13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2011 5:36 PM by iinami
HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
iTunes is such a useability nightmare for me that I have repeatedly screwed up the contents of my phone with its erratic logic in the "syncing" department. I am considered fairly proficient at tech stuff, so I really do feel its a useability issue, not user stupidity. Apple's stuff is famous for being intuitive and iTunes is anything but intuitive, on every level.

I have had all previous versions of the iPhone and there are "ghosts" and "remnants" of old phones saturating my iTunes installation that frequently creep up onto my new phone when I get one.

If I were to completely uninstall iTunes would that once and for all clear out the "Apps" section of the Sync menu, etc? I would like to just start over fresh. Completely. You would think the option to "set it up as a brand new phone" would actually accomplish this, but, in line with its irrational flow, it doesn't. It retains the app list from previous phones and tries to force them onto the new phone. Great logic.

VAIO
  • 1. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    As you are considered fairly proficient at tech stuff, you should know that iTunes does not store any data. iTunes accesses data that is stored elsewhere completely separate from the app. Deleting and reinstalling iTunes does not affect any data that is accessed by iTunes - in your iTunes media folder for starters. No different from Word or Excel. Deleting and reinstalling Word or Excel does not affect any Word or Excel files that Word and Excel access, which are not stored with the app - stored completely separate from the app.

    Restoring an iPhone with Tunes completely erases the iPhone first followed by the firmware being re-installed. After the firmware is re-installed, there are two options. Restore from your iPhone's backup which is the default selection and includes your settings under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes along with data on your iPhone not included with the iTunes sync process or stored anywhere on your computer. After the backup is restored, this is automatically followed by a sync with iTunes based on your selections under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes which are pre-selected since your selections under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes are included with your iPhone's backup.

    When restoring with iTunes as a new iPhone or not from your iPhone's backup which must be manually selected after the firmware is re-installed, you must reselect what you want transferred to your iPhone and synced with your iPhone under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes. If the same 3rd party apps remain in your iTunes library - you have not deleted the apps from your iTunes library and your computer, the apps will be available to select under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes, which you can select or not select. Any app not selected under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes will not be transferred to your iPhone. Garbage in = garbage out. Don't want an app installed on your iPhone, don't select the app under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes. You no longer want the app in your iTunes library and available to select or not select to be installed on your iPhone, delete the app from your iTunes library and your computer's hard drive.

    Deleting and re-installing iTunes has no effect on what you have chosen to be and remain in your iTunes library nor what you select under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes.
  • 2. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Just because I am proficient at tech stuff, that does not automatically mean I understand a poorly designed piece of software.. It simply means I do well in the technical world with things that dont suck. Like every one of Apples other products, which are beautifully and famously intuitive...
  • 3. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    It simply means I do well in the technical world with things that dont suck.


    Then how on earth do you do well in the technical world with Windows - the definition of suck?

    Your question was answered, and you're welcome.

    Troll_spray
  • 4. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Actually you failed to answer my question, despite your smartass comments.

    You expounded on how to do a restore. I did not ask you about restoring an existing phone.

    "ghosts" and "remnants" of old phones saturating my iTunes installation that frequently creep up onto my new phone when I get one."

    I asked you how to handle it when I have a brand new phone, and dont want old phone remnants getting on to it.

    Feel free to address the question answered, without your editorializing, and then you'll get your thank you.

    Actually I take that back. You dont deserve a thank you either way.

    And with **56 THOUSAND POSTS** complete with unnecessary smartass comments, I believe you have successfully personified the definition of "TROLL".

  • 5. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    You are one to talk about editorializing - that is all you do for the most part, but as the old saying goes, when pointing a finger at someone, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you. Not always easy to know what your question is with all the unnecessary tripe included, and likely the reason a number of your questions go unanswered. This will be the last time for me lowlife.

    The same answer applies. When connecting a new iPhone to iTunes that has been used to sync an existing iPhone, you have two options. Transfer the backup for the existing iPhone to the new iPhone, or set up as a new iPhone. The same copied from my previous post applies.

    After the backup is restored (or transferred to the new iPhone in this case), this is automatically followed by a sync with iTunes based on your selections under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes which are pre-selected since your selections under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes are included with your iPhone's backup.


    When selecting as a new iPhone or not from your existing or previous iPhone's backup, you must reselect what you want transferred to your iPhone and synced with your iPhone under the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes. If the same 3rd party apps remain in your iTunes library - you have not deleted the apps from your iTunes library and your computer, the apps will be available to select under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes, which you can select or not select. Any app not selected under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes will not be transferred to your iPhone. Garbage in = garbage out. Don't want an app installed on your iPhone, don't select the app under the Apps tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes. You no longer want the app in your iTunes library and available to select or not select to be installed on your iPhone, delete the app from your iTunes library and your computer's hard drive.
  • 6. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I already addressed those two options. Please go back and actually read my first post. I am the one who first stated that you can either back it up or set it up as a new phone.

