Sync an iPhone with more than one Mac
Lucy Hattersley’s simple tips will allow you to sync your iPhone without erasing any of its apps, music, photos and other data
Every time you plug the iPhone into a new Mac you get a message saying “Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?” Apple makes sure you can only sync the iPhone with one Mac at a time. But this feature shows how to sync with more than one Mac.
There are two ways you can sync an iPhone with more than one Mac:
Use a third-party app such as AnyTrans
Sync the iPhone with more than one Mac by managing your iPhone manually. (This erases the content)
It used to be possible to trick iTunes into syncing with more than one Mac by copying the Library Persistent ID Key, but this process no longer works. Apple has also tightened up the way manually managing iTunes content works, so it wipes content the instant you click Erase and Sync (rather than waiting). So for the time being it seems that using third-party apps is the way forward if you want to keep any media on your iPhone, or manually managing music if you don’t mind starting from a blank slate.
Here we’ll look at both methods. Use AnyTrans If you have music, movies, TV shows or other data on your iPhone that you don’t want to lose, and wish to sync the iPhone with another Mac (without wiping the music), then you need to use a third-party app such as iMobie’s AnyTrans 4 (tinyurl.com/z9ffmvl).
The app enables you to manually manage the content on your iPhone. You can transfer audio, video, photos,
books, podcasts and other contents from your iPhone to your Mac (or vice versa). This is the best option if you don’t have a copy of the iPhone content on a Mac. Use AnyTrans to make sure you’ve got the content on your iPhone on your Mac. Follow these steps to transfer music from your iPhone to your Mac:
Download Any Trans from the website and launch the program. Depending on your Gatekeeper settings you may need to open System Preferences > Security & Privacy and click Open Anyway
Connect your iPhone to the Mac using the USB cable. Wait for it to connect and load all the content
Wait for AnyTrans to finish checking your content. This may take a while, depending on how much you’ve stored on your iPhone
Hover the pointer over the icon shaped as an arrow pointing to iTunes. The words Content To iTunes should appear. Click it
Place a tick next to the items you want to transfer Click Start Transfer Wait for the Exporting Media window to finish processing. Your media is now being copied from the iPhone to your iTunes library
The media will now be sent to your copy of iTunes. You can now sync your iPhone with the new Mac, or manage your iPhone manually with more than one computer.
Manage your iPhone manually
The official method of syncing an iPhone with more than one Mac is to manage the content manually. According to the Apple Support website: “When manually managing content, you can add content from multiple libraries to your iPod or iPad. Even when manually managing music.”
The only problem is the first install, which completely wipes all of the media from the iPhone. When you click ‘Manually manage music and videos’ all of the content on the iPhone is removed. If you do not have a copy of the music in your iTunes Library you should use a service like AnyTrans to transfer it first. Once you’ve set your iPhone to manually manage music and videos mode you’ll be able to transfer music from multiple Macs without getting the alert.
Follow these steps:
Connect the iPhone to your first computer Open iTunes Select the iPhone using the Device menu in the top-left Click the Summary option and select Manually Manage Music and Videos Click Apply
Manually add or remove music and videos to your iPhone
When you are manually managing music and videos, you need to copy the music tracks, and video files, from your iTunes’ library to the iPhone. Here’s how to copy the files across:
Attach the iPhone to the Mac and open iTunes Choose Music (or another media option) Drag media to the left of the window Drop it on top of your iPhone (under Devices)
You can now drag items from the main window to this sidebar to add them from iTunes to the iPhone on multiple Macs. You can use the icons at the top to switch from Music, Films, TV Shows and Apps.