Connecting iPhone to a new iTunes library
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’ve recently lost everything on my hard drive which means I’ve lost iTunes. I’m scared to update my iPhone now because it might wipe everything from it. I don’t want to lose my apps and my messages let alone my pictures. Is there a way of updating my iPhone without losing all its contents? I have downloaded iTunes again but that’s as far as I have got. I dont want to lose the contents on my iPhone.
A: A fresh iTunes installation will not attempt to sync automatically with your iPhone, since iTunes will recognize that your iPhone has been synced to your old iTunes library. If you’re using iTunes 10, the iPhone will simply appear in your Devices list without performing a full sync. Don’t be alarmed if the iPhone briefly displays a “Sync in Progress” message when you first connect it, as iTunes does need to perform a quick check to identify the iPhone and read its sync settings, but it will not actually touch the content on your iPhone as it recognizes that it has been synced with a different library.
Once your iPhone is connected to your computer you can then transfer your purchased items such as your iOS apps directly back to your computer using iTunes and then use third-party tools to recover any other media content. See our article on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on how to do this.
Once everything is back in your iTunes library you can re-enable the synchronization settings for your iPhone in your new iTunes library. Note that despite the “Erase and Sync” warnings that will appear when enabling these options, iTunes doesn’t actually erase your entire iPhone, but rather replaces any of the specified content types (ie, music, movies, apps, etc), with the content from your iTunes library. If you’ve recovered all of your content back into your new iTunes library, the result should be no change at all—iTunes will simply check the iPhone, discover that the same content is already there, and simply match it up during the first sync. Application data will also be preserved as long as the same apps are selected for synchronization—iTunes only removes application data when actually removing the app from your iPhone.
- 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?
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- Bowers & Wilkins acquired by EVA Automation
- India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones
- Rumor: Purported iPhone 7 component photo shows headphone jack intact
- Families fight in court over missing teen’s iPhone data
- Court allows police to force woman to unlock iPhone with Touch ID fingerprint
- Coach reportedly releasing bands for Apple Watch
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- 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
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)