Troubleshoot iTunes 12 Sync Failures & Syncing Problems with iOS 8
Many users have a love or hate relationship with iTunes, which is required to sync an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a Mac or PC (presumably an Apple Watch too). When iTunes syncing works as intended, that’s fantastic, but sometimes things don’t work out that way. iTunes 12 in particular appears to have some annoying issues with syncing that causes a sync and media transfer to get stuck on a step and never complete, sometimes just filling up your device with music and song names that can’t actually play. Another frustrating syncing issue is an outright refusal to sync, where iTunes just becomes unresponsive when you try to sync data between your iPhone/iPad and the computer.
We’ve covered various troubleshooting steps for iTunes refusing to sync with iOS devices and while those may very well resolve your issues with iTunes, the steps outlined below seem to work to give iTunes 12 a kick in the pants when syncing gets stuck and fails to complete with an iOS 8 device, just a bunch of empty track names sync over, or when the iTunes app just basically freezes during a syncing attempt and refuses to do much of anything.
Fixing iTunes 12 Sync Issues with iOS 8 Devices
This should resolve syncing problems with both wi-fi syncing and USB cable syncing. Regardless, you’ll need a USB cable to make the adjustments necessary here for this troubleshooting process. You should always back up your iOS device before updating software or modifying settings.
- Update the iOS device to the latest version (Settings > General > Software Update)
- Update iTunes to the latest version (either through Updates in the App Store, or the iTunes app itself) then relaunch iTunes
- Connect the iOS device to the computer with a USB cable (yes, even if you use wi-fi sync)
- Select the device within iTunes, uncheck Wi-Fi syncing and check “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically”, then click Apply
- Quit iTunes, disconnect the iOS device from the computer, and restart the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Relaunch iTunes and reconnect the iOS device to the computer with USB again
- Select the iOS device within iTunes again, and re-enable Wi-Fi syncing, then click “Apply” again
- Attempt to sync your media with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch as usual – syncing should work and no longer get stuck on a step or freeze up
Assuming all went well, iTunes 12.1 will sync flawlessly now with iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and/or iOS 8.3 (and hopefully all other future iOS versions), and the device will no longer have a bunch of unplayable track names in Music app.
Another two points worth mentioning; iTunes seems to be less problematic when syncing with a USB cable than with Wi-Fi. This means that even if you have wi-fi syncing enabled, sometimes just simply plugging the iPhone or iPad into the computer is a more reliable way to get things to work as they should. Also, syncing music and movies is often more reliable if you choose to “Manually manage” (that is, syncing manually by dragging and dropping files in iTunes, rather than relying on the ‘sync’ button, which to me is kind of like the traffic light Customs button you encounter in a Mexican airport in it’s randomized nature).
Did this work to resolve syncing issues or failures with your iOS 8 devices and iTunes 12? If not, did you go through this more general troubleshooting guide? Let us know in the comments, and if you found another solution which works for you, do let us know of that too.