Apple Said They Fixed iOS Device Syncing; But They Didn’t

I’m so tired of sync problems with iTunes. I ripped some CDs yesterday, and added the music to a playlist that syncs to my iPhone. I wanted to sync the music to my device before walking on my treadmill earlier today, but, of course, the music didn’t sync.

What irks me is that Apple claims to have fixed syncing in the latest update to iTunes (version 12.1), but the same problems are still occurring.

“This update also improves performance when syncing with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.”

I’m seeing the exact same problem that Rob Griffiths wrote about, in detail, regarding his then-new iPhone 6. If I look at the music that is listed as being on my device in iTunes, I see this:

Dimmed tracks itunes

All these dimmed tracks show that they are waiting to be synced. But even when the sync finishes – or, more correctly, times out without displaying any errors – the tracks still show as dimmed, and aren’t on the device.

Of course, now I’ve got this other problem, that we see so often when syncing iOS devices:

Ios device over capacity

iTunes now thinks that my iPhone is totally borked. See all that “Other” space, the yellow in the capacity bar? That’s iTunes now thinking that I don’t have any music on my device, even though the space is used.

I’ve also found that iTunes deleted the contents of some of my playlists, and some playlists entirely. I’ll have to reload a backup of my iTunes library.

Before the release of iOS, syncing was more or less reliable. There were issues, but not as often. But now, it’s a crapshoot.

Come on, Apple, this is getting ridiculous. I’ve restored my iPhone so many times that I’m probably wearing out its flash storage. This happens to so many people, so frequently, that syncing anything to an iOS device is becoming a major ordeal.


If you have sync problems, I would appreciate if you could post a comment below. I’m trying to collect as much information as possible to try and get Apple to pay attention to this issue. Please post the device you’re using, and a brief explanation of the problems you’re having. Also, post if these problems are new, since iOS 8, or if you’ve had them for a long time. Thanks!

284 thoughts on “Apple Said They Fixed iOS Device Syncing; But They Didn’t

  1. I went to put two CDs onto my iPod touch and what I assumed would be a ten minute job at worst looks as if I’m going to have to spend tomorrow clearing up the fallout on both my PC and my iPod as I’m left with duplicate albums, split albums, ravaged playlists and flat out deleted songs. Kudos to you Apple, truly the future is now.

  2. I went to put two CDs onto my iPod touch and what I assumed would be a ten minute job at worst looks as if I’m going to have to spend tomorrow clearing up the fallout on both my PC and my iPod as I’m left with duplicate albums, split albums, ravaged playlists and flat out deleted songs. Kudos to you Apple, truly the future is now.

  3. So annoyed with the “missing music”! I added my music and then withing hours it is missing! I was thinking my phone was messing up but clearly it is iTunes/Apple that is my frustration!

  4. So annoyed with the “missing music”! I added my music and then withing hours it is missing! I was thinking my phone was messing up but clearly it is iTunes/Apple that is my frustration!

  5. 6+
    Apple Watch
    Bluetooth Headphones

    Any time I change playlist, songs don’t sync after taking all steps. It takes so long to ‘sync’ that I don’t realize the sync failed until I’m at my workout the next day getting ready to start.

    Call customer service and have them walk you through it. It’s only time.

    This is a fail Apple. Not top notch at all.

  6. 6+
    Apple Watch
    Bluetooth Headphones

    Any time I change playlist, songs don’t sync after taking all steps. It takes so long to ‘sync’ that I don’t realize the sync failed until I’m at my workout the next day getting ready to start.

    Call customer service and have them walk you through it. It’s only time.

    This is a fail Apple. Not top notch at all.

  7. I am now approaching my breaking point.

    I have a iPhone 6 for the past two year that has faithfully worked with my Mid-2011 27″ iMac. Photos, iTunes and Keynote all have been working flawless and in sync with both devices. Backups have been stored on my iMac routinely. Now, with the latest upgrade to Mac OS Sierra vrs 10.12.6 with iTunes vs. 12.6.2.20 and the iPhone iOS 10.3.3 – I have been unable to get any response from my iPhone on my iMac through the USB cable. The iPhone no longer receives power or charges via USB cable while attached to the iMac and no recognition of the phone is to be had. No device awareness or syncing in iTunes or even in the System Report showing it on the USB Bus. I can charge the phone via USB cable to a wall outlet only.

