How to Use Wi-Fi Sync for iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch with iOS

Oct 13, 2011 - 135 Comments

By far one of the best features of iOS is wireless syncing and backing up, as the name implies it allows you to wirelessly transfer apps, music, books, contacts, calendars, movies, photos, everything you had to use a wired sync for, but it’s done through the air.

As long as your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is even vaguely new, it will support wi-fi syncing, but you do have to set it up and enable the feature.

Wireless syncing requires modern versions of iOS, iPadOS, iTunes, and MacOS. Be sure you have installed modern versions of these system software and apps before attempting to enable syncing through wi-fi or else the option won’t be visible. This setup process is the same on Mac OS X and Windows, and is fully compatible with both if you are syncing to the different platforms.

Set Up Wireless Syncing in iTunes & iOS for iPhone, iPad, & iPod

You’ll have to connect your iOS device to your computer to set it up, but after that you’re wire free with the exception of charging the hardwares battery. Here is the two step process to setup and enable wi-fi syncing of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

1: Enable Wi-Fi Sync on Computer with iTunes

  1. Connect the iOS device to the computer using a USB cable
  2. Open iTunes and click on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch from the left side of the window
  3. Click on the “Summary” tab in iTunes
  4. Scroll down and click the checkbox next to “Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi” (or iPad or iPod touch)

Enable wireless syncing in iOS for iPhone and iPad

With the iTunes side enabled, now pick up the iOS device to finish the process:

2: Enabling Wi-Fi Sync on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

  1. Launch the “Settings” app, and tap on “General”
  2. Tap on “iTunes Wi-Fi Sync”
  3. Select the computer you set up wi-fi syncing on in the prior iTunes step
  4. Tap on the “Sync” button to start the wireless syncing

You can also double-check that this is working by disconnecting the iPhone or iPad and then choosing the “Sync” option from iTunes on the Mac or PC, you’ll see the familiar sync screen on your device.

How to Use Wi-Fi Syncing with iOS with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Once wi-fi syncing is enabled and set up properly as shown above, the iOS device will automatically sync wirelessly any time the hardware is connected to a power source, including the USB cable, speaker docks, or otherwise.

This process will also backup your iPhone or iPad automatically and wirelessly to iTunes, assuming iTunes is your chosen backup destination.

Other than that automatic process, you can also initiate manual backups and syncing from the iPhone/iPad or from iTunes on the Mac or PC:

How to Manually Start a Wireless Sync from the iOS Device

  • Tap to “Settings” > “General” > “iTunes Wi-Fi Sync” and tap on the ‘Sync’ button

Start Wi-Fi Sync from iPhone

At any point you can cancel this by tapping the “Cancel Sync” button.

How to Start Syncing Wirelessly from iTunes on a Mac or PC

If you want to initiate a manual sync from Mac or Windows, you can continue do so by selecting that button within iTunes.

Start a wireless sync in iTunes to iOS device

If you want to really take advantage of wi-fi syncing and the PC-free experience, don’t forget to sign up for iCloud too. You can follow our guide on setting up iCloud here, it’s very easy and free for the first 5GB of cloud storage with Apple.

Troubleshooting Problems with Wireless Syncing

There’s a variety of potential issues and fixes, Apple provides has a few helpful tips if you run into any issues:

  • Verify the iOS device is running a modern version of system software, anything running iOS 5 or newer supports wi-fi syncing
  • Make sure the Windows PC or Mac is running iTunes 10.5 or later
  • Quit and relaunch iTunes
  • Restart the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  • Reset the wireless router
  • Verify the iOS device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Mac / PC
  • Check for network interference from cordless phones, metal barriers, interfering wi-fi signals, microwaves, etc
  • Verify firewall settings and that TCP ports 123 and 3689 in addition to UDP ports 123 and 5353 are open and accessible (these are ports iTunes uses)

Wi-Fi Syncing in iOS 5 There doesn’t seem to be any limitation on the number of iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch devices that can be used with this, although you may run into the traditional limit of Macs or PC’s that an iOS device can be linked to.

