Removing the backup data for my iPhone and resetting the sync history worked for me. Date is 5-18-12, and I have iPhone 4S with latest versions of iTunes and Safari, and I'm working off a PC running Windows Vista. Not sure why this isn't working for some, but it completely took care of the problem for me. Thank you! =) Unfortunately my Kindle Keyboard crashed last night, and there is no simple solution to that, but even though its waaay out of warranty, Amazon is sending me another with free 2-day shipping as a 1-time replacement. I must say; out of all companies I think Amazon has the best customer service; wish Apple were this easy to deal with. =p
I have the same issue. I have spent several hours on the phone with an Apple tech and still no fix. VERY frustrating. Apple says it's the first that they have heard of this issue but obviously it is an issue. My wife has a iphone 4 and it syncs fine with the same computer. I have tried all these things plus Apple gave me a new phone thinking it was a hardware issue but it still doesn't work. I would love some more help on this issue.
I've got exactly the same issue for three weeks now that just came out of nowhere.
Running Windows XP, all updates, all the latest IOS and iTunes software updates.
Can backup the phone but cannot sync. It seems to be able to get data off the phone but can't put data onto the phone.
"The iPhone [name] is unable to sync because the sync session failed to start."
Have been struggling for three weeks with no resolution. Have spent countless hours trying to get to the bottom of it and tried everything imaginable. Phoned Apple customer support and spent an hour and a half on the phone with them yesterday without progress. Apple people, though very polite and professional, have told me the issue is not one they have seen before. (obviously they don't talk to each other or share the same databases!)
- Removed and reinstalled ALL Apple software including iTunes
- Restarted phone
- Reset all settings on phone
- Deleted backups
- Reset sync history
- Deleted Lockdown folder
- Different USB port
- Different cable
- Created new user account on computer
- Changed the time zone on the computer and reset (one Apple forum suggested that this was a possible fix)
- And probably half a dozen other things that I've forgotten by now.
Need a resolution to this soon as I've now probably wasted at least 6 hours and managed to get nowhere and can't manage my schedule from my iphone any longer.
I've also done all the above. I've had this issue going on for over two months now.
I'm in Ireland, so not sure who I can call! I've run diagnostics on Itunes and it's telling me that the sync is working fine, but then it refuses to start.
It's very frustrating. Music and back-up works fine over iCloud, but I've not been able to copy a film onto my phone for months!
It's an issue. I've tried every suggestion I can find - nothing fixes this. That must be a standard-practice put-off if they have an issue that can't be fixed - "I/We haven't heard of this this problem before."
Did you try this?:
Open itunes--> Edit--> Preferences--> Devices
Delete the backup
Reset sync history
Open itunes, then File--> Sync
I had the same issue as you and once i did this, i finally was able to sync>>
Yep, still no joy. Interestingly, in consult with Apple tech rep on phone today, plugged my old iPhone 3G in and it worked fine on the same iTunes account. So, it's something to do with either the 4s or the IOS software.
FYI, my iTunes diagnostics also shows no errors and says all Sync Tests passed successfully.
Well, this is interesting (but not very helpful in understanding what caused it.) -- Plugged the phone in last night and it synched perfectly -- without having done anything to it or to iTunes for three days.
There must have been some sort of automatic software update applied that has fixed it.
Also interesting, at some point somehow there were thousands of appointment entries made in my Google Calendar (all exactly the same -- blank, all-day appointments and beginning last Thursday and lasting until the year 2127, and synched to the calendar on my iPhone, somehow without a valid sync session taking place--and now they are all gone, without me doing anything.
At least everything seems to have returned to normal now (except that iTunes tells me that my phone is synched with "another" installation of iTunes and will erase all my music on the phone if I synch with this iTunes Library...)