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How to update software on multiple iPhones using same iTunes account?

1636 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2012 7:47 AM by iinami RSS
SeanB15 Calculating status...
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Jul 17, 2012 2:46 PM

How to update software on multiple iPhones using same iTunes account?

iPhone 4, iOS 4
  • iinami Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)

    plug the phones into itunes one by one and update. once the first one is done the rest will go faster since the download will be on your computer already.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,440 points)

    The trouble with this advice is that the content of the first phone will get replicated on all of the phones. So this is not what I would do.



  • iinami Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)

    you obviously know way more than me, but we have 2 iphones in our house sharing the same itunes account that have had their software updated many times without replication. he just asked about updating software, so i assumed he has synced the multiple phones to the same itunes account before.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,440 points)

    See the link that I already posted. If you have separate user accounts on the computer (that is, Windows user account or Mac user account, not iTunes account) for each phone there will be no problem.


    If your 3 phones share the same user account: Back up each phone on the computer. Create a new user account on your computer, and use that account to do the updates. Then connect the phones to the original account to restore the backups and sync (in that order). To do this right go to iTunes Preferences/Devices and uncheck automatic syn. Then connect the phone, right click on its name in the list on the left, and choose Restore from Backup. It's important to restore the backup before syncing, because syncing will create a new, empty backup.

  • iinami Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)

    SeanB15 wrote:


    Here are more details on my situation which should help clarify things...

    I purchased three iPhone 4 models back when they first came out (for my family) that all share the same iTunes account for access to apps and music, but each phone/user still has his/her custom contact list, email accts, and select lists of apps and music from the one iTunes acct library.  The problem is (as I understand it) that I can only update the software on one of the three iPhones – the primary phone I used to setup the iTunes acct without wiping out the separate contact lists, etc. As it stands today... the first (primary) iPhone associated with the iTune acct has been updated with the latest software version 5.1.1 and sync'd up with all the apps, music, etc from the one iTune acct, while the other two iPhones are still running on the original software version 4.0.2 and are experiencing problems now. I was advised by AT&T back in January that it would be necessary to setup separate iTunes accts for the second and third iPhones in order to receive system updates and still be able to manage separate contact lists, etc. If I go this route, I assume we will lose all the apps on phones #2 and #3 that we have been "sharing"... correct? Since this AT&T advice was prior to iCloud coming out, would iCloud be a better solution or at least part of the solution? I really don't yet understand how iCloud works. Hopefully, one of you can help me??

    we have 2 iphone 4's synced to the same itunes account for apps and music since the day we bought them, but each has a different icloud acct. they have both been updated on the same itunes account with every update that has come out since we bought them in december of 2010. nothing on either phone has ever been lost or duplicated. having said all that, maybe i'm missing something here, but we have had no problems. we do have itunes setup to sync manually. i do believe i'm a piker compared to lawrence finch, but i'm just telling you what happens in my house. maybe check with apple? is there a store near you?


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