iTunes: Syncing Your World

If you have used an iPod before, syncing your iPhone or iPod touch with iTunes will work the same way. The first time you connect your device to the computer you will be taken through the setup process.

After connecting your device to your computer, you should see it appear under the Devices list on the left side of the iTunes window.

Your Device

Selecting your iPhone or iPod touch in this menu will bring up a menu with several tabs from which you may sync contacts, calendars, music, podcasts, and videos.

Syncing Tabs

Summary Tab

This tab reveals some important information about your device such as your phone number, the current software version, and the serial number of the device.

It is strongly recommended that you write down or save your serial number, as it will be needed in the event that something were to happen to the device. In case of damage to the iPhone or iPod touch, Apple requires a valid Apple Serial Number before any processing can take place.

In this tab you can also update your device to the latest software version as well as restore it to its original software settings. Be aware that doing so may result in the loss of data currently being stored.

Info Tab

This tab will allow you to sync contacts, calendars, mail accounts, and web bookmarks.

Simply select which items you would like to sync with your device and the next time you click "Apply" at the bottom of the page it will sync those items to your iPhone or iPod touch.

Mac OS X

For OS X users, iTunes will look at Address Book for contacts, iCal for calendars, Mail for mail accounts, and Safari for bookmarks.

Sync with Safari


For Windows users, iTunes will look at Microsoft Outlook for calendars, contacts, and mail accounts and will sync bookmarks with either Internet Explorer or Safari.

Sync with IE

Ringtones Tab

In this tab you can sync Ringtones you have downloaded for use on your phone. Simply check the Ringtones you want to use or choose to sync all of them. Once synced, you can personalize rings for contacts or change the default ringer.

Music Tab

This tab will allow you to choose which playlists you would like to sync to your device. You can choose to either sync your entire music library or limit it to just certain playlists.

Sync your Music

Photos Tab

This tab will allow you to load photos onto your iPhone or iPod touch. You can select which albums to load from iPhoto or which pictures to load from your Pictures folder on a Mac. On Windows, you can choose to select from a Photoshop Album, Photoshop Elements, or your My Pictures folder.

Sync your Photos

Podcasts Tab

In this tab you can select from the list of Podcasts which you have downloaded or to which you have subscribed and sync them with your device.

Video Tab

Here you can select Videos and/or TV Shows in your iTunes playlist to upload to your device.

Applications Tab

This section will let you manage which Apps are installed on your device. See our Apps section for more details.


To initiate a Sync of your device simply click the "Apply" button (if you have made changes), or the "Sync" button within iTunes. While the device is syncing do not unplug it from the computer. Should you receive a call while the phone is syncing, the sync will be cancelled.


Your iPhone or iPod touch has a limited storage capacity. You can see the space usage in iTunes by looking at the bar at the bottom of the window after selecting your device.

Space Meter

This meter will tell you the capacity of the device, how much free space is available, and what is using up the space. Should the device become full, iTunes will give you an error when syncing and inform you that you will need to remove some files to properly sync the device. When you remove an item from the list of things to sync in iTunes, it will remain on the device until the next time the device is synced.

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