    The confusing part, and where complete lack of usability comes in here, here is that none of this is easily understood by simply using the iTunes software. When something happens that you DONT expect, you've got a "Fail" in the intuitive department.

    I have gone in there many times to sync my phone and watched iTunes completely wipe my phone clean of all the apps simply because they were not present in iTunes. Or because I did something else that (for all logical thought processes) should NOT have made it do that.

    To delete something from a phone without even asking shows poor programming and design. If I have done this, i guarantee tens of thousands of people have inadvertently done this as well. Dare me to google it to see how many others have posted about it? If something happens "inadvertently" at all in a programming application, Windows or otherwise, then the application qualifies as "poorly designed". No matter what your personal opinion is. Even to this day, having owned all generations of iphones, i sometimes dread syncing my phone with iTunes because something I dont want to happen may happen. I will never understand the logic that if something is not present in iTunes, it DELETES IT FROM MY PHONE as well. Ill give some of your other suggestions a try and work on getting my head around this poorly designed application.

    PS: being snarky to another individual is the editorializing I was referring to. Im entitled to my opinion about iTunes lack of inituitiveness without having to be subjected to your smartass comments and utter lack of people skills in response. Maybe iTunes was designed by your mom, in which case I can understand your personal offense to my generic opinion. Otherwise ... ?
  • 7. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Im slowly figuring out what Im trying to determine here.

    So if my only real fear is that iTunes will delete things from my phone, the solution is what ... ?

    It has many times taken things that were on my phone and removed them. Under what scenario would this be happening?
  • 9. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    paulcb Level 6 Level 6 (19,060 points)
    While iTunes is a bit difficult to learn, once figured out and understood, it does work and work well.

    It has many times taken things that were on my phone and removed them. Under what scenario would this be happening?


    That should only happen if you uncheck an item in iTunes, which would tell it that you don't want it on your iPhone. iTunes would then remove it from your iPhone on the next sync. Note that it would still be in iTunes and you could resync that item if desired.

    Also note that the iPhone is designed to sync with only 1 iTunes library, i.e. 1 computer at a time. If you sync with another, what's on your iPhone will be replaced with that library and what's checked to sync.
  • 10. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    ErnestW Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    QUOTE: "iTunes is such a useability nightmare for me that I have repeatedly screwed up the contents of my phone with its erratic logic in the "syncing" department. I am considered fairly proficient at tech stuff, so I really do feel its a useability issue, not user stupidity. Apple's stuff is famous for being intuitive and iTunes is anything but intuitive, on every level."

    Reply: I didn't need to read any further than this. You are absolutely correct. I've lost much data from my iPhone just trying to connect it to my PC and synching items. Inevitably, some, all, or most of my other iPhone items disappear, or whatever. The iTuners say you have to have the correct checkmarks on certain synch pages, blah, blah, blah. BS. It shouldn't have to be that user-unfriendly!
  • 11. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    ErnestW Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    paulcb: "While iTunes is a bit difficult to learn, once figured out and understood, it does work and work well."

    Yeah, but too bad about that first part. The "learning" part for most users includes losing much of one's data .... and not being able to understand WHY!
  • 12. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Thank you Ernest.

    And the problem isnt that its "too difficult to learn" either.

    Something that is designed well is supposed to include "Logic". iTunes does things that often times make no logical sense. It also does things on its own without any warning.

    If someone would just implement the simple step of "PROMPTING BEFORE DELETING" and "FULLY EXPLAINING WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU CONTINUE - AND WHAT STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE IF THIS IS NOT YOUR GOAL" .... then you'd have an intuitive app on your hands. But iTunes doesnt do this. It deletes without prompting. It doesnt warn you what its going to do in some cases. And there is no "undo".

    The minimal on-screen help you have does nothing to prevent any potential mistakes.

    Example: I just now removed a contact from my iPhone that existed both in my iPhone and in my Microsoft Outlook program. Then I synced the phone. Guess what iTunes took the liberty of doing? Deleting that contact from my Outlook.

    Really? Not a single warning. Not a single prompt. Nothing. It just went into a 3rd party application and deleted the contact.

    Now please explain the logic of this to me?

    What if I wanted to keep that contact in Outlook? What if I only wanted it removed from my phone (since thats where I removed it)?

    Thank God it hasnt been 8 months on a well established phone with 30 deleted contacts. My Outlook would be stripped dry.

    Message was edited by: HLT1

    Message was edited by: HLT1
  • 13. Re: Starting Fresh with iTunes
    iinami Level 4 Level 4 (1,400 points)
    after all this, why don't you just stop using itunes and get a phone that doesn't use itunes? i don't understand why people buy something or use something of their own free will that they don't like. for example, i ride a mountain bike and a lot of people say disc brakes are the best. i think they are too complicated so i don't use them. my retired neighbor got a new ac with a programmable thermostat, he thought it was too difficult to figure out so he had them install a simple one that you just slide the temp up and down. he's happy and it works.