11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 21, 2014 12:02 PM by AuCountry
Erinlass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Is anyone having problems with iTunes (11.1.2) not syncing properly with their iPhone 5?


Some examples:


Example 1

Existing playlist on Mac Mini (Mac OS X v10.7.5) edited to add a song

iPhone 5 (iOS v 7.0.3) "Sync Music" setup to sync 'Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres', with edited playlist selected

iPhone 5 hardwired to Mac Mini and 'Sync' clicked.

Upon completion of sync, playlist is not updated


Follow-up Action taken - unchecked "Sync Music" in iTunes for iPhone 5 and click 'Apply'

Upon completion of sync, all 'Playlists' are removed, but all 'Artists' and 'Songs' are still listed.

Re-checked "Sync Music" and clicked 'Apply'...sync showing that all selected music is being copied to the iPhone

Upon completion of 2nd sync, "Playlist" now updated.


This type of issue happens constantly.  I experienced something similar after I added an album and then "Selected" that artist to be included in the sync.  The initial sync did not include this new ablum.  It was only added to the phone after I unchecked "Sync Music", synchronized, and then re-checked it and synchronized again.


Can someone provide some insight as to why this is happening?

iPhone 5c, iOS 7.0.3
  • 1.
    sterling r Community Specialists Community Specialists (3,785 points)

    Hello Erinlass,


    It sounds like you are periodically running into an issue where the sync process does not update everything correctly.

    If this happens again then based on the troubleshooting you mentioned here, I would recommend restarting both the computer, and the phone and trying again. Sometimes the phone just needs to be restarted:

    iOS: Turning off and on (restarting) and resetting



    If the issue persists then I would try backing up your phone to iTunes and restoring it from the backup.

    iOS: How to back up and restore your content



    And if it is still not resolved I would next recreate your iTunes library altogether:

    iTunes: How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists



    Thank you for using Apple Support Communities.

    All the very best,


  • 2. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AJTAFFINDER Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm sorry to say this, but the only way to get around your problem is what i did... And that is setting up your 5s as a new phone ISTEAD of a backup. I found that beacuse i did a back up from my iPhone 5 to the 5s many bugs came with it from the old OS. It's a pain but it fixes the problems.


    P.S the communtity specialist doesn't know what he is talking about. Any sesible person knows that restoring from a back up brings bugs from that back up..

  • 3. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    Jens De Ketelaere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem and I decided to test something today.


    1. I deselected 'sync music' in iTunes for my iPhone 5 and iPad 2 (both running the latest iOS)

    2. I deleted all my playlists


    All following actions are done both with the iPhone and iPad

    3. I made a playlist with one song, synced it (so far so good)

    4. I added 4 songs to the playlist and I synced and the 4 songs were added.

    5. I created an extra playlist and synced it again. (all good)

    6. I created another playlist and synced it and..  it doesn't show up on my iPhone.. and it doesn't show up on my iPad either.


    If I look in iTunes at 'on this iPhone/iPad', the playlist is added, but all the songs in that playlist (in iTunes) are greyed out with a dashed circle in front (like you see on this picture) I tried to delete a playlist by syncing but it doesn't get deleted on the iPhone/iPad. If I deselect everything but keep 'sync music' on nothing happens. It's like it got stuck somewhere in between.


    Schermafbeelding 2013-12-06 om 00.32.20.png


    The only solution was to deselect 'sync music' - sync - select 'sync music' and sync.


    I don't think it's iPhone or iPad related, because I have the same problem, at the same time, on both devices.

    (would be quite a coincidence)


    Could it be iTunes 11.1.2 related?

  • 4. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    Tubaz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you! This "solve" my problem

  • 5. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AuCountry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've tried posting to these forums without much luck.  Won't keep me from trying to solve the iTunes/iPhone/Playlist problem.


    Tonight I tried deleting all of the songs from my iPhone.  When SYNCed with "nothing" checked, no playlists, no purchases, nothing, the iPhone (device on iTunes) still said it had 35 songs.  I opened the iPhone and sure enough, more than the 35 songs are still there. Many songs were flagged with a cloud. Even after deleting iCloud from the iPhone. The cloud songs are sill there. 


    Of the songs STILL on my iPhone , I can drag delete them, but they return after I sync it again.  The really annoying thing is that I have deleted about a dozen songs from my library, deleted them from iTunes purchases, deleted them from my everything I can find and they still show up on my iPhone after SYNCing. Why?  Where are these songs stored?


    I posted on one of these forums that I created a playlist with 1805 songs just for my iPhone. Under device, it shows 1810 songs. In the iPhone itself, there are 1958 songs. Many of these songs are songs I deleted from everything I can find. They still keep coming back.


    If the iTunes library isn't the place where the songs are stored, where are they stored?

  • 6. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AJTAFFINDER Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, do you have any podcasts or iTunes EP's? Because those count as audio files in iTunes on your computer and those don't sync across to your phone, which might explain your issue. It's the same with everyone. Also, in the settings menu there is an option to hide iCloud music on your iphone,  have you unchecked that? The way I've sorted out music problems withy iPhone is to firstly 'manage music manually' check that box, and if I experience any problems then I create a back up then reset my phone as new and then restore the back up. In my opinion apple have done an atrocious job with music on the iPhone and touch, i recommend just using a ipod classic to have your music on. I've got a 64gb 5s and run into music problems on it very often

  • 7. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AuCountry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    AJ, no, I don't have any messages, podcasts, or anything else on my phone.  What is an iTunes EP? 


