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iTunes: How to transfer music to iPhone without syncing

If you don't want iTunes to sync your entire music library when adding music to iPhone, you'll need to deselect automatic sync option. Here's how.

Elena Spencer Updated on Dec 1, 2022 4:04 PM
  • You can transfer songs from iTunes to iPhone without syncing by disabling the automatic sync option. Then drag and drop your favorite music to your device.
  • Third-party tool named iPhone Data Transfer that promise music transfer for iPhone without iTunes can be reliable and easy to operate.
  • If your iPhone was synced with more than one iTunes library on different computers, you'll be prompted an alert with Erase and Sync button. Click on it should you sync your music with your current library. But now, you don't have to do that if automatic sync feature has been turned off.

There are a few methods you can add a song to iPhone without syncing. There's no worry about replacing current data on your device.

It's fairly essential for music fans to getting their music on iPhone and enjoy it when there's no computer nearby. When syncing songs, it's important note that iTunes is defaulted to sync the whole iPhone with iTunes library whenever you connect it to your computer. Generally speaking, this couldn't be a problem, but there may be a time that you can't stand the tedious iTunes syncing process - it takes ages even to transfer a single song.

There's still hope. Apple makes it easy to transfer music to iPhone without letting iTunes sync your entire library by just switching the automatic sync mode to the manual sync mode. If you don't want to fiddle with iTunes, try the iPhone Data Transfer instead.

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A note of warning when syncing music collection with iPhone

It turns out that iTunes delivers you a message saying "Are you sure you want to remove existing music, movies, TV shows, books, and tones from this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?", or "Syncing [your iPhone] with this iTunes library will replace media from another iTunes library on [another computer]", or the like.

What the messages basically mean is that the automatic syncing mode has been enabled. Plus, an iPhone can only sync with one iTunes library at a time. If you're not about to erase everything completely, give a try on iPhone Data Transfer mentioned in Part 2 later.

Part 1: How to transfer iTunes music to iPhone without sync

Whenever you connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC, by default, Finder or iTunes syncs your device instantly. If you want iTunes to indicate you before it makes the sync, or if there're some songs you never want synced to the iPhone, you need to access iTunes and turn off automatic syncing of your music to prevent your iPhone from being synced.

After the default automatic sync function is off, it's time to select song(s) to add to your iPhone without syncing. Here's how.

[Related: How to Recover Deleted Photos on iPhone without Backup]

Step 1: Deselect "Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected"

Apple iTunes has "Manually manage music and videos" that you'll need to enable before you can transfer music to an iPhone without syncing.

Before adding your tracks, you need to put the items to your iTunes library.

Make sure you're running the latest iTunes on your computer. If you have a Mac with macOS 10.15 Catalina or higher, launch Finder.

1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.

2. Locate and choose your device. In iTunes, click Device icon at the upper left of the window. In Finder, you will find you phone on the left navigation bar.

3. Click Summary or General in Finder window

4. Under Options section, deselect "Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected", and check "Manually manage music and videos".

5. Click Apply to enable manual transfer mode for your device.

Ensure that "Manually manage music and videos" option is selected.

Step 2: Drag your desired songs onto iPhone

To transfer music from your iTunes library, it's easiest to use your mouse to drag your preferred ones there.

1. In the main screen of iTunes or Finder, click Songs to access your library.

2. Choose one song or multiple songs you need to transfer.

3. Drop your selected songs to your iPhone.

Move one or multiple tracks manually.

Part 2: Use iPhone Data Transfer (no sync)

There are a number of third-party apps that purport to allow you to add music to iPhone without syncing using iTunes, and in a test we conducted, the tool, iPhone Data Transfer successfully copied music files between iPhone and iTunes library, as well as between iPhone and your computer, in one click. Thanks to its advanced abilities, you can just transfer what you need.

Any format of your tunes are converted to iPhone-compatible format during the process.

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If you already installed iPhone Data Transfer utility, it's as easy as transferring the music from iTunes to iPhone without syncing once your phone is connected to your computer.

  • Open iPhone Data Transfer on your computer.
  • Choose "iTunes Library" shortcut at the bottom and then click "Sync iTunes to Device" tab. You can also gain access to your library and see your music by clicking on the "View iTunes Library" tab.
  • On the next screen that appears, check "Music" and "Playlist" to move over.
  • Hit One-Click to Device button to kick off the procedure.
  • By far, your music should be added to the iPhone without data syncing and erasing.

How to add music to iPhone without iTunes

It's possible to import music from your computer to iPhone, without using iTunes. The process doesn't involve syncing and deleting existing music on the device. You don't have to add media to iTunes library before the transfer to iPhone.

To try this out, you need to use iPhone Data Transfer application as well. Launch it, keep your iPhone plugged in and then do the following:

1. On the left column of the program window, click "Music" to access your iPhone library.

2. To move songs from computer, click "+" icon at the top center of the screen, then choose the songs you want from the local folder.

Done! You've successfully transferred your favorite music to the iPhone. Open your phone and enjoy it anytime.

Video Guide: How to Transfer Music from iTunes to iPhone Easily

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