This feature was first introduced in iOS 5 or later and iTunes 10.5 or later, and continues to exist in the latest iOS, iPadOS, iTunes, macOS, and modern system software too.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Liv Life says:

    Wow Tony, you’re such smart one! Thanks for the great info!

  2. Moira says:

    I have been unable to get my phone to sync with my computer for over a month. Usually when I plug my phone to my computer it would open Itunes automatically and sync my phone. Now it doesn’t opens iTunes at all anymore and when I try to sync my phone it wont give me the option to do so. It just says that “the sync will resume when my computer is available”. I have tried everything but nothing seems to work. I have tried signing out and signing back in, deauthorizing my computer, turning my phone on and off, and even uninstalling iTunes completely and then reinstalling it but nothing works and I just keep getting the same message. I don’t think it can be my USB cable cause when I plug my phone it will charge and sync photos onto my computer.
    Please help

    • Aqsa Imran says:

      MAKE SURE AIRDROP IS ON that was my problem on my iphone 6, from the control panel you can hold and press bluetooth a wider popup should appear and you can turn airdrop on and it connected automatically for me from there

  3. Amien says:

    I know this is a super old thread, but I have struggled for some time, and finally have success. All the while that it hasn’t work, my desktop pc has been connected to my router via ethernet cable. I have just fitted a wifi dongle to the desktop pc and it’s working perfectly!

    Hope this helps

  4. have to says:

    do i have a USB cable for this???

  5. […] and the update also resolves an issue that caused iTunes to quit after switching between wired and wireless syncing for iOS […]

  6. […] even works through wireless syncing if that has been configured, though that obviously won’t be the case with a device that has […]

  7. marty says:

    Well, iphone 4 and itunes on pc, set up Wi-Fi sync. Now, if I turn the phone off and back on it will sync with itunes, but otherwise it will not and there is no option in Settings -> General -> iTunes Wi-Fy Sync at all – in fact even when synced all that screen says is to set up wi-fi sync I have to first connect a USB cable! If I open iTunes and turn off then on the phone then it will sync and I can connect to the phone fine from iTunes. Rather weird. iOS 6.1 and all up to date.

  8. […] of the best general iOS features is wifi syncing, which, just as the name implies, allows you to sync content, data, pictures, music, whatever, to […]

  9. […] seems the grayed song issue is particularly prone to happen with syncing over wi-fi, and automatic syncing, both incredibly useful features that can have some hiccups if the wireless […]

  10. […] touch wirelessly and without syncing everything on the device with iTunes, you’ll need to turn on iTunes Wi-Fi Sync. Yes, you read that correctly, in order to add a song to an iPhone (iPod, etc) wirelessly and […]

  11. Paola says:

    Thank you very much!!!

  12. John says:

    Why is the Android system so much more capable? My wife has a Samsung Note and it wirelessly updates without her taking any action – no buttons to push, no USB cable to install.
    Get with it Apple. The system should update automatically JUST LIKE AN ANDROID.

  13. Paula says:

    I am able to sync very easily from the Mac to the iphone. Is it possible to do it in reverse, initiating from the phone?
    Sorry if this is a duplicate question: I tried to read all before posting.

  14. Pete says:

    It seems to be syncing with iphone 3gs and macbook but the calendar doesn’t want to. Trying to figure out why. A little frustrating.
    The best calendar hand held device imo was the palm Treo. Why did they have to discontinue that? A big reason I got into Apple products was the hard wired sync, not over the internet.

  15. […] WiFi Sync using the excellent set of instructions here: After each phone configuration was completed, I then uninstalled the MobileMe Control Panel in […]

  16. Tony says:

    Macbook 2.4GHz C2D Snow Leopard.
    iPhone 4S 64GB.

    WiFi syncing couldn’t have been easier to set up. First time, works great.

    Manually syncs if I ask it to.

    When I plug my phone into a charger at home (i.e. overnight), all changes are synced – new content from both devices is swapped etc.

