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iTunes won't sync music to iPhone (or iPad, iPod Touch)

Can't sync iPhone with iTunes to transfer your tracks and playlist? Here's everything you need to fix iTunes not syncing issue and successfully add music to iPhone.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Jul 8, 2023 2:23 PM

This page contains recommendation on what to do if iTunes won't sync music to iPhone. If you have problems of iTunes not syncing your songs, follow these steps below to attempt to transfer music and playlist back to iPhone.

The good news is that there're simple workarounds that will fix your music not syncing to iPhone from iTunes.

Syncing songs from iTunes to iPhone is a common journey for many users, and with good reason. But, at some point, syncing through iTunes doesn't work as you expect. The problems of iTunes not syncing music from iTunes to iPhone could happen, in the case of misconfigured iTunes sync settings, outdated iTunes & operating system & software, loose USB connection between your phone and computer, as well as poor internet connectivity.

Make your way through this easy-to-follow guide to resolve the syncing error via iTunes, and you'll happily listen to your favorite songs on your iPhone in no time.

Make Sure to Add All Tracks You Need to iTunes on your Computer

This is a major step. Ensure that your iTunes library holds all your songs and playlists that's already on your iPhone and those ones that you need to sync to your device later. If you have a song that does not exist in iTunes library on the computer you're syncing with, that song will be removed from the iPhone.

Beware that you don't need to connect your iPhone to iTunes this time to avoid automatic sync.

Open iTunes and click File tab on the menu bar. Both options of Add File to Library and Add Folder to Library make it easy to import all your tacks from PC. You can then check your iTunes music library to see if it contains the music you need by clicking Songs under Library from the sidebar on the left.

Navigate to the folder where your music located and get it to iTunes.

After you import your media to iTunes on your computer, connect your iPhone and sync your music with freedom.

It's possible to copy music and playlist from computer to your iPhone without syncing them with iTunes library. Click the link and you'll find the option.

Steps to Sync Music from iTunes to iPhone

Not being to sync music to iPhone with iTunes is daunting unless you follow the right steps. This works for any model of iPhone and all versions of iTunes, and even Finder on macOS 10.15 or later:

1. Launch iTunes.

2. Plug your iPhone into your computer. When the iPhone device icon displays in iTunes, click on it to move on.

3. Choose "Music" from the left column of iTunes windows, then check the box next to Sync Music. iTunes offers you option to sync entire library at a time or transfer some playlists. Make sure either "Entire music library" or "selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres" selected.

Your songs in iTunes will be transferred over to your phone.

If you're informed to turn off iCloud Music Library, simply go to your iPhone's Settings app, scroll down all the way to Music, then switch the slider of iCloud Music Library to OFF.

iTunes asks you to switch off iCloud Music Library.

4. With everything ready, go back to iTunes window, click Apply button at the bottom to let iTunes begin syncing music from iTunes library back to iPhone. Don't disconnect your phone until the process finish.

What if you get "Erase and Sync" prompt once iPhone is connected?

When you connect your iPhone to a computer, iTunes will ask if you're sure to remove existing content from this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library. If you try to click "Erase and Sync", any current content on your iPhone will be replaced with whatever content in the current iTunes library on this computer your device is connected to.

Usually, the prompt will be popped up since your phone is synced with another iTunes library on another computer.

The Ultimate Fix: iTunes Not Syncing Songs to iPhone

If you've already used the steps above and your songs still won't transfer from iTunes to iPhone, you may encounter syncing errors.

All right - you don't want to fiddle with the complex setting in iTunes, or you're looking for a way to prevent your songs on iPhone from being deleting by iTunes when syncing, right?

Typically, the most effective way is to add music to iPhone without iTunes. We use iPhone Data Transfer here. It's a fantastic entry-level data transfer software that is provided to transfer tracks, playlists, movies, and other files amongst iPhone, iTunes, PC and Mac.

With the program installed on your computer, you don't have to make an extra step to copy media files to iTunes from local drive on computer. Plus, any music on the iPhone but not in iTunes library will not be deleted during the transfer. This makes it a difference from syncing process with iTunes.

Download Now!

for macOS | for Windows

Now, see how iPhone Data Transfer utility sync your music to iPhone without iTunes:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to computer

Open the application, and at the bottom of the screen, choose "iTunes Library" shortcut.

The attach your iPhone with your computer as required, and trust the machine if asked.

Step 2: Access iTunes library

On the screen that appears, choose "Sync iTunes to Device" mode to continue.

Step 3: Choose iTunes music to sync to iPhone

To transfer all songs in one go, check "Music" and "Playlist" options and hit One-Click to Device button. You're ready to go. The process won't delete any data on your device and the transferred iTunes music saves back to iPhone's Music app.

Don't Miss: How to Transfer Music from iPhone to iTunes Easily

Other Possible Tips: Why Is iTunes Not Syncing Songs to iPhone

If you determine that one of the following is causing your iPhone not to sync with iTunes, your music won't transfer to iPhone.

  • Out-of-date iTunes version can cause iPhone sync issues. Update it and try to sync again.
  • The operating system running on your computer is outdated. Update it to at least Windows 10 if you use a PC, and to macOS 10.15 or above on a Mac.
  • USB connection error. A defective USB cable and USB port of your iPhone and computer can prevent iTunes from reading your device and syncing your music successfully.

Run some checks and see if that's the case. Done!

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