Transfer music from iPhone to new Mac's iTunes


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2016
United Kingdom
I just got a new Mac. I opened iTunes, connected my iPhone and thought it would sync the music from my iPhone to the iTunes library, but alas it did not. I've looked up how to do it and tried a programme called iTransfer, but nothing worked. It's weird because in the past, any new music on my iPhone has always synced to my Mac when connected. Any help would be appreciated - thanks :)
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macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2010
England, United Kingdom
Why? It's far more hassle. o_O

iTunes doesn't allow you to copy content to its library from an iOS device or iPod. To do that, you must use a third-party application such as iMazing. Be warned that any content you fail to copy will be erased when you synchronise your iPhone with your new iTunes library.


macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
Between the coasts
Your screen shot shows "On My Device" - there's nothing surprising about that. It's on your device. So near, and yet so far...

This has been true since the beginning of the iTunes Store. Record labels did not want people to use their highly portable iPods (and later iPhones) to copy the contents of their libraries onto other people's computers. Remember, that was when Napster was the record industry's sworn enemy, and the labels weren't about to agree to anything that might allow copying/sharing. Apple locked down the functionality of iTunes to satisfy those fears.

Syncing is essentially a one-way street when it comes to music - music that's present on the computer can be synced to the iPhone/iPod. When you setup a new Mac, there are basically two sanctioned ways to get the music onto that new Mac - copy the iTunes library from the old computer, or download the music to the computer from the Purchased section of the iTunes Store.

Yes, after the first time you sync a particular device to that computer, subsequent sync attempts with that device may give you the option to transfer new iTunes purchases on the device over to the computer (provided both are signed into the same iTunes account). But the first sync... no way.

All that said, Apple now provides other ways to do this, unless you have a traditional iPod. Syncing of iOS devices is not necessary, if you take advantage of Apple's cloud services (some free, some paid). A combination of iCloud Music Library (formerly "iTunes in the Cloud"), iTunes Match, and/or Apple Music can make syncing of music unnecessary.
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