    Couldn’t be better.

    I’m glad it doesn’t auto-sync off the charger, what a waste of battery that would be.

    Settings to choose for myself would be nice, but hey, it’s Apple, they dictate how it works, and that’s just fine by me.

  17. Anthony Pippin Jr says:

    Does iTunes have to be open on the home computer even if u r syncing your iPod touch wirelessly because it worked as long as iTunes was open on the computer but soon as I closed it this option went away

  18. R Charles Edmonds says:

    Sometimes people have problems understanding because they blunder on w/o reading more than once how to do this very simple wifi syncing thing. The best way to do this is to do one step at a time, one will be amazed as how this works.

  19. R Charles Edmonds says:

    I just discovered how to sync wireless tonight from this, I use an old Airport Extreme Base Station with a 56k modem, believe it or not, but it works great.
    The first time I tried it, it worked, no more cable from iPod Touch 3G, I’m as happy as a pig in You know what!!

  20. Terry Rimmer says:

    WiFi Syncing my iPhone with my iTunes on my PC is soooo tough and totally inconsistent success/failure.
    If I do manage to get them syncing it indicates it has found “each other” and gives all the right appearance of successfully syncing BUT when I check my iPhone calendar it has not updated the calendar at all… what a poor process this whole iPhone/iTiunes wifi sync is.

  21. Elise says:

    Thanks, knew I had missed something….

  22. Tony says:

    Everyone that is having problems with wifi sync not working becauce your ios device says wifi sync will continue wen pc is available or what ever lol. Find your network settings in the control panel you need to let your ios device & pc find each other over the network

  23. Tony says:

    This dosnt even work on my phone iv followed the steps 100 times and restored it aswell but just cant get it to work. Dosnt sound like im missing out on anything really but still would like it to work! Anyone got any helpfull ideas or tips??

    • Lewis says:

      have you tried altering your firewall settings? you have to allow the program iSCSI service. I use windows 7 and as a default position it does not allow this service to access the computer, you much select it manually.

  24. kit says:

    Right now i can use wifi sync in my ipad now. Thanks for the guide.

  25. minhal says:

    Thank you. Wi-Fi sync works, if done these manipulations. And how to make that AMD worked correctly without any action?

  26. […] iPad2 is the Wi-Fi version only.  In my opinion you need to have pretty specialized needs to need to purchase the 3G […]

  27. Lynn says:

    Help…… Whenever I sync my iPad or iPhone, once I am done, I am no longer connected to wi-fi or the internet.

  28. tonya says:

    or have to have os 10.6.8 or later! BS!!

  29. Dave says:

    The iPad not appearing in iTunes is due to the service called Apple Mobile Device starting before the wireless network is connected. The fix is to let the machine boot, login and then restart the service BEFORE you open iTunes and you will find you device works. MACs work better because they have nailed the services boot order properly.

    Please try this and confirm it works, if it does apple am even fix it!

    Good luck


    • minhal says:


      Thank you. Wi-Fi sync works, if done these manipulations. And how to make that AMD worked correctly without any action?

  30. ZValueMan says:

    I have been having the same problem making my IPod touch wirelessly sync to ITunes on my PC, and I found an answer that worked for me.

    I turned off the Vipre firewall, and after a short delay, wireless sync began working. So, I had to figure out why and how to configure the firewall to not block something. There are lots of other people suggesting firewall answers, but none of them worked. For me the answer was not just opening some ports, as was suggested.

    While watching the firewall logs, between different configurations, I finally knew what I had to do, and eventually found the right configuration. Now I get wireless synching with the firewall fully enabled.

    What worked was to add an exception to the firewall rules for the program,
    “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe”.
    This means when the firewall notices a packet coming for that application (the one used to wirelessly sync with IOS devices) it allows it.

    Hope this is a useful suggestion for the other folks having this issue.


  31. Rosa says:

    I’m trying to sync my 3GS for the first time and wanted to know if I need to have it connected with the cable for the first sync.

