Introduction to Syncing iPhone to Computer
By Sam Costello. iPhone/iPod Expert
Sam Costello has been writing about technology since 2000. He has published articles with CNN.com, PC World, InfoWorld, and Computerworld, among others. For those magazines and websites, he covered digital copyright, the rise and fall of Napster, mobile devices, and computer and network security. He has written about PDAs, monitors, and printers for Samsung's consumer websites.
Author of My iPad for Kids (2012), published by Que Publishing.
You manage what content is added to and removed from your iPhone by syncing it.
The first step to sync the iPhone to computer is very simple: plug the cable that came with the iPhone into a USB port on your computer and the other end into the dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone. When you plug the cable in, your phone will begin to sync. The rest of the iPhone sync process happens in iTunes.
If you've just gotten a new iPhone and want to set it up for the first time, check out How to Activate an iPhone .
Otherwise, read on.
The first screen you come to should be the iPhone management screen. If it doesn't appear, look at the top right corner of the iTunes window for the iPhone button and click on it. That will take you to the management screen.
The iPhone management screen offers basic overview and option information about your phone. Click to other screens via the tabs at the top. The boxes on this screen do the following:
- See what version of the iOS you're running
- Check for Updates to make sure you have latest version of the iOS and, if not, update it
- Restore your iPhone to factory settings .
This section details your backup options and what backups you have.
- Automatically Back Up - Choose where your iPhone will back up
its contents. Your options are:
- iCloud: If you're using iCloud, your data will back up there daily
- This computer: Backs up your data when you sync your iPhone to this computer
- Encrypt iPhone backup: Select this option to password protect the backups on your computer
- Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected - Ensures that iTunes launches and syncs the phone when you connect it. Consider unchecking this if you connect your iPhone to multiple computers or play your music through other computers.
- Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi - When this is enabled and your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, it will sync--no more cables!
- Sync only checked songs and videos - Useful if your iTunes library is bigger than your iPhone's capacity. Uncheck the small box to the left of songs/video you don't want to sync.
- Prefer standard definition videos - Designed to conserve disk space. This option ensures that, if you've got both HD and standard definition versions of a video, the smaller standard definition version is synced.
- Convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC - Converts songs to the AAC format during syncing. This helps conserve space if your songs are encoded in other formats or at higher bitrates, which results in larger files.
- Manually manage music and videos - Disables automated syncing. Instead, allows you to manually add and remove all content on your iPhone. Not recommended unless you've got a specific reason.
- Reset Warnings - If you have previously dismissed any alerts or warnings on your iPhone, you can see them again by clicking this button.
- Configure Universal Access - Turns on accessibility options for people with hearing or visual impairments.
The Sync button on the bottom right should be clicked when you've made changes to your settings and want to update the phone.