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By far one of the best features of iOS is wireless sync and backupup upAs the name implies, it allows you to wirelessly transfer apps, music, books, contacts, calendars, movies, photos, anything you needed to use a wired sync for, but it’s done over the air.
As long as your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is even vaguely new, it will support Wi-Fi sync, but you’ll need to set it up up and switch it feature.
Wireless sync requires modern versions of iOS, iPadOS, iTunes, and MacOS. Make sure you have installed modern versions of these system software and apps before attempting to enable sync over Wi-Fi otherwise the option will not be visible. This installation process is the same on Mac OS X and Windows, and is fully compatible with both if you sync across the different platforms.
Set Up Wireless sync in iTunes and iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod
You need to connect your iOS device to your computer to set it up up, but after that you are wireless except for charging the hardware battery. Here is the two-step process to set up and enable Wi-Fi sync from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
1: Enable Wi-Fi sync on computer with iTunes
- Connect the iOS device to the computer with a USB cable
- Open iTunes and click on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch on the left side of the window
- Click the “Summary” tab in iTunes
- Scroll down and click the checkbox next to ‘Sync with this iPhone over WiFi’ (or iPad or iPod touch)
Now choose with the iTunes side enabled up the iOS device to complete the process:
2: Enable Wi-Fi sync on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
- Launch the “Settings” app and tap “General”
- Tap “iTunes Wi-Fi Sync”
- Select the computer you have set up up wifi sync in the previous iTunes step
- Tap “Sync” button to start wireless synchronization
You can also check if this works by disconnecting the iPhone or iPad and then choosing the “Sync” option in iTunes on the Mac or PC. You will see the familiar sync screen on your device.
How to Use Wi-Fi sync with iOS with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Once Wi-Fi sync is on and set up up As shown above, the iOS device will automatically sync wirelessly when the hardware is connected to a power source, including the USB cable, speaker docks or otherwise.
This process also automatically and wirelessly backs upup from your iPhone or iPad to iTunes, assuming iTunes is your chosen backup destination.
Besides that automatic process, you can also initiate manual backup and sync from iPhone / iPad or from iTunes on Mac or PC:
How to Manually initiate a wireless sync from the iOS device
- Tap Settings> General> iTunes Wi-Fi Sync, then tap Sync button
You can cancel this at any time by tapping ‘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 by selecting that button within iTunes.
If you really want to take advantage of Wi-Fi sync and the PC-free experience, don’t forget to sign up also for iCloud. You can follow our guide when placing up iCloud here, it is very simple and free for the first 5 GB of cloud storage at Apple.
Troubleshoot wireless sync
There are a number of potential problems and solutions, Apple offers a few useful ones tips if you encounter problems:
- Check if the iOS device is running a modern version of system software, anything with iOS 5 or later supports Wi-Fi sync
- Make sure the Windows PC or Mac is running iTunes 10.5 or later
- Quit and restart iTunes
- Restart the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
- Reset the wireless router
- Make sure the iOS device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Mac / PC
- Check for network interference from wireless phones, metal barriers, interfering Wi-Fi signals, microwave ovens, etc.
- Check firewall settings and verify that TCP ports 123 and 3689 and UDP ports 123 and 5353 are open and accessible (these are ports that iTunes uses)
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 PCs to which an iOS device can be paired.
This feature was first introduced in iOS 5 or later and iTunes 10.5 or later, and persists in the latest iOS, iPadOS, iTunes, macOS and modern system software.
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