Avoiding automatic sync on iOS devices
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: Thanks for your helpful article on Removing music from iTunes after copying to iPod from last week. What frustrates me, however, is that there is apparently no such simple option (to manage one’s music and videos manually) when it comes to the iPhone and iPad versions of iTunes. Can you please write a follow-up article that can help show users of iOS devices how to avoid the auto-loading syndrome in the same way that you’ve shown is possible with the iPod?
A: Actually, the process for managing content manually on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) is virtually identical in concept to the option for traditional iPod models explained in last week’s article, with a few exceptions regarding the iPhone as well as some of Apple’s newer iCloud services.
Firstly, just to review, the manual management option is found in the same place in iTunes: Visit the Summary screen for your device and you should see the option to Manually manage music and videos.
Enabling this option allows you to manage the content on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch manually in the same manner as you would on an iPod classic or iPod nano. In this mode, automatic sync of music and video content will not occur; instead you must manually drag-and-drop content from your iTunes library onto your device and manage the content directly on the device from within iTunes.
Note that the manual option only applies to music and videos (Movies and TV Shows). Other content such as podcasts, iTunes U collections, apps, iBooks, audiobooks and photos will still be synchronized automatically regardless of this setting. This has always been true of traditional iPod models as well as iOS devices.
The oddest exception regarding manual management concerns the iPhone. Enabling manual management on an iPod or iPad allows you to load content from more than one iTunes library, it seems that this is still not the case for the iPhone. Enabling the Manage manually option will allow you to manage the content on your iPhone manually from your primary iTunes library, but you will not be able to add content when connected to a secondary computer. It remains unclear why this limitation exists, but it has been the case ever since manual management was first introduced to the iPhone with iOS 1.1 back in 2007.
Keep in mind that you can’t manage your music content manually when using iTunes Match, since this bypasses iTunes synchronization of your music entirely. Once iTunes Match is enabled on your iOS device, even automatic synchronization of music is disabled, and you’ll notice that in this case the manual option will instead simply read Manually manage videos, allowing you to still enable manual management for your movies and TV shows while synchronizing your music via iCloud.
If you have enabled iTunes Match on a given iOS device, all of your music will always be available on that device. This includes new music as it’s added to your iTunes library as well, effectively providing automatic synchronization via iCloud, although your content is not stored locally on the device by default, merely available from iCloud for downloading on demand. If you want to keep your music library pared down to only show content that actually is stored on the device, you can toggle the Show All Music option OFF under Settings, Music on your device. This will limit the music shown in the “Music” app (and Music Videos in the “Videos” app) to only those items that are actually stored locally, excluding all tracks that are available only in the cloud.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices with iOS 4.3 or later also include the ability to automatically download new purchases made with your iTunes Store account on another device or on from iTunes on your computer. These options can be found under the Settings, Store menu on your device.
These may be enabled by default depending on how you went about setting up your iOS device; you can toggle OFF the appropriate options if you don’t want newly purchased content automatically downloaded. Keep in mind, however, that this only applies to content from the iTunes Store (and App Store) and does not apply to content you import into iTunes from other sources such as CD or your own MP3 file collections.
- 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?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- 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