Move iPhone syncing from old Mac to a new Mac?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by netdog, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I want to move the syncing of my iPhone 4 from one computer to a new one, and don't want to lose any data (SMS, apps, etc.).

    Anybody know how I can do this?

    Yes, I did search the forums and Google.
  2. CosmoPilot, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  3. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    1. The first thing you want to do is ensure you link your new computer's iTunes account to your current Apple ID. You can only have 5 authorized computers linked to an iTunes Account (unlimited devices).

    2. After you do this to the new computer, I would then transfer all your media (songs, movies, podcasts, etc., to the new computer's iTunes library and link the newly transferred media). Search for best ways to do this, but with an external hard drive, you can easily transfer your iTunes Media folder over. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP...GOOGLE HOW TO DO THIS!!! There are several ways, and depending on your needs, you'll have to decide which way is best.

    3. After media is transferred over, connect your iPhone to the new computer. Select "manually manage music and videos" and also deselect Sync when connected to this computer. I do this so I can ensure I have all the syncing options I want before the computer starts the syncing process. After everything is done, you can go back and change these settings.

    4. Now select your iPhone on the left panel of iTunes. Go through each tab (Summary, Info, Apps, etc.) and ensure you have it selected to sync how you want it to. This step will allow you to select certain areas where you want the data from the iPhone to overwrite the computers data for the first sync.

    5. Next, Click File - Transfer Purchases from XXXXXXiPhone" This will take any purchased apps, etc. from your iPhone and add it to your new computer's iTunes library.

    You should receive an error message that your iPhone is currently linked to a different iTunes library. By continuing, you'll erase all media on the phone and link to the current library. Since you've transferred your media already, this is will have to re-add the media back after the initial sync.

    Now, all stuff you've purchased through iTunes/App Store should transfer to your new computer because it carries the same Apple ID. Once this is accomplished, you can sync (if it doesn't do so already with the transfer purchased items process).


    I'm not certain if this guide will carry SMS/MMS over...if not, you can restore from the old computer to get back to where you started if needed.

    Hope this helps.

  4. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2007
    The persistent ID in the iTunes library is the ID that's stored on the iPhone for the first time. Once that no longer matches (i.e. a new or different iTunes library), you'll be prompted to wipe out your iPhone in favor of the new library.

    I simply moved my entire iTunes library from one machine to another. Just drag the entire Music folder to a flash or USB hard drive, take it to a new machine, and drag it back in.

    Launch iTunes with the Option key held down and choose the Library you want to open.

    Sync as usual. Enjoy.

    I've moved my library four times between my Mac Mini to an iMac to my new MacBook Air. Never had to wipe out my iPhone yet.

    Here's more information on the Persistent ID and how you can even sync with two or more libraries without wiping out your iPhone:
  5. jlyanks85 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2008
    I had major issues with this last week when I got my new imac. I had 365 songs and a bunch of movies and tv shows. The majority of of transferred because I bought them under the main account I used, but some wouldn't because it was under my gfs account.

    Took me a few days to realize she had to deauthorize her computer. The only bad thing is, I ended up losing about 20-30 songs in the end from a soundtrack in a video game it wouldn't transfer for some reason. Other than that, everything is back to normal in my itunes library.
  6. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Am I missing something here? I had to update my MBP to SL, backed up my Tiger install, installed SL, made sure all my phone backups were in there, restored on my new SL machine, and everything worked, no re-syncing of Apps or wiping my phone; all the info is there.

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