How to Solve “iTunes Don’t Sync iPhone iPad” – iOS 10 iOS 9

[Updated: Sept 20, 2016]: It’s reported that some iPhone 6 users got this iTunes sync problem after updating to iOS 10 recently. And we have updated this post to offer you some new tips

Upgrade to iOS 10, my iPhone won’t sync music and playlists with iTunes, and even after I upgraded my iTunes to iTunes 12.5.1” – one iPhone 6 user questioned on iPhone forum about “iTunes can’t sync”.In this September, 2016, you may face the same iOS problem when syncing iTunes music library to your iPhone or iPad/iPod after updating to iOS 10 final version or coming iOS 10.x.x.

Although, Apple always release new version of iTunes to fix coming iTunes bugs and sync problems (recently, Apple released iTunes 12.5.1 to better support iOS 10 updates, the problems never be completely fixed. So what if you get this kind of iTunes issue and cannot sync data from iTunes to your iPhone 6 or other iOS devices, how can you fix it?

How to fix “can’t sync music to iPhone, iPad, iPod” problems in iOS 9 and iOS 10

After collecting from a few forums, we listed the solutions as below:

Solution 1.  Sync again after turning off iCloud Music on your iPhone.

Tap “Setting” on iPhone > “Music” > Turn off “iCloud Music Library”.
Note: this method is not available for Windows vista.

Solution 2.  Sync after turning off iTunes Match on iPhone.

  1. Make sure that you don’t have iTunes Match enabled in Settings > Music.
  2. Plug in your iPhone, iPad or iPod  and launch iTunes.
  3. Click your device icon at the top of the iTunes window.
  4. Select Music in the side navigation panel.
  5. Uncheck Sync Music option in the right panel and then click Apply or Sync.
  6. Once the sync is complete, recheck the box for Sync Music and hit Apply or Sync again.
  7. Unplug your iPhone or iPad and see if your music is back.

Solution 3. Sync after turning off Show Apple Music.

  1. Reset iPhone 5 by holding “Power” and “Home”.
  2. iPhone > Setting > Music > Turn off “Show Apple Music”
  3. iTunes 12.2 > Edit > Preferences > General > Uncheck “Show Apple Music” > OK

Solution 4. Authorize your computer for iTunes app

  1. Run iTunes
  2. On iTunes menu, select Store item and click “Authorize This Computer…”

Solution 5. Uncheck “Read Only” of iTunes folder (For Windows users)

If you are one of windows users who meet this iTunes sync issue, you can check whether the permission property of your “iTunes” folder or the data you plan to sync is “Read Only”. If you checked “Read Only”, you cannot transfer or edit the file but only read it.

Open Windows Explorer > Music > iTunes, right click this folder and go to Properties, and uncheck “Read Only”.

Solution 6. Use iTunes Alternatives.

If you still cannot use iTunes to sync iPhone iPad, you can look for help from some iTunes alternatives, such as AnyTrans, to share songs, movies and pictures across all of your Apple devices. It’s said that it also helps sync your selected files from iPhone to iTunes.

Leave a comment, no matter it is iOS 9/iOS 10 problem or related solutions, which may be helpful to others.

How to Fix iTunes Won’t Sync – iMobie Guide.
iPhone 5 don’t sync music with iTunes

45 thoughts on “How to Solve “iTunes Don’t Sync iPhone iPad” – iOS 10 iOS 9

  1. Sorry, but there is no “iPhone > Setting > Music > Turn off “Show Apple Music”” option on iPhone 5S, IOS 8.4, and there is no option “Edit > Preferences > General > Uncheck “Show Apple Music” > OK” on iTunes


  2. I haven’t joined Apple Music, I haven’t subscribed to iTunes Match…but after the 12.2 and 8.4 updates, my iPhone 5s does not sync automatically to iTunes even though it is set to do so, and I can’t manually add songs to my iPhone.


    • Do you get the message that you need to “authorise the computer”, because it is no longer authorised for purchased items on the iphone? I get this message and the sync does not complete although there is a back up stored on the MacBook.


  3. tried all these multiple times. have found same information elsewhere. it doesn’t work for my machines. music synced to iPad, but not iPhone. called Apple Support and they said it’s a bug and wait for the update. Seriously – that’s what they said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tried multiple steps listed elsewhere and then I found one more thing that I think made the difference. On my desktop in ITunes I signed into my account and went to account information. There is a section called iTunes in the Cloud and there was an option that asked me to load my entire library into the cloud. I thought my library was already in the Cloud as an iTunes Match customer as I had all my music on all my devices (until recently running into the issue with missing playlists.) I clicked that button and the library began to uipload (you could see the wheel moving in the upper right hand corner of the screen.) It took a while, but when it was done, all my playlists were back on my device. There were a couple of playlists that had the download symbol with the line through it that didn’t load. I went into those and deleted songs (mostly duplicates) that had the same symbol next to them and then those playlists appeared on my device as well.

    The option to upload the library also then disappeared from account information once the upload had completed. Everything seems to be working now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. iTunes 12.2 > Edit > Preferences > General > Uncheck “Show Apple Music” > OK
    Solve for me! thanks. but i have to check to ON


    • Thank you so much for this i can use iTunes again after months of trying to get it working again! I’ve had iPhones for years and i was so upset when I upgraded last year iPhone and suddenly my entire iTunes library would no longer sync THANK YOU!!!!!!!


  6. After getting Windows 10, my iTunes doesn’t even show the icon when I plug my 4S into my PC. What I do get is MediaEspresso; is this what’s causing my issue with my PC-4S sync?


  7. None of the above worked for me (using 5s and iOS 9.2). I simply solved it by quitting iTunes while my phone is connected (I don’t know if this was necessary) and re-opening iTunes. Then pressing the sync button at iTunes in the music menu under my phone.


