7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2012 5:04 PM by randers4
PistolXYZ Level 1 (0 points)

Hi there.


My situation seems to be very specific and I can't find an answer yet that helps.


When I got my iPhone 3G a few years ago, I was sharing a laptop with my boyfriend and synced it on iTunes on his computer.  During that time, the phone was damaged, but I was able to back it up and restore everything onto the new 3G.


A few months ago I got my own laptop.  I've been "backing up" whenever I connect my iPhone to my new laptop, although nothing shows up in iTunes to indicate to me that any data has transferred.  I've just "transferred purchases" and those are showing up, but not my playlists. I'm aware that I can't sync music and app libraries between two computers, so I haven't synced anything from the new computer because it will wipe everything on the phone.  This is obviously irritating for both of us, since I've had to use his computer any time I want to change something, and also because I can't add the new music I've downloaded on my new laptop.


I have just finally upgraded to an iPhone 4S.  I want to back up everything from my 3G and restore onto my 4S, but I would like to do it on my own computer.  I don't mind losing the music anymore that had been on his computer (it was all from CDs that I can upload again, the rest is all purchases that will transfer.)  What I am worried about is all of the other data. As I said, I have "backed up" my current 3G, but there has been no indication that anything from it has actually transferred to my new computer (also it does it suspiciously quickly.)  How can I check that everything will transfer?  Or will I have to just do it all from his computer?  I'm worried that if I have to "sync" my old phone to my new computer before I can properly back it up, that it will delete important data that isn't on the new computer.


Also, if I "restore" everything from the 3G to 4S, will it also save the "sync" setting, or can I change it to "manual" (which I would have done in the first place if I'd known it would have cause all this fuss.)


Thanks in advance for any help.

iPhone 4S, Windows 7, First phone is iPhone 3G
  • randers4 Level 9 (62,715 points)

    You can open iTunes and go Preferences, on the Devices tab your backups will be listed if you have any.  Another way to confirm that you backup is there is to go to \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\, which is the location of the backup(s).  If this is empty you don't have a backup on this computer.  To prevent inadvertent (automatic) syncing when you connect your phone go back to iTunes>Preferences>Devices and check "Prevent...from syncing automatically".  Then you can connect your phone and it won't sync unless you click the Sync button.  Finally, sync settings aren't stored on the phone (and thus not in the backup).  Your sync settings will be whatever you set them to be in iTunes.


    Here's a guide on transferring information to a new iPhone:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2109.

  • PistolXYZ Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you!


    It does show in the Preferences>Devices tab that the phone is backed up. And there is something in the file location for the back up.


    I'd like to trust that it is backed up, however things like voice memos do not show up in iTunes, nor do a couple of other things like books and ringtones that were downloaded or created directly through my phone.  These do show up from my previous backups on my boyfriend's computer, which leads me to believe they should be on my computer, too. (And they shouldn't all be through iTunes since some sound files I downloaded through e-mail or other sources.)


    Also, when I back up on my boyfriend's computer it takes about 30 minutes, but when I back up the same phone on my own computer it takes just one or two minutes, which makes me think it's not working. (It definitely doesn't transfer purchases, I have to do that manually.)  Any more reassurance or guidance would be great.



  • randers4 Level 9 (62,715 points)

    iPhone backups usually don't take more than a few minutes to complete; 30 minutes is unusual.  Also, the backup does not incude media that is synced to your phone from your iTune library such as music and ringtones. (This guide will show you what is included in the iphone backup: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946.)  You will have to copy your ringtones from the other computer to a usb/flash drive and import them into your iTunes library to be able to sync them to your new phone.  Non-purchased (ripped music) is also not transferred to your iTunes library from your phone.  You will either have to rebuild your music library by re-ripping your CDs.  Purchased music can be redownloaded for free (see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2519).  If your books are purchased, they will appear in your iTunes library in the Purchased folder.  To transfer your purchases, your computer must first be authorized for the Apple ID(s) used to purchase them (iTunes>Store>Authorize this computer).  After doing this try syncing again to see if your purchases transfer this time.  Voice memos are synced by checking "Include voice memos" on the Music tab of your iTunes sync settings.  Once synced, they will appear in a playlist called Voice Memos on the left sidebar (along with your other music playlists).

  • PistolXYZ Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I've already transferred purchases and that worked.  I guess I thought that the other things would transfer during back up because they seemed to do that last time I had to restore my phone.


    I will try and transfer everything to the new phone and hope it works.  Thanks for your help, I'll let you know how it goes!

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,715 points)

    You're welcome.  Post back if you run into problems.

  • PistolXYZ Level 1 (0 points)

    Whew! Everything seemed to work. I had to re-do all of my folders, but that's okay. Even the voice memos transferred (even though they're not in the iTunes on my computer.)  I'll play around and see if anything weird is missing, but all seems to be good.  Now off to harrass/play with Siri!



  • randers4 Level 9 (62,715 points)

    Glad everything worked out for you.  Now be nice to Siri.