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OS X: Resetting Sync Services

Symptoms

You might need to reset Sync Services if a single user account is experiencing one of the following issues while using OS X Mountain Lion or earlier:

  • You're unable to open or use the Sync menu
  • You're unable to open iSync in a single OS X user account
  • The SyncServer or Mingler process uses excessive resources on your computer

Resolution

About SyncServices

The SyncServices folder (~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices) is a key component of USB syncing in Mac OS X Leopard and later. This includes syncing with devices and third-party applications. If you need to troubleshoot Sync Services, use the steps in this article.

SyncServices is not used to move data between iCloud and your devices. If you are having issues related to data stored in iCloud, see the following articles instead:

OS X Mavericks 10.9 - OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 do not use Sync Services. OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 or later use Sync Services only to exchange contact and calendar data with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices over USB when using iTunes 11.2 or later. SyncServices is not used to synchronize data with Exchange, iCloud or other services listed in the Internet Accounts pane of System Preferences in OS X Mavericks.

Important: Manually removing or editing the contents of ~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices/ is strongly discouraged because this might lead to unexpected data loss. Before resetting Sync Services, it is strongly recommended that you back up any important data that you sync regularly.

How To Reset Sync Services

Choose your operating system for steps to reset the SyncServices folder:

OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 and Later

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window, type or paste the following command on a single line:
    defaults delete com.apple.SyncServer SyncServicesResetWorldRunOnce
  4. Press Return.
  5. Quit Terminal after the operation has completed (when Terminal returns to the command prompt).
  6. Reboot the computer

OS X Mountain Lion

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window, type or paste the following command on a single line:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/SyncServices.framework/Versions/A/Resources/resetsync.pl full
  4. Press Return.
  5. Quit Terminal after the operation has completed (when Terminal returns to the command prompt).

OS X Lion and Mac OS X Snow Leopard

  1. Hold down the Option key on your keyboard and click the Sync menu (Sync menu icon) in the menu bar.
  2. - If you do not see the Sync menu in your menu bar, skip to step 6.
    - If you see the Sync menu but you are unable to open it, skip to step 7.
  3. Choose Reset Sync Services from the Sync menu.
  4. Click Reset Sync History in the window that appears.
  5. Test for the original issue. If the issue persists, or if you are unable to open the Sync menu, follow the next set of steps.
  6. In the Finder, choose Utilities from the Go menu.
  7. Open Terminal.
  8. In the Terminal window, type or paste the following command on a single line:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/SyncServices.framework/Versions/A/Resources/resetsync.pl full
  9. Press Return.
  10. Quit Terminal after the operation has completed (when Terminal returns to the command prompt).

 Mac OS X Leopard

  1. Open iSync.
  2. Choose iSync > Preferences.
  3. Click Reset Sync History.

If this does not resolve your issue, or if you are unable to open iSync, follow these steps:

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window that opens, type or paste the following command on a single line:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/SyncServices.framework/Versions/A/Resources/resetsync.pl full
  4. Press Return.
  5. Quit Terminal after the operation has completed (when Terminal returns to the command prompt).

Re-enabling sync-related settings after resetting Sync Services

After you reset Sync Services, you might need to re-enable some Sync-related settings. Resetting Sync Services resets your user account Sync settings, and any local history of updates or changes to sync-enabled data. It doesn't change your current data sets, but it does delete the history of how the data arrived at its current state. It also disables some sync-related settings. Here are a few things you should check that might need to be reactivated if you plan on using sync again:

  • If you are syncing with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod using USB and iTunes, you should re-enable any settings for syncing data in iTunes. This includes Bookmarks, Calendars and Contacts. You can check these settings in iTunes the next time you connect your device.
  • If you are syncing with a third-party application, you might need to reconfigure your sync options in those applications.
  • After resetting sync history, OS X treats the next sync as if it is syncing for the first time for the affected user. For example, the next time you sync via iTunes, you might see a dialog asking if you would like to: Merge Data, Replace Data on Device, or Replace Data on your computer. In general, Merge is the default behavior for this dialog, and is the preferred choice on first sync. Avoid selecting the Replace option unless you have a specific reason to replace the data on your device.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Sep 11, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Sep 11, 2014
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