    I tried doing everything manually.  I reset my phone. 


    OK, I've been playing with iTunes for several hours now.  I tried deleting all the songs on my iPhone.  I can't.  Seems there are about 15 to 56 songs (depending on where I look) that stay on my phone no matter what. 


    Oh, Yea, I updated to iTunes 11.1.5


    Here is what I'm getting.  After deleting all of my Playlists and trying to delete all of the songs on my iPhone, there are still a lot of songs left on my phone.  I created a new Playlist.  Note: I only have one playlist. 


    My library has 2616 songs. 

    Purchased has 666 songs.  Only one purchased song from my iPhone.

    My iPhone playlist has 1797 songs.

    Clicking on the iPhone in "Devices" reveals "Music" and a folder with the name "iPhone"

             and the Playlist titled "iPhone Playlist" as residing in the iPhone folder.

    Clicking on Music shows 1803 songs

    Opening "Music" on my iPhone and finding the number of songs I find 1851 songs.

    While in "Device," if I click on 'Music' (instead of Summary), it shows 1802 songs on my iPhone.


    What gives?  There is no correlation between any of them. 


    Why Can't I select which songs go on my iPhone?

    Where are these other songs coming from? 


    I really don't want to go through one-at-a-time and find the duplicates


    This is really frustrating.  Not only do the extra songs eat up memory, but, if I wanted them, I would have selected them.  I would just like to have ONE location where I can find out what music is going to go onto my iPhone.

  • 8. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AJTAFFINDER Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When you say you've 'reset' your phone, you have gone into settings > reset > reset all content and settings right? That will sort out your problem, but BACK UP YOUR IPHONE FIRST. An iTunes EP is an album from the iTunes Store that has artwork or some other file attachment that is part of the album, but isn't actually a song and counts towards your iTunes media count. I have 5560 songs, 20 of which are album EPs. When ever I have had issues with songs I've been forced to wipe my iphone, and then restore from a back up, you should do the same. You can select which songs go into your phone, when you plug your iphone into your computer click on the 'music' tab and select 'manually manage music' then go through which albums or artists you wish to add by checking the boxes. If you can't delete your songs from your iphone you HAVE to reset your phone, erase all content and settings from wothin the iPhone itself will solve your issue. Read above for the location of reset

  • 9. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AJTAFFINDER Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    SETTINGS > general > reset

  • 10. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    J3ndell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Alright. I was having the same problem at first. I would tell iTunes to synch playlists and it wouldn't synch the playlists at all, so it kept all the playlists that had been on my iphone to begin with. I followed some steps somewhere in Apple Discussions to get my iTunes to synch. So now it at least synchs!


    I did this:

    1. in itunes with the iphone plugged in uncheck the Sync Music Box from itunes

    2. on your iphone go to settings/general/usage/music and DELETE all music I know it's scary but trust me it works!

    3. power down the iphone

    4. unplug iphone from computer

    5. power down the computer

    6. power up iphone

    7. power up computer

    8. plug in iphone

    9. check Sync Music Box (except it was already checked for me...)

    10. sync



    NOW my problem is that a smart playlist that I've been trying to synch has 106 songs on my iTunes (and according to iTunes that's how many songs are on the playlist on the iPhone), but on the iPhone itself, it has 274 songs on it. They aren't even duplicates, they're random songs that aren't on that playlist!


    I really don't see the sense in backing it up and restoring it from the backup since that's literally giving the phone the same problems, and I'd clearly like to avoid wiping the slate clean and starting over both on my phone and on iTunes (I have 7100 songs. Would YOU want to wait that long to rebuild iTunes!?). Any tips?

  • 11. Re: iTunes sync problems with iphone 5
    AuCountry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was so frustrated with the whole "songs on my iPhone don't match the songs on my Playlist and songs under the heading "MUSIC" in iTunes" that I made lists out of them and compared them side-by-side.  I had as many as 158 songs tht didn't match up to my iPhone.  That is, the iPhone was storing 158 songs that I didn't include on my Playlist. 


    Here is what I found.

    • After comparing them side-by-side, it turns out that songs I had manually deleted from the phone kept coming back when SYNCed, even though they weren't in the Playlist. 

    • If they were on the phone and not on the playlist, I could not delete them from the phone again.

    • I reloaded them onto the playlist and then SYNCed.  After they were again on the iPhone, this time with them also on the Playlist, I could delete them from the iPhone, delete them from the Playlist, and then SYNC. 


    That was the only way I could remove them.


    Also, under iTunes, the "Purchased on iPhone" only shows one song.  Now, I clearly remember purchasing more than one song over the iPhone, so I went looking for them.  Sure enough, they were on the iPhone even though they were not in the Playlist. 


    I added them to the playlist, deleted them, then deleted them from the playlist and wouldn't you know, they came back.  The only way I could prevent it from reloading was to uncheck it on the Library list. 


    iTunes needs some attention.