Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2012 2:14 PM by randers4
Katfella Level 1 (0 points)

When I am trying to transfer my music to my iphone it says this:An iPhone can be synced with only one iTunes library at a time. Erasing and syncing replaces the contents of this iPhone with the contents of this iTunes library.The iPhone “iPhone” is synced with another iTunes library. Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library? What should I do??

iPhone 4, iOS 5.1.1
  • razmee209 Level 7 (29,260 points)

    Your getting this message because you are syncing to a different computer than the one you normally sync to.  If you sync to that computer it will erase everything and put the contents of that computer on your phone.

  • Katfella Level 1 (0 points)

    When I got this I-phone verizon transferred my contacts and pictures. When I synced my itunes account for the first time (that was originally setup with my Ipod) Itunes deleted my contacts, pictures and apps from phone and replaced with the items that were on Itunes from my ipod. So if I sync my new I phone to the account I get all of my music but it wants to clean my phone. Is their a way to add the contacts, pictures and apps(that I payed for and downloaded direct to my phone) from my phone to the itunes account so that Itunes can delete the content off the phone and sync completely?

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    Do this:


    1. If you have iCloud set up on your phone sync your contacts (and calendar) to iCloud to back them up (Settings>iCloud>Contacts/Calendars>On).  If you don't, use the app My Contacts Backup to back up your contacts before proceeding.
    2. Without connecting your phone, open iTunes on your computer and go to Preferences.  On the Devices tab check "Prevent...from syncing automatically".
    3. Connect your phone to your computer and import all your photos and videos (see  If any photos are not in your camera roll you will need to use an app like PhotoSync to transfer them to your computer.
    4. Authorize your computer for all Apple ID(s) used to purchase music and apps on your phone by going to Store>Authorize this computer.
    5. Next, right-click on the name of your phone on the left side of iTunes and select Transfer Purchases to transfer your purchases to your iTunes library prior to syncing.  This will only transfer music purchased from the iTunes store.  If you have music on your phone from other sources you will either have to import them to your iTunes library separately or use 3rd party software such as Touch Copy to transfer them from your phone.
    6. Right-click again and select Backup to back up your phone.
    7. Right-click again and select Restore from backup.
    8. Go to the Info tab and make sure Sync Contacts and Sync Calendars are not checked unless you plan to sync them to a supported progrem.  This will prevent them from being erased when you sync.
    9. Check your other sync settings on the various tabs (Music, Apps, etc.), when done click on Apply at the bottom to sync your phone.
  • psha85 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a follow-up question to this: if I sync my phone with iTunes and have already transferred over apps, pictures, and music as you said, will it erase info, settings, messages, etc also or only whatever is synced to iTunes (replacing it)? I need to go through this process to get my music onto my new iPhone but I don't want to lose everything else with it. Please advise. Thanks!!

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    This has since been written up as a user tip by wjosten here: Syncing to a "New" Computer or replacing a "crashed" Hard Drive.  If you follow this you will not lose your settngs, messages or any other data.

  • psha85 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks! question though: does it matter that I normally use iCloud as my backup tool and not iTunes? backup is disabled on iTunes presently but if i create a backup there and then select to use iCloud after going through this process, would it still work? also, I assume that once i go through this process I would be able to only transfer music to the phone and not have to sync apps, photos, etc? Kindly clarify. Thanks for your help!

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    Even if you normally back up to iCloud you can still perform a manual backup in iTunes by following steps 7 & 8 in this user tip.  You don't need to change any settings on your phone or in iTunes related to backing up your phone.


    If you are using iTunes 11, you may need to go to View>Show Sidebar in order to see right-click on the name of your device on the left side of iTunes as this is no longer visible by default in the new version. If you are using iTunes 11, at step 5 right-click on the name of your device and choose Transfer Purchases.

  • psha85 Level 1 (0 points)

    so it is necessary to transfer apps, photos, etc? I can't just sync the music and go thru this process to not lose the apps, etc?

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    If you are syncing to a new computer/iTunes library, as explained in the user tip, iTunes will delete all iTunes content (apps, music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, photos synced from your computer to your phone, etc.) and replace them with the iTunes media in the new library you are syncing with.  If the apps an other media are transferrred to the iTunes library prior to syncing, they willl simply be synced back to your phone when you sync.  If you don't first transfer your apps to this iTunes library they will not be available to sync back to your phone.  That's why you don't want to skip any steps in this process.

  • psha85 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ahh ok. So if I sync the apps, photos, etc prior to this process then I will not lose that stuff AND I also would not lose my messages, information, etc.. correct?

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    Correct, if you follow all the steps here exactly as shown, including transferring purchases, backing up, restoring from the backup, etc., your phone will look exactly as it did before when you're done and you'll be able to sync again.

  • psha85 Level 1 (0 points)

    great, thanks so much for your help!

  • randers4 Level 9 (62,685 points)

    You're welcome.

  • freefalladdict247 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I have been searching these threads as I have a very similar issue, but not exactly the same, so not sure if the same solution applies in my case.  If you could clarify for me, I would be very grateful!


    I upgraded to iPhone 5 a few months back, but decided to set it up as a new phone rather than restoring from my iPhone 4 backup.


    It regularly backs up to iCloud but I have never synced it to iTunes. I use iTunes Match to transfer my music and use the same iTunes account for everything.


    I would like to link my phone to iTunes so I can wirelessly sync my other content - photos, videos etc.


    When I plug my phone in (iTunes 11), I can either set up as a new phone or restore from an old iPhone 4 backup, but not from my iCloud iPhone 5 backup.


    If I choose one of the above options and wipe my phone, will I then be able to restore my phone back to how it was from iCloud, and still have it linked to iTunes?  I don't mind about losing my music as I can just restore that from iTunes Match.


    Thanks in advance!

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