  32. iGnome says:

    I have just got wifi sync working between my iphone 3gs on 5.01 and my MacBookPro on Snow Leopard. All working fine. However what I have not seen mentioned elsehwere is that I can initiate a sync from my MacBookPro using isync with itunes completely closed down. Dead handy because I don’t leave itunes running when I’m working but I do constantly add diary and address book entries.

    Wish I could get rid of the mobile me warning when I start iSync tho. Any ideas? I don’t even have a mobile me account. Think I read somewhere about just putting in false details to shut it up?

  33. […] iPad2 is the Wi-Fi version only.  In my opinion you need to have pretty specialized needs to need to purchase the 3G […]

  34. Rorth says:

    Not to mention you have to have MAC OXS 10.6.8 or higher… dumb!

  35. Mark says:

    Apple finally caught up to something you could do on a droid phone 2 years ago. It is a good feature when it works when it doesn’t its a pain.

  36. olli says:

    The wifi sync will happen automatically if connected to a charger and locked… and on the same wifi.

    Read automatically.

    You can opt to sync on your command by clicking the sync now in iTunes or on the iDevice…

    Folks need to read properly before panicking or criticizing…

  37. Nayomi says:

    Seems you could practice what you. Nuttin to say, don’t say nuttin. No need to be rude.

    • Pissed says:

      Sure there is a need to be rude. Why shouldn’t I be? There is no need for people who don’t know the answer to the problem to post Me too all the time. Why am I rude? Because I’m calling people out on it? Is that why? I’m not following the directive of Politically Correct Police Officer Nayomi? What will happen if I am rude and get to the point on something? Will Santa Claus put me on his bad list and not get me an iPad for Christmas? Maybe you could use some spelling lessons Nayomi. Its “nothing” not “nuttin”. I know in the backwoods of whatever hicktown you live in that the public education is poor, but really… have this tool called a computer now. Surely you can learn how to spell.

  38. Pissed says:

    what is it with you people who keep repeating a question already asked with a “Me Too”? if you don’t know the answer then DON’T POST. i keep scrolling down to a line of abominable parakeets who keep saying “Me too! Me too! I have the same problem too! Oh my gosh really? You have the same problem? ME TOO! Wow! Really you have the same problem? Me too! Me too! ME TOO!” Like your Me too response is somehow going to magically change the arrangement of the stars and tip the scales in your favor and solve your problem. Idiots. Are you all produced in the same idiot factory? What operating system do YOU run on? IP 5 (Idiot Parakeets 5)?

  39. JimS says:

    I have much the same problem described above. 3G iPod Touch, Windows XP, latest iTunes and iPod Touch software installed. Everything works great except for the WiFi Sync. I’ve tried all the expert suggestions above, but once the iPod Touch is no longer directly connected to PC, and plugged in elsewhere in my house, iTunes does not see it on my wifi net, and the Sync in the iPod Touch Settings in always greyed out and unavailable. All other computers and devices on the net work normally. Any other suggestions?

  40. dcgc says:

    I’ve been able to setup wireless syncing between my iMac & iPhone 4, but I noticed after the setup that my Mac would freeze up and the screen would get grainy, requiring a restart. My apps also wouldn’t update wirelessly, and would display “Waiting”, until I physically connect the phone to the computer and sync from iTunes. Only then would the “Waiting” disappear. I’ve done an Apple Hardware Test, and it came out negative for any problems (thinking that maybe a graphics card needed replaced). Anyone else experiencing this?

  41. br.bill says:

    My iPhone 3GS syncs fine over wi-fi, but not automatically. I always have to tell it (or iTunes) to sync manually. Even when it is plugged into the charger, there is no joy in Syncville.

  42. name says:

    I have been getting annoyed with this. I am getting annoyed that itunes opens, and starts to sync my phone. the first time is alright, but then i eject my phone from the itunes window, and a little while later it opens itunes again, and starts to sync my phone… again. This will happen repeatadly until i shut my computer off. is anyone experienceing this? I would like for it to sync once, and that’s it. and then if i want to add any music, apps, etc. be able to do it later. kind of getting on my nerves.

