunes just seems to forget about one of my devices - as if it was not configured for Wi-Fi sync. I do not generally lose sleep over this as I have a monthly backup routine and I include a wired sync as part of the process.

A.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,857
93
Am I the only person who has insane reliability issues with iTunes' wi-fi syncing? It constantly hangs, loses connections with devices, or devices just disappear. Syncing with the cable works fine, but is a hassle. It's for all intents and purposes unusable.

I originally thought that this might be an issue with my iTunes installation, but then I got a new Mac with a fresh iTunes install and had the same problem. Then I thought it could be a problem with my devices, but I did backup restores on two of them to no avail. Last week I obtained two new devices with clean installs of iOS and nothing has changed with respect to wi-fi syncing.

I've also tried using different access points, and even placing a given device right next to the access point when syncing. No luck.

Any ideas?

Yeah, it's completely obnoxious. It's super slow, super unreliable, stops all the time, AND there's no way to pair an iOS device with iTunes except through USB. Given how unreliable the Lightning connector is, I'd REALLY like to be able to just ignore it, rely on Wifi entirely for syncing with iTunes/loading content + wireless charging. (I've lost TWO iPhones so far to the Lightning port just not working)
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
Apple has removed the ability to manage apps from the most recent version of iTunes, which is problematic since I have limited bandwidth and prefer not to download the same app five times for all of my devices. Needless to say I haven't upgraded.
 

mk313

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2012
1,313
564
Apple has removed the ability to manage apps from the most recent version of iTunes, which is problematic since I have limited bandwidth and prefer not to download the same app five times for all of my devices. Needless to say I haven't upgraded.

Apple also has an alternate version of iTunes that keeps the ability to manage apps. They released it mainly for companies that need the ability to do so, but it's available for anyone to download.
 

bedouin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
95
7
Apple also has an alternate version of iTunes that keeps the ability to manage apps. They released it mainly for companies that need the ability to do so, but it's available for anyone to download.

Can you please provide me with a link?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.