Previous 1 2 3 Next 30 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2013 8:38 AM by ultraprime
Gskins Level 1 Level 1
This "problem" may have a very simple answer but here goes..... I have my iTunes set to "manually manage music and videos." Often when I plug in my iPod and click on the Music on the iPod in the devices lists it is shown as greyed out meaning I cannot add or remove any music. When I then go in to the summary tab on the main section it shows "Manually manage music & videos" as being unchecked so when I check it it asks me to apply & then obviously removes all the content & I have to spend hours reloading it.

So basically every couple of times I plug my iPod into my Mac my iTunes has reset the manually manage functions

Mac Book Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • biodegraded Level 1 Level 1
    I don't know if I have the same problem as you, but I also hate their implementation of the 'Manually manage' vs. 'Sync' functions. Specifically, I hate that it erases all the content from the phone. Why can't I simply check or uncheck the manually manage box at will without it erasing the content? Can't iTunes just leave what is on there, or at least check to see if what's on there is the same as what is checked in the 'Sync' section before erasing it?

    For example, I had manually manage checked but the books I was downloading from the iBookstore were not being transferred so I checked sync Books - Bam! all my content erased off the phone. I switch over to the sync music tab and when I select it, all the playlists that were on my phone that had just been erased were already checked and ready to sync. Couldn't the phone have checked to see if those playlists matched with the content before erasing the content?

    Or better yet, you should be able to manually manage or sync each content type individually - Music, Movies, Podcasts, Books, iTunes U etc. Why does it have to be all or nothing with the syncing option vs. manually manage?

    Stupid implementation and very frustrating when you have to resync 20Gigs of content.
  • Abel Longoria Level 1 Level 1
    So what is the solution? If any?

    I had my 3gs (no os4) and the manually manage option worked well. now every time i try to sync my phone everything gets wiped out and i have to re add it. frustrating indeed.

    am I doing it wrong now, did they change how that feature actually works? is there an explanation on how to properly manage your music manually?

    thanks guys
  • Nighthag Level 1 Level 1
    This is driving me crazy too. I want to delete MP3, photo and video files off my computer to preserve space, but I can't because iTunes will delete everything off my iPod. I continually check off MANUALLY MANAGE MUSIC AND VIDEOS but it doesn't save, it keeps unchecking itself.
  • Jim Gilland Level 1 Level 1
    I've got two computers that I sync with. I wanted to sync to both sets of calendars and contacts, but only have my music and videos on one. I used to do this by manually managing music and videos on both. But now, with iOS4, I load everything from one computer, set it to manually manage music, then when I get on the second computer, the manually manage is off. This didn't used to happen. When I try to set the manual manage on the second computer, it says it has to erase my iPhone and replace it with that computer's music. Why?
  • sugarkitties Level 1 Level 1
    omg I am going to cry, I have spent 2 days moving files back and forth and as previous people have mentioned EVERYTIME I plug in my phone the "sync manually" box has been unchecked and it wants to resync everything wiping all things from my other computers sync. Seriously am freaking out as I don't have time to do this over and over. It's like "Well you can have this movie and this ringtone or you can have that movie and that ringtone, but not both. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • burnspammers Level 1 Level 1
    Seeking clarification!
    According to the help page on, Manually manage music means you can add music and videos to your iPod without syncing. Meaning, it just adds the music without deleting what´s on your device. Also, you can delete from your device without deleting from your library in iTunes.

    Now, does this only work on your device´s syncing computer, the one iTunes that it´s allowed to sync with?

    Because I´m traveling, and my device is currently NOT set to Manually manage.

    When I try to switch it to Manually manage, will it then do an initial sync and wipe everything from my device and put on whatever is in the iTunes on the other computer? Or, will it just switch to Manually manage mode and leave my iPod´s current selection intact? I want to be able to switch to Manually manage music & videos, and then add podcasts using other computers that have iTunes installed, as I travel.

