Manage content manually on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod

Learn how to manually manage music and movies if you want to quickly sync a few specific songs or videos to your device from your computer.

By default, iTunes 11 and later manually manages your content on your device. Manually managing your device allows you to choose the content you want to have with you. This is useful if your iTunes library contains more items than can fit on your device.

Manually add items to your device

  1. Connect your device to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version.
  3. Choose the content that you want to add to your device from your iTunes library.
    Selected song in iTunes
  4. Drag the content to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. A panel should appear. Locate your device.
     Dragging the song in iTunes

What if I can't manually add content to or remove content from my device?

To manually manage your content, check to make sure that the "Manually manage music and videos" option is turned on. Then:

  1. Connect your device to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version.
  3. Locate and click on your device.
    Icon of iOS device in iTunes
  4. Click the Summary tab.
  5. Click the box next to "Manually manage music and videos."
     Checkbox in iTunes
  6. Click Apply. If you see a message that your device is synced with another library:
  • iPhone can only add music or video from a single iTunes Library.
  • iPad and iPod can add music from multiple iTunes Libraries, but video from only one iTunes Library.
  • If you choose to manually manage your movies and music with the new iTunes Library, the iTunes content currently on your device will be erased and replaced.
  • You can’t manually manage music while using iTunes Match on your device.
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