4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2013 6:43 PM by turingtest2
nocturn7 Level 1 (0 points)

Both of my computers are Windows 7. I try to manage my music and videos on both iTunes. I used to be easy, like you just check the "Manually manage music and videos" square, and everything is fine... But after I update to iTunes 11, it just doesn't work. There is no resulting dialog box coming up where I can click "OK" after I checked square, and no matter I click "apply" below or "done" above, the iTunes asks to erase and sync with the iPhone. After it syncs, the "Manually manage music and videos" is checked. But if I move to another computer another iTunes, then it says I'm already syncing with one iTunes, and it needs to erase and sync with my iPhone again... and of course, the "Manually manage music and videos" is unchecked on this iTunes... If I try to check that on this one.. it's the same story happened before... Basically, there is just no way I can use one iPhone on two iTunes 11, is it?

iPhone 4S, Windows 7
  • roaminggnome Level 10 (95,032 points)

    You have never been able to do this with any version of itunes with an iphone.


    Iphone has always synced, or manually managed,  with one and only one computer at a time.


    "Even when manually managing music, some content may be available from only one library at time. This includes all content on iPhone and video content on iPod and iPad."



  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,812 points)

    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 Photos 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 whenever I can connect 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.



  • nocturn7 Level 1 (0 points)

    iPhone can be used with multiple computers. If you have doubt on that, here is the official instruction based on iTunes 10: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1202.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,812 points)

    Small print towards the end the end of that article:


    iPod shuffle and iPhone are intended for use with a single computer. You cannot load music from multiple computers or iTunes libraries onto iPod shuffle and iPhone like you can with other devices.


    However the method given above will work. It is akin to backing up your library from one computer and then restoring it to another, except that you carry on using the original library when you want to.


    Where there's a will, there's a way!