  • burnspammers Level 1 Level 1
    Somebody who has done this must know!
  • SULiik Level 1 Level 1
    I have the same problem. I use iTunes for years and it never happened. In last two weeks it happened twice. I don't know what to do.
  • vice350z Level 1 Level 1
    I too am wondering if "manually manage music and videos" means I can copy music from any of my computers. So far no love. At HOME I have "manually manage" on, copied my playlists to the DEVICE section and all is good. At work this morning I see "manually manage music and videos" isn't ticked and when I do tick it iTunes tells me I must erase all my iphone info to sync with this computer now.

    I get the point of manually managing...not needing to worry if you move the file on your computer or change the name but I was under the impression that I can drag music from my WORK computer on to my iPhone now. REALLY tired of Apple putting a strangle hold on what I can do with my music. Crap like this is really making me consider moving to Android when my contract/update is up. Tired of this crap.

    Message was edited by: vice350z
  • SULiik Level 1 Level 1

    Ok so today I pluged my iPhone and started iTunes... and guess what... "Manually manage music and videos" checkbutton was unchecked again... I seriously hate iTunes! This happened to me already four times!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9

    Sync iPod/iPad/iPhone with two computers

    Although it isn't possible to sync an Apple device with two different libraries it is possible to sync with the same logical library from multiple computers. Each library has an internal ID and when iTunes connects to your iPod/iPad/iPhone it compares the local ID with the one the device normally syncs with. If they are the same you can go ahead and sync...


    I have my library cloned to a small 1Tb USB drive which I can take between home & work. At either location I use SyncToy 2.1 to update the local copy with the external drive. Mac users should be able to find similar tools. I can open either of the local libraries or the one on the external drive and update the media content of my iPhone. The slight exception is the Photos section which normally connects to a specific folder on a specific machine, although that can easily be remapped to the current library if you create a "Photos" folder inside the iTunes Media folder so that syncing the iTunes folders keeps this up to date as well. I periodically sweep my library for new files & orphans with iTunes Folder Watch just in case I make changes at one location but then overwrite the library with a newer copy from the other. Again Mac users should be able to find similar tools.


    As long as your media is organised within an iTunes Music or Tunes Media folder, in turn held inside the main iTunes folder that has your library files (whether or not you let iTunes keep the media folder organised) each library can access items at the same relative path from the library folder so the library can be at different drives/paths on different machines. This solution ensures I always have adequate backups of my library and I can update my devices from home, or work, or anywhere else that I can connect the external drive to the same build of iTunes.


    When working with an iPhone earlier builds of iTunes would remove any file not physically present in the local library, even if there was an entry for it, making manual management practically redundant on the iPhone. This behaviour has been changed but it will still only permit manual management with a library that has the correct internal ID. If you don't want to sync your library between machines on a regular basis just copy the iTunes Library.itl file from the current "home" machine to any other you want to use, then clean out the library entires and import the local content you have on that box.



  • rhodeon Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks tt2. This really helped. I've just bought a new PC, everything set up nicely and then tried to add some more music to my iPhone and hit the problem where it wouldn't allow me. I tried to check the manually manage option and got the message saying that it would delete all the music off my phone. Not good. I like to keep all my music on an external drive and, unsurprisingly iTunes is not the centre of my universe so I don't sync EVERYthing in my collection.


    To me this is very small thinking.


    The info in your post got me to searching the library file on my old PC, I copied it to my new one and straight aware manage to copy across the new music that I wouldn't. Lucky I was replacing due to age and not due to hardware failure as this may not have been an option. The libary file will now be backed up externally for future need.


    Again, thanks.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9

    Glad to know the post proved useful..



  • alianaldv Level 1 Level 1

    So, there is no way to unclick the "Manually manage music and video" without erasing the iPhone? That's not helpful at all, I accidentaly click it and now everytime I buy/get a song I have to manually put it on the phone. And if it erases the phone, can I just restore it from backup without losing progress in games and stuff? I'm still learning how to managa my phone...

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