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How to Sync iPhone to Computer


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Introduction to Syncing iPhone to Computer
How to Sync iPhone to Computer

You manage what content is added to and removed from your iPhone by syncing it.

The first step to sync the iPhone to computer is very simple: plug the cable that came with the iPhone into a USB port on your computer and the other end into the dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone. When you plug the cable in, your phone will begin to sync. The rest of the iPhone sync process happens in iTunes.

If you've just gotten a new iPhone and want to set it up for the first time, check out How to Activate an iPhone. Otherwise, read on.

The first screen you come to should be the iPhone management screen. If it doesn't appear, look at the top right corner of the iTunes window for the iPhone button and click on it. That will take you to the management screen.

The iPhone management screen offers basic overview and option information about your phone. Click to other screens via the tabs at the top. The boxes on this screen do the following:

In the iPhone box at the top of the screen, you'll see a picture of your iPhone, the phone's name, storage capacity, version of the iOS it's running, serial number, and your phone number.

This section of the top box lets you:

This section details your backup options and what backups you have.

  • Automatically Back Up - Choose where your iPhone will back up its contents. Your options are:
    • iCloud: If you're using iCloud, your data will back up there daily
    • This computer: Backs up your data when you sync your iPhone to this computer
    • Encrypt iPhone backup: Select this option to password protect the backups on your computer
  • Back Up Now - Click this button to back up your iPhone right away
  • Restore Backup - This button lets you restore an existing back up onto your iPhone.


  • Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected - Ensures that iTunes launches and syncs the phone when you connect it. Consider unchecking this if you connect your iPhone to multiple computers or play your music through other computers.
  • Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi - When this is enabled and your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, it will sync--no more cables!
  • Sync only checked songs and videos - Useful if your iTunes library is bigger than your iPhone's capacity. Uncheck the small box to the left of songs/video you don't want to sync.
  • Prefer standard definition videos - Designed to conserve disk space. This option ensures that, if you've got both HD and standard definition versions of a video, the smaller standard definition version is synced.
  • Convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC - Converts songs to the AAC format during syncing. This helps conserve space if your songs are encoded in other formats or at higher bitrates, which results in larger files.
  • Manually manage music and videos - Disables automated syncing. Instead, allows you to manually add and remove all content on your iPhone. Not recommended unless you've got a specific reason.
  • Reset Warnings - If you have previously dismissed any alerts or warnings on your iPhone, you can see them again by clicking this button.
  • Configure Universal Access - Turns on accessibility options for people with hearing or visual impairments.

This bar displays your phone's capacity and how much space each type of data takes up. Click on the text below the bar to see additional information about each kind of data.

The Sync button on the bottom right should be clicked when you've made changes to your settings and want to update the phone.

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