  43. faith says:

    With the wifi sync, does the computer need to be powered on and do I need to be signed into my iTunes account at all especially at night while my phone is plugged up charging?

  44. Jonny says:

    The answer is not to eject the device in iTunes. Set up wifi sync with the device plugged in and sync, then just unplug it (do not eject it). That should fix it.

  45. The statement about verifying the firewall ports are open here is unneeded. The firewall is for preventing unwanted inbound data from entering your network. Since both devices are already within the same network (they’re connected to the same wifi source) the firewall wont help anything.

    This article is actually just recommending you open those ports, which only implies potential security risks. It wont help solve the specific problem that this article is aiming to remedy.

  46. Harold says:

    After seeing the wifi sync for the iPad now the second time in two days, I’m turning it off. What a slow process, it re-syncs EVERYTHING instead of incremental. I’ll turn it on when I feel like I haven’t backed it up in a while. It shouldn’t be going through a 100% process after you’ve backed it up/sync’d it the first time, but it does. Disappointing implementation. Good thing you can turn it off in iTunes.

  47. Marco says:

    Not sure what you guys are doing, since Friday, it has been flawless syncing between a mini and a 4s

  48. Adam says:

    Just spent the evening messing with this. If you’ve run through all the troubleshooting with no results, check your computer name. Mine had hyphens in it. I renamed the machine with no hyphens, problem solved.

    • Dave says:

      Adam is on the money, something in the mix doesn’t like hyphens. Fixed it for me.

    • Scottie D. says:

      I could kiss Adam right on the lips!!! I’ve been trying to figure out why my wireless sync wouldn’t work for DAYS! It WAS the hypen/dash in the computer name. I never would have figured that out. Thanks, Adam!

    • Eugene says:

      Weird, my computer name has a ‘-‘ in it, but works fine.
      Well not fine, the wifi-sync works when I have my iPhone charging and open but because I have a passcode lock it keeps popping up the same error Larry has when the screen is locked but still plugged into a power source..

  49. Larry Depaulis says:

    i cant wireless sync my iphone unless i turn off the passcode lock. i get this error message ox e80007f . strange

  50. Rylee says:

    I have 2 ipod touches, ones about 25 miles away, it won’t sync with my macbook iTunes lib from that far will it? Cuz the other one I have thats in the same room as my macbook works perfectly fine.

  51. TomG says:

    I have a stranger problem. My Wi-Fi sync works fine. and although I don’t think that this is entirely great here is my problem. My iTunes is randomly starting on my computer even though the program is closed, It has started 7 times today and I have not opened iTunes myself even once, Then I get an error message, “an unidentified iPhone is trying to sync with this computer” (Must be my neighbor I’m guessing?) I am never asked for a password prior to performing a wireless sync, Maybe I could get one set up….

  52. […] How to Use Wi-Fi Sync for iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch with iOS 5 How to Use Wi-Fi Sync for iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch with iOS 5… Source: […]

  53. blaha says:

    it wont work i tried all this it still says owner-pc when available

    • anfaald says:

      same to me. it worked for me only for one night and now, it does not work again.

      Hopefully Apple could do something about this tho.

      • Dave says:

        Had the same issue, iOS5 (or iTunes, don’t know which one) does not like hyphens in machine names. I renamed my machine without the hypen and it took off syncing without any issues. To test it, I put the hyphen back, no sync, take the hyphen out, worked fine. Good luck.

  54. andrew says:

    I was having sync issues with ipad unplugged until I reset my ipad…..then all good! It now sync’s with my ipad unplugged.

  55. AppHacker says:

    i got mine to work.

    plug the usb cable, go to “summary” page/tab scroll down, untick the “sync with this xxxxxx over Wi-Fi”. apply it, and pull out the usb, put it back in and tick the box again. now try taking out the USB and go to setting on ur device and test out the itunes syncing goodluck

  56. Faith says:

    Does my laptop need to have iTunes open always? What if said laptop goes to sleep, or is closed?

