12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2007 1:21 AM by ****** Painter
Justin Schack1 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm wondering if it's possible to sync an iPhone with multiple computers. I mean specifically with respect to iCal and Address Book on multiple Macs. I only plan to sync with one music library (I know you can't sync an iPod with multiple computers) but would like to be able to sync my calendar and contacts with an iPhone (which I don't yet own) on both my work and home Macs. For example, sync as I leave the office on Thursday, work from home on Friday and sync from my home computer before returning to work on Monday.

Most of the time this won't be a huge issue because I have a .Mac account and sync contacts/calendar between computers using .Mac. But I'm thinking of times when I'll be away from either computer for a while and relying on the iPhone exclusively to access calendar and contacts.


Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.4.8), iBook G4 (10.3.9); AirPort Extreme; AirPort Express (range extender)
  • Justin Schack1 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I think I didn't ask this question directly enough, so I'm trying again.

    Can anyone tell me whether you can sync an iPhone with Address Book and iCal on multiple Macs?


    Mac Mini   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   iBook G4 (10.3.9); AirPort Extreme; AirPort Express (range extender)
  • pinerob Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I believe that this question has been answered before...just do a search for it....

    I don't remember the answer to the entire question...I do know that you can sync multiple Address books from different Macs. You have to set each Itunes on each Mac to manually sync only checked items and then of course only check the address book.

    It will then ask to merge or overwrite...you of course want to select merge.
  • johnnyultramag Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I sync both contacts and calendar through .mac from 4 computers including a laptop and then sync my iphone with the laptop.
  • PaulM-D Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I know you canot sync the Calendar with multiple PCs. My experience has been that the sync works perfectly with the calendar on my office PC. However, when I attempt to sync to my home PC using "merge" it deletes some things on the iPhone and leaves others - even though I am syncing to an empty calendar on the home PC.

    I read somewhere else that the iPhone cannot function as a "transfer device" for calendar between two PCs. In other words it can only sync its calendar with one PC.
  • MacMuse Level 7 Level 7 (20,795 points)
    I sync my iPhone with two different computers. This appears to be something new & unique for the iPhone.

    My "Info" data (contacts, bookmarks, calendar, mail) comes from my iBook. My "Media" data (music, podcasts, video) comes from my desktop PC.

    I don't believe you can mix the sync data beyond that. In other words, you can't sync podcasts from one computer and music from a second.

    When I started doing this, I recall getting prompted to erase all data before continuing the sync in the traditional iPod method of 1 computer to 1 iPod. But hitting Cancel to that question actually continued the sync without deleting the iPhone resident non-synced data. You may have to do that on both systems (the Cancel), but now it seems automatic. The iBook just touches the Info data & the PC just touches the media data.

    I also turned off 'auto-sync' in both iTunes for the iPhone. I'm not sure if that made a difference for the dual sync. I just prefer to kick off the sync manually in case I'm downloading new podcasts or just need to charge the iPhone and don't want to go through a sync at that moment.
  • Justin Schack1 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Well, when I finally bought my iPhone yesterday the sales cleark in the Apple store told me you can only sync an iPhone with one Mac. Based on your comment, MacMuse, he appears to have been wrong. I think the easiest solution for me is to continue syncing my calendars and contacts with my .Mac account, and sync my iPhone from my home PC because that's where my iPhoto and iTunes music/video libraries are. That still leaves me with an out-of-date iPhone on my way home from work (whatever I added during the workday won't be on the iPhone until I get home and sync, at which point I already have it on my home Mac), or if I happen to be leaving the office to travel for a day or two (which thankfully I don't do much anymore). I can probably live with that but I'll try your approach to separating the "media" and "info" portions of the sync. Thanks.
  • Damon M. Level 4 Level 4 (3,695 points)
    If you are trying to sync contacts or calendars from one computer to another, make sure the second computer has at least one contact in the address book and one event in the calendar. Otherwise, it will not merge the data and will erase what is on the iphone.
  • amykhar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    One possibility is to use the free online service Plaxo to sync your calendars and contacts and then sync the phone with one computer. This is how I keep all of my online and desktop contacts and calendars synchronized.
  • Jon Daley Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    I currently sync with 2 computer by doing the following:

    I sync music from just one computer (my home macbook)
    I sync my contacts with just my home macbook.
    I sync my calendar with my home MacBook (Apple's Calendar) and at work with Entourage. The work events end up back on my home computer under a category called Entourage in my Apple Calendar app.

    This is all set up by checking the appropriate check boxes in iTunes. By default, none of the info syncs when you hook up to the second computer, so you can hook it up and then set up the sync options.

    I haven't tried syncing my contacts on both computers, but I'm sure it would work. I just don't want work to have all of my personal stuff.
  • ashealey Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    This is exactly what I want to do... business type data like contacts and all from on mac and media type stuff from another.

    However when I try this, canceling that question does not continue the sync. Are you still able to do this with the updated versions of iTunes or have the fixed/broken this?

  • Eric Casares Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a unique situation. The computer I use with my iphone is temporarily out of service. Can I sync with my old computer (same itunes account) just to get the updated iphone software so I can do itunes from my iphone?

    I realize syncing media (music, video) would erase the data from my primary computer.

    Afraid I will lose music and video and not get them back until my primary computer is fixed.
  • ****** Painter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So I guess Syncing any media from different computers is completely out of the question. Ie. videos or ringtones from my pc and music from my mac... If any one finds out other wise let me know.