Old iPhone detected as new in iTunes

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by digitalgopher, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. digitalgopher macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2011
    Searched and couldn't find a thread on this.

    I have a interesting problem. I've been trying to sync my wife's iPhone 4s. When I plug it into my iMac (running latest version of ML and iTunes), it detects it as a new iPhone and asks whether I want to set it up as a new phone or restore it with an old backup (which is very outdated).

    I can't bypass any of it and am afraid that selecting 'set up as new phone' will make her lose anything over the last year. I'm just trying to get it synced and backed up since it hasn't been done in a while.

    Anyone know why it doesn't detect the phone properly? I'm baffled.
  2. macalec macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2012
    That seems strange to me... Maybe you should try backing up with iCloud, then selecting the option to setup as a new phone. So you would still have a working copy if anything went wrong. I cant believe if you pushed setup as a new phone that it would erase everything...

  3. digitalgopher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2011

    Thanks for the response. I finally ended up calling Apple Care and they worked me through a solution and I'm posting here so that it can help others down the line if they face the same issue.

    The root of the problem is still unknown, but that's irrelevant now anyway. the solution is to proceed with 'setting up as new iphone' once you're prompted to do that. It actually will not wipe anything apparently, but just to be safe, hit the "x" circle on the itunes faux LCD display up top that shows the status once it attempts to try and sync it.

    these two steps effectively allow you to bypass this strange issue. Once that happens, you can do whatever you need to do: backup, sync, etc as normal.

    Looks like it's a minor bug, but there's an easy way around it.
  4. kika9484 macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Thanks, many years after this OP I *hope* that this is the solution. If not, a back up exists :)
  5. xizdun macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but this is still very relevant and helped me today. I was struggling with trying to back up my iPad mini 4 to restore onto my new iPad mini 5. My old iPad was being detected as a new device and I wasn't able to back it up, but the above instruction was the solution.

    Shame that it's 2019 (5-6 years later) and Apple still hasn't identified and fixed the problem.

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