  57. chabas says:

    an issue am seeing is that when Itune starts it detects the IOS devices in the wifi network in my case iphone and ipad. i can manually wireless sync it. but as soon as i plug it into a power out let they both disapear. very bad since it doesnt kick off the automatic update and for ITunes to re-recognize the devices the computer needs to be restarted.. (and yes i tried killing the processes in the task manager) sucks

  58. Gweed says:

    Millions of iDevice users and less than 20 complaints.

    Ty even has a complaint about iMessage, an awesome FREE service.

    I’m very happy with all the updates and they are all working very well.

    Two Macs, two iPhones, an iPad all in sync. So cool, so easy!

    Miss Steve, otherwise life is great.

  59. QD says:

    This feature is very buggy. I set it up as shown, the iPad can see the Mac is there. It’s on and running iTunes. If I hit Sync Now on the iPad, it says “looking for… (computer name)” for about a minute before giving. For pity’s sake it’s another node on the same local network comprised entirely of Apple hardware. What’s so difficult?

    • dc says:

      Had the same thing happening to me. Turn the phone off and back on, then works without trouble.

      Also noticed that I don’t have to be plugged in at all to initiate syncing.

  60. Make sure you Forward all the necessary ports, in this case, the IP address of whichever PC or MAC you’re using.

  61. karnakpandey says:

    thanks for the info…it helped and yes, wireless sync doesn’t require the iDevice to be connected to a power source !!!

  62. dengoR says:

    Same problem. No wifi sync option in iTunes. I’m on 10.5.8 Leopard…

  63. Paul says:

    FINALLY got wifi sync to work last night, but imagine my surprise this morning when my iphone had no music or podcasts on it!

    Clearly, Apple released this feature before it was ready for primetime.

    #not happy at all

    • Rutnn says:

      Yeah – It happened to me at first too. Does the reboot etc, then seems to stall on the “updating apps”. Really you need to go to the phone and complete the brief steps to get it started, then reboot phone and it will then resume in Itunes. got it all over after that.

      Just need wifi syncing to work… odd

  64. Can says:

    iTunes suddenly crashed after put some music to iPod Touch. I tried iTunes on pc and mac nothing chaneged. Use Old Ways. Plug-in to sync.

  65. Paul Easton says:

    I have been connecting my iPhone and iPad to my iMac by WiFi for sharing music and video for some time. I can still do so after the upgrade, but the option to sync over wifi does not appear.

  66. Rutnn says:

    Same problem here – I did all the steps to setup wifi sync and it keeps saying it will reseume when “X” is available (my home pc). I have another computer connected via ethernet to the same router with a different itunes account on it and different phone. That one works flawlessly. Must be a setting of some type on the PC? Port issue? I uninstalled Itunes, etc and reinstalled, etc. Nothing… I have an IPAD 2 as well and it also cannot sync. very odd…

  67. Michy says:

    I`m surprised so many people are having problems. I`ve wi-fi synced a few times already and no issues. No doubt it`s slow but it`s working just as Apple says. AND for some reason, I don’t have to plug my iPhone into any power source. My MacBook Pro is on my desk in the living room, my iPhone on the kitchen table and it syncs no problem.

    • anfaald says:

      you are lucky to have got the wifi sync to work on your macbook.. sadly to most of the people here, the wifi sync does not work even if we had done the steps from APPLE. :(

      I am still trying now.

      • anfaald says:

        I just got it!

        What i did was just unable the option ‘Sync this ipad with wireless’, pull out the cable, detach it back and enable the option sync with wireless again, and then follow the steps on the above. :)


  68. Jason Painter says:

    My iMac is on Ethernet to a Wi-Fi base station, then out over Wi-Fi to my iPhone. It will not sync. It doesn’t see the computer. Is it significant that my iMac is not also on Wi-Fi? If this is a requirement, it would odd.

