Setting up Automatic Downloads in iOS and iTunes | iLounge Tips

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Setting up Automatic Downloads in iOS and iTunes


Announced this week as part of Apple’s new iCloud service, you can now set your iOS devices and iTunes to automatically download new purchases made on other devices. On your iOS device running 4.3.3, go in to the Settings apps and tap on Store. Right at the top, you’ll see slider toggles for turning Automatic Downloads of Music, Apps, and Books on and off. In addition, there’s a separate option below that on 3G-enabled devices that lets you decide whether you’d like them to download purchases over the cellular network when you’re away from Wi-Fi.

In iTunes 10.3, the process is just as simple. Open the iTunes > Preferences… menu, click the Store tab, and then click the three check boxes for the Automatic Downloads of Music, Apps, and Books as you’d like. From now on, whenever you purchase a song, app, or book on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or home computer, you’ll find it waiting for you the next time you use one of your other devices.


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4.3.3 required? Or 4.3.1 is enough?

Posted by Alfagta on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM (CDT)


Doesn’t work for me.  The switch flips back to off on its own everytime.  Anyone else seeing this?

Posted by StupidFatHobbit on June 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM (CDT)


I don’t have a music option either on my ipod touch or itunes.

Posted by StephenG on June 9, 2011 at 10:06 AM (CDT)


The Music option is only available in the U.S. iTunes Store right now.  It will appear and disappear depending on what account you’re using with the iTunes Store.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on June 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM (CDT)


But once you activate automatic downloads for one account you won’t be able to download past purchases with a different account for 90 days on that device. Extremely annoying, especially for families, spouses or generally people with multiple accounts (e.g. one US and one European)!

Posted by Mike11 on June 9, 2011 at 12:10 PM (CDT)


I wonder if they’ll expand this to video and podcasts.

Posted by Lennonfan on June 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM (CDT)


Several comments about auto-download and iTunes in the Cloud in general:
1. For some reason, when I purchase something via my iPhone 4, it will not auto-download to my iPad 2 (it auto-downloads to iTunes and my son’s iPod Touch, just not the iPad 2).  Not sure why, but if I purchase within iTunes, it will auto-download to all devices and if I purchase via my iPad, it downloads to all devices and to iTunes.
2. I downloaded several games for my son on my iPhone, saw the auto-download in iTunes and his iPod, then I deleted the app on my iPhone.  When I later synced my iPhone with iTunes (to update my music play count, etc), those apps reloaded to my iPhone, even though I had deleted them.  Guess I will have to remove the check under the Apps tab in iTunes to automatically sync new apps.
3. In regards to the Cloud, a concern about the cloud backup of my song in not “uploading” my music is that all my metadata (lyrics, high-quality artwork, etc.) will not be stored as they are only storing “copies” of my songs already on their servers.  Which means I still have to utilize a different cloud storage method to maintain true backups of my music.
4. Assuming I decided to go PC-free (which I won’t based on my previous item), how will Smart Playlists be managed via the Cloud?

Posted by justafew on June 9, 2011 at 2:55 PM (CDT)


I am having the same issue as mentioned above by StupidFatHobbit (awesome name BTW).  When I go to the Store tab on my current gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.3) and turn on for automatic downloads for Music, Apps, or Books, it switches back to off after a couple of seconds.

Posted by bconner34 on June 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM (CDT)


Update to my previous post.  After signing off by clicking on my Apple ID in the Store screen on my iPod Touch and then signing back in, the automatic downloads for Music, Apps, or Books now work and stay where I set them.

Posted by bconner34 on June 9, 2011 at 9:17 PM (CDT)


thanks heaps for the blog, ive been trying to set up the automatic downloads from my mac book pro and iphone 4, check out my blog for all things related to mobile and where its going to lead up. thanks heaps

Posted by julian on June 10, 2011 at 2:34 AM (CDT)


bconner34: thanks! That worked for me too.

Posted by StupidFatHobbit on June 11, 2011 at 9:53 AM (CDT)


Is CLOUD available for apps in Canada?  I cannot get the Automatic Downloads for APPS to stay in the ON position on my iPad2—Even after I sign out of my apple ID and sign back in.  I will have to check to see if I have to see if I have i0s 4.3.3 ( pretty sure I do)  But if I do have 4.3.3.—-  why can’t I get the APPS button under automatic downloads to stay ON?

Posted by DG on June 14, 2011 at 7:42 AM (CDT)


Automatic downloads for apps should be available everywhere that the App Store is available, as there are no licensing restrictions concerning apps.

The problem seems to be that when you enable this option, iTunes or your device has to communicate with the iTunes Store on the back-end to ensure that you’re in fact allowed to toggle it on (particularly since there’s a 90-day restriction on switching the feature over to another Apple ID).  I’ve noticed it switching automatically to OFF myself, but still find that if I go back in a few seconds later it actually has in fact been enabled as long as I don’t keep toggling it.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on June 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM (CDT)


This doesn’t work for audiobooks.
I found out the hard way after purchasing three audiobooks on my iPad.

Posted by Jeff Houser on July 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM (CDT)


-Changing Apple ID and/or turning on automatic downloads-
After my first insane experience with turning on the auto downloads feature, I’m apprehensive about turning it on again :/. I had to uninstall all apps and reinstall using my new apple id…Its been 3mos and I still haven’t got all the bugs worked out. Time consuming and very frustrating to say the least.
  The one point I would like to share is that when updating apps I found that you have to update one at a time or uninstall and reinstall all apps attached to my old apple id. You will lose all data since u r re-installing using your new ID. Another issue I had was that I lost my password for my old ID and cannot reset pw because my old ID was deleted by Apple…UGH. This is a walking nightmare! & considering apple does not provide the detailed information necessary info to fix this you either have to wing it or pay the $30 one time Apple service fee or $50 for 6mos…I found bits of helpful information but it was a needle in a hay stack. 
  I think that another solution is to restore the iPod to new and start fresh without backing it up. If you back it up after restoring, the iPod will be exactly as was before the restore. After restoring you will have to install all apps from the app store using your new ID.

Posted by bodypaint72 on January 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM (CST)


Csnt access Facebook or iTunes or you tube safari won’t show I clouds on my new ipaddon know how to fix all this Helpme please

Posted by Aleta Bruno on February 22, 2012 at 5:15 PM (CST)

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