Survey: How Do You Sync Your Primary iOS Device with iTunes?

[poll id=”4″]

Note that you can choose two answers, if, for example, you use both wired and Wi-Fi syncing at different times.

Feel free to post any comments below about your sync strategy or experiences.

90 thoughts on “Survey: How Do You Sync Your Primary iOS Device with iTunes?

  1. I put wirelessly but that’s only if iTunes recognizes the iOS devices. It’s usually 100% with the iPad Mini 2, but the new iPhone 6 is about 50/50 at best. If they all worked 100%, then I would be 100% wireless.

  2. I put wirelessly but that’s only if iTunes recognizes the iOS devices. It’s usually 100% with the iPad Mini 2, but the new iPhone 6 is about 50/50 at best. If they all worked 100%, then I would be 100% wireless.

  3. Used to do a wired sync, then switched to WiFi sync which was unreliable. When I got my new 5S last year, I found that I could get everything from the old phone to the new phone except for the music, which I pretty quickly found I had little room for (regret at buying a 16 GB phone). I now only have streaming music on my phone, and therefore see no reason to sync.

  4. Used to do a wired sync, then switched to WiFi sync which was unreliable. When I got my new 5S last year, I found that I could get everything from the old phone to the new phone except for the music, which I pretty quickly found I had little room for (regret at buying a 16 GB phone). I now only have streaming music on my phone, and therefore see no reason to sync.

  5. That was supposed to be “…get everything from the old phone to the new phone VIA iCLOUD except for the music…”

  6. That was supposed to be “…get everything from the old phone to the new phone VIA iCLOUD except for the music…”

      • I also use both at times and so was expecting to dismiss the poll without answering, but then I saw that you allowed two answers. “Clever man,” I thought. Now I see the truth 😉

      • I also use both at times and so was expecting to dismiss the poll without answering, but then I saw that you allowed two answers. “Clever man,” I thought. Now I see the truth 😉

  7. WI-FI and wired syncing aren’t mutually exclusive, I use both. I have WI-FI syncing set, but when the router of whatever it is causing the local host name to increment (MacHost shows up as MacHost-1 then MacHost-1) I’ve found that Wi-Fi syncing doesn’t cope with that, so I also do a wired sync from time to time.

  8. WI-FI and wired syncing aren’t mutually exclusive, I use both. I have WI-FI syncing set, but when the router of whatever it is causing the local host name to increment (MacHost shows up as MacHost-1 then MacHost-1) I’ve found that Wi-Fi syncing doesn’t cope with that, so I also do a wired sync from time to time.

    • I thought of that, but I’m specifically interested in whether on not people sync devices to iTunes. So in your case, it would be Never.

    • I thought of that, but I’m specifically interested in whether on not people sync devices to iTunes. So in your case, it would be Never.

  9. I don’t really get why people sync. I want control over what’s on my devices. Perhaps I’m missing something about the process, but I’ve never been tempted to transfer files other than manually. I used to do that a lot with my iPod Nano, but with IOS, I find it works best as a standalone device.

    • By sync, I do mean to include manually transferring items. But you can only manage music and videos manually; anything else has to actually be synced (if you connect to iTunes).

  10. I don’t really get why people sync. I want control over what’s on my devices. Perhaps I’m missing something about the process, but I’ve never been tempted to transfer files other than manually. I used to do that a lot with my iPod Nano, but with IOS, I find it works best as a standalone device.

    • By sync, I do mean to include manually transferring items. But you can only manage music and videos manually; anything else has to actually be synced (if you connect to iTunes).

  11. I only back up new files and downloads, and manually manage music/videos/app files; I never sync, b/c I’ve lost data in wrong-way syncing.

  12. I only back up new files and downloads, and manually manage music/videos/app files; I never sync, b/c I’ve lost data in wrong-way syncing.

  13. I wake up early and charge my iPhone with the Lightning cable connected to my Mac’s USB hub, so it’s always been easy to sync connected. But I generally keep my iPad in my bedroom and when I update apps etc I’ll almost always do it over the air, and periodically charge it with a Lightning cable connected to my AC-powered Bluetooth speaker. Maybe once a month I’ll walk it over to my Mac, plug it in and back it up.

    I have a 128Gb iPad and a 64Gb iPhone, so I don’t want to deal with the time involved with backing up over WiFi or the expense of additional iCloud storage. What I have works.

  14. I wake up early and charge my iPhone with the Lightning cable connected to my Mac’s USB hub, so it’s always been easy to sync connected. But I generally keep my iPad in my bedroom and when I update apps etc I’ll almost always do it over the air, and periodically charge it with a Lightning cable connected to my AC-powered Bluetooth speaker. Maybe once a month I’ll walk it over to my Mac, plug it in and back it up.

