How to Sync My iPhone to iTunes if It Doesn't Do It Automatically

by Avery Martin, Demand Media Google

The default settings for iTunes automatically detect any iPhone connected to your system so that iTunes syncs the device automatically. This is performed via a service that runs in the background to automatically launch iTunes and begin the sync process. You can disable this functionality manually within iTunes. To restart automatic syncing of your iPhone, you must change your basic configuration settings. You can also manually sync your iPhone if you prefer to leave the automatic syncing function disabled.

Configure Automatic Syncing

Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes.

Click the "Edit" menu on Windows or the "iTunes" menu on a Mac. Select "Preferences" from the drop-down menu.

Click the "Devices" option.

Uncheck the option to "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from Syncing Automatically." Click "OK."

Click the "iPhone" button and check the "Automatically Sync When This iPhone is Connected" box.

Click "Apply" to apply the settings and sync your iPhone.

Manual Syncing

Launch iTunes with your iPhone connected to your computer.

Select the "iPhone" button in iTunes.

Select each of the tabs and choose the apps, movies, music and other content you want to sync to your iPhone. For example, you could select the "Music" tab and check the option to "Sync All Music."

Click the "Sync" button to begin syncing your device.


  • Information in this article applies to iOS 6, Windows 8 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images