    1) Viewing System Report from “About This Mac” under Hardware USB all ports show to be active, But, no listing of iPhone. I have switched out to different ports. Restarted iMac with no USB ports active and plug in USB cable in each port and still no response. Purchased a new USB cable – no joy. There is a listing for the iPhone under Network as Type: Ethernet. – Is that Correct? (possible issue there?)
    2) Done a Hard Restart on iMac to clear PRAM and SMC.
    3) I have gone and De-Authorized the iMac from iTunes and Re-Authorize it.
    4) Reset iPhone Network Settings to re-verify Trust Authentication between iPhone and iMac – No Response
    5) Hard Restart of iPhone – Nope
    5) I have uninstalled iTunes on the iMac at the root level and reinstalled an Older version of iTunes 12.5.5.5 – No go. Updated it up again to 12.6.2.20 – Still NO JOY.
    6) Gone and deleted all .plist files in the secretly hidden folder “LockDown” with the exception of SystemConfiguration.plist – (Felt like that would be it being all incognito and cloke & dagerish) – BAHHH You FOOL!
    7) Have taken iPhone and USB cable to another computer across town and plugged it in – Viola! Recognized immediately. It was a Mac Pro 2016 Running MacOS El Capitan 10.11.16. iTunes 12.6.125 fires up and my iPhone wants to Trust Authorize the computer. Bring the iPhone Home, plug into my computer – None existent.

    It appears to me that there may be some sorta software glitch or corruption going on. Any Help, Thoughts or Suggestions? Not sure if or how you go about trying to reinstall iOS on the phone to see if its would write over the troubling software?

    WARNING RANT: So I am left here trying real hard to pound down my aggressions at what appears to be Apple’s continuing FUBAR attempts to update their software. Why the @!%$&* do they have to remove features & break what works in each “New and Improve” update. Then we have to spend evenings and weekends scrambling and gleaning any info from like minded victims and kludge together a possible “fix”. At what point, here, in the now future, are we to see the synergy, the convergence, the utopian fulfillment of integrated devices across all platforms seamlessly communicating and troubleshooting themselves? “You’ll See Why 1984 – Won’t Be Like 1984….” Now more than ever it appears the left hand and doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, heck, they don’t even know they exist on the same body. One could almost wispily yearn back for those days of System 7 and a phone with a cord.

    Again Thank-you for time and any direction on this.

    Official Apple Support Communities Response –
    jameson.h – moderator
    Aug 25, 2017 8:04 AM in response to MacSE30Vet

    Community Specialists
    Aug 25, 2017 8:04 AM in response to MacSE30Vet
    Hi MacSE30Vet,

    I understand that your iMac does not recognize when your iPhone is plugged in, despite providing it with power. I’m happy to provide some help for this issue.

    You’ve done a lot of great troubleshooting for this issue already, including isolating this to an issue with the iMac by testing your iPhone on another computer. Based on what you’ve described, check out step 3 in the following article:
    If you see your iPhone, iPad, or iPod under USB Device Tree, uninstall third-party security software. If not, contact Apple Support.
    If iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPhone, iPad, or iPod – Apple Support

    Thanks for using the Apple Support Communities. Cheers!

    Really?
    I mean Thank-You for the suggestion … but really?
    Referring to two overviewed, countlessly re-posted, Company’s elementary trouble shooting documents. (With one now removed from your site – no longer avaialble.)
    And the only suggestion being check out step 3, uninstall third party security software? – “If you see your iPhone … under USB Device Tree”
    That just it! I don’t even see it listed under USB Device Tree in the 1st place! Check out step 1) in my original post.
    And if I did, there is no third party security software installed – the only security software that I would be able to uninstall is Apple’s own Security & Privacy Firewall (not likely). If that don’t work, well then shoot call Apple Support. Again, not likely since both devices are beyond the 2-year Apple Care Support.
    Seriously, we are well beyond this stage.
    That same document cites an issue with The Apple Mobile Device USB Driver may be missing or in error. But of course this is only for Windows – Hence one is suspicious that this USB Drive in MacOS is hardwired natively to the OS and can’t be isolated and/or replaced? Are we looking at an entire system reinstall just to fix one USB port issue? App Store won’t allow you to reinstall an existing MacOS – since I’m currently up to date . …… But broken.

  8. I am now approaching my breaking point.

    I have a iPhone 6 for the past two year that has faithfully worked with my Mid-2011 27″ iMac. Photos, iTunes and Keynote all have been working flawless and in sync with both devices. Backups have been stored on my iMac routinely. Now, with the latest upgrade to Mac OS Sierra vrs 10.12.6 with iTunes vs. 12.6.2.20 and the iPhone iOS 10.3.3 – I have been unable to get any response from my iPhone on my iMac through the USB cable. The iPhone no longer receives power or charges via USB cable while attached to the iMac and no recognition of the phone is to be had. No device awareness or syncing in iTunes or even in the System Report showing it on the USB Bus. I can charge the phone via USB cable to a wall outlet only.