    • MIke says:

      Yeah this is a downside…the PC must have wireless and not be connected to wireless router using a cable or the WIFI sync will not apply. So what about us who use a desktop…I am not about to install WIFI card just for this.

  69. anfaald says:

    i have problems in the wireless syncing as well. i cant do wireless sync onto my PC. on my iPad it says ‘sync will resume when “pc name” is available. My PC is available, my ipad and PC are connected onto the same internet line and I have checked the box inside iTunes. But sitll, the button SYNC NOW is greyed out. I have rebooted my PC, install a new iTunes, clean my registry but still failed.

    So damn frustrated.

    • BridgeF says:

      I am having this exact same problem! If someone figures it out! Please share. :)

    • Noah says:

      theres no need to swear :D

      Make sure you first plug in your iPhone into the mac, let it show up in itunes, and then sync FROM ITUNES, if you want to start sync from the iPhone your iPhone has to be plugged into a power source.

    • Lee says:

      I had same problem and this is how I fixed it. In iTunes UNcheck “Sync with Wi-fi” on Summary page. Close iTunes. Power off your IOS device (iPad..etc). Open iTunes and turn on IOS device. Connect IOS device to your computer and wait for sync to complete and the device should appear in iTunes. Now, in iTunes, click “Sync with Wi-fi” on Summary page and click Apply. This worked for me.

  70. rona says:

    i updated everything but the sync iphone with wifi isnt showing up? i did everything turned off and on phone and computer and tried updating again but it isnt working…ive looked up and down every page! HELP!! is it because i have the old white macbook with version 10.5.8?? does the action need a certain type of software or computer??

    • fhleespam says:

      I’m having the same problem. The sync with wi-fi option is not even showing on itunes and I’ve updated everything possible. I have a MacBook Pro and this should not be an issue. Also, the fact that my wireless is working otherwise (on both my phone and computer) – shouldn’t that indicate that wi-fi is working?

      • Diamond says:

        Do not have the option to “sync with wi-fi” in iTunes

        iPhone 4 with a iMac 2GHz intel core 2 duo with 10.5.8
        hardwired to an AirPort Extreme.

        I keep the iMac’s AirPort turned off…

      • Noah says:

        Make sure your iDevice is on iOS 5. Just installing iTunes 10.5 won’t do it.

        FWI this only works on iPhones, iPads, and iPod TOUCH, not any iPod.

    • suzy says:

      im having the same exact problem!! :(

      • MaX says:

        Me too….
        Help please :-(

        • Julie says:

          After and 1.5 hours on the phone with apple, found out my iMac need to be upgraded to the LION…..then everything is syncing well…IPad, IPhone, and IMac

          • Boise Ed says:

            Upgrading to Lion enables the iCloud solution. Mine, with Snow Leopard (10.6.8), now works fine (albeit slowly). After checking iTunes’ “Sync … over Wi-Fi” box, make sure to click on the “Apply” button at the lower right. That was what held me up.

    • Scott M says:

      Me too! I don’t get it. I have a two year old iMac and iPhone 4. Took me a while to figure out that I hadn’t set it up at first, so when I went to set it up that option just isn’t available, despite what I do with the limited Apple help on their “troubleshooting” pages.

  71. Raymond says:

    Try creating a wifi network on your mac, connect the ios5 device to it and sync. not possible for me. sucks for those who have a macbook but not an airport ..

  72. Zamm says:

    Best feature in iOS 5, but the tethered start is a little weird so the best way to use this is manual syncing.

  73. Mac Bosh says:

    Awfully true. I regret updating for many others reasons – wifi syncing can”t be any slower than that.

  74. Barry Smoot says:

    If I have to keep my iphone plugged into a power source (most usually it’s my Mac Book) AND I have to be connected to the WIFI, what’s the point of the Wifi sync? LOL. Might as well sync with my cable if there are too many requirements???

    • Ty says:

      I agree. I was disappointed with this feature as well as iMessage.