  8. I have an iPod4 with IOS 9.2. I reset it, I did repeated syncing, I went through other music download options, I even turned off all my cloud storage, and erased everything manually. Nothing worked. I don’t know what do do here, it’s beginning to get really frustrating.


  9. My iphone 6 says ‘software up to date’ 9.2.1
    My macbook itunes says ‘software up to date’ 11.4
    but if i connect iphone6 to macbook: “…cannot be used because it requires a newer version of iTunes. Go to to download the latest version of iTunes”
    My phone came with ‘Music’ and ‘itunes store’, I have clicked all the options.
    I see no way of updating itunes – if I search app store for “itunes” i just get 3rd party applications not the actual itunes.
    I don’t know what to do – it’s annoying, I don’t want to pay to join ‘Music’ – i simply want access to all the tracks I’ve purchased (downloads/CDs i’ve put on to disk) on my phone.
    This was not a problem with the iphone 4s.
    Any advice?


    • I had this issue, as I updated iPhone iOS & new version of iTunes and had that exact pop up saying i needed a newer version!?

      I had a pretty old OS and found updating entire Mac OS to El Captain was my solution. Re-opened iTunes and plug in my phone and it started syncing!

      Now the problem is that not all of my music can be synced to my iPhone, thus why I am at this feed 😐 (which i’ve read is a bug)

      p.s. if you can avoid updating to El Captain, find a way around it, it still has so many bugs and is ridiculously SLOW! aka spinning wheel of doom for EVERYTHING.


  10. so i went to the genius bar about this and it was a simple case of unchecking the box on iTunes that allows your phone to sync over wifi (sorry, i can’t remember where this is). even though my phone was connected to my mac with a cable, it was still prioritising a sync over wifi? this meant that it couldn’t handle the hundreds of songs i was attempting to add to my phone. hope this helps!


  11. I’ve been working on this for a few hours now following all the suggestions here and elsewhere without resolution. iPhone 6 won’t sync to my iMac. All Are up to date iTunes is latest version. All my music appears on the phone but is grayed out with a dotted gray circle preceding each tune. Any more ideas?


    • Same. Literally tried all the suggestions above this. Removed and reinstalled iTunes, fiddled around with so many different settings. In the end what worked (who knows why!) was this.

      In iTunes – connect phone. Go on phone’s page. Click on Music. Tick a few random boxes in Playlists, Artists etc (coz you’re grumpy) then un-tick Sync Music (who needs music anyway).

      THEN! Up on the top left corner of iTunes are those two arrows so click on the < to go back. A little prompt popped up like "you have unsaved changes, save changes?" or something like that. Click YES. Go make a cup of tea. Come back, click on phone's page in iTunes again. No music on device. Go back to the music page and choose music you want and tick Sync Music. Sync device.

      This is what worked for me, after trying SO MANY different things suggested by both Apple and other sites.

      GOOD LUCK!


  12. By turning iCloud music on and off to sync you are uploading and then downloading all of your iCloud music which uses up A LOT of data!

    I would also like some more ideas. I’m tempted to think that Apple Music is the problem?


  13. My phone does not contain the option: iCloud Music Library” under the music menu. Solution 4 solved my problem by using AnyTrans


  14. i can’t really do any of that because when the update keeps coming i keep pressing later but then i accidentally pressed details and i pressed agreed instead of pressing disagree and now my iPod is showing a iTunes logo when it doesn’t want to update it when i specifically synced everything in!!


  15. Running iOS 9.3.2 on my iPhone 6s with plenty of space left. Running iTunes
    I ran a complete diagnostics test with no failures (iTunes Help button, Run Diagnostics). I can play all my songs in iTunes, but after a sync, not all show up, some are greyed out with dotted circles when I click on Music (on my Device) within iTunes, from my iPhone, the greyed out songs from iTunes do not show up on my iPhone, just missing tracks. Like an album with 11 tracks only showing partial album.


    • I found that storing music in the iCloud was causing all the iTunes issues. I turned iCloud off and music issues fine now.



  16. my iPhone 6 is still having issues even with the update 9.3.3, So if anyone thinks of another solution apart from what is mentioned here, let me know, any suggestion is welcome


  17. I agree – have 3 Queen Platinum Greatest Hits CDs – Vols 1, 2, and 3. According to iTunes on my computer, all 3 have been transferred to my iPhone SE, but my iPhone SE indicates only Vol 1 has transferred. Had to set up a “Queen” playlist and was able to transfer that across.


  18. I have iOS 10 and the latest version on iTunes and it won’t sync, the computer recognizes it and I allow it a million times but there is no trace of the phone in iTunes and I’ve done everything it says here, I’m getting desperate, need to transfer some Voice recordings to my laptop and sync music to my phone and i can’t do anything.


  19. Make sure that media files in your library are accessible for playing via iTunes.

    I spent hours going through forums and solutions for “sync problem” while the issue was with paths to media files. After Hard Drive reorganization the partition letter where all my media files are stored was changed from “C:” to “D:”. This resulted to that all files in my library can not be located. At the sync process iTunes instead of generating the error “Files cannot be located” was just skipping sync steps 4 and 5 without feedback. (no clue = troubles). Relocation of library files solved the sync problem. See the link how to automatically relocate all library files:


  20. I have been trying all of these fixes for weeks. I finally noticed that iTunes had unchecked the box to manually sync my music. Once I rechecked it, everything works great again.


  21. Beats me how Apple can create this night mare by creating software and a phone that are so locked into each other but when there is a problem there is no solution.
    I have tried all of the above; some of what is suggested is non existent in itunes or on the iphone.


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