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iTunes for Windows: "Unable to load data class" or "Unable to load provider data" sync services alert

Symptoms

You may see one of the following messages in iTunes when connecting an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Windows computer or when trying to sync with your device:

"iTunes was unable to load data class information from sync services"
"iTunes was unable to load provider data from sync services"

Resolution

Note: If you are using a work-owned or public computer, please note that the steps in this article require you to have access to an administrator account on your computer. If you do not have an administrator account, please contact whoever manages your computer. 

To troubleshoot this issue:

1. Check that iTunes is up-to-date

Ensure that you have updated to the latest version of iTunes.

2. Reset Sync History

Resetting your Sync History is a simple step which may resolve some syncing issues. If this works, iTunes will prompt to Merge or Replace the information on your device when you next attempt to sync. To reset your Sync History:

  1. Disconnect your device.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. From the Edit menu, choose Preferences.
  4. Click the Devices tab.
  5. Click the Reset Sync History button, and then reconnect your device.

If this resolves the issue, and you know all of your contacts, calendars, bookmarks and notes are on your computer:

  1. Reset the Sync History again using the steps above.
  2. Select the device in iTunes and click the Info tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Advanced section, and under "Replace information on this iPhone/iPad/iPod touch" select Contacts or Calendars.
  4. Click Apply.

If the issue persists, and you know all your contacts, calendars, bookmarks and notes are on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Remove all of the contact and calendar information from Outlook.
  2. Select the device in iTunes and click the Info tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Advanced section, and under "Replace information on this iPhone/iPad/iPod touch" make sure Contacts and Calendars are not selected.
  4. Click Apply.

3. Unplug all optional USB devices

Unplug all USB devices from your computer except for your iOS device, keyboard, and mouse (if needed). Also, if your computer has a card reader, disconnect the card reader from the computer. If your computer has an internal card reader, open the Device Manager, and disable any "USB Mass Storage Device" entries associated with the card reader. Restart your computer and test. 

4. Attempt to sync content in a new Windows user

Determine if the issue affects a specific Windows user account or all accounts:

Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Open User Accounts.
  3. Select "Create a new account" and follow the instructions to complete the account setup process. 
  4. Once the new account is created, choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  5. Log into the newly created user account.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Open User Accounts (Vista) or "User Accounts and Family Safety" (Windows 7).
  3. Select "Manage another account" (Vista) or "Add or remove user accounts" (Windows 7).
  4. Select "Create a new account" and follow the instructions to complete the account setup process. 
  5. Once the new account is created, log off.
  6. Log in to the newly created user account.

Once you are logged in to the new user account, create a few test contacts and/or calendar events in your compatible application of choice and attempt to sync that data to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  • If you are able to sync while logged in with a different Windows user account: Follow this troubleshooting article in the section titled "If you are able to sync while logged in with a different Windows user account."
  • If you are unable to sync in a new user: Follow this troubleshooting article in the section titled "If you are unable to sync in any Windows user account."

5. Troubleshoot your security software

If you have third-party security software installed such as antivirus or firewall applications, follow the steps in iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting security software issues. Updating, reconfiguring, disabling or (if issue remains) uninstalling your security software may resolve the issue.

Additional Information

Computers in public or work environments:

In some cases, Windows is configured in a domain environment, or a roaming profile may be in use (such as computers in a work environment). This may result in the SyncServices folder not being created, or the SyncServices folder not being readable or writable on both the local computer and the domain server. Therefore, you may not be able to sync with this user configuration.

Refer to your computer's administrator for steps on creating a fully-local user in Windows. If this is not possible, consider syncing with a different computer. Alternatively, If the data you are trying to sync is coming from an Exchange server, consider syncing that data over-the-air with Exchange ActiveSync. Refer to the administrator of your Exchange server, and to the Enterprise Deployment Resources.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.
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Last Modified: May 31, 2011
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  • Last Modified: May 31, 2011
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