    • Michy says:

      I`ve done wi-fi sync a few times since upgrading. Despite it being slow, I haven`t had to have my iPhone plugged into anything. My MacBook Pro on my desk, my iPhone on the kitchen table…and it syncs. No doubt its slow but I`m able to sync from any where.

    • Brian says:

      AUTOMATIC syncs and backups require the phone to be plugged in. Manually initiated syncs don’t require the phone to be plugged in.

      • Day says:

        I just tried this without the iphone being powered externally and it does not work. “sync now” is grayed out.

        • Boise Ed says:

          I was about to say “Same here,” but I found that I had missed a step not mentioned above. After checking the “Sync … over Wi-Fi” box, you have to click on the “Apply” button at the lower right. NOW it works.

    • Doonser says:

      The idea is that if you have docks around your house, such as docking to a stereo or a clock radio (e.g. iHome) you can plug in and sync from anywhere.

      • Laocoon says:

        Agreed. My PC is downstairs but I most often have the iPhone/Pods upstairs on the main level. Lots of running back and forth is avoided with wireless sync.

        You do have to set it up to fit your habits. I keep charging locations strategically around the house and in the cars. That way I can keep my phone with me and synced up.

        I also Bluetooth the phone to one of those landline/cell phone setups so we can answer calls from any phone anywhere in the house.

    • Jo says:

      you can manually sync without being connected to a power source, that’s just when it automatically does it.

    • shawn says:

      Look here stupid people…

      You can force a sync without being plugged in…the power cord thing is…

      1. Just the conservative way to backup anything but cause losing power midprocess of a backup or restore can be a problem. If you won’t lose power then don’t worry.

      2. Being on power is the “trigger” for the system to backup. You know when you have to recharge you phone all night for the next day? Great time to sync…if you are a neurotic mess and have to sync every 30 minutes they have the neat little sync button on the phone and itunes…

    • Jeff says:

      my ipad2 would sync using wifi but my iphone 4S would not even though the selection was made in itunes…rebooting everything solved the problem…

      • Gaurav says:

        Hey Jeff..
        My ipad 2 syncs fine over wifi…but my itouch 4g shows on the itunes window but wont sync anytime or even add content manually…wat to do??

    • Andy says:

      Completely agree with Barry. I have a PC, and if I need to plug the phone in to sync it (wirelessly)..haha, then ya what is the point. I’d like for me to be able to add music or whatever to my itunes, then the phone would automatically sync at a certain time, and without wires. I would call that wifi syncing.
      I like the imessage though. Sooner or later, all my friends will have ios 5 and I won’t need a text plan anymore!!!

    • Tony says:

      My iphone works over wifi sync with out being plugged it

    • Jimmy says:

      What am i doing wrong. I have followed this to the letter and still no wifi syncs

    • Ryan says:

      Your phone doesn’t need to stay plugged in at all. It just automatically initiates syncing when it begins charging. And it’s WIFI syncing. Of course you need to keep your devices connected to WIFI. Duh.

    • James Gardiner says:

      I have tried this every way possible. I have a PC. It simply does not work. I only have success 10% (1 in 10) times. I have stopped even bothering. I have to USB right into the computer for it to work reliably. May as well not even have this feature.
      This is an example of Apple at its worst. Should just work. Well it does not and they have had 6 months to fix it.
      Maybe its because I am on a PC… Still, bad form..
      And yes, I have checked EVERYTHING. I am a network tech for my job.

      • Fredrick says:

        Same as James, even the network tech part. WiFi stopped on it’s own, after working for a while. Nothing changes that. NOTHING. There’s enough comments across the Internet about it’s flakiness in this area to say….it’s a problem.

    • James Burke says:

      Wifi synch is a great idea in theory. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work. I’ve missed several important appointments, because of it’s lousy integration. I’ll then go through every step to get it finally working again. It’ll work for a while, and then suddenly fail. This is a major problem facing the Cloud, and until is seamlessly fixed, I for one, won’t be using it.

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