    1) Viewing System Report from “About This Mac” under Hardware USB all ports show to be active, But, no listing of iPhone. I have switched out to different ports. Restarted iMac with no USB ports active and plug in USB cable in each port and still no response. Purchased a new USB cable – no joy. There is a listing for the iPhone under Network as Type: Ethernet. – Is that Correct? (possible issue there?)
    2) Done a Hard Restart on iMac to clear PRAM and SMC.
    3) I have gone and De-Authorized the iMac from iTunes and Re-Authorize it.
    4) Reset iPhone Network Settings to re-verify Trust Authentication between iPhone and iMac – No Response
    5) Hard Restart of iPhone – Nope
    5) I have uninstalled iTunes on the iMac at the root level and reinstalled an Older version of iTunes 12.5.5.5 – No go. Updated it up again to 12.6.2.20 – Still NO JOY.
    6) Gone and deleted all .plist files in the secretly hidden folder “LockDown” with the exception of SystemConfiguration.plist – (Felt like that would be it being all incognito and cloke & dagerish) – BAHHH You FOOL!
    7) Have taken iPhone and USB cable to another computer across town and plugged it in – Viola! Recognized immediately. It was a Mac Pro 2016 Running MacOS El Capitan 10.11.16. iTunes 12.6.125 fires up and my iPhone wants to Trust Authorize the computer. Bring the iPhone Home, plug into my computer – None existent.

    It appears to me that there may be some sorta software glitch or corruption going on. Any Help, Thoughts or Suggestions? Not sure if or how you go about trying to reinstall iOS on the phone to see if its would write over the troubling software?

    WARNING RANT: So I am left here trying real hard to pound down my aggressions at what appears to be Apple’s continuing FUBAR attempts to update their software. Why the @!%$&* do they have to remove features & break what works in each “New and Improve” update. Then we have to spend evenings and weekends scrambling and gleaning any info from like minded victims and kludge together a possible “fix”. At what point, here, in the now future, are we to see the synergy, the convergence, the utopian fulfillment of integrated devices across all platforms seamlessly communicating and troubleshooting themselves? “You’ll See Why 1984 – Won’t Be Like 1984….” Now more than ever it appears the left hand and doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, heck, they don’t even know they exist on the same body. One could almost wispily yearn back for those days of System 7 and a phone with a cord.

    Again Thank-you for time and any direction on this.

    Official Apple Support Communities Response –
    jameson.h – moderator
    Aug 25, 2017 8:04 AM in response to MacSE30Vet

    Community Specialists
    Aug 25, 2017 8:04 AM in response to MacSE30Vet
    Hi MacSE30Vet,

    I understand that your iMac does not recognize when your iPhone is plugged in, despite providing it with power. I’m happy to provide some help for this issue.

    You’ve done a lot of great troubleshooting for this issue already, including isolating this to an issue with the iMac by testing your iPhone on another computer. Based on what you’ve described, check out step 3 in the following article:
    If you see your iPhone, iPad, or iPod under USB Device Tree, uninstall third-party security software. If not, contact Apple Support.
    If iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPhone, iPad, or iPod – Apple Support

    Thanks for using the Apple Support Communities. Cheers!

    Really?
    I mean Thank-You for the suggestion … but really?
    Referring to two overviewed, countlessly re-posted, Company’s elementary trouble shooting documents. (With one now removed from your site – no longer avaialble.)
    And the only suggestion being check out step 3, uninstall third party security software? – “If you see your iPhone … under USB Device Tree”
    That just it! I don’t even see it listed under USB Device Tree in the 1st place! Check out step 1) in my original post.
    And if I did, there is no third party security software installed – the only security software that I would be able to uninstall is Apple’s own Security & Privacy Firewall (not likely). If that don’t work, well then shoot call Apple Support. Again, not likely since both devices are beyond the 2-year Apple Care Support.
    Seriously, we are well beyond this stage.
    That same document cites an issue with The Apple Mobile Device USB Driver may be missing or in error. But of course this is only for Windows – Hence one is suspicious that this USB Drive in MacOS is hardwired natively to the OS and can’t be isolated and/or replaced? Are we looking at an entire system reinstall just to fix one USB port issue? App Store won’t allow you to reinstall an existing MacOS – since I’m currently up to date . …… But broken.

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