    I have a 128Gb iPad and a 64Gb iPhone, so I don’t want to deal with the time involved with backing up over WiFi or the expense of additional iCloud storage. What I have works.

  15. I typically use both wireless and wired. Specifically I use wired for iOS updates. The wifi is nice because I don’ t have to think about syncing – it happens in the background when on my home network,

    I’m be curious to know the iCloud component.

  16. I typically use both wireless and wired. Specifically I use wired for iOS updates. The wifi is nice because I don’ t have to think about syncing – it happens in the background when on my home network,

    I’m be curious to know the iCloud component.

  17. Kirk,
    Read your comment about iCloud and iTunes – if iCloud is turned on then only items sync-d is music & videos. So if I have iTunes match, then the only syncing item is video?

    Interesting. I think I’m going to ask for itune match from Santa :o)

    Here via the The loopinsight.

  18. Kirk,
    Read your comment about iCloud and iTunes – if iCloud is turned on then only items sync-d is music & videos. So if I have iTunes match, then the only syncing item is video?

    Interesting. I think I’m going to ask for itune match from Santa :o)

    Here via the The loopinsight.

  19. I haven’t synced in some time. I have a new 6 and have been dreading the move to get all my music from my older 4s because sync is so fraught. Your expertise has helped me many times, so thanks.

  20. I haven’t synced in some time. I have a new 6 and have been dreading the move to get all my music from my older 4s because sync is so fraught. Your expertise has helped me many times, so thanks.

  21. I would WiFi sync if it ever worked. I only sync a homemade (not for distribution) podcast that I listen to every day. Otherwise I’d never sync anything.

  22. I would WiFi sync if it ever worked. I only sync a homemade (not for distribution) podcast that I listen to every day. Otherwise I’d never sync anything.

  23. The iTunes sync questions seem to be traps that will delete information or overfill the device. It feels like a lottery where the odds have got worse over the years. Never mind with only two current devices, the backups are over 47gig. WTF?

    • Large backups are caused by your camera roll, nothing else. The backups don’t contain much data if you don’t have a lot of photos and/or videos on your device.

      • I find Messages takes up a huge chunk of my backup as well. I like to keep conversations but I’d like to be able to delete the photos within them that are taking up most of the space. Unfortunately Apple still don’t give us a way to do that.

  24. The iTunes sync questions seem to be traps that will delete information or overfill the device. It feels like a lottery where the odds have got worse over the years. Never mind with only two current devices, the backups are over 47gig. WTF?

    • Large backups are caused by your camera roll, nothing else. The backups don’t contain much data if you don’t have a lot of photos and/or videos on your device.

      • I find Messages takes up a huge chunk of my backup as well. I like to keep conversations but I’d like to be able to delete the photos within them that are taking up most of the space. Unfortunately Apple still don’t give us a way to do that.

  25. I think there are several functions that don’t work over the WiFi connection unless the device is plugged in to charge. That could be the issue for several people.

    The last time I plugged in to sync was when I moved from iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5S and from an iPad Mini to an iPad Air. I plugged in to get the full backup for the transfer. Otherwise, WiFi when necessary, and most of the contacts, settings, etc, sync via iCloud. Like someone mentioned before, I do a full backup via cable connection once a month or so, but otherwise let iCloud deal with settings backup and the rest.

  26. I think there are several functions that don’t work over the WiFi connection unless the device is plugged in to charge. That could be the issue for several people.

    The last time I plugged in to sync was when I moved from iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5S and from an iPad Mini to an iPad Air. I plugged in to get the full backup for the transfer. Otherwise, WiFi when necessary, and most of the contacts, settings, etc, sync via iCloud. Like someone mentioned before, I do a full backup via cable connection once a month or so, but otherwise let iCloud deal with settings backup and the rest.

  27. I do both because wireless doesn’t always work and also because wifi syncing doesn’t let you import photos into iPhoto.

  28. I do both because wireless doesn’t always work and also because wifi syncing doesn’t let you import photos into iPhoto.

  29. I’m surprised at how many people still sync. I guess buying music isn’t dead yet. Since I stream everything via Spotify there’s no reason to sync anything. Anything I do want to share between desktop and mobile device is done via cloud services.

  30. I’m surprised at how many people still sync. I guess buying music isn’t dead yet. Since I stream everything via Spotify there’s no reason to sync anything. Anything I do want to share between desktop and mobile device is done via cloud services.

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