Autofilling a Device from iTunes
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I was trying to add songs to my daughters iPhone 4 from my library. I accidentally hit autofill and it started to transfer ALL of my music. It put her way over capacity. I tried to stop the operation, and now the songs more or less show up on her phone but I can’t remove them. Do I have to wipe her music library and start over? She already had other music on her iPhone that I assume will be lost as well.
A: There are actually two ways to Autofill an iPod or iOS device, and using either shouldn’t actually put the device over capacity, as the point of the feature is to simply fill up any remaining available space with music tracks. Note that iTunes may sometimes incorrectly report the device as being over-capacity in the sync settings, but this is normally just a calculation error and will resolve itself once you actually sync the device.
You can access Autofill either when using automatic synchronization or managing your content manually. When using automatic sync, simply select the Automatically fill free space with songs option found on the Music sync settings.
As the name implies, this option will automatically select music tracks to fill any remaining space on your device that isn’t already being used up by content you’ve specifically selected, regardless of whether the selected content is music, videos, books, apps, or anything else. The random selection will also adjust automatically based on future selections you make, so iTunes will automatically remove some of the “autofilled” tracks to make room for anything you want to specifically select in the future.
Reversing this procedure is as simple as unchecking the option and performing another sync. iTunes will remove anything on the device that hasn’t specifically been selected for synchronization, leaving everything else in place. In this case, any music that was on your daughter’s device before you enabled autofill would be left untouched.
If your daughter has been managing the content manually, then the autofill option would be found in the “On This iPhone” section in your iTunes device sync settings, in the form of a button that performs basically the same function as described earlier, but provides an additional drop-down menu to the left that allows you to limit the autofilled content to a specific playlist rather than randomly selecting content from your entire music library.
When managing the content on an iPod or iPhone manually, you should normally be able to use the same “On This iPhone” section to remove any tracks that you no longer want on the device. This is handled in much the same way as it would be in your actual iTunes library—simply select the tracks and press the DELETE button on your keyboard or choose Edit, Delete from the iTunes menu.
In this case, however, if your daughter has her own iTunes library, you may find that the tracks in the “On This iPhone” section are greyed out, even if the device is set to be managed manually; this is a peculiarity of the iPhone in regard to manual management, and in fact the ability to add content at all to an iPhone from anywhere but the primary computer is a relatively recent addition. In this case, you should still be able to connect her iPhone back to her own computer, access the “On This iPhone” section from there, and then go in and delete the additional tracks from her device. Depending on how her iPhone is configured to sync with her own computer, however, it’s also possible that these tracks will be removed automatically by her own iTunes library as soon as you attempt to sync the device.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Spotify penalizing artists who release Apple Music exclusives
- Apple releases new round of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 betas
- Